The NPA welcomes Public Health England evidence review on e-cigarettes

07 Feb 2018

The NPA welcomes the evidence review by Public Health England (PHE) of e-cigarettes, and PHE’s statement that anyone who has struggled to quit smoking should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help

It is now clear that, on the basis of current evidence, e-cigarettes have a legitimate place in smoking cessation, underpinned by professional advice.  It is useful to have a range of options in the stop smoking ‘toolkit’, because every person responds differently to treatment and the stop smoking journey is very personal.

Unlike corner shops and specialist vape stores, pharmacies are regulated by healthcare agencies and staff are qualified to give advice on all aspects of smoking related health, as well as identify additional health care needs.

Thousands of people each month successfully give up smoking with the help of local pharmacies.  Pharmacies are an accessible, non-stigmatising environment, where behavioural support can be given in combination with quit products like nicotine patches or gums.  According to the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence, people who smoke are more likely to quit if they are offered a combination of behavioural and pharmacological interventions.

The PHE evidence review will help pharmacists provide up to date advice to people wishing to use e-cigarettes as part of their quit smoking journey.  It will also help pharmacies decide whether or not to stock e-cigarettes for sale.  Many more pharmacies will now feel confident to supply these products.

We will keep alert to any new evidence emerging from the current parliamentary enquiry by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. PHE acknowledges the need for more research, including monitoring the impact of passive vaping.