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E-cigarettes should be promoted as a method of stopping smoking

09 October 2017

This is the key message from a new BPS behaviour change report.

Changing behaviour: Electronic cigarettes’ published this week is a new briefing that aims to provide guidance and education to those involved with smoking cessation.

The report also makes the following recommendations:

  • Improve education about the relative harms of smoking, nicotine and e-cigarettes.
  • Combine existing best practice, NHS Stop Smoking Services (SSS) with the most popular quitting method (e-cigarettes) to increase attractiveness of the SSS and further boost success rate. Offer e-cigarettes and technical support as part of the SSS and fund the services to support smokers to quit.
  • Use policy interventions and fiscal measures to raise the cost of smoking and reduce the cost of e-cigarettes. Continue to increase taxes, smoke-free regulation and purchasing barriers for cigarettes but regulate the reduced risk product less heavily. For e-cigarettes, avoid taxation and ‘vape-free’ legislation and promote unrestricted advertising of factual information.
  • Regulate to promote product development – allow e-cigarettes to further evolve and improve so they are safer, more appealing and satisfying for more smokers.
  • Invest in research to continue to explore the effects of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and to determine which factors promote a successful transition.

Dr Lynne Dawkins, Associate Professor at London South Bank University and co-author of the report said:

“For smokers trying to quit, e-cigarettes are more attractive than traditional smoking cessation methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy, and at least as effective. 

There is also mounting evidence that they are much safer than tobacco smoking. As a consumer product, although most Stop Smoking Services are not currently able to supply these, we recommend that they endorse them and support their use by smokers trying to quit."

You can read our interview with Dr Lynne Dawkins in The Psychologist on why it's so hard to quit smoking and listen to our audio interview.

These briefings are aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the ways in which psychology can contribute towards achieving behaviour change and inform interventions. 

Visit our Policy, Research and Guidelines pages for more information.

 

 

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