Primary care health practitioners should support the use of e-cigarettes as an aid to stop smoking

Posted by Ioan Barsan-Chis on

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) released a report titled “Smoking cessation in Primary Care”. Dr Richard Roope, Clinical Champion explained that improved training for Primary Care for practitioners could help to reach the government’s goal of the UK becoming smoke-free.

A range of initiatives are covered including VBA training, behavioural support and notably, e-cigarette training. On numerous occasions it has been recommended that advice on vaping should be given to smokers who want to give up with the help of an e-cigarette.

The CRUK report states “When combined with behavioural support, there is good evidence for the use of both pharmacotherapy and e-cigarettes in supporting smokers to quit.

NICE guidance recommends health practitioners provide smokers interested in using an e-cigarette to quit smoking with information and advice.”

Despite this guidance, it appears that the majority of health practitioners are still failing to give advice on e-cigarettes.

“The cross-sectional survey, the report is based on shows that only 1 in 4 (27%) health practitioners frequently providing patients with advice about e-cigarettes as a tool to quit.”

With e-cigarettes now proving to be UK smokers’ most popular quitting aid, CRUK suggested the following recommendations.

“Primary care health practitioners and primary care service commissioners and planners across the UK should:

Support the use of e-cigarettes as an aid to stop smoking, recommending that they can also be used alongside behavioural support.”

We welcome this report from CRUK. Totally Wicked smoking cessation lead, Chris Green is working with stop smoking services all over the country to provide training for health professionals.

With vaping now proving to be the UK’s most popular cessation aid, it is important that medical practitioners have the correct information and training on vaping.


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