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  • Vaping second only to Varenicline in cost effectiveness for smokers looking for an alternative to smoking
  • HIQA recommends informing smokers about all alternatives to smoking, including vaping
  • HIQA recognises the role vaping can play in reducing public health expenditure

While HIQA has advised the Minister of Health Simon Harris TD to await the results of ongoing trials before deciding whether to recommend vaping products per se, the research clearly points to many positives for the 29% of adult smokers who choose vaping as an alternative to smoking.  Indeed the report acknowledges 29% of adult Irish smokers who choose vaping to successfully quit smoking, that figure falls to 18% for nicotine replacement therapies such as gums and patches.  With 150,000 adult vapers in Ireland, and 99% of vapers being ex-smokers (see Department of Health Healthy Ireland Survey 2016), this is very positive news for those looking to find alternatives to smoking.

 

HIQA emphasise the importance of an individual being allowed make his/her own decision with respect to cessation and options available including vaping and goes on to advise that information on vaping be discussed with smokers to ensure informed decision-making in relation to their use.  VBI spokesperson Alan Buckley commented  “HIQA notes in its report that information with respect to vaping is not being made available through QUIT.ie and that if results reported so far are confirmed in subsequent trials and e-cigarette usage continues to rise, there is a risk that an ever greater proportion of smoking cessation activity will be undertaken without any involvement of trained smoking cessation staff.  We infer from this that HIQA is supportive of some level of information on vaping being made available through QUIT.ie, a move which we think would be supported by all those wishing to provide a viable alternative to smokers.

 

The report also recognises the role vaping can play in reducing public health expenditure where it states “e-cigarette use will continue to grow in popularity as an aid to smoking cessation. Increased e-cigarette use would also likely result in lower expenditure by the public health system on other prescription drugs due to a decline in their uptake, assuming the current funding model remains unchanged.”  In the current public health expenditure environment, this too would be a very positive development.

 

On the ‘concern’ mentioned in the report with respect to vaping being regarded as a gateway to smoking, Buckley commented “The Department’s own Healthy Ireland Survey shows that 99.9% of vapers are ex-smokers so we remain unclear where this ‘concern’ comes from as the report does not in itself provide any research or even anecdotal evidence to back this up”.

 

ENDS

For Further Comment:

VBI Spokesperson Alan Buckley

+353 86 225 6322

VBI Secretariat Ciaran Bradley

+353 83 868 8629

+353 (0) 1 234 2606

 

Note to the Editor:

  • The final HIQA HTA report can be found here.
  • Leicester authority’s Stop Smoking Services –  Since No Smoking Day 2014, Stop has advertised itself as a vaping product friendly service. They welcome people who have chosen to stop smoking using the increasingly popular devices.   Quitting success rates for 2015-2016 rose to 62% for vaping product users with or without NRT, compared to 47% for NRT alone. Contact: Louise Ross Louise.Ross@leicester.gov.uk
  • Vape Business Ireland is a business alliance committed to an open debate about vaping products in Ireland. We have formed this alliance to ensure that our sector, and the consumers we represent, are properly represented in the debate on the regulation of vaping products which must be balanced and evidence-based.  Brands include: Aqua Vape, blu, Rejuice, Logic, Gamucci, Hale Vaping and Nicocig.