New research reveals GP and pharmacist attitudes to smoking alternatives

UKVIA member, Philip Morris Limited, commissioned a survey of 500 health professionals in the UK – 300 GPs and 200 Pharmacists to understand their attitudes towards e-cigarettes and other smoke-free alternatives.

Although 99% of the healthcare professionals questioned had an extremely high awareness of e-cigarettes, only 7% were aware of the position of Public Health England’s position that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking and is at least 95% less harmful.  Nearly one in five (19%) considered e-cigarettes to be “very harmful”.

34% of GPs and 25% of pharmacists declaring they believed that nicotine is very likely to contribute to the development of smoking related diseases.  This is incorrect and at variance with the Government’s position.

Mark MacGregor, Director of External Affairs at Philip Morris, comments:

“This new research shows that in 2019, there is still a lack of knowledge around smoking alternatives and the options that are available for smokers who want to quit.”

“While health professionals across the country have a huge awareness of e-cigarettes there is still a need for them to get more information about the alternatives available that could help smokers to quit.”

“With GPs and pharmacists being the first port of call for many smokers seeking support to quit, it’s vital that they are kept fully informed on what alternatives are available.”

Over 90% of the professionals questioned believed that smokers should be given accurate and scientifically substantiated information about smoking alternatives.  And 80% supported the Government working to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.