National No Smoking Day is an opportunity to see whether vaping can help Ireland’s adult smokers to kick the habit
Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has called for e-cigarettes to be recognised by the HSE as a viable alternative to smoking. The association is making the call to mark Ireland’s National No Smoking Day, Ash Wednesday, which is traditionally a day when smokers attempt to quit.
According to the 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey, released by the Department of Health in November 2019, there are now over 240,000 vapers in Ireland, with 13 per cent of ex-smokers using e-cigarettes. It is the view of VBI that vaping has a significant role to play in achieving the State’s objective of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.
Commenting, Director of VBI, Vincent Jennings said: “National No Smoking Day is an excellent opportunity to remind adult smokers of all options available to them when considering how to move away from cigarettes. HSE research shows that seven out of ten people who currently smoke would like to quit, and we believe it is time that the HSE recognises the benefits vaping plays as a less harmful alternative to smoking, as there is no evidence to support the assertion that vaping is normalising smoking or that it is a gateway to smoking.”
In January 2020, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) updated their guidelines, to put vaping forward as a second line of defence for smokers looking to quit cigarettes. In addition, the Journal of the American Heart Association Journal last week retracted its 2019 Glantz Study which implied that e-cigarettes are an independent risk factor for causing heart attacks.
Mr Jennings added: “As we have seen from these recent U-turns, there is a danger of misinformation for adult smokers looking for an alternative to tobacco. As a country, Ireland lags behind other countries such as the UK, where public health authorities, cancer research charities and campaigners have all advocated vaping as a crucial tool in reducing the overall number of people who smoke. The HSE needs to ask, why are smoking levels falling dramatically faster in the UK than in Ireland, over a past number of years. Organisations such as Public Health England, ASH UK and Cancer Research UK have provided exceptionally strong guidance to the public about the role that vaping can play in helping to reduce tobacco use dramatically.”