A statement recently released by Cancer Research UK and 11 other charities urges health authorities to encourage mental health patients to embrace the idea of vaping in an attempt to quit their smoking habit. The group produced a statement regarding e-cig use laying out the facts that those who are struggling with mental health problems are around twice as likely to become smokers, and then to further struggle when wanting to quit. Quit rates among these patients have flatlined over the last few years, and smoking is one of the main contributing factors responsible for people in this group dying at a younger age than the rest of the population, and often up to 20 years earlier.
Enabling E-Cig Use To Improve Health
The co-chair of the group partnership, Professor Ann McNeill, stated that e-cigarettes were able to offer these people a new opportunity to stop smoking and thus avoid the disease and early death that the habit causes, especially for those who have been unable to quit despite using the other available methods. The mission of this statement is to encourage mental health authorities to offer vaping as a legitimate quitting option across all of their mental health settings, and by offering access to e-cigarette reviews and other helpful information, health providers can facilitate making the switch from tobacco.
The Principles Put Forward By The Group
The group have put together a set of principles designed for support staff and health professionals in mental health settings, putting forward the following points:
An effective service to help people to stop smoking is essential to public health, and those who suffer from mental health problems should be equally able to access these services.
Smoking is still a key part of the culture in most mental health settings, and this makes quitting more challenging. Implementing a smoke free policy is an important way of changing this culture and more staff training is important to support mental health patients effectively to quit the habit.
Information regarding the use of e-cigs should be a key part of the care package offered to mental health patients who are also smokers. This advice should cite evidence to show that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco smoking. E-cigarettes should also be used together with other options such as bupropion, NR and Varenicline for those who require extra help.
Health authorities should be aware that there isn’t any evidence at the present time to show that second hand vapour can cause health problems to non-vapers.
Health authorities should enable smokers to switch to vaping by making it an easier option. Vapers should not have to vape in the same area as smokers since this could harm their efforts to stay smoke free.
Policies regarding e-cig usage in health facilities should be clearly communicated to visitors, patients and staff.
If mental health providers operate a retail outlet, they should make e-cigs available for sale to make them more accessible.
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