Last week on the 17th of August, the Science and Technology Committee released a report containing several evidence-based policy proposals for e-cigarettes. These proposals are aimed at tackling the current misconceptions about the devices, and positively transform the way vaping is viewed by businesses, institutions and the public alike.
In response to this report, the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) released a statement saying that it applauds the Committee’s efforts. “The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) warmly welcomes this report for its clear and unequivocal message that e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products are far safer than combustible tobacco and should be treated as such.”
“E-cigarettes are a proven safer alternative to smoking and the UK boasts 1.5 million former smokers who have converted from combustible tobacco to exclusively vaping instead. The Science and Technology Committee has wisely recognised that misconceptions about e-cigarettes are threatening further progress in encouraging their use by smokers who choose to quit.” said NNA Chair Sarah Jakes.
The public lacks knowledge about the relative benefits of e-cigs
The NNA pointed out that sadly the general perception of the benefits of e-cigarettes as harm reduction tools has stalled, so the Committee’s recommended advertising rules are welcomed. “We welcome the Committee’s call for a root and branch review of how risk-reduced products are treated by businesses, institutions and government itself. The report is a beacon of enlightenment in an area of public health which is often burdened by dogma and outdated thinking towards the use of nicotine.”
The Committee is also proposing to review provisions in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations, to include HnBs in the Government’s annual review of safer nicotine products, and also reassess the evidence supporting the ban on snus. “This report dovetails with the government’s Tobacco Control Plan commitment to back innovative products in its drive to encourage smokers to quit, and its recommendations are evidence-based and designed to maximise the benefits of safer nicotine delivery.”
Clearing the confusion that surrounds e-cigarettes
Jakes added that sadly misinformation about the relative risks associated with vaping is still rife, and this report aims to sift through this confusion and help reverse some of the damage that it has caused. “There is a lot of confusion about e-cigarettes amongst the public, health institutions and businesses”, said Jakes.
“This report is therefore timely and could have hugely positive implications for public health if its recommendations are implemented in full. Sir Norman’s committee has done an excellent job of peering through the mist of misunderstanding surrounding e-cigarettes and its policy proposals can go a long way to dispel the – often deliberately fabricated – misconceptions that are deterring many thousands of smokers from switching. We would urge the government to read the Committee’s findings carefully and act on them without delay.”