Vape-friendly Aussie quit guidelines receive WHO award
Posted on May 25, 2020
THE Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has been named as a recipient of the WHO World No Tobacco Day awards for the latest update of its smoking cessation guidelines.
The new guidelines acknowledge a role for vaping in helping smokers quit based on a rigorous review of the scientific evidence.
The guidelines provide up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations for a wide range of health professionals to use when assisting patients to quit smoking.
The guidelines position vaping as a second-line treatment for smokers who are unable to quit with other treatment and raise the subject with their doctor
Many Australian smokers are expected to be eligible. Most smokers try repeatedly to quit and fail in most cases. By the age of forty, the average smoker has tried and failed 20 times to quit.
Quit rates with conventional treatments are 2-15%, so that 85% of quit attempts with the best treatments still fail.
On the other hand, vaping has been found to be twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches and gum, even when used in combination
Three major Australian medical Colleges now acknowledge a legitimate role for vaping nicotine. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians announced a policy shift last month and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has supported vaping since 2018.
Vaping is still opposed by the Australian Medical Association, a political and advocacy organisation which represents about one in four doctors. However its sister organisations, the British Medical Association and the New Zealand Medical Association support vaping.
Under Australian law, vapers need to have a nicotine prescription from their GP to be able to legally use nicotine liquid. If needed, ATHRA has prepared a list of GPs who can assess the suitability of individual smokers for vaping and can provide a prescription if it is appropriate.
ATHRA board member Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a member of the committee that developed the RACGP guidelines.
Posted by Colin Mendelsohn, firstname.lastname@example.org