MPs back vaping in Commons Debate but DUP express concerns on e-cigs.
The recent debate in the House of Commons saw a number of MPs back vaping and show support for further investigations into e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
The debate was led by Conservative MP Gareth Johnson who fully backs vaping. He said that vaping “has been found to be a useful tool for literally millions of people who want to stop smoking. It should therefore be given the recognition it deserves. It has huge potential to save lives”.
Gareth Johnson’s comments come as a result of a number of studies from recognised organisations including a recent study which shows that over half of the vapers in the UK have given up smoking. This study has surely contributed to the increased interest in e-cigarettes as a tool to help smokers quit, however not everybody is convinced and notably Gregory Campbell, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell expresses concerns over E-cigarettes
The East Derry MP warned against e-cigarettes being used as an alternative to smoking, this is despite evidence from both Public Health England, that states “e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking” and Cancer Research UK, which states “vaping is ‘far safer’ than smoking”.
“Part of the traditional problem with smoking has been that when the number of smokers declined and we got down to about 20 per cent, it was then difficult to make further inroads.
“Similarly, if a third of smokers have still not moved to vaping, again we have the problem that we have reached the hard core of people on whom more work is needed,”
While Campbell may be correct that more work is needed, should some of this effort not be put in to realising the full potential of e-cigarettes which have already helped so many smokers, rather than snubbing them as a lost cause for these ‘hard-core smokers’.
In January 2017, public perception of e-cigarettes in the UK was at an all-time low with more people than ever before believing that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as cigarettes. With 1 in 4 people sharing this view, it is no wonder that there is a still considerable number of smokers who are yet to make the switch.
This public perception, alongside TPD regulations – which can act as a deterrent for smokers wanting to make the switch – make e-cigarettes less and less attractive for smokers. Add strict advertising rulings (which make it extremely difficult to combat fake news) to the mix and we have an uphill battle on our hands.
Informed research that gives clear and concise information on e-cigarettes is therefore of great importance. Not every smoker will switch to vaping and that is their personal choice, however there may be a section of these smokers who are not switching because of a lack of clarity on the risks and rewards of e-cigarettes. Before these muddy waters have been cleared it seems unfair to suggest that current smokers have made up their mind on e-cigarettes.