Positive re-enforcement of e-cigarettes from trusted sources is key to allowing vaping to receive the recognition it deserves, so the latest story from Dr Roger Henderson is an important source which provides a credible opinion backed up by facts and figures.

Dr Roger Henderson was involved in a debate at the Conservative Conference where he used an e-cigarette as a demonstration and the shocked reaction optimized the unwarranted negative public perception of e-cigarettes. As a doctor, Henderson clearly feels strongly about smoking as he wrote:

“The basic point remains that smoking continues to be the single biggest cause of preventable early death and illness in England, with some 100,000 deaths in the UK attributable to smoking each year despite the rate of smoking having halved in the last 50 years. Even on the most optimistic grounds, and including implementing policies currently under consideration, this prevalence is unlikely to reduce to 10 per cent by 2025.”

Dr Roger Henderson goes on to explain that the current cessation campaigns implemented by the NHS have had an effect but believes that tobacco harm reduction should be in their plans for ‘smokers who have been unable to quit or who choose not to’.

Henderson uses the term ‘harm reduction’ to mean “decreasing the burden of death and disease, without completely eliminating nicotine use”. This point of tobacco harm reduction is often scrutinised by those who wrongly hold nicotine responsible for causing cancers and other serious illnesses however Henderson puts these claims to bed:

“It is vital to remember here that it is not nicotine that kills smokers – after all, medicinal nicotine has a minimal effect on the body, usually consisting of a temporary small rise in pulse and blood pressure – but the 7,000 or so chemicals inhaled in tobacco smoke.”

He compares the currently licensed Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs), such as patches and gum with e-cigarettes and explains that the success rate of these NRTs is often not as high due to the lack of experiential correlation. These are important points that are commonly raised, however coming from a medical profession adds much more integrity and reliability to the statement.

Dr Henderson’s concludes by stating:

Ignoring the rise in e-cigarette use among smokers is not an option in my view, and I would have no qualms whatsoever about being able to prescribe regulated e-cigarettes on prescription. It may be nicotine that makes it hard for smokers to quit, but it is smoke and tar that puts them in the ground.”

There are many more advocates of e-cigarettes out there, who work in the medical field. We hope to see more informers speak out about e-cigarettes, backed up by facts and figures, to help clear the waters between smoking and vaping, that have been muddies by the countless scare stories that have unfortunately become common place.

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