Government must stop overlooking '95% less harmful' e-cigarettes, say MPs

Is vaping bad

GETTY VAPING Is it bad your your health? Does it stain your teeth? Are E-cigarettes dangerous

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

A report by the committee of MPs said the government should support making e-cigarettes more widely used and even consider allowing e-cigarettes on public transport.

According to the report, around 2.9 million people in the United Kingdom are now using e-cigarettes, with an estimated 470,000 using them to help them stop smoking.

"The committee believes that the risk for smokers of continuing to use conventional cigarettes is greater than the uncertainty over the long-term use of e-cigarettes", the report concludes.

Mr Lamb said 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".

Rules around e-cigarettes should be relaxed to help accelerate already declining smoking rates, MPs have said.

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However, Public Health England claimed recently that e-cigarettes are "95 per cent safer" than conventional smoking.

Although the report recognised the long-term health effects of vaping were not yet known, it said e-cigarettes were substantially less harmful than conventional cigarettes because they contained no tar or carbon monoxide.

- 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.

Former health minister Norman Lamb - the committee chairman - wants the Government to consider allowing more freedom to advertise e-cigarettes.

It wants a review on the current ban on smoking e-cigarettes in public places and said the government should annually reconsider the evidence about the health effects of e-cigarettes and include heat-to-burn products as part of the review.

Martin Dockrell, of Public Health England, added: "There is good evidence that positive messages on pack inserts can help people quit".

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-End the prohibition of snus, an oral tobacco product banned by the European Union.

The government has been urged to make e-cigarettes available on the NHS after a probe by MPs found numerous health concerns around "vaping" are wrong.

'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'.

They also said the government should look again at regulations limiting e-juice refill strengths and tank sizes which were brought in by the EU.

For example, it said it was "unacceptable" that a third of the 50 NHS mental health trusts in England had a ban on e-cigarettes on their premises, when there was a "negligible health risk" from second hand e-cigarette vapour.

'This is about comparing e-cigarettes to normal cigarettes, not fresh air.

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Laws around using the e-cigarettes in public spaces should also be relaxed, advised the committee. Meanwhile, 7.4 million people (15.1 percent of people aged 18 years and above) are classified as current smokers, according 2017 data from the Office for National Statistics.

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