A report addressed to the UK government has outlined vaping as one of the best means to help smokers quit.
This was released as part of the ‘The Khan Review: Making Smoking Obsolete’ report. The report was published on June 9, 2022.
The report was written by Dr. Javed Khan OBE.
Included in the report is an analysis and series of recommendations that have been highlighted for their effectiveness to make the UK fully smoke-free by 2030. This comes after the objective was set in 2019 by the government.
This also falls under the government’s commitments to increasing the healthy life expectancy of English citizens by five years by 2035 and the 10-Year Cancer Plan.
In Dr. Khan’s review, the goal of a smoke-free England will be missed by at least seven years, with some regions remaining unchanged until 2044. This is of course unless actions like the wholesale adoption of vaping are done by the government.
The Report Itself
The report outlines the promotion of vaping to help smokers quit. The idea is listed as the third item in a series of critical recommendations for the government to implement in order to reach their lofty goals.
“This is not saying that vaping is a ‘silver bullet’ solution. Or that vapes are totally risk-free. Given vapes have only been around for about a decade, we do not yet have the longitudinal studies to show long-term effects,” Khan states in his report. “However, the research we do have is clear that they are at least 50% and probably closer to 95% less harmful than a cigarette.”
Dr. Khan is of course citing the results of a report published by Public Health England wherein vaping was found to be much safer than traditional smoking.
Other critical recommendations included in the report include increased financial investment by the government, revised smoking age laws, and improving smoking prevention via education and other means implemented by the NHS.
Khan’s revised smoking laws allude to the clever thinking that is found in the report. His proposed law would see the legal age of smoking increase annually by one year until a generation is born that cannot ever meet the legal smoking age.
While this idea seems incredibly bold, even harsh, it is known that outright prohibition almost always ends with illicit trade and unsafe practices being adopted – which can be seen in many countries that have recently implemented vaping bans.
Khan was tasked with the review by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, meaning it is likely the recommendations will be met with strong acknowledgment from officials since the report’s submission to the government.
The UK and Vaping
The UK has the potential to become one of the first legitimate countries to fully adopt vaping as a means of smoking cessation and to embrace the benefits that vaping and e-cigarettes can offer.
“It is great that the UK seems to keep supporting vaping to help smokers quit despite the unfounded attacks in other parts of the world,” said Michael Landl, Director of the global vaping advocacy group World Vapers’ Alliance. “Vaping is proven to be one of the most successful smoking cessation methods. The UK is the beacon of hope for smokers who want to quit, and other governments should follow their lead.”
While many countries across the world crack down further on vape products, the UK along with the European parliament has shown relatively strong advocacy for the benefits of vaping as a means of tobacco harm reduction.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been openly advocating the use of vapes to help smokers quit since February 2022.
His so-called ‘vaping revolution’ is poised to set the UK apart from the vast majority of the world that still sees vaping and e-cigarettes as detrimental to users’ health as traditional smoking due to misinformation that is so common amongst members of the public.
However, Javid is not the only proponent of vaping in the country, with many experts in the country reciprocating his open advocacy. “There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead, the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking, and in my view, smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking entirely,” said Professor Ann McNeill of King’s College.
Vaping as Medicine
Khan’s report reinforces actions proposed earlier this year by Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Javid boldly presented his hopes for the government to adopt vaping as a form of prescription medicine for those wanting to quit smoking.
Together, the two men seem to have the driving power and will to change the way vaping is viewed by manly, particularly in England and the countries that look toward Great Britain as a global leader.
While viewing vaping as being as beneficial a tool as prescription medicine, it does have the potential to be massively problematic for many.
Those who currently enjoy vaping at their own discretion may become subject to a more regulated landscape wherein an individual may require a prescription to simply purchase vape products.
While not as bad as a ban on vaping, the implications are still concerning.
On the legislative side of things, no vape device has been manufactured as of yet that would be able to be authorized as medicine in the UK. However, a wave of progress could be seen amongst devices and e-liquids with the proper government backing.
The UK continues to help disparage the negative scrutiny vaping has been facing over the last number of years. The combination of efforts by Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Javed Khan has resulted in the UK government’s acknowledgment of the benefits of vaping in regard to tobacco harm reduction.
While the fruits of their labors are related directly to the government’s own goals of a smoke-free England by 2030, their adoption of vaping could be what is needed to finally change the tides amidst the slew of endless prohibitionist-style regulations used by other governments globally.