VAPING could help alcoholics quit their addiction, new research has found.
Patients undergoing detox for alcohol in a New Zealand hospital revealed using e-cigarettes helped them through the process. It also reported those who vaped felt more inclined to give up smoking tobacco long term, over those who used nicotine gum or patches.
Hospital nurses, who were initially concerned about patients smoking e-cigarettes inside the hospital, also seemed unconcerned by its use once they’d seen it in practice.
Penelope Truman, who led the study at Kenepuru Hospital in Porirua, said during the experiment one group in rehabilitation were given standard nicotine replacement therapy and the other e-cigarettes.
She explained the patients, already in a tough situation trying to come off alcohol, would usually have to go outside hospital grounds to smoke while being supervised by staff.
Allowing them to vape indoors appeared to take the pressure off both patients and staff alike.
“With an e-cigarette you can just take all that stress off because they can get their nicotine fix in a way that’s a bit more like a cigarette…” Dr Truman said.
“What I hope will happen is that hospitals and anywhere where people can’t smoke and it’s really difficult for them…They might think about whether it’s appropriate to allow vaping in that situation.
“Because people in those situations are under a lot of stress… I think this could be helpful.”
Speaking about the reaction by hospital staff to the patients vaping Dr Truman added some had initially been skeptical, but added: “By the time the trial is finished they felt quite differently about it, it was just normal and I think it made life significantly easier for them.”
Truman concluded she couldn’t see any negative aspects to the use of e-cigarettes in the study.
The findings come just a few weeks after Public Health England advised hospitals should sell e-cigarettes and provide vaping lounges, while e-cigarettes should be made available on NHS prescription.