MPs call for vaping rules to be relaxed

     TEETH Vaping won’t generally stain your teeth

GETTY TEETH Vaping won’t generally stain your teeth

"But it does not change the key facts that e-cigarette use is much safer than smoking".

Almost 3m people in the United Kingdom are now using e-cigarettes, the report claimed, and an estimated 470,000 are using them as "an aid to stop smoking".

"E-cigarettes are a proven stop smoking tool and, while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes - which now kill around 79,000 people in England every year".

Researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) stated that, despite the widespread belief that such cigarettes are alternative to Smoking, they should be treated with caution.

Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than normal cigarettes.

The report, produced by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, says that cigarettes and e-cigarettes should not be considered as one and the same thing. "There is no public health rationale for doing so", said committee chairman Norman Lamb.

E-cigarettes, the report said, present an opportunity to "significantly accelerate already declining smoking rates".

"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".

- The government, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and the e-cigarette industry should review how approval systems for stop smoking therapies could be streamlined should e-cigarette manufacturers put forward a product for medical licensing.

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The MPs are calling for the government to consider risk-based regulation to allow more freedom to advertise e-cigarettes as the relatively less harmful option for nicotine addicts.

It also suggested that policies on how e-cigarettes are taxed and used in public places be reviewed. A long-term research project into their health impact should also be launched with updated evidence available online for health professionals and the public, the committee concluded.

He said: "Businesses, transport providers and public places should stop viewing conventional and e-cigarettes as one and the same".

Controversial proposals to relax laws on e-cigarettes have been warmly welcomed by leading tobacco companies.

But elsewhere, a six month trial at an Isle of Man jail found allowing inmates to smoke e-cigarettes made them calmer and helped them quit smoking.

Norman Lamb MP, the committee chair, said: "Smoking remains a national health crisis and the government should be considering innovative ways of reducing the smoking rate". Nicotine in conventional cigarettes is addictive, but it is other chemicals in tobacco that cause cancer.

"The UK leads the world in harm reduction from tobacco and there is no evidence that they are acting as a gateway into smoking for young people".

MPs want to review a ban preventing such a move - as it would now be considered as tobacco advertising.

A survey in Scotland found young people who use e-cigarettes could be more likely to later smoke tobacco. E-cigarettes were first introduced to the United Kingdom market in 2007.

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