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ADPHNE Comes Out For Vaping

The Association of Directors of Public Health North East has published a position statement and joins the vast number of UK public health bodies supporting vaping

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The Association of Directors of Public Health North East (ADPHNE) has published a position statement and joins the vast number of UK public health bodies supporting vaping. ADPHNE came to its position due to the briefings released by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH UK) and the publication of the Nicotine vaping in England 2022 evidence update.

ADPHNE’s position on nicotine vaping:

  • Smoking tobacco will kill up to 2 out of 3 long term users. Tobacco remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death with approximately 5,000 people in the North East dying each year from smoking.
  • Smoking tobacco products is a significant driver of health inequalities. Our priority for tobacco control must be to reduce the number of people who smoke a known uniquely lethal product.
  • The evidence is clear that, for smokers, vaping is a far less risky option and, in the short and medium term, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking. We must ensure that vaping is an affordable and accessible alternative for smokers who want to reduce their risk of dying from a smoking-related disease.
  • A critical recommendation to the government from Dr Javed Khan OBE’s independent review on making smoking obsolete is to promote vaping as an effective tool to help people to quit smoking tobacco, outlining the role that vaping can play in an effective tobacco control strategy.
  • At the same time, we recognise that vaping is not risk-free and therefore vaping must be presented as an alternative to or replacement for smoking, not an activity which is appealing to the wider non-smoking population.
  • Vaping is not for children and whilst it can help people quit smoking, those who don’t smoke should not vape. We need to reduce the number of young people accessing vape products and the amount of non-compliant products available for sale. We need to work closely with our Trading Standards colleagues to support compliance with regulations and to take enforcement action when necessary. We also need to continue to advocate for tighter e-cigarette regulations where needed, ensuring the right balance is taken around protecting young people and supporting smokers to quit.
  • In households where tobacco smoking occurs, vaping offers a less harmful alternative for non-smokers. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is dangerous. Compared with cigarettes, vaping products produce no or little side-stream emissions. The evidence update found that there is no significant increase of toxicant biomarkers after short-term secondhand exposure to vaping among people who do not smoke or vape.
  • There are concerns that only a small proportion of adults who smoke accurately believe that vaping was less harmful than smoking. We therefore support the delivery of evidence based communications among stakeholders and the public to widen understanding and to ensure smokers understand that switching to vaping is a significantly less harmful option than continuing to smoke.

ADPHNE says: “The most robust evidence on nicotine vaping is contained within the Nicotine Vaping in England: 2022 evidence update. The report is the most comprehensive to date, its main focus being a systematic review of the evidence on the health risks of nicotine vaping.”

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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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