"Why are e cigarettes disapproved of compared to patches?"

About: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Addiction services

(as the patient),

On 2 visits to different clinics in a week I have been told to stop using the nicotine replacement therapy device and yet no one else has been requested to do the same. The reason - I was using a ecigs and they were using patches. Now if the MRHA want to make these devices a medicine, then they must allow them to be used in all clinics as currently patients using patches and gum etc are allowed

What actually annoyed me even more was that in one clinic I was told I was not really supposed to use them in there. I was told that the staff are not allowed to tell me that and all they can do is give disapproving looks when they see them being used. In my opinion it seems that this is what the staff may have been told by their management. This clearly gives me the impression that they must know this is wrong and discriminatory. I would really like to see this unfair practice stop.

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Response from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your enquiry

I can confirm that all Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff have now been made aware as below regarding the use of e-cigarettes on Trust premises:

The Trust Smoking Policy is currently being reviewed but the Trust would like to clarify for our interim guidance that e-cigarettes cannot be used on Trust premises for the following reasons:

• Unknown risk

• Impact on other who may be trying to abstain

• Simulates smoking and as the Trust is a health organisation the Trust do not encourage this

• E-cigarettes have not been regulated and are therefore not being offered as an aid to smoking cessation.

Thank you for your enquiry, it has been helpful and we will use these comments to inform the Smoking Policy which is currenly under review

Update posted by edt7 (the patient)

I have to say that I am quite disgusted by the response, they have take 4 weeks to respond, so that they could change the rules, I have a letter from this part of the NHS dated 3 week ago, clearly stating that e-cigarettes are not banned, and then on Friday 11th Oct. they have then issued a new letter stating that they are now banned, and finally responded here.

I am also disgusted with the reasons they have given, I feel like it is a bit like a parent telling a kid 'because I said so' when asked why they can't do something, and in my opinion none of their reasons stand to a close look, as they are plenty of scientific and medical evidence that these are safe, as for not being regulated again this is totally incorrect, and on top of that they have to pass over 70 legal tests and regulations to be sold.

In my opinion the medical professionals did not do their research properly, maybe I could help them with this as a mature science post grad student!

Other questions that I have asked them in private have been totally ignored, a bit like when the Doctors insisted that I have full tests, and then with a blood glucose level of over 15 ignoring me for a year, with full blown type 2 diabetes, with no-one giving a reason why I was told the levels were OK.

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