On February 24, the official website of the British government released the “Vaping in England: 2021 evidence update summary” (“Vaping in England: 2021 evidence update summary”). The report mentioned that e-cigarette products were the most commonly used aids for people trying to quit smoking in the UK in 2020, and 27.2% of those who quit smoking used e-cigarette products.
This report is an annual report produced by Public Health England. Since 2012, the British government has required the Department of Public Health England to update the safety review of e-cigarettes every year before 2022, update the latest data on e-cigarette use in the UK, and provide information and insights for policies and regulations.
Since the first report was published in 2014, seven have been published. This year’s 247-page document, supported by authoritative research and data, once again strongly proves that e-cigarettes can assist smoking cessation.
E-cigarettes become the first choice for British quitters in 2020
The report pointed out that in 2020, 27.2% of people who tried to quit smoking used e-cigarette products, 18.2% of smokers used nicotine replacement therapy (such as nicotine patches and chewing gum), and 4.4% of smokers used prescription drugs for smoking cessation.
Not only that, the proportion of smoking cessation using e-cigarettes is higher than other smoking cessation methods across the UK. For example, 49% of smokers in Yorkshire, UK choose to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, and in the Humber region, this data is even as high as 78%.
Obviously, e-cigarettes have become the first choice for people trying to quit smoking in the UK in 2020. Smokers vote with their feet, naturally because this method has the highest success rate of quitting smoking completely.
UK Quit Service figures show that between 2019 and 2020, those who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking in their local quit service had a cessation success rate of between 59.7 and 74 per cent.
The United Kingdom is one of the best countries in the world for tobacco control, and it is also the first country to explicitly support e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool. Lead author of the latest report, Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, said: “Our report draws together the results of randomised controlled trials, population studies of smoking cessation services, etc. E-cigarettes are an effective way to successfully quit smoking.”
In the UK, more than 70,000 people died from smoking-related diseases in 2019. The use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid can help about 50,000 smokers quit smoking every year. Now, it has also become a very important task for the British government to popularize the common sense among smokers that “e-cigarettes can help quit smoking”.
As a result, Public Health England emphasized in its 2021 report: “We need to focus more on delivering evidence of harm reduction to smokers in better ways, so that they can fully consider the various options to help them quit smoking.”
Director of Health Improvement, Public Health UK: Strongly recommend smokers to try e-cigarettes to quit smoking
“Smoking cessation and harm reduction” has always been an important issue that the British government has been paying attention to and trying to improve. Because it is closely related to people’s livelihood, economy, and public health, the Department of Public Health England has long proposed to realize the “smoke-free generation” plan in the UK.
The latest report released by Public Health England this time has re-emphasized this goal, saying that by 2030, it hopes to phase out cigarettes, allow smokers to quit smoking completely, or switch to lower-risk nicotine delivery systems.
The promotion of electronic cigarettes with “harm reduction” as the main value has become one of the choices of the British government. Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England, even strongly urged: “For heavy smokers, especially those who have tried other smoking cessation methods, we recommend trying e-cigarettes to quit smoking.”
The reason why the British government and the medical community are so supportive of e-cigarettes is also a choice based on long-term scientific research.
Back in 2015, Public Health England released a 113-page independent report. The report concluded: Although e-cigarettes are not 100% safe, they are 95% less harmful than tobacco, and the content of harmful chemicals is almost negligible. Policies should encourage smokers to use e-cigarettes as a key tobacco control strategy to reduce the harm caused by smoking.
After that, the British government allowed hospitals to sell e-cigarettes and provided patients with e-cigarette lounges to encourage smokers to switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes and eventually stop smoking. On the other hand, the British government is also constantly regulating the regulation of the e-cigarette industry.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action UK on Smoking and Health, said: “Since people have started using e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, the government has been trying to find a balance between helping smokers quit smoking and protecting children.” He believes that , and many people do not fully realize the potential of e-cigarettes as an effective smoking cessation aid in adults.
Not only the UK, there is growing evidence that e-cigarettes can help quit smoking, in line with global tobacco control goals.
In November 2018, the New Zealand government released a regulatory plan for risk ratios for smoke-free products. The plan emphasizes improving access to quality e-cigarettes and smoke-free products for smokers while protecting minors.
On October 15, 2020, the Cochrane Collaboration, an international authoritative academic organization for evidence-based medicine, pointed out in its latest study that 50 professional studies conducted on more than 10,000 adult smokers around the world proved that electronic cigarettes It has the effect of smoking cessation, and the effect is better than that of nicotine replacement therapy.
One of the study’s authors, Caitlin Notley, a professor at the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, UK, analyzed the reasons behind it: “One of the most effective and widely used strategies to help people quit smoking is to eliminate smoking-related cravings. E-cigarettes, unlike nicotine gum and patches, mimic the experience of smoking, delivering nicotine to the smoker without exposing users and others to the smoke of traditional tobacco.”
“Whether electronic cigarettes can effectively quit smoking” has always been a topic of concern. However, because the systematic scientific research of domestic e-cigarettes is still incomplete, it is difficult for the public to know the accurate research results in a timely manner. More and more research reports released by international authoritative organizations have not only justified the name of e-cigarettes, but also become the basis for rational supervision of e-cigarettes.