We are working with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust as the North London Mental Health Partnership.

Use of e-cigarettes at C&I

What are e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that deliver nicotine through inhaled vapour. There are many different types but most contain a battery powered heating element, and a cartridge containing nicotine, glycerine and water.

Can I use an e-cigarette on the ward?

If you smoke we recommend that you use nicotine replacement therapies, which are licensed as medicines and therefore we know are safe, and can be prescribed by our staff.

However, we recognise that you may prefer to use e-cigarette, so patients can use them in certain areas. If you wish to use an e-cigarette, please tell your care team and they will support you.

Can the Trust supply e-cigarettes?

No. E-cigarettes are not yet available to be prescribed. Patients wishing to use them will need to purchase them themselves.

Are e-cigarettes safer than ordinary cigarettes?

The smoke produced from the burning tobacco in cigarettes contains about 4000 ingredients, 70 of these are known to cause cancer. Since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are not burnt, studies evaluating their safety them have found them to be much safer than smoking.

As they are quite a new product we don’t know if there will be any impact on the health of people who use them over a long time period, but they are highly likely to remain much safer than smoking.

E-cigarettes contain a heating element that creates the vapour, so they must not be used near flammable items, for example near oxygen canisters, or while receiving oxygen therapy.

When people get too much nicotine, either from cigarettes, e-cigarettes or from nicotine replacement therapy, they often feel sick, and may vomit. If you feel sick during or after using an e-cigarette, stop using the device and tell your nurse.

Which e-cigarettes can be used? Where can I use them?

Whilst in hospital we recommend that disposable e-cigarettes are used. However, if you have arrived to hospital as a user of a cartridge type re-chargeable e-cigarette, we will enable you to continue using it. Nursing staff will manage re-charging it for you. This is because there have been a very small number of explosions and fires caused by e-cigarettes that were faulty, or not re-charged correctly. Liquid refillable types are not permitted on the wards. Pictures of the different types of e-cigarettes can be seen overleaf.

You can use an e-cigarette in a single occupancy bedroom, but not in communal areas, such as day rooms and ward gardens.

How do I dispose of used disposable e-cigarettes safely?

Because they have batteries e-cigarettes should not be thrown into the general waste bin. Each ward has a battery waste bin—please put your used e-cigarette in there.

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