The British government confirmed last year their support to vaping with a report issued by Public Health England. This report aims at hammering the benefits of the e-cigarette (95% safer than smoking) for public health despite the misleading messages delivered to the media by skeptical and anti-vaping organizations.

In the wake of PHE

Professor Ann McNeill and Professor Peter Hajek synthesised what is now “a substantial international peer-reviewed evidence base on e-cigarettes”, reads this document in introduction.

Source: PHE, 2016.
Source: PHE, 2016.

This report underlines the recent cross trajectories of smoking and vaping observed in the UK and recognize the benefits switching to e-cigarette use for smokers. The agency shows that not only adult’s smoking prevalence is concerned by this decrease but that it is also observed among the youth. Finally the e-cigarette is almost exclusively used, in the UK, by smokers and ex-smokers.

Based on the evidence that vaping has been the most popular way to attempt quitting smoking in France and that the e-cigarette contributed to dramatically reduces smoking in the UK, four French public health organizations deliver a message to the government and ask them to revise their tobacco control program.

The interesting example of the UK activates three levers in tobacco control:

  • Elevated prices of cigarettes,
  • De-normalization of smoking tobacco,
  • Validation of the e-cigarette in smoking withdrawal that combines large-scale information to public, recommendation by health professionals, availability of high nicotine strength* and permitted use in permises of major health centres.

The French Aiduce, Fédération Addiction, RESPADD and SOS Addictions raise government’s awareness on the UK’s tobacco control, which they consider the most proficient and rapid tobacco control policy to date.

French Public Health associations take actions

In the wake of the UK, where major British public health organizations backed PHE report’s conclusions and recommendations, their French counterparts also invite MPs and Senators to adapt their policy on tobacco control, the Plan National de Réduction du Tabagisme (PNRT).

In a press release, the French associations deplore that, since May 2016, revised tobacco control policy has been curbing rather than promoting the use of the e-cigarette in France.

Government is asked not to disregard consumer-driven initiatives

They urge the government to consider the UK’s example and put put forward the work that has already be done in this domain with the definition of e-liquid standards by the AFNOR, for example. They also ask the government to pay attention to the consumer-driven initiatives that prove efficiency in harm reduction and to combine them to existing measures to more efficiently fight against tobacco. With plain packaging that is being set up in the country, medical counselling, NRTs, e-cigarettes, must also be advertised to anyone.