The British Government promotes the substitution of tobacco for electronic cigarettes, "95% less harmful" | Society

The British Government promotes the substitution of tobacco for electronic cigarettes, "95% less harmful" | Society


The government of UK goes against. While the World Health Organization (WHO) discourages the use of electronic cigarettes, the British health service considers that they are 95% less harmful than conventional tobacco and, in addition, a good ally to stop smoking. To convince citizens, the Government plans to launch a campaign with a video showing the amount of waste accumulated by a conventional smoker in their lungs compared to a user of the so-called e-cigs.

Although studies on the health damage that electronic cigarettes can cause show different conclusions, there is consensus that the phenomenon is still very recent to have exhaustive data on its long-term effects. There are countries like the United States where high consumption has led them to classify the situation as an "epidemic". Doctors warn of their risks, including the possibility of crossing the thin line that separates these devices from traditional tobacco addiction.

In contrast, data from the British Health Service (PHE, in its acronym in English), indicate that between 65% and 68% of smokers who used electronic cigarettes and other methods to reduce nicotine consumption, they were able to stop smoking . The main criticism of the British authorities to the studies on the risks of e-cigar is that they are "confusing" or "contradictory", as explained Martin Dockrell, responsible for the tobacco control program of the PHE, the British newspaper The Guardian.

"It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could leave it with the help of electronic cigarettes were dissuaded by false fears about harmful effects," he said. The Guardian John Newton, dthe British health service. In the video, which the Government will launch soon, the teacher Lion Shahab, from University College London, states that it is a false belief that vaping is just as harmful as smoking. The goal is to "reassure" smokers and make it clear that changing conventional tobacco e-cigar It is a good option to leave it.

The British Government promotes the substitution of tobacco for electronic cigarettes, "95% less harmful"

Some scientific studies, such as one published in August by the University of Birmingham, they argue that vaping It can damage cells of the lungs. The authors suggest that after 20 or 30 years of consumption can cause damage and urge to be prudent.

Consumption grows in Spain

Spanish adolescents smoke less and start smoking later, but the number of those who try the electronic cigarette grows. 20.1% of students between 14 and 18 years old have vaped at least once in their lives, according to the latest Survey on Drug Use in Secondary Education in Spain, an increase of three points compared to 2014.

"There are studies that show that young people who start using electronic cigarettes become smokers more easily," said Carlos Jimenez, president of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery in an article published in EL PAÍS. This is confirmed by a recent publication by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine of the United States: adolescents who use electronic cigarettes with nicotine – the substance that creates addiction – have a higher risk of becoming traditional smokers.

"There is also psychological, social or gestural dependence (…), without forgetting that in the steam that is released there are toxic and carcinogenic substances," added the doctor expert in smoking: "Children are developing their respiratory system, are more vulnerable to this type of toxics. "

The business of electronic cigarettes gave Spain a vertiginous leap at the beginning of this decade -in 2013 it had 3,000 stores and almost one million users-, driven by campaigns that guaranteed its great effectiveness to stop smoking. Then, no law regulated their use. After the approval of the first regulation, in 2014, the business collapsed, and only as of 2015 it recovers gradually.

The current norm prohibits any type of advertising of the devices as well as the campaigns that propose them as a product to quit tobacco. Likewise, its use in hospitals, transport and public buildings and schools is prohibited. And, most importantly, its sale to minors is not allowed.

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