Embargoed to 00:01 BST on 17th August 2018

The New Nicotine Alliance warmly welcomes the Science and Technology Committee’s report on e-cigarettes as a “beacon of enlightenment” for public health

  • The Committee is right to highlight misconceptions surrounding e-cigarettes and the NNA echoes the Committee’s call for risk-based regulation to encourage more smokers to switch to safer nicotine products
  • Streamlining MHRA processes for approving medically licensed products and permitting vaping in mental health facilities by default are brave proposals that could have a dramatic positive effect on how the public views their relative safety
  • Public perception of the benefits of vaping has stalled, so the NNA welcomes the Committee’s recommendations to liberalise advertising rules to allow health claims and its call for the benefits of e-cigarettes to be recognised by allowing their use more widely
  • The Committee’s proposals to review provisions in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations, to include heated tobacco products in the Government’s annual review of safer nicotine products, and its call for a review on the evidence supporting the ban on snus are also greatly welcomed

LONDON, August 17nd, 2018: The Government’s Science and Technology Committee – chaired by Sir Norman Lamb – today released a report on e-cigarettes containing several evidence-based policy proposals which would positively transform the way vaping is viewed by businesses, institutions and the public alike.

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.

“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 The report is a beacon of enlightenment in an area of public health which is often burdened by dogma and outdated thinking towards the use of nicotine.

“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. The World Health Organisation recognises tobacco harm reduction as a guiding principle of its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, so we welcome the Committee’s call for the UK to become an even greater world leader in this field than is already the case.”

“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”

Issued on behalf of the New Nicotine Alliance

Contact:
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Note to Editors: The NNA is a registered UK charity staffed by consumer volunteers, formed to increase understanding about the benefits of “new” (risk-reduced) nicotine products and a better recognition of long-term recreational use of nicotine as a powerful incentive for smoking cessation.

Sources

Committee Report: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee “E-cigarettes - Seventh Report of Session 2017–19” 
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/505/505.pdf

Promote e-cigarettes widely as substitute for smoking (Royal College of Physicians)
https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/promote-e-cigarettes-widely-substitute-smoking-says-new-rcp-report

UK Tobacco Control Plan: “Backing evidence based innovations to support quitting” (page 5)
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/630217/Towards_a_Smoke_free_Generation_-_A_Tobacco_Control_Plan_for_England_2017-2022__2_.pdf

Increased public misperceptions about nicotine as harmful
Public Health England, Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products - McNeill A, Brose LS, Calder R, Bauld L & Robson D (2018). https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-independent-expert-e-cigarettes-evidence-review

Article 1(d) of the FCTC http://www.who.int/tobacco/framework/WHO_FCTC_english.pdf