The move to make e-cigarettes available on the NHS has largely been welcomed. Prof Alan Boobis, emeritus professor of toxicology at Imperial College London and chair of the UK Committee on Toxicity, said smokers could already buy e-cigarettes to try to quit. But he added: “Licensed vaping products will have to meet a defined standard set by the medicines regulator, the MHRA, and in return they will be available to clinicians to prescribe to their patients, which will be an important step forward.” More here.
I can only speak from my own experience. As an ex-smoker and someone who does vape the benefits have been huge for me. The expense alone is a massive benefit, but more than anything the move was made because of my health.
When I looked at the ingredients in e-cigarettes compared to real cigarettes there was no doubt in my mind that they would be better for me and to this day I remain convinced that for many people they likely represent the only way to move away from real cigarettes.
I loved smoking, I really did. For someone who drinks alcohol rarely and who has had no other addiction, cigarettes grabbed me and would not let go.
It still took time to give up and lots of willpower initially, but vaping was the bridge I needed. The fact that the bridge is still there, something I see in many other people who vape, is not ideal and so I still vape to this day. I guess that is better than smoking real cigarettes.
Offering the product through the NHS is no bad thing either. People who are highly obese can have surgery, those who have drug addiction can get products on subscription, alcoholics get lots of support so it makes sense to deal with this as well.
Sadly in the UK we have a strange view of acceptable drugs. Drinking alcohol is revered and often times applauded, but we have moved to a place where smokers are to be shunned away. That is not really a bad thing, but I am glad to see that the NHS is now stepping in.
As I said, I can only speak for myself, but I am convinced that without vaping I would still be smoking today…