Vapouround magazine VAPOUROUND MAGAZINE OCTOBER ISSUE19 - Page 19

“We’re very lucky in this country to have a health department and a government that really understands vaping and gets behind it as part of their smoking cessation programme” The chair of The Science and Technology Committee has said “e-cigarettes could be a key weapon in the NHS’s stop-smoking arsenal.” A recently published report from the committee urged the government to relax vaping regulations to encourage more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes. The committee received more than one hundred pieces of written evidence and heard from 25 witnesses over a four-month period this year. The final report reinforces the message that smokers who are unable to quit altogether would be much better off using a reduced-risk product than continuing to smoke. According to the cross-party committee, TRPR regulations on tank size and nicotine strength could be putting smokers off vaping and were arbitrary measures that do “not appear to be founded on scientific evidence.” The committee also stated that bans on advertising and medical claims about e-cigarettes could mean that smokers are not getting the message that vaping is safer than smoking. Among their recommendations, the committee suggested that leaflets recommending that smokers switch to vaping be inserted into cigarette packets. Tobacco product inserts were outlawed by the government in 2016. The TRPR remains a frustrating battleground between the industry and the government. The committee called on the government to “shift to a more risk-proportionate regulatory environment” reflective of the relative harms of nicotine products post-Brexit, the goal being to encourage positive behaviours such as acceptance of e-cigarettes and reduction in tobacco use. While the public and the government have been largely receptive to vaping, the report highlighted the misperceptions that continue to dissuade many of the UK’s remaining nine million smokers from embracing e-cigarettes. Many people erroneously believe that vaping falls within the remit of the smoking ban. Instead of treating vaping the same as smoking, the committee argued that there should be a dialogue to help inform more appropriate evidence-based rules than those fuelled by misperceptions about the supposed harms of passive vaping. Norman Lamb, chairman of the parliamentary committee, said: “Current policy and regulations do not sufficiently reflect this and businesses, transport providers and public places should stop viewing conventional and e-cigarettes as one and the same. There is no public health rationale for doing so.” The report also dismissed claims that e-cigarettes and e-liquid flavours are creating a gateway to smoking and encouraging young people to use nicotine products. Wh