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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 78856, tabled on 22 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidelines are issued to GPs on recommending less damaging alternatives to cigarettes to help more people give up smoking.

Answered on

1 September 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance, ‘Stop smoking interventions and services’, describes best practice, and, general practitioners are expected to take the guidance fully into account. The guidance recommends that for patients interested in using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette to quit smoking, the practitioner should explain that many people have found them helpful to quit smoking cigarettes and the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful to health than smoking, but are not risk free, and that the evidence in this area is still developing, including evidence on the long-term health impacts.

Public Health England provides advice, information and resources for healthcare professionals on stop smoking support options, including e-cigarettes, and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care