MPs to investigate safety of e-cigarettes

MPs are to examine the safety of e-cigarettes, including their effectiveness as a stop smoking tool.

The House of Commons science and technology committee has launched an enquiry on e-cigarettes and is calling for evidence on the health, regulation and financial implications of the devices.

Former health minister Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, who chairs the committee, said: ‘Almost 3m people in the UK now use e-cigarettes, but there are still significant gaps in the research guiding their regulation and sale. They are seen by some as valuable tools that will reduce the number of people smoking ‘conventional’ cigarettes, and seen by others as "re-normalising" smoking for the younger generation.

‘We want to understand where the gaps are in the evidence base, the impact of the regulations, and the implications of this growing industry on NHS costs and the UK's public finances.’

Impact of e-cigarettes

As part of the enquiry the committee will look at the impact of e-cigarettes on health both in themselves and in relation to smoking cigarettes. It will also look at the benefits and risks of e-cigarettes as a ‘stop smoking’ tool and whether any approaches are needed to tackle e-cigarette addiction.

Last year guidance from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) advised GPs to promote e-cigarettes ‘as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking’ following a review of the available evidence. The RCP concluded that e-cigarettes were not a gateway to smoking and do not result in the normalisation of smoking.

The deadline for submitting evidence to the enquiry is 8 December and full details are here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices report falling private fees income for second year running

Practices report falling private fees income for second year running

A third of GP practices have seen their income from private and professional fees...

New average fees released for GP private and professional work

New average fees released for GP private and professional work

GP practices can update their prices for non-NHS services following the publication...

Why manifesto promises of more GPs may not make general practice safer

Why manifesto promises of more GPs may not make general practice safer

Politicians of all stripes have promised more GPs during the general election campaign,...

Hyperhidrosis - red flag symptoms

Hyperhidrosis - red flag symptoms

Dr Anish Kotecha considers red flag symptoms to look out for in presentations of...

Viewpoint: Why we decided to become a 'safe surgery'

Viewpoint: Why we decided to become a 'safe surgery'

Safe Surgeries, an initiative run by charity Doctors of the World, aims to tackle...

GP training: What does the new prescribing assessment involve?

GP training: What does the new prescribing assessment involve?

The RCGP is completing a mandatory pilot of a new assessment of GP trainees' prescribing...