Public Health England publishes advice on the use of e-cigarettes

July 19, 2016   //   No Comments

e-cigarette-1301670_1280Public Health England (PHE) has published advice for business and employers to help them create their own policies on the use of e-cigarettes. There are now 2.8 million e-cigarette users in the UK and there is a need for appropriate policies in public places and workplaces.  PHE’s new framework helps organisations create e-cigarette policies that will support smokers to quit and stay smokefree, while managing any risks specific to their setting.

The framework acknowledges that workplace environments vary greatly and there is no one-size-fits-all approach; a factory or warehouse is a very different setting to a nursery school, with different considerations to make. It sets out 5 important principles for an approach based on our current knowledge of e-cigarettes:

  1. Make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking.
  2. Ensure policies are informed by the evidence on health risks to bystanders.
  3. Identify and manage risks of uptake by children and young people.
  4. Support smokers to stop smoking and stay smokefree.
  5. Support compliance with smokefree law and policies.

PHE’s framework advice has been published to coincide with a national stakeholder symposium on e-cigarettes and their role in tobacco harm reduction, held jointly with Cancer Research UK.  Smoking is the country’s number one killer, causing nearly 78,000 deaths each year in England. While the long-term effect of e-cigarettes is unknown, and they are not completely risk-free, the current evidence indicates that they are significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco and are helping smokers to quit. Organisations need to consider the comfort of all colleagues, smokers, non-smokers and vapers, and show consideration when creating their vaping policies.

Read more on the Business Information section of the Member’s Area (you need to login first) and read the framework advice on PHE’s website here.