How vaping helped this ‘horribly addicted’ doctor quit smoking


Dr Murphy, who prescribes it to his patients, believes this is a totally wrong approach and that instead of being treated as a drug, the fluid should be sold with cigarettes, with the same restrictions. .

“Vaping is not a perfect solution, but it minimizes the damage. If you have a choice between fresh air and vape, for god’s sake, choose fresh air.

“But if you have a choice between vaping and cigarettes, choose vaping. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals and 70 carcinogens that damage your internal pipes and accelerate cardiovascular disease. Vaping contains 95% less.

Although he has had many successes, including among previously intractable smokers, he has also experienced failures. Some patients returned to smoking and some got stuck on vaping nicotine although, he says, they still benefit from harm reduction.

“My story is not perfectly clear. I am constantly at risk of relapse. Although most of the time I find the smoke disgusting, very occasionally if I get a light puff in the wind it will surprise me and wake up that old taste for nicotine. This doesn’t happen with vaping, probably because there is no smell of tobacco, so my primitive brain doesn’t associate it with nicotine.

Just before the new standard was introduced, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners wrote to its members urging them to prepare for the new vaping laws. Since there was no evidence base on how to prescribe these products, he explained that he provided practice points to minimize the risks to doctors and their patients.

These included dose and duration limits on prescriptions and avoiding the use of flavorings, as chemicals are not standardized and it is not known if they are safe when inhaled in lungs.

“Prescriptions for nicotine vaping products are not a first-line treatment for smoking cessation and should only be tried when other measures, such as nicotine replacement therapy with behavioral support, have failed.” said college president Dr Karen Price.

The College noted that the long-term health effects of “vaping” are unknown and the evidence for their effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool remains uncertain.

He describes these products as addictive, harmful and potentially fatal if ingested in certain amounts and encourages general practitioners to use other withdrawal therapies, such as gum, patches, sprays, lozenges and tablets. approved drugs, before vaping. He also alerted general practitioners to be wary of pressure to prescribe vaping products.

There have also been broader concerns that the big tobacco companies are behind vaping and the risks of children adopting the practice.

While many GPs are now reluctant to prescribe vaping, Dr Murphy says his personal history has given him an unexpected edge.

“They don’t understand the overwhelming power of nicotine addiction because they never had to tackle it. This is one of the reasons why we are struggling to recruit more prescribers.

Dr. Murphy appears, along with others, in a new book titled Stop smoking, start vaping, the healthy truth about vaping, which is scheduled for release on Monday. Written by vaping expert Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, it describes the controversy and scientific evidence behind vaping and provides practical steps to help adult smokers change.

Dr Mendelsohn Says Harm Reduction Of Tobacco With Safer Nicotine Products Is An Additional Evidence-Based Tool To Help Smokers Quit Smoking, But Many Doctors Remain Uninformed About This And Safety nicotine.

As the new Australian standard came into effect last month, he said a comprehensive analysis funded by the prestigious UK National Institute for Health Research showed that, as a “one-stop therapy”, vaping nicotine was more effective than any of the products available to quit smoking. medications.

Helping patients quit smoking is a core responsibility of medical practice, says Dr Mendelsohn. Pierre Braig

The study, which analyzed 171 randomized controlled trials, ranked e-cigarettes first, followed by varenicline (Champix), nicotine replacement therapy, and bupropion (Zyban).

He found that the most effective treatment was “a combination” of varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy, which is rarely used in Australia.

The analysis also found that professional support increases the success of all treatments, suggesting that getting the advice and support of a healthcare professional will further increase quit rates when vaping.

Dr Mendelsohn says there is an ethical problem here and it is time for doctors to get involved. As smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and illness in Australia, helping patients quit smoking is a core responsibility of medical practice.

“Doctors have a duty of care to ensure the best possible care for each encounter with a patient. To deny a legitimate treatment option that could prevent a fatal disease is a violation of this obligation. “

With traditional treatments having low long-term success rates, he says the duty is to provide the best possible management with each encounter with the patient.

Dr Mendelsohn, founding president of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association charity, said that with vaping declared the college’s last option to quit, many smokers will experience repeated unsuccessful attempts for many years using therapies. traditional ways, in which further damage and suffering will occur.

“The Lancet showed that combining nicotine vaping with a nicotine patch tripled the success rate of quitting after six months compared to using the patch alone.

“Organizations such as the Heart Foundation, QuitVic and the WHO, which claim there is a lack of evidence for vaping as a cessation aid, need to reconsider their position statements,” he says.


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