Fast becoming the most popular and successful way to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes are sweeping the UK as more and more smokers switch from tobacco to e-cigs in their bid to give up. Although debates about the relative benefits and risks surrounds these products, it’s widely agreed that e-cigarette users are much more likely to succeed in quitting than those who go cold turkey or use other alternatives, such as patches. So should electronic cigarettes be sold in pharmacies? Let’s take a look.
Weighing Up the Evidence
The past few years has seen a spike in research conducted into electronic cigarettes, an invention that has in the space of a few years become the most popular alternative to tobacco on the market. Although many studies are still underway to assess the long-term impact of e-cigs, the evidence thus far weighs in favor of using these devices as a way to give up smoking.
By cutting out the thousands of chemicals in tobacco whilst offering a pleasant experience for smokers during the process of quitting, e-cigs have been received with much more enthusiasm by those trying to give up, than substitutes such as patches and gum. A study conducted by University College London found that success rates are up to 60% higher with e-cigarettes than with other methods. As smoking currently causes around 100,000 deaths annually in the UK, the impact of this could be significant.
The Pharmacy Debate
Opinion is split in the pharmacy industry as to whether or not e-cigs should be stocked in stores. However the decision this year of major chains such as Boots and Lloyds to offer them to customers indicated a general shift in consensus in favor of these smoking substitutes. Although not yet regulated as medicines, the big retailers have begun stocking premium electronic cigarettes to help people quit smoking. The emphasis here is promoting such products in the same way that any other nicotine replacement is advertised & to help current smokers give up. And with such high success rates, it’s understandable that Boots and Lloyds support these substitutes in their stores.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is yet to change its opposition to this stance, however a recent poll in The Pharmaceutical Journal shows a distinct approval of e-cigs as a smoking alternative. 46.1% of respondents thought they should be available as a safer option for smokers whilst a further 7.1% agreed on a basis of new opportunities to offer stop smoking advice. In contrast, only 15.6% disagreed altogether with pharmacies stocking these products.
Although official regulation in favor of e-cigarettes in pharmacies is yet to transpire in the UK, it seems that there is growing support for this availability and promotion of vaporizers to this end. With 2.1 million vapers in the UK and rapidly falling rates of tobacco smokers, it seems that as a first step to giving up, the evidence is mounting in favor of these popular products. Tell us what you think.
Author Bio: This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam, a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellygGrassam. This article has been written with helpful information from Prestige Vaping – e-cigarettes.