UK MPs launch enquiry to examine the impact of e-cigarettes

A new enquiry by the Science and Technology Committee will examine the impact of electronic cigarettes on human health, including how effective they are as a tool to help people stop smoking. The enquiry will also look at the suitability of regulations covering e-cigarettes as well as the financial implications of the growing market.

An estimated 2.9 million people in the UK use e-cigarettes, which last year were the most popular tool for giving up smoking during the annual government backed ‘Stoptober’ campaign, however they are not currently officially prescribed by doctors on the NHS.

Prof John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, said: “I think this inquiry is a good idea it if helps draw a line under the common misconceptions about e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have revolutionised smoking and are generating a huge public health benefit.

“It could be argued that it would be better if people didn’t use nicotine in the long run, but you could say the same about caffeine. The effect of long term nicotine use is trivial compared with smoking.”

The Committee, which is made up of a cross party group of MPs, is welcoming written evidence on the points of health, regulation and finance, which must be submitted by 8th December 2017.