Irish say vapor helps quitters quit

Irish say vapor helps quitters quit

January 6, 2017

Increasing the use of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking would increase the number of people who successfully quit and would be cost-effective, according to Ireland’s Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

However, this would only be applicable if the currently available evidence on their effectiveness was confirmed by further studies, the Authority noted, while also cautioning that e-cigarettes were “unlikely to be harmless”.

HIQA today (January 5) commenced a national public consultation on a draft health technology assessment (HTA) of smoking cessation interventions – the first of its kind in the EU to examine the cost-effectiveness of e-cigarettes, according to a story in the Irish Medical Times.

The independent analysis has identified what improvements could be made in the mix of interventions offered by the HSE to increase overall quit rates at an acceptable cost, and will help in the developments of national clinical guidelines to guide healthcare professionals and smokers on how best to quit smoking, the story states.

While HIQA considered that it was likely e-cigarettes were less toxic than cigarette smoke, they were also unlikely to be harmless, and long-term use might increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and possibly cardiovascular disease, as well as some other diseases also associated with smoking.

“The magnitude of these risks is likely to be smaller than from tobacco smoke, with Public Health England estimating e-cigarettes to be 95 per cent safer than smoking,” the draft HTA stated. It noted that some parties had called for the prohibition and or further regulation of e-cigarette products, as was discussed at the WHO Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in November 2016, the story states.

According to HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment Dr Máirín Ryan, the HTA found a high level of uncertainty surrounding both the clinical and cost-effectiveness of e-cigarettes. “While the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes have not yet been established, data from Healthy Ireland reveals that 29 per cent of smokers currently use e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking, according to the story.

“HIQA’s analysis shows that increased uptake of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting would increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland and would be cost-effective, provided that the currently available evidence on their effectiveness is confirmed by further studies,” she added.



A public consultation seeking feedback on the report will remain open until February 3, 2017. Following this, a final report will be prepared for consideration by the HIQA Board, before being submitted to the Minister for Health and the HSE.

The report, along with details on how to take part in the consultation, is available at

Category: Breaking News

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