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NHS Hopes To Stock Hospitals With E-Cigarettes

NHS Hopes To Stock Hospitals With E-Cigarettes

 

NHS Hopes To Stock Hospitals With E-Cigarettes

While the United States has been reluctant to acknowledge vaping as a beneficial tobacco cessation tool other, more vape-friendly countries have been working on using e-cigarettes as an actual medical device. This treatment of vaping runs contrary what we’re used to the U.S., whose media is full of taboos and misleading information about the health effects of e-cigarettes.


In England, the National Health Services has been nudging along plans to stock hospitals and medical facilities with e-cigarettes as part of an effort to make the facilities more “smoke free,” according to a report in the Independent. However, according to a report from The Daily Mail efforts in the hospitals have been stalled because the e-cigarettes approved for official medical use are two years old and, in vape time, that means they're incredibly  out of date.


This situation is a precarious one and speaks to a number of different tensions in the vaping world. First, the acceptance of vapor products by countries including the UK as beneficial medical tools are now a reality. Second, vape technology is literally evolving at such a fast pace that products approved two years ago are considered ancient by today’s standards. Finally, tobacco companies like British American Tobacco (BAT), who promised to make the devices, don't appear to be up to the task . . . if the profit margins aren't high enough, that is.     


Production Difficulties


Previously, the vaping device eVoke had received approval to be used as a medical device. Its implementation, however, has been stalled after the product was licensed out to British American Tobacco, who said that there were production difficulties and that the device was “unlikely to see the light of day.”


“I am disappointed not to see at least one type of electronic cigarette available on the NHS to help people quit smoking and which is significantly safer than cigarettes, available for a small prescription charge,” Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at Stirling University, told the Daily Mail.


The quick pace of vaping technology advancement is the official reason for the stalling of the roll out into NHS hospitals, but some have attributed the deferral of the launch to the fact that the company involved with the production was a tobacco company, whose interests may be at odds with tobacco cessation efforts.


Vapers have been wary of this decision from the beginning of the process, and for some, including Professor Bauld, the idea of a tobacco company making vaping products and promoting it, seemed like an absurd notion.  


“I never thought that it was ideal however for a tobacco company to be making a pharmaceutical product, and this does not surprise me. Some tobacco control experts did not think British American Tobacco’s heart was really in this,” Bauld continued.

NHS Claim


In 2015, the NHS dropped the bombshell claim that e-cigarettes were “95 percent safer than tobacco.” This quickly made England one of the most vapor-positive countries in the world, rivaled only by New Zealand.


These types of claims started off initiatives like moves to put e-cigarettes in hospitals and to treat vape systems as harm reducing alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Additionally, Public Health England is set this to publish a review into the safety of e-cigarettes later this month to update their 2015 findings - you know we'll be on that one when it drops.

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