Quitting smoking is the single most important way to improve your health and wellbeing. Using smoking cessation medication such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and behavioural support is the best way to quit smoking.
Smoking is harmful to our health. It causes cancer, lung disease and heart disease. People with severe mental health problems can die 15 to 25 years earlier than others in the UK. One of the main reasons for this is smoking.1
What are e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that deliver nicotine through inhaled vapour. Most e-cigarettes contain a heating element, a cartridge containing nicotine, glycerine and water. Information regarding the use of individual e-cigarettes is made available by the manufacturers in package inserts.
Some people have found that e-cigarettes help them to cut down and quit smoking but NRT is currently the preferred option, as products such as nicotine patches are a licensed medicine and therefore are safer to use.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
The smoke produced from burning tobacco in cigarettes contains about 4,000 ingredients, 70 of these are known to cause cancer. Since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are not burnt they are thought to be much safer. 2
Can e-cigarettes be prescribed?
No, e-cigarettes are available to buy.
Which types of e-cigarettes can be used and where?
Whilst in hospital we recommend the use of either disposable or rechargeable e-cigarettes and these are available for purchase from our Lloyds Pharmacies within main hospital sites.
Alternatively you can bring in your own e-cigarettes for use but these must be risk assessed by a member of staff prior to use. Please ask a member of ward staff for more details.
Tank models are not allowed for use within the Trust.
You will be able to charge your own e-cigarette so long as you have the appropriate charger. This is because there have previously been some fires caused by e-cigarettes, where an incorrect charger was used, so please ensure you use the charger supplied with your e-cigarette.
Your ward team will best advise you on identified areas where you can use your e-cigarette but the preferred option will be to use an e-cigarette outside in the grounds rather than in the buildings across the Trust.
How do I dispose of used e-cigarettes?
Do not throw your re-chargeable e-cigarettes into a general waste bin. Please give to a member of the ward staff who will safely dispose of it for you as special waste. You can dispose of your disposable e-cigarettes and used cartridges in the general waste bins provided.
Why do Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) have a smokefree policy?
TEWV staff have been trained to deliver the best treatments for managing nicotine dependence. TEWV patients can benefit from improved general health and wellbeing and may be able to reduce some of their medications.3
Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of early death. It is our duty to promote health and wellbeing. TEWV must comply with the Health Act (2006) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on smoking cessation in secondary care (2013).
For more information, please speak to a member of staff on your ward or alternatively contact the national smoke free site on:
Telephone: 0300 123 1044
(Schizophrenia Commission, 2012, Tiihonen et al., 2009).
E-cigarettes, An Evidence Update. A Report Commissioned by Public Health England. McNeill A et al. August 2015
Date last updated:
14 / 03 / 2016
14 / 03 / 2019
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