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Expert pushes for doctors to recommend vaping to chronic smokers

Article image for Expert pushes for doctors to recommend vaping to chronic smokers

Cancer action bodies are now flipping the switch and actively campaigning for chronic smokers to take up vaping as a safer alternative.

Smokers who want to switch to e-cigarettes to kick their habit currently need a prescription for nicotine vape liquid and can face fines and even jail if they’re busted vaping illegally.

Tobacco Treatment Specialist Colin Mendelsohn says there should now be an ethical obligation for doctors to recommend e-cigarettes to patients who are trying to quit smoking.

“If I’m a doctor and I’ve got a patient in front of me, my primary ethical obligation is what’s in the best interests of that patient,” he tells Ben Fordham.

“If a patient says to me, ‘I’ve tried everything to quit… my only choice is to keep smoking’ then I have a duty of care to say to that patient there is another option… which is to switch to a much safer alternative.”

Dr Mendelsohn says he’s glad we’re finally having a reasonable debate about the safer alternative.

“Who’s got the right to deny that patient the safer alternative?”

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