Increased use of E Cigarettes would assist smokers to quit

E Cigarettes Helping Smokers to Quit

The Health Information and Quality Authority have said that an increased use of e-cigarettes by smokers trying to quit “would increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland”. 

This is one of the findings from the recent HIQA report on e cigarettes as a tool to help people stop smoking. Gillian Golden from the Irish Vape Vendors Association has stated:

One of the headline take aways from the report is that HIQA clearly state that providing inaccurate information on comparative risks is unethical as it fails to allow people to make informed choices. Hopefully, this means we will see a reduction in the level of misinformation about vaping prevalent not only in the medical arena, but also in media and political discourse.”

What we can take from this report is that E Cigarettes can help smokers quit and are helping them every day.  They should be seen as a less harmful alternative to smoking and should be promoted in this way to smokers.  Yes there are people who say that we do not know the long term effects of vaping but what we do know is right now vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and this is a positive message for smokers.  The report also mentions, as Gillian does above, that inaccurate information on comparative risks is unethical and stops people making an informed decision.  This is very important that smokers get the correct information regarding E Cigarettes and basically understand that they are 95% less harmful and do help smokers QUIT.

The smoking situation in Ireland is very worrying as nearly 6,000 people have died in 2016 due to smoke related illness. This is something that needs to change and E Cigarettes can help achieve this.  Even with the recent reports and studies there are still some people who basically ignore the facts and still suggest certain opinions.  One of these is that E Cigarettes may be a gateway to smoking.

Let us look at this ideology with some basic evidence.

Clive Bates, former Director of ASH UK states “Although there is a rise in e-cigarette use among school age adolescents, that does not prove anything bad is happening – it simply mirrors what is going on in adult society. Whether it is harmful depends what you think would have happened in the absence of e-cigarettes.  It is quite possible that e-cigarette use is displacing smoking in adolescents. Even where they have never smoked it might be acting as an alternative to taking up smoking. For there to be any real harm, you would need to show that students were taking up vaping and then going on to develop a life-long smoking habit, because of the vaping.  In fact, in the data presented from the US, there were much more encouraging signs: e-cigarette use was a small fraction of the smoking rate among school students; the rise of e-cigarette use coincided with a much larger drop in smoking; and e-cigarettes use was concentrated among those already smoking. 

On the view that E Cigarettes normalise smoking, he states “The people who claim this need to explain carefully how they think one activity can normalise another, especially when these alternatives involve products in competition.  It is more likely, and should be assumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that vaping normalises vaping, which is an alternative to smoking – and therefore normalises not smoking. 

Overall the recent HIQA report has a positive message for smokers and shows that using E Cigarettes can help smokers QUIT.  This is the main message we need people to hear and also to understand that certain views of people about E Cigarettes does not make these views true.  Smokers need to have the right information available to them regarding how they can quit and what could help them succeed in this decision.

Our hope is that one day E Cigarettes will be promoted as another tool to help people stop smoking and hopefully they can help reduce the deaths we are seeing throughout the world from smoke related illness.

Joe Dunne


VIP E Cigarette



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