E-cigarettes can be key weapon in battle against smoking, insist MPs

PA Wire  PA Images            
                    The government is being used to make e-cigarettes available through the NHS to help smokers kick the habit

PA Wire PA Images The government is being used to make e-cigarettes available through the NHS to help smokers kick the habit

Spokeswoman Moira Gilchrist said: "We strongly support the recommendation for the relaxation of regulations that would allow smokers to be informed about the health benefits of alternatives to smoking such as e-cigarettes".

A report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee says ministers should "urgently" review the prescribing restrictions on e-cigarette products, which MPs conclude are 95% less harmful to health than conventional cigarettes and are too often overlooked as a smoking cessation tool.

"E-cigarettes are more likely to be a gateway out of smoking for adults than a gateway into smoking for children", Hazel said.

Mr Lamb said medically licensed e-cigarettes "would make it easier for doctors to discuss and recommend them as a stop-smoking tool to aid those quitting smoking".

In the United States, at least 48 states and 2 territories have banned e-cigarette sales to minors.

Martin Dockrell, of Public Health England, added: "There is good evidence that positive messages on pack inserts can help people quit".

Public Health England says e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco and that there is no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking cigarettes.

They also pointed to links between some experts, the tobacco industry and firms that manufacture e-cigarettes.

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Registering e-cigarettes as medical devices and relaxing restrictions around using them in public places could be for the greater good, a government select committee has advised in its latest report.

Research led by the University of Birmingham found that the fluid in e-cigarettes has a similar effect on the lungs and body as that seen in regular cigarette smokers and patients with chronic lung disease.

"We will carefully consider the recommendations and evidence surrounding the use of inserts into cigarette packages".

They also said the government should look again at regulations limiting e-juice refill strengths and tank sizes which were brought in by the EU.

E-cigarettes are not covered by the smoking legislation which bans the use of cigarettes in all enclosed public and work places.

"Many mental health trusts are misinformed about the dangers of e-cigarettes and are implementing unnecessary and inappropriate bans within their facilities", the report reads.

- There should be a shift to a more risk-proportionate regulatory environment where regulations, advertising rules and tax duties reflect the evidence of the relative harms of the various e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn and tobacco products available.

"E-cigs in teens are a gateway to subsequent smoking lit cigarettes and e-cig vapour contains a large number of toxins which in time will obviously harm users, and bystanders". In the United Kingdom a person must be 18 to buy e-cigarettes or the e-liquids they vaporise.

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