How vaping could be used to drive non-smoking societies

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The latest report by the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee into the use of e-cigarettes is due out on Friday (August 17).

If parental influence goes a long way in impacting a child's habits, again health experts feel that if less adults are smoking regular cigarettes, less children will want to smoke them too.

"E-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, but 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".

A landmark review by Public Health England (PHE) published in 2015 said vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

'Concerns that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to conventional smoking, including for young non-smokers, have not materialised. "If used correctly, e-cigarettes could be a key weapon in the NHS's (National Health Service) stop smoking arsenal".

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MPs said there should be an urgent review to make it easier for e-cigarettes to be made available on prescription, as well as a wider debate over rules on their use in public spaces and how they are allowed to be advertised.

They also said that the government should provide financial incentives in the form of lower levels of taxation for smokers to swap from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes.

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.

He stressed that the consequences of Smoking, vaping was the same as in regular smokers and people suffering from chronic lung disease.

"NHS England's default policy should be that e-cigarettes should be permitted in mental health units".

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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.

A Royal College of Physicians (RCP) report analyzing dozens of studies concluded that the health hazard from long-term vapour inhalation from e-cigarettes was unlikely to exceed 5 percent of the harm from smoking tobacco.

- 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.

E-cigarettes are not covered by the smoking legislation which bans the use of cigarettes in all enclosed public and work places.

- NHS England should set a policy of mental health facilities allowing e-cigarette use by patients unless trusts can demonstrate evidence-based reasons for not doing so.

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'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'.

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