The British government is being urged to take advantage of Brexit and stop enforcing EU vaping legislations.
The motion was tabled by Conservative Party peer Baron Martin Callanan, who stated British smoking policy should not be driven by the interests of Big Pharma. Lord Callanan also pointed out there are 9 million smokers in Britain and 100,000 smoking-related deaths every year. He then hammered home the fact that e-cigarettes are the most popular way to quit.
Speaking on Monday, Lord Callanan was also full of criticism about the public health professionals and tabloids that depict vaping in a bad light by presenting misleading reports that make many smokers believe vaping is an equally dangerous option.
“As my scientifically literate friends will no doubt explain,” Lord Callahan pointed out. “It’s the smoke that kills, not the nicotine. There is now emphatic evidence of how much safer vaping is than smoking. Numerous studies have shown that vaping is 95% safer than tobacco smoking. In the UK, 2.8 million people have either stopped smoking or reduced their smoking significantly as a direct result of vaping.”
Lord Callahan went on to say the evidence suggests continuing to follow EU Vaping legislations would lead to a 95% reduction in the number of vaping products available, ban the stronger liquids that many vapers prefer, and ban advertising that could help encourage smokers to switch to vaping.
“How have we ended up with this crazy state of affairs?” Lord Callahan asked. “The Department of Health prides itself on being a “global thought leader” on tobacco, to use its words, and while the department has played a strong game on pure control measures, by which I mean the ban on public place smoking and the taxation of smoking, it has been little short of appalling on its approach to tobacco harm reduction, by which I refer to the development of much less harmful substitutes to smoking.”
Lord Callahan also pointed out the fact that government cuts had reduced the budgets available for smoking cessation products.
“I understand budgetary constraints,” Lord Callahan said, “but I would also say that because of the risk of confusion by the public over e-cigarettes, some Department of Health-sponsored public campaigning is necessary to get the right facts across to the public.”
Whether post-Brexit Britain will ditch EU Vaping legislations remains to be seen, but at least someone is making the right noises in the right places. That’s a light at the end of the tunnel that could help many smokers see things more clearly and could results in a significant saving of lives.