e-cigarettes: learn how to help smokers quit

A new online training module has just been launched: E-cigarettes- a guide for healthcare professionals.


This course covers the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes, types of device and issues for e-cigarette users to consider. It looks specifically at the role of e-cigarettes for young people and pregnant women who smoke, and answers frequently asked questions. The course aims to provide health professionals with the knowledge, and clinical guidance, to ensure that the advice that they give to smokers is evidence-based and effective.


You can access the course via the NCSCT website or directly here


The launch of the course coincides with the publication  of the latest evidence review by Public Health England. The full report can be downloaded from the online course and the executive summary is here


Main findings of the review:

  • Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits;
  • E-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more;
  • Many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette. The accuracy of public perceptions of the relative harmfulness of e-cigarettes vs tobacco cigarettes have worsened over recent years;
  • There is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine;
  • Poisonings and fires from e-cigarettes are not common. Reports of poisonings have decreased and are rarely severe;
  • Use of e-cigarettes by adults in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million - over half of these have completely stopped smoking;
  • The evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for young people. While experimentation is fairly common, regular use of e-cigarettes among young people is rare and almost entirely confined to those who have already smoked. Youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline;
  • Available evidence on heated tobacco products indicate they may be less harmful than smoking but so far most data comes from manufacturers.



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