Twenty-nine per cent of health professionals would not recommend electronic cigarettes to cancer patients who already smoked, according to research presented at the 2018 NCRI [UK National Cancer Research Institute] Cancer Conference, according to an NCRI story published at medicalxpress.com.
While vaping e-cigarettes might pose some health risks, the story said, evidence suggested it was much less harmful than was smoking.
Health bodies, including Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians, had given support for the use of e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative.
Researchers said their findings had highlighted the need for clearer guidance and training for health professionals around endorsing e-cigarettes to cancer patients who smoked.
The study was presented by Dr. Jo Brett, a senior research fellow in the faculty of health and life sciences at Oxford Brookes University, UK.
“Smoking is a well-established risk factor for many common cancers,” she said. “It is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world.
“Problems caused by smoking continue after a cancer diagnosis. It increases the risk of treatment complications, cancer recurrence and the development of a second primary tumour, leading to an increased risk of death. So it’s vital that these patients are encouraged to stop smoking.
“E-cigarettes are now the most popular intervention for smoking cessation in the UK.
“However, little is known about health professionals’ knowledge and attitude towards e-cigarettes and whether they are endorsing use of e-cigarettes with cancer patients.”