A Tale of Two Products
By Dr Sarah Wollaston MP for Totnes.
A Tale of Two Products 7th November 2013
One lethal product, tobacco, used exactly as the manufacturer intends it, kills half its customers. For this the government has backtracked on plans for further regulation, claiming that it needs more evidence. For another product, e-cigarettes for which there is little evidence of harm, there is in fact mounting evidence to the contrary, we are rushing into the kind of regulation which will undoubtedly increase costs and potentially increase the harm from tobacco.
…with very little evidence of harm, we appear to be rushing in to regulate e-cigarettes. Regular use of e-cigarettes amongst children is extremely rare, there is no evidence at all that these products are generating new addicts despite widespread awareness of these products amongst young people. Continued use is confined to current and ex- smokers. These products are being used to help people to quit or to reduce their use. There has been a fall in the uptake of formal smoking cessation advice but we should investigate to see whether that could be because people are quickly, easily and more cheaply able to access an alternative and far less harmful product.