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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 78857, tabled on 22 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that GPs encourage patients who refuse to give up smoking to instead use less damaging alternatives to cigarettes.

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