HIQA published their Health Technology Assessment (HTA) into smoking cessation interventions on 10th April. The impetus behind the assessment was to better understand the most cost-effective options available to the government, to reach its stated goal of a ‘Tobacco Free Ireland’ by 2025. It is the first report in the EU to look at the cost effectiveness of vaping as a cessation aid, and was carried out by HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment, Dr Máirín Ryan.
- Dr Ryan said that she could not recommend vapes as a cessation aid yet, and “advises the Minister to await the results of ongoing trials before deciding whether to recommend e-cigarettes.”
- Despite promising results, HIQA found that there was not enough evidence to demonstrate reliably vaping products’ effectiveness as an aid to quitting.
- Any future advocacy of vaping products should also “take into consideration any additional information on the long-term safety of e-cigarettes use.”
- Any future decision to promote vaping products was also dependent on “any emerging data [concerning] the social normalisation of e-cigarettes leading to increased uptake among people who have never smoked, or later migration to tobacco cigarettes.”
- According to data from the Healthy Ireland survey 2015, half of smokers attempting to quit smoking in Ireland do so without aid. A further 29% of smokers try to quit using e-cigarettes as a cessation aid.