Smoking Cessation Support Services Decline As Ecigs Continue Record Growth
As UK smokers turn to ecigs for help to kick the cigarette habit, NHS is reporting a sharp decline in the number of calls to the smoking cessation support program. The Smoke Matters service only assisted 102 people this year, falling 251 below their goal. It seems that most smokers are snubbing the cessation support services and using ecigs as a bridge to tobacco free life instead.
Dr. Andrew Carnon, a public health consultant, said the sudden surge in ecig use has caused the smoking cessation services to reevaluate their methods. Since ecigs hit the scene, the Information Services Division has reported a steady decline in the number of cessation attempts.
Carnon is still approaching ecigs with extreme caution. “We actually don’t know at this stage just how effective they are in helping people to stop smoking,” he said. “There is also a risk, potentially at least, that smokers may use them in certain settings where they are not allowed to smoke tobacco but without any intention of actually stopping smoking tobacco cigarettes.”
He also worries that nonsmokers might be attracted to ecigs. “The third possibility, which again would not be a great one, is that people who don’t smoke might feel that e-cigarettes are something that are much safer that they would like to try.”
For now, Carnon believes that even ecig users can benefit from additional support through smoking cessation services. “It’s not just about the nicotine replacement, it is not just about use of e-cigarettes,” he explained. “It is actually about working with somebody to help you through the difficult process – because it’s not easy to quit smoking.”
Do you think smoking cessation services should offer ecigs as a tool to help smokers kick the habit? Would that increase their likelihood of successfully helping more smokers conquer the addiction?