NICE is planning to back use of e-cigarettes in an update of guidelines on smoking cessation, according to new draft guidance.
In the guidance, published last month, NICE said: ‘Some smokers have found them helpful to quit smoking cigarettes and there is currently little evidence on the long-term benefits or harms of these products.’
Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have already stated that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco, the guidance says.
The new guidance on smoking cessation is expected to be published early next year and will replace NICE guidance on smoking cessation last published in 2008.
NICE said that smokers often ask healthcare practitioners about using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking and that its committee had agreed that advice should be provided to allow an informed discussion of e-cigarettes as an aid to smoking cessation.
The new draft guidance comes just months after a study found that teenagers were more likely to start smoking after using e-cigarettes.