NHS Vaping Save miliions

Emerging research reveals significant cost savings for the NHS if more smokers in England transitioned to vaping, providing key insights for achieving smoke-free goals.

Tobacco use remains the largest preventable cause of illness and early death in England, responsible for over 74,000 fatalities annually. Smoking also drives over 500,000 hospital admissions each year, costing the NHS approximately £2.5 billion.

Seeking to curb this burden, England aims for a ‘smoke-free’ society by 2030 through smokers either quitting entirely or switching to reduced risk alternatives like vaping. But current data suggests England will miss that target by at least 7 years without further action.

A new study by public health economist Professor Francesco Moscone at Brunel University London modeled potential NHS savings if varying proportions of smokers switched to vaping. His analysis provides tangible evidence to motivate embracing reduced risk products for major healthcare cost reductions.

Modeling Cost Savings from Smoking to Vaping Shift

Moscone calculated that smokers transitioning to vaping would experience a 70% decrease in smoking-caused diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke by avoiding cigarette smoke toxins.

Under a scenario where 50% of smokers switched to vaping, the NHS could save approximately £518 million per year by reducing hospital admissions for smoke-related illnesses. Even a 10% conversion rate would save £103 million annually.

Significant Regional Variations in Impact

The savings impact varied dramatically by region. For instance, the North East and Yorkshire with the highest smoking rates could save £148 million with 50% of smokers switching. London would only save around £38 million with equivalent vaping adoption.

Transition Key to Smoke-Free Ambitions

Moscone concluded proactively transitioning smokers to reduced risk vaping where appropriate represents a crucial opportunity to align with England’s smoke-free targets while easing NHS burdens.

But inaccurate risk perceptions that vaping is as dangerous as smoking remain prevalent and prevent switching. Improved communication of vaping’s reduced risk is vital.

Balancing Risks and Rewards

Like any new technology, vaping has some lingering unknowns requiring continued research. However, evidence clearly indicates substantially lower disease risk than smoking. Sensible vaping policies could hasten England’s smoke-free vision while saving the NHS hundreds of millions.

Read more:

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New economic modeling shows NHS could substantially cut smoking-related costs if more smokers successfully switched to vaping – providing pivotal insights for smoke-free policies.

Matthew Ma