University student campaigns for e-cigs to be prescribed on the NHS
- E-cigarettes 95% safer than cigarettes
- Users of e-cigarettes see an improvement in health and lifestyle
- Pilot scheme in Salford providing e-cigarettes to deprived areas may be brought throughout Manchester in the future
A final year student at Manchester Metropolitan University has set up a campaign calling for e-cigarettes to be prescribed by the NHS.
Farhad Hussain, 21, who works at an e-cigarettes shop, he said: “Lots of deaths are caused by smoking and e-cigs are 95% safer than cigarettes.”
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 48.8% of e-cig users reported using e-cigs to help them quit smoking in 2017.
Farhad said: “Lifestyle and body image improves when e-cigs are used as an alternative to smoking.”
“When people quit smoking, taste buds open up and food tastes better. Their teeth and fingernails are no longer yellow.”
Farhad said: “E-cigs should be prescribed on the NHS because they are a safer alternative to cigarettes filled with harmful chemicals.”
According to the ONS, 77,900 deaths were caused by smoking in 2016. This is a 2% reduction on the previous year.
Sian Lambert, from the Greater Manchester health and Social Care Partnership, which is part of NHS England, said: “Medicines and other treatments that are given on prescription in the UK are regulated through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”
On prescribing e-cigarettes through the NHS, Sian said: “For e-cigarettes to be provided on prescription through the NHS an e-cigarette manufacturer would need to apply to licence their product as a medication.
Currently there are no e-cigarettes which have been licensed but the MHRA has produced guidance for the licensing of e-cigarettes as medicines so this may change in the future.”
Sian highlighted a pilot scheme in Salford that gives hope to smokers who want to quit.
“Smokers in deprived areas provided with free e-cigarettes alongside support to help them quit. It is possible that this type of offer will be available in other areas of Greater Manchester in the future,” she said.