Two UK hospitals abolished a ban on the use of e-cigarettes Thursday thanks to overwhelming evidence showing they’re vastly safer than tobacco cigarettes.
A National Health Service Trust, which runs two hospitals in the city of Nottingham, revised its position on vaping in light of a groundbreaking report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which enthusiastically endorsed e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking.
An earlier report published by Public Health England concluded e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes.
“We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices, and can’t ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy,” said Dr. Stephen Fowlie, medical director at the trust.
“We’re now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff, and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking,” Fowlie added.
“We need to encourage all patients and visitors who smoke and find it difficult to abstain while in hospital grounds to use medicinal nicotine or an electronic cigarette,” said Professor John Britton, a respiratory consultant at the trust and contributor to the RCP report.
The RCP’s position is e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than regular cigarettes and are likely to be hugely beneficial to public health. (RELATED: Game Changer: World Leading Medical Group Backs E-Cigarettes)
“This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK,” said Britton, who also chairs the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group. “Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever.”