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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19644: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 30 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what guidance is available to health professionals regarding the use of e-cigarettes.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 8 November 2018

The tobacco control action plan – Raising Scotland’s Tobacco-free Generation – published in June 2018 includes a commitment by the Scottish Government to improving the advice on e-cigarette use as part of support given to smokers who choose to make quit attempts using these products.

We will work with health professionals, academics, representative groups and others to develop guidance for health professionals and other relevant service providers so that they can offer basic advice on e-cigarette use as part of their support for smokers who choose to make quit attempts using e-cigarettes.

In Scotland in 2017 we published our own consensus statement on electronic cigarettes to clarify perceptions among health professionals and the general public on the potential harms and benefits of using e-cigarettes. The consensus statement is aimed at both health professionals and the general public.

This states that there is now agreement based on the current evidence that vaping e-cigarettes are definitely less harmful than smoking tobacco products. Although most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive, vaping carries less risk than smoking tobacco. Thus, it would be a good thing if smokers used them instead of tobacco.

A link to the statement is as follows.- http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1576/e-cigarettes-consensus-statement_sep-2017.pdf .