The lungs are not filled with tar, the taste buds on the tongue recover, and breathing becomes easier. These are three of the main benefits of quitting smoking. The same effect is evident if you use the e-cigarettes instead of the traditional tobacco. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of e-cigarettes, and some governments also recognize the benefits. If citizens no longer die from cigarettes, they can at least pay taxes for longer. A prominent pioneer on this topic is Great Britain. You can find out how the country promotes e-cigarettes in the following article.
UK – Tobacco-free by 2030
Great Britain has set itself an ambitious goal. In July 2019, the country unveiled a comprehensive plan to improve the health of its citizens. In addition to encouraging physical activity, one goal is paramount: to eliminate cigarette smoking throughout the country by 2030. Because even if the number of smokers in England is already decreasing, the country wants to speed up the process.
This strict goal is to be achieved through several measures: On the one hand, smoking is to become less attractive through rising prices (in 2018, a pack of Marlboro with 20 cigarettes already cost €12.23) or increasing smoking bans.
On the other hand, e-cigarettes should be strongly promoted. The government has announced in a publication that it will continue to promote vaping as an appealing alternative to smoking. This is based on the finding that many UK smokers took up vaping to quit cigarettes. Areas specially set up for smokers (e.g., the smoking zones at train stations) are gradually converted into steamer zones.
The e-cigarette is on the rise – thanks to extensive research
Public Health England (the UK’s national health agency) was among the first institutions to start researching the health effects of e-cigarettes. As early as 2015, they concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than regular cigarettes. And not only that – the cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than that of a smoker.
In addition, Public Health England also examined the effects on adolescents. The agency’s investigations refuted the claim that e-cigarettes tempt children and young people to smoke.
Vaping is encouraged – smoking is punished.
Two hospitals have a unique position in the fight against tobacco. In Birmingham and West Bromwich (just off Birmingham), hospitals offer e-cigarettes to their patients and guests. Smoking patients, in particular, are offered strong support to get away from the fags.
However, the work of the hospitals is not limited to just distributing e-cigarettes. A hefty fine will be due if a patient (or guest) smokes on the hospital premises. Vaping, on the other hand, is not only tolerated. It is even encouraged.
Great Britain leads the way – when will the rest follow?
So the Brits show us how to do it right (at least one thing they can do well). But when will Germany and the rest of the EU follow suit? And what do you think? Should hospitals in our country also offer e-cigarettes and punish smokers more severely? Let us know what you think in the comments!