Not all doctors feel confident enough to endorse e-cigarettes to patients in the UK, new research shows.

According to the results of a recent study presented at this year’s National Cancer Research Institute Conference (NCRIC), approximately a third of medical professionals would not recommend e-cigarettes to smokers, with a quarter unsure if they are any safer than smoking.

In research carried out by Oxford Brookes University, over 500 cancer specialists, GPs and nurses were surveyed. More than half said they did not know enough about vaping to make recommendations to their patients.

This is despite smoking being the biggest killer and cause of preventable disease in the UK.

The results show 46 percent of health professionals reported their organisation did not have guidance on e-cigarettes, with 45 percent saying they were unsure. Over half of the health professionals surveyed believed their knowledge was not sufficient to recommend e-cigarettes to cancer patients, and 25 percent did not know whether e-cigarettes were less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The researchers concluded:

“While UK health policy promotes e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, this has not yet been adopted by local health organisations, causing barriers to and uncertainty around promoting use of e-cigarettes in cancer patients that smoke. Training of health professionals and local adoption of e-cigarette advice are needed.”

Click here for more detail on the study.