Over the last few weeks there have been several articles regarding the English adoption of harm reduction as a tobacco policy, and, that harm reduction will include e-cigarettes.
This is an incredible win for Vapers, who should feel completely vindicated that finally governments are sitting up and taking notice of the benefits of vaping, not only to the individual, but also to nation states.
Public Health England (PHE) state quite clearly that vaping should not be treated the same as smoking.
“PHE recommends that e-cigarette use is not covered by smoke free legislation and should not routinely be included in the requirements of an organization’s smoke free policy.”
That’s right, it’s OK to vape in England! In fact, if you are a smoker it is positively encouraged and the Public Health people will do all they can to help you, including showing you how to use e cigarettes.
Public Health England in this policy, set out how over the next five years they want to get closer to a smoke free nation. They have ambitious goals of reducing teen smoking down from 8% to 3%, general adult smoking rates from 15.5% to 12%, and, help those that need it the most, i.e. pregnant women and those with mental illnesses.
E-cigarettes are going to be a large part of this plan.
40.5% of people in England with a mental health problem smoke. That’s a staggering number.
PHE write, “(To)Help people to quit smoking by permitting innovative technologies that minimise the risk of harm.”
Such as e-cigarettes.
And, “Maximize the availability of safer alternatives to smoking.”
Such as e-cigarettes.
And that’s not all. The draconian European policy that the UK had to adopt, The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), the one Totally Wicked UK challenged in the EU Courts of Justice, is also going to be given the once over, as the TPD essentially tries to strangle the growth of e cigarettes.
Not great when your new policy embraces e-cigs as a harm reduction tool!
Thankfully the English have realised this, and now due to the UK leaving the EU, known colloquially as ‘Brexit’, the English don’t have to impose this as slavishly as they thought. PHE acknowledge this, stating.
“In particular, the government will assess recent legislation such as the Tobacco Products Directive, including as it applies to e-cigarettes, and consider where the UK’s exit provides opportunity to alter the legislative provisions to provide for improved health outcomes within the UK context.”
An absolute admission that the TPD is not fit for purpose when it comes to a nations health!
PHE even pledge to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:
“Public Health England will continue to provide smokers and the public with clear, evidence based and accurate information on the relative harm of nicotine, e-cigarettes, other nicotine delivery systems and smoked tobacco, to enable informed decision-making.”
How did the English get to this point?
It’s all been done by grass root activists in the UK. They kept banging on doors until they were opened, plus, the UK is lucky to have open minded scientists, that were Independently minded enough to look at e-cigs with an unjaundiced eye.
There is hope people, there is hope. If the tiny nation of England can change the tide, then so can we.
As an aside note: There are 79 references in the PHE new tobacco policy plan that they used to help come to their conclusions; that e cigarettes can be used as a harm reduction tool.