in a 180 degree policy shift the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has endorsed vaping in the latest national smoking cessation guidelines published yesterday. The organisation has carefully reviewed all the evidence on the effectiveness and safety of vaping eLiquids with and without nicotine and has determined that it is a legitimate quitting aid for adult smokers.
The guidelines advise doctors and other health professionals to recommend vaping for smokers who want to quit but have tried unsuccessfully with the myriad of currently available options that as we've seen over time just do not work as well as vaping.
This shift in policy, which brings it in line with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the UK Royal College of General Practitioners, the New Zealand Medical Association and many other medical bodies now dissolving the anti-vape hysteria and realizing the right side of history is with vaping on eliminating smoking as a negative habit.
Endorsement by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recognizes that many smokers struggle to quit with conventional treatments. Even with the best therapies, quit rates are modest at best, terrible for most, with most smokers trying and failing repeatedly.
Vaping now provides Australians with an effective quitting option. Vaping is unique in that it delivers the nicotine smokers are addicted to as well as a “smoking experience” which includes the sensations of smoking, hand-to-mouth ritual and social aspects of smoking. Vaping also delivers the enjoyment and relaxation of a cigarette, but without the thousands of toxic chemicals from burning tobacco, and a wonderful array of flavor options to choose from.
Doctors were previously reluctant to support vaping as it was not yet approved by Australian health authorities. However now the peak GP organisation has given its stamp of approval, smokers can ask their GP or health professional about vaping and get their support on the quitting journey. The research shows that support from a health professional increases quit rates even further than vaping alone.
Doctors can now write nicotine prescriptions where appropriate for importing nicotine e-liquids. It is legal to import 3 months of nicotine liquid for vaping if you have a prescription from a medical practitioner, under the Personal Importation Scheme. The new advice also gives health professionals the confidence of knowing that vaping is an approved quitting aid they can recommend to their smoking patients.
What do you think about this radical shift in policy for Australia? A sign of good things to come for the rest of the world? Will the US get it's act together and join the UK and Australia in helping end the terrible habit of combustible smoking? Or will we continue to see doom and gloom in the media and more proponents of eLiquid prohibition?