HIQA Report on TV3: E-Cigarettes Helping People to Quit Smoking

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Ireland’s health watchdog is opening a public consultation on vaping as an aid to quit smoking. HIQA has found that an increased uptake of tobacco replacement therapies would increase the number of people who successfully kicked the habit.

Kicking the habit: the number of Irish people who smoke has been in decline in recent years but it’s still at 23-percent. HIQA today published a new study examining the effectiveness of the different methods people use to quit. For the first time ever in Europe, e-cigarettes were included in the study.

“What we found with the evidence that is available is that e-cigarettes are successful in allowing people to quit smoking successfully. It’s up to about two times more effective than if they take no therapy. What we have to say I suppose is that we are waiting for confirmation of those results from the ongoing studies that will be reported in the next year or so”.

The estimated cost of the health care system here of smoking is over 460 million euro every year. Twenty-nine percent of smokers try to quit using e-cigarettes. VIP E-Cigarette has been in business for five years. It has 20 outlets. “It is very welcome to see something like that (HIQA report) that says e-cigarettes can help smokers quit which I think is fantastic. If you’re a smoker I think it’s great to have another option of something that seems to be from the report and from people that use them, they seem to be a success in relation to people stopping smoking”.

Ash Ireland was set up 25 years ago to reduce the number of smokers. It says e-cigarettes do have a role to play in that but it does have reservations. “The evidence is not quite as strong as for the standard nicotine replacement products and they don’t have the same long term track record of safety as the standard nicotine replacement products”. HIQA says the combination of the drug Varenicline together with nicotine replacement therapy is the most effective way to
give up smoking. A public consultation on the findings of the report is open now until the third of February.

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