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Doctors should advice vaping if nothing else helps quitting smoking traditional cigarettes?

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Posted April 7, 2018

Smoking is extremely harmful to your health. However, millions of people around the world smoke many cigarettes every day. Quitting is difficult – even a visit to the doctor is not always helpful. However, a new study from the University of New South Wales argues that doctors should suggest patients smoking e-cigarettes when everything else fails.

Vaping is not completely harmless, but it can help quitting smoking and improve health condition. Image credit: Lindsay Fox via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

E-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. They are battery-powered devices that work by heating up a special liquid, essentially allowing the smoker to inhale the fumes instead of tobacco smoke. In this way inhalation of harmful tar, carbon monoxide and other toxic chemicals can be avoided. Furthermore, people still get to smoke, which helps them combat the urge to smoke for ritual or social reasons. Using e-cigarettes, called vaping, is not entirely healthy and it is still a habit, but new studies, conducted in US and UK revealed that vaping helps quitting tobacco.

Smoking tobacco cigarettes is so unhealthy that carcinogens can be found in people’s saliva and blood. Vaping, meanwhile, reduces the concentration of these harmful chemicals. People who switch from smoking to vaping enjoy a number of health benefits: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, lung function and pneumonia risk – everything gets improved. That is why scientists now are saying that people, who repeatedly failed to quit smoking using conventional methods, should get advised by health practitioners to pick up vaping. This suggestion is likely to face opposition, because doctor community doesn’t generally like the idea of replacing one bad habit with another. Also, laws are against it.

Vaping in US and the majority of European countries is completely legal. In fact, there is no legislation against it, except age limits. However, such countries as Canada and New Zealand vaping is only getting legalized now and Australia is not even going to follow – in this country ban on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is going to remain. Scientists say that it is a problem. Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, author of the scientific review, said: “In Australia between 2013 and 2016, the smoking rate has not declined significantly for the first time in decades, despite very high cigarette prices, plain packaging and strict tobacco control laws. However, in countries where which support vaping, smoking rates are continuing to fall, faster than ever, in some cases”.

Scientists suggest using vaping as a tool to quit smoking – after several months people should quit vaping as well. However, even if they continue to vape they’re not going to be damaging their health as much as if they were smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.

 

Source: University of New South Wales

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