Switching to reduced-risk products could save health systems millions, study shows


Switching half of UK adult smokers to vaping could save the country’s healthcare system more than $500 million a year, a new study from Brunel University London has found.

The study, published in the British Journal of Healthcare Management, was based on an analysis of data on smoking as a cause of death, and the risk of developing five diseases due to smoking habits: cancer, heart disease, stroke. , chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

The researchers involved in the study said that if 50 percent of smokers managed to switch to less risky alternatives, there would be a 13 percent reduction in hospital admissions, with total medical spending calculated by multiplying by the average ward cost for a particular disease. Multiplied by the average length of hospital stay for the disease.

The study highlights that savings in social security and social care spending due to smoking would also be substantial, with these spending combined being more than double the cost of smoking to the health system in England, at more than $2.5 billion a year.

One of the study participants, Professor Francesco Moscone, an expert in business economics at Brunel University London, found that if traditional smokers switched to e-cigarettes, or vaping, they would experience a 70% reduction in smoking-related diseases. No more exposure to harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes.

According to Moscone, cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema are the five major groups of diseases caused by smoking; these diseases place a heavy burden on the English system.

Reduce Exposure to Chemicals

As such, Moscone said the transition from conventional cigarettes to vaping would present a crucial opportunity, as numerous studies have shown that switching to less risky alternatives can reduce exposure to the substance by as much as 90%. health risk.

Meanwhile, Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said the research provided further evidence that the government was providing smokers with a million vapers, Help them quit smoking. It will help reduce the pressure on the country’s overburdened health system.

However, Arnott believes that inaccurate perceptions of the dangers of e-cigarettes remain a barrier for smokers, an issue that urgently needs to be addressed.

Smoking kills around 74,600 people in the UK each year and between 2019 and 2020 an estimated 506,100 people in England were admitted to hospital due to smoking.

The UK launched an ambitious health campaign in 2019, seeking to create a smoke-free country by 2030 with the support of smokers who quit or switch to lower-risk products.

The conclusions of the new study run counter to recommendations made by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which ignore existing evidence of harm reduction in smokers who switch to less harmful alternatives to regular cigarettes, such as E-cigarettes or heated tobacco products. COP10, which will take place in Panama next November, has recently drawn controversy in the country because the event will represent a millionaire’s expense in the health ministry’s budget.

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