|Infographic created by Electric Tabacconist.|
Almost all of us know someone who smokes, a friend, a family member or a work colleague. In fact, nine million British adults still smoke, despite being aware of the dangers. This causes us non-smokers a dilemma. On the one hand, we want to respect the choices that other people make. If they want to smoke, then who are we to tell them not to?
But on the other hand, as a friend or a relative of a smoker, don’t we have a responsibility to help each other achieve a healthier lifestyle? One of the statistics that caught my eye is the fact that 70% of smokers would like to quit, but can’t. Think about that, for every four smokers you see on the street, close to three of them would rather not have their habit!
One potential tool to help smokers kick cigarettes, but still enjoy their nicotine, is the e-cigarette. E-cigarettes don’t contain carbon monoxide, tar, or thousands of other harmful chemicals which are found in cigarettes, making them about 95% less harmful than cigarettes according to Public Health England. But even after this landmark report, some people had their doubts about e-cigarettes… after all, how can we be sure that they are safe?
The Royal College of Physicians, representing Britain’s best doctors, also investigated e-cigarettes recently, and what they found might surprise you. Not only did they agree that e-cigarettes are probably 95% less harmful than cigarettes, but they also found that e-cigarettes were not a gateway to smoking, as some had feared. They also found that rather than ‘normalising’ cigarettes again, e-cigarettes were actually helping to lower smoking rates at an unprecedented level. Best of all, they found that some people are able to quit smoking completely with the help of an e-cigarette.
If you were worried about e-cigarettes, then this should come as a huge relief! And if you are friends with a smoker who would like to quit, then you can share this knowledge with them. There are now more than six major UK health groups who support the managed use of e-cigarettes among smokers. Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians we have already mentioned. But did you know that their research has helped the NHS decide to offer e-cigarettes on subscription? And did you also know that key health charities such as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health also say that e-cigarettes have the potential to improve the lives of thousands of smokers?
In their recent smoking statistics survey, the Office for National Statistics found that around 700,000 e-cigarette users are ex-smokers. They found that an additional 800,000 people had managed to quit both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, making them completely nicotine free. The Health Department acknowledges that over a million Brits have given up smoking thanks to e-cigarettes.
It’s no joke to say that quitting cigarettes could save your life as the average smoker dies ten years earlier than the average non-smoker. If you are a smoker, maybe it’s time to ask if an e-cigarette could save your life.