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Should e-cigs be prescribed on the NHS?

Health officials have today given their backing to the use of e-cigarettes, claiming the devices are a “game changer in public health”.

Public Health England concludes that E-Cigs are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.

We want to offer smokers a “range of choices” to help them quit smoking for good, says Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England.

Speaking to 5 live Breakfast, he said by licencing and regulating e-cigarettes, the NHS could add them to the “tool kit” to help people give up smoking.

While stressing that e-cigarettes are not free from risk, PHE now believes that e-cigarettes “have the potential to make a significant contribution to the endgame for tobacco”.

“Smoking costs the NHS 2bn a year”, he said, adding that it is a major drain on the service.

What are your views? Should doctors be able to prescribe e-cigs? Have you successfully quit smoking using e-cigs?

Should e-cigs be prescribed on the NHS?

572 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Alicia
31st Oct 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
The NHS is not a charity.
JohnHerb
1st Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree but then if e-cigs help people kick smoking so in the longer term it stops people getting very ill who the NHS have to treat it may well work out cheaper
LJC
25th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
As someone who has switched from the dreaded weed to vapouring. No, we all have a choice, and if you have been paying the ridiculous amount for cigs you can afford the much cheaper option of the ecigs/vapourisers.
Trampas1955
20th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Some people are weak and have no will power. There's no excuse for smoking nowadays. But don't give them any financial help.
JohnHerb
1st Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
May well help the NHS in the longer term though as they will not have to treat so many ill people
ParsleyPeg
12th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I am an ex-smoker and when I finally gave up 8 1/2 years ago I did so with the help of nicotine patches, which I purchased instead of cigarettes. They were considerably cheaper than cigarettes, and I noticed a financial difference immediately.
I understand that ecigarettes are also considerably cheaper than cigarettes themselves, so why do they need to be provided for nothing?
PennieK
5th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
If people can afford to buy cigarettes, they can afford to buy ecigarettes?
orchid10
22nd Aug 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
E cigarette is much safer than cigarettes. Those who smokes know how difficult to pack up. The chemicals that was pump into the tobacco is meant to make you addicted. It is hard for smoker to pack up if the will power is weak. I think E cigarette has a place. It is less harmful. You have to be a smoker to understand the problem. I spent my whole life trying to help smoker to give so I understand.
SandraD2
25th Aug 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I gave up smoking after 33 years. Yes it was hard and several times I nearly weakened, but after seeing the men in the cancer ward coughing but still smoking, and my late husband succumbing to the disease, that was my turning point. I used the chewing gum and this helped greatly.

I am not sure that e-cigarettes is helpful, as people still have the habit of 'smoking', and I certainly do not think they should be available on the NHS as they are cheaper than cigarettes. If people can afford the high price of cigarettes, they can certainly afford the lower price of e-cigarettes.
orchid10
25th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Some people need clinician to help and give support. having tried the usual pathway ie patches etc and not suitable E cigarettes may be an answer. I would rather help that person to kick the unhealthy cigarettes smoking that are linked to all sorts of possible health conditions than to treat the condition on the NHS which is far more costly. Admittedly those motivated will buy without any prescription but some may not and we should not be so hard on them. Hopefully once the smoker packed up he/she may then buy the refill with all the money saved wasting on buying cigarettes previously.
I get very excited when they come back to tell me they have stopped smoking and thank you for your help and support!
Wilf
24th Aug 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree they seem much safer but not sure that the NHS should be paying for them?
AlisonCRB
22nd Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
It's sending the wrong signal. We should be encouraging people not to become smokers and those who are already smokers to quit. To see e-cigarettes in pharmacies is suggesting that they are healthy whereas they are not.
lindaseaside
21st Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Ifsmokers can afford to buy tobacco then they can afford to buy e.cigarettes instead! Or just go cold turkey!
daydreams
21st Aug 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
It seems to me that e-cigs are just another way of people doing something the easy way. I gave up smoking fifteen years ago after being a light smoker for over thirty years. I went cold turkey. I decided to stop and though it was hard, and though there were a few hiccups where I gave in once or twice, I managed it within a few months.
Lillegirl
21st Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
The NHS offers a very good service for those wanting to give up smoking, patches and therapy! I know of several people that have used the service and have succeeded. I also believe that it is frame of mind that matters and unless you are in the appropriate frame of mind it will be a struggle or neigh impossible for anyone to stop an addiction. e-cigarettes do not offer the addicted the opportunity to 'give up' they only offer an alternative whilst being used and if offered a cigarette when the e-cigarette is not available it is quite possible the opportunity th smoke a cigarette will be taken. Therefore I would not vote for the NHS to supply e-cigarettes as they are, in my opinion, not helping with the addiction!
jackrussell
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
If people wish to choose to stop smoking and use e-cigs. They should finance that themselves. The NHS needs all the money it can get to help pay for good DRS & nurses. Also to pay for life saving drugs.
Cullomptmum
20th Aug 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
If you can afford cigarettes you can afford e-cigs. It us a direct swap. Just do it!
vynalman
20th Aug 2015
-2
Thanks for voting!
Alcoholics get extra money and they are on the dole.
Amateureye
20th Aug 2015
-1
Thanks for voting!
Yet again I don’t see the connection? The question is should these E cigarettes be put on prescription? Alcoholics get money from the benefit system (not from the health service) it is paid to them on a daily rate, because if they got their money in a lump sum they could kill themselves with alcohol poisoning, the money they are given isn’t actually for alcohol it’s for food and of course I realise they do spend it on drink what they do with their benefit is up to them, and also the government are introducing new sanctions to stop this happening unless they go on a detox program and stick to it, they will have their money reduced or stopped. Until they seek help. And just the same as smokers get help the alcoholics will get help from the health service.
Amateureye
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
If you could afford to smoke, you can quite easily afford to buy one of these E cigarettes. I do not see why the National Health Service should be burdened with this cost. Smokers can already get help through patches sprays and tablets, and unfortunately the only real way to give up the habit is willpower. Good luck to anybody who is trying to give this habit up.
vynalman
20th Aug 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
What about those people who can't stop eating and then ask for a band to be fitted is that wrong as well
SandraD2
25th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes that is wrong. People are on waiting lists for life saving operations that often a health authority cannot fund but people seem able to have gastric bands easily (also breast enlargements). The overweight people have to lose a certain amount of weight before they can have a gastric band, so why can't they lose weight anyway? It is self inflicted, the same as smoking and alcohol.
Amateureye
20th Aug 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I fail to see your comparison, the subject you are talking about is a medical condition, it tends to be a flaw in the persons genes and requires medical help, as far as I’m aware the gastric band is available on the National Health Service with the recommendation from a doctor. The same as there is free help available for smokers, but you have to draw the line at some things and e-cigarette I think is one of these things, I think that smokers should pay if they want to try this device. The health service is from medical conditions I do not class smoking is a medical condition I class it as a bad habit where as some other diseases caused by smoking are medical conditions and are treated by the health service. I do not mean to offend anybody this is simply a personal view I understand smoking is a habit and is not something that is easy give up but with the help that is available to them that is free and will power it is totally achievable.
Holly100
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
If you agree to fund these E cigs with tax payers money what will be next?
Will we all have to start funding the healthy eating meals for all the obese people? I could go on - - -.
I agree with all these comments that smokers are better off when they give up smoking and will easily afford the E cigs.
Dadog
20th Aug 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
The NHS are nearly broke. They haven't enough money to fund the latest cancer drugs. Smokers should 'man up' and give up. You can stop smoking if you want to - but you can't stop cancer however much you want to.
Soozie63
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
How long does it take to become 'weaned' off E-Cigs? Surely if you are still using them several years later that is defeating the purpose?
Soozie63
20th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
It might be a good idea to start people of say, for three months but then they have to pay. Women get no help with sanitary products which are a 'necessity' so I don't think smokers should get E Cigs on a permanent basis as it is their choice to smoke. Are they still going to be banned in pubs and restaurants? If not it will be as bad as smokers in there!
mick2e1hzm
20th Aug 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
for the price of a couple of packets of cigarettes you can buy one, no one gave me anything when I stopped, the only thing is to educate people put graphic pictures on cig packets and clamp down on shops who sell to children
lamplady
20th Aug 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
If people can afford to smoke then they can afford to buy their own e-cig. A lot of us have done and that includes people on pension and or limited income as though the initial costs is higher using e-cigs works out much much cheaper. I know as I have done it along with quite a few of us 'mature' persons. The NHS is already on its knees, why make it worse?
Tripoli
20th Aug 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
Although it has been suggested that by doctor's prescribing e-cigs as a way of helping people get off nicotine, I strongly object to the use of the NHS being used. If you've been smoking for years and now have gone on to e-cigs, good for you. However, as you've been paying extortionate amounts for cigarettes for years, then you can afford e-cigs. The NHS can't sustain itself for much longer without the help of the population not continually over loading it with colds and coughs, sore throats and bumps and bruises all of which can be treated 'at home'. Common sense can be applied to all these minor issues. The NHS has been a wonderful and humanitarian organisation: let's not abuse it.
gina1
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
If people could afford to smoke they certainly can pay for ecig. I have been I ecigs for a long time, I had to stop smoking to proceed with an operation and it certainly worked for me. So no to this being supplied by the NHS
RoyB
20th Aug 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Of course they should not. Smokers buy cigarettes and can buy these instead if they want to stop smoking. Stop treating people like children please. NHS has fixed budget. Please don't take money away from cancer or other serious disease for this purpose.
irisann
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Sheer madness. The NHS is in enough financial difficulties at the moment without adding another burden to it. People are using these products to still get a nicotine hit and are using them in place of cigarettes with the majority still using months after they have supposedly 'quit' smoking. What's happened to will power? Yes it's not easy but it can be done with no cost to the NHS
HR65
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
If smokers can afford cigs they can afford to buys e-cigs.
NHS could provide support prog so both parties benefit long term
Munsterlander
19th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Its madness. The only winners here will be the e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers who much be rubbing their hands in glee at this news. the best thing the NHS can do is to keep on making people aware of the dangers of smoking. Even these e-cigs cannot be healthy-how can drawing any type of smoke or vapour for that matter into you lungs be good for you or others???
JohnHerb
19th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think they should. I read in the papers today that it could save 75,000 people a year from dying from lung cancer if they smoked e-cigs rather than fags. thats got to be great news for them , great news for the NHS and stops the smell of stale fags everywhere!
MrFred
19th Aug 2015
-1
Thanks for voting!
Yes, and yes! I successfully moved to e-cigs a few years back and have been waiting for the government to do a full report on the safety of these devices.

95% less harmful, the government report says.

I have noticed HUGE improvements to my health since making the switch - and am gladdened by the fact that the government are finally taking wind of the idea that they are a hugely effective smoking cessation device - without doubt the best I have tried.

While I would have always happily paid to make the switch rather than expecting the tax payer to foot the bill for my bad habits, I believe allowing the NHS to offer a limited supply per person (who is relying on the NHS to quit the cigs) of e-cigs and e-liquid instead of the more traditional cessation products, we will have a lot healthier population, relieving strain on the NHS greatly, in the long run.

I don't think more money should be allocated to these devices, but whatever budget they already allocate to cigarette cessation should have a high percentage proportioned to e-cigs.

I see the only bad side to this as being abuse of the system. If people were allowed to keep claiming this product from the NHS over a long time, or worse, if people already using e-cigs started going to the NHS to restock, rather than paying for it themselves. In my opinion, it should be used to show smokers the joy of vaping over cigarette consumption, which they can then personally finance by re-allocating their cigarette budget to, if they chose to continue.
Marley444
19th Aug 2015
-1
Thanks for voting!
A tricky one .. on the one hand why should us tax payers fund smokers, however if it is going to save the NHS money in the Long run, and help health generally, then it has to be good thing!
Tripoli
20th Aug 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
As smokers know the dangers and now have e cigs, they can buy their own e-cigs. That's only fair.
MrFred
19th Aug 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
We already are, Marley444. Through other cessation devices, and through medicating the diseases that occur due to smoking.

The nature of this is to help people who want to quit smoking, and for me, e-cigs provided that very effectivly. From the first day I picked one up, I did not smoke another cig.

I agree that it is open to abuse though, and would need to be controlled.

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