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Created in 2013, Public Health England (PHE) was an executive agency of the UK’s Department of Health. Its objective was simple: to protect and improve the health and well-being of the nation, and to reduce inequalities in healthcare.

To achieve this, the agency was tasked with:

  • Making the lives of the country’s inhabitants healthier, notably by advising the government and supporting its campaigns and measures.
  • Protecting the nation from public health risks.
  • Preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
  • Improving the health of the population by sharing its experience and expertise.
  • Helping the authorities to plan and deliver healthcare and social services.
  • Researching, collecting and analysing data to better understand public health challenges.

When it came to e-cigarettes, PHE distinguished itself specifically by commissioning a range of scientific reports on the risks involved in vaping. These reports had a direct impact on the British government’s stance on the subject, which remains that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

In August 2020, Public Health England was merged with the NHS Test and Trace scheme and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) to form a new body under one banner, called the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP).

Good to know

The fact that the UK government is so open to vaping today is largely due to the work Public Health England started in 2015.

Houses of Parliament report Ecig updates

The UK's Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology updates current knowledge on vaping in the country and releases its POSTnote 533. Research on e-cigarettes has been running fast since...

Vaping should be supported at work places insists the PHE

The PHE is urging bosses to provide vapers with extra break times, as vaping delivers a lower amount of nicotine than smoking, therefore they...

PHE Symposium, “A new era for tobacco harm reduction”

The event was attended by about 200 delegates amongst which were a diverse number health practitioners, researchers, consultants, directors of public health and representatives...

Vaping in public places: Public Health England’s guidance

A 15 page document entitled "Use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces" has been issued by the PHE on Wednesday July 6, to...

Mixed headlines as PHE support switching in pregnant women, but Manchester...

British doctors claim vaping “can cause COPD” A team of researchers at the University of Manchester say they have uncovered new evidence that electronic cigarettes...

A “Perfect Storm for the Cassandra Reference.”

On the 29th of August 2015 Carl Phillips stated that his, “reading finds this (the 95% safer claim) a not-very-veiled stalking horse for medicalizing...

Good Lord! Done but not dusted.

The motion ‘requests’ that the TPD be annulled. The grounds for doing this, the motion states, are because of the fact that restrictions on...

Australia: Regulating Ecigs, yes, but under which regime?

In an editorial note of the Medical Journal of Australia, the authors Martin McKnee, Mike Daube and Simon Chapman advocate Australia should regulate nicotine e-cigarettes as medicines. Their...

UK: Viscount Matt Ridley stands against Ecigs TPD implementation in the...

A take note Motion by the Noble Lord, Viscount Matt Ridley, in the House of Lords on May 10 initiated a debate on the...

France: National Committee Against Smoking (CNCT) makes a step towards e-cigarette

A product to cut out smoking: "Why not, but this remains to be proved" In order to well define the CNCT, it is important to...