After years of fighting with a serious smoking addiction, the UK’s Prime Minister is no stranger to the struggle to kick the habit. Perhaps that’s why he has exercised an added measure of compassion towards tobacco users and gone to great lengths to help them successfully quit. Each year, 80,000 people die from smoking related causes in the UK, but the tide is slowly turning. So far, 2.6 million smokers have already switched to ecigs, choosing a tobacco-free alternative as a bridge towards a smoke-free lifestyle.
Prime Minister David Cameron recognizes that ecigarettes are saving lives and this week, he spoke out about the controversial issue. He called ecigs a “legitimate aid” for smokers who are trying to quit.
“Certainly as somebody who has been through the battle a number of times, eventually relatively successfully, lots of people find different ways of doing it and certainly for some people e-cigarettes are successful,” the Prime Minister said.
“I think we do need to be guided by the experts. We should look at the report from Public Health England but it is promising to see that over all, one million people are estimated to have used e-cigarettes to help them quit or have replaced smoking with e-cigarettes completely.”
Public Health England has been very vocal in their support of ecigs. In fact, earlier this year, the agency released a study that found ecigs were 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes. They followed up the new study with a recommendation that NHS provide ecigs at no charge to smokers who were trying to kick the habit.
Cameron has been very supported of PHE’s approach to ecigarettes. “I think we should be making clear that this is a very legitimate path for many people to improve their health and the health of the nation,” he said.
This is the first time we’ve seen a national leader speak out to endorse ecigs for smoking cessation. Do you think we are seeing the beginning of a shift in the way ecigarettes are perceived?