UK Parliamentary Committee Recommendations Look to Ease Vaping Restrictions
In what is seen as a positive development by the vaping community, UK Parliamentary Committee recommendations look to ease vaping restrictions.
In August 2018 the UK Parliamentary Committee published its updated findings on the use of Electronic Cigarettes. These conclusions and recommendations seem to show that the tide is finally turning on the UK Vaping Market and that the people in power are starting to see sense. The committee has also tried to address some misconceptions about vaping.
The three main areas that the findings covered were Reducing Harm, E-cigarettes and smoking cessation and Regulation.
“There is a clear evidence that e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Public Health England estimates e-cigarettes as 95% less harmful, although the evidence available does not currently allow a precise figure to be determined. E-cigarettes lack the tar and carbon monoxide of conventional cigarettes—the most dangerous components of conventional cigarettes—which are produced by combustion.”(Paragraph 27)
“To help fill remaining gaps in the evidence on the relative risks of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products, the Government should maintain its planned annual ‘evidence review’ on e-cigarettes and extend it to also cover heat-not-burn products. It should support a long-term research program, to be overseen by Public Health England and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, to ensure that health-related evidence is not dependent solely on the tobacco industry or the manufacturers of e-cigarettes. “(Paragraph 30)
E-cigarettes and Smoking Cessation
“There remain some gaps in the evidence about how effective e-cigarettes are as a stop smoking tool in comparison to other nicotine replacement therapies. Nevertheless, an estimated 2.9 million people in the UK are using e-cigarettes and tens of thousands are using them to successfully quit smoking each year. Concerns about the risk of e-cigarettes potentially providing a ‘gateway’ into conventional smoking have not materialized to any significant degree.” (Paragraph 37)
The UK Parliamentary Committee Recommended that the Government should review with MHRA and the e-cigarette industry how its systems for approving stop smoking therapies could be streamlined to be able to respond appropriately should manufacturers put forward a product for licensing, as discussed in Paragraph 46. The committee went on to request that NHS England should set a clear central NHS policy on e-cigarettes in mental health facilities which establishes a default of allowing e-cigarette use by patients unless an NHS trust can show reasons for not doing so which are demonstrably evidence-based.
It was very refreshing to read that the Parliamentary Committee now seem to understand, that many businesses, public transport providers and owners of other public places do not allow e-cigarettes in the same way that they prohibit conventional smoking. There is some hostility towards the use of e-cigarettes in public areas, if only because some bystanders find its vapor unpleasant. As they have described in their report:
“There is no public health rationale for treating use of the two products the same. Indeed, forcing vapers to use the same ‘smoking shelters’ as conventional smokers could undermine their efforts to quit.”
There is now a need for a wider debate on how e-cigarettes are to be dealt with in our public spaces, to help arrive at a solution which at least starts from the evidence rather than misconceptions about their health impacts. A liberalization of restrictions on e-cigarettes, which provides a popular route for people to stop smoking, would result in non-vapers having to accommodate vapers (for a relatively short period of time). (Paragraph 60)
Some aspects of the regulatory system for e-cigarettes appear to be holding back their use as a stop smoking measure. The limit on the strength of refills means that some users have to puff harder to get the nicotine they seek and may put some heavy smokers off persisting with e-cigarettes.
The tank size restriction does not seem to be founded on any scientific rationale. A prohibition on making claims for the relative health benefits of switching to e-cigarettes from conventional cigarettes means that some who might switch are not getting that message.
The Parliamentary Committee concluded it findings by recommending that the Government should conduct a review of regulations on e-cigarettes products which are currently applied under EU legislation, to identify scope for change post-Brexit.
“Less smoking, and greater use and acceptance of e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products if that serves to reduce smoking rates.”
I’m a Blogger based in UK. I stopped smoking in October 2013, at which point I set up my own Vaping review blog, www.myvapingreviews.co.uk to help me record and share my Vaping journey. A real hobbiest Vapor, who not only enjoy the Vaping experience, but love the technology and design behind it.