Electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, vaporisers and the various other names given to these new devices have become a phenomenon. Their popularity over the past few years has grown significantly, with an expansion of highstreet e-cigarette shops, marketing via the internet and social media, as well as traditional approaches using print advertisement and mass media campaigns. Despite their increasing usage largely by smokers and ex-smokers, e-cigarettes have divided opinion as to whether they can offer real benefits or they are potentially damaging to public health. While a recent Public Health England review concluded that e-cigarettes could be prescribed to help smokers to quit, the Welsh government plans to restrict their use in the same way as for conventional cigarettes. This paper will present some of the main issues that surround e-cigarettes and highlight the potential consequences good and bad that this new technology may bring.
The impact of smoking on all aspects of health – physical, psychological and socioeconomic – is so serious that helping people to quit is a key priority for anyone working to improve health outcomes. In this article, we look at the best way to encourage smokers to quit, how to increase the quit rate in smokers who have decided that the time is right for them to stop, and review the latest information on pharmacological options for smoking cessation.
Helping people who smoke to quit is one of the most important steps we can take in reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease, in addition to reducing the other harms caused by smoking.
Stopping smoking is associated with considerable health benefits and large numbers of smokers want to quit. However, concern about weight gain is one of the reasons people often give for not being able to quit smoking. It often reinforces the decision to continue smoking, particularly in women and young people who may mistakenly believe that smoking is an effective way to control their weight. Even if an individual successfully quits smoking, weight gain can often be the factor that causes relapse. What can we do to help?
The NHS has launched an innovative free Quit Kit to give smokers the right tools to help them successfully stop smoking. The NHS Stop Smoking Quit Kit, which has been designed by experts and smokers, contains calming audio downloads, a ‘stress toy’ and a tool to help smokers work out how much money they are saving by quitting. A recent survey of smokers in the East of England showed that nearly half (44%) wanted help to manage cravings, one third of smokers wanted tools and advice to strengthen willpower and 30% simply want something to do with their hands. Nicotine gum and patches were the most popular aids to quitting, with 30% of smokers planning on using a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as gum or patches this New Year. The new free Quit Kit contains tools that have either been scientifically proven to help reduce cravings or have been developed in response to smokers’ needs. It includes:
· a “train to win” willpower assessor helping quitters to identify smoking triggers and providing tips on how to avoid them;
· two MP3 downloads that are scientifically proven to reduce cravings;
· a “tangle” – a new stress-relieving distraction tool for the hands, to help manage cravings;
· a toothbrush – to remind quitters of the benefits of fresher breath and so they can see the difference when they brush (smokers get a yellow residue on their toothbrush);
· a health/wealth wheel to work out how much money quitters can save and the immediate health benefits of quitting smoking;
· an A3 “Quit plan” wall chart so that quitters can mark their progress over 28 days and stay focused;
· details of local NHS Stop Smoking Services, where people can access NRT and stop smoking medicines, and tailored support – either through one-to-one or group sessions.
The free Quit Kits are being publicised in a series of adverts that show smokers how the right tools for the job can help them stop smoking. These are running alongside a powerful advertising campaign aimed at motivating smokers to quit by demonstrating how much their smoking affects their loved ones.
Between March 2006 and July 2007 smokefree legislation was introduced in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, making virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces smokefree. Building on the experience of several other countries, the laws and regulations were designed to protect the health of workers and others from the negative consequences of breathing secondhand tobacco smoke. This article examines the impact that the legislation has had so far and provides guidelines for encouraging patients to stop smoking.
Most smokers want to stop smoking and intend to stop at some point, according to research. Nearly half of all smokers expect not to be smoking in a year’s time, but only two to three in every hundred actually stop smoking permanently each year. It is widely recognised that healthcare professionals have an important role to play in helping patients to stop smoking, but what is the best way to achieve this?