England finds e-cigarettes can help smokers quit

On Wednesday it is No Smoking Day and to mark the event Hertfordshire County Council is raising awareness of the benefits of e-cigarettes as an effective way to give up smoking tobacco.

Anyone who wants to know more about stopping smoking can call the local helpline on 0800 9179388where they can speak to a member of the Smoking Cessation Team or if they want useful tips to stop smoking, visit the Want 2 Stop website at www.want2stop.info where you can also order a Quit Kit free of charge which will help you on your quit attempt.

It said a smoker was four times more likely to lose their sight than someone who had never smoked, explaining that chemicals in tobacco smoke trigger biological changes in the eye which can lead to eye disease including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and thyroid eye disease.

In terms of e-cigarettes, there were 2.3 million users in 2015 in Britain - around 4% of the population there.

Of the former e-cigarette users in Great Britain, around half said they now smoke cigarettes and 14.4% of the current users said they also smoked cigarettes.

However, e-cigarettes still pose a potential risks to developing children and pregnant women as they still contain nicotine. A further 22% said they were vaping because it was less harmful than smoking.

Some of the statistics suggest that it is often the heavier smokers who turn to e-cigarettes.

Neil Wood, health and wellbeing programme manager for Public Health England East, said: "There is evidence that switching to e-cigarettes can significantly reduce harm to smokers, with greatly reduced exposure to carcinogens and toxins".

"The popularity of smoking in Great Britain has dwindled over the past 40 years", the ONS report states. The ONS figures on general smoking trends include northern Ireland.

The figures show that men (19.3%) are still more likely to smoke than women (15.3%), and smoking is more common in deprived groups and those looking for work.

Shockingly, one in five 10-year-olds smoke.

Figures for Great Britain also show that smokers have been cutting back on the numbers of cigarettes they consume.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: "The decline in smoking is very encouraging and shows that strong tobacco control measures are working. That's essential if the prime minister is to live up to her promise to tackle health and social inequality".

"That is why we are calling on the Government to publish its forthcoming tobacco control plan without delay".

  • Salvatore Jensen