RCGP and CRUK joint position statement on e-cigarettes
We have created a central resources hub for Health Professionals which hosts all of our CRUK resources and further materials to help with managing the pandemic. We are updating the information as guidance changes. There is also a page specifically for patients on our about cancer hub.
Download the RCGP and CRUK position statement on e-cigarettes
The RCGP official position on e-cigarettes was released in partnership with CRUK in 2016 but was updated in September 2017 to reflect new evidence.
A review in August 2018 concluded the position statement was still fit for purpose.
The resources on this page were produced as part of the RCGP/Cancer Research UK Cancer as a Clinical Priority Partnership which ended in March 2020.
- Based on the evidence to date, vaping is a lot less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco
- Evidence so far that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to smoking in the UK is not convincing
- Existing evidence suggests that exhaled vapour is not harmful to others, in contrast to second hand smoke which is
- Evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are more effective for smoking cessation compared to both over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy, and quitting unaided.
- Users need to stop smoking and switch completely to e-cigarettes to get the reduced exposure to key toxicants from cigarettes.
The recommendations for Primary Care Clinicians in the position statement are:
Firstly, Primary Care Clinicians (PCCs) should provide advice to smoking patients on the health risks of smoking
Secondly, patients should be advised that behavioural support and prescription medication from local Stop Smoking Services is the most effective quit method.
Thirdly, using their clinical judgement on an individual patient basis, Primary Care Clinicians may wish to discuss e-cigarette use as a means to stopping
Lastly, Primary Care Clinicians should bear in mind that e-cigarettes offer a wide reaching, relatively low-cost opportunity to reduce smoking prevalence
E-cigarettes are helpful but stop smoking services are the most successful way to quit smoking.
We now also have evidence that e-cigarettes also are highly effective alongside behavioural support
Join the conversation and follow @CRUKHCPs for news, updates and opinion.
- Smoking Cessation Cancer Insight publication for GPs
We have a range of free, practical resources on e-cigarettes that you can order for free from our publications site.
- E-cigarettes hub for health professionals
Access e-cigarettes resources for health professionals easily at our one-stop hub.
- E-cigarettes FAQs
Are e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking? Get the answers to commonly asked questions about e-cigarettes.
- E-cigarette safety
There are concerns that e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking; however, research indicates this isn’t the case. Find out more.
- Behaviour change and cancer prevention (Very Brief Advice) CRUK/RCGP e-learning module
Try our 30 minute e-learning module to upskill yourself in Very Brief Advice (an evidence-based intervention taking no more than 30 seconds)
- Essentials of smoking cessation CRUK/RCGP e-learning module
Try our 30 minute e-learning module to improve your knowledge of smoking cessation advice, types of pharmacotherapy and how to provide smoking cessation support for different patient groups