The UK today counts over 3 million regular electronic-cigarette users. Faced with this popularity, the parliament has decided to launch a major study to determine the impact of this new consumer product on the national economy and population health. This study aims to evaluate the relevance and success of current vaping legislation in England.
According to Derek Yach, the marketing of electronic cigarettes requires an entirely new legal framework. This active defender of smokers’ rights is the director of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, a non-profit organisation financed mostly by Philip Morris. Indeed, cigarette manufacturers are beginning to worry about their sales figures. Cigarette pack sales have been falling at a steady rate in most developed countries since vaping hit the market.
A recent study by Smokefree GB stated that half of vaping enthusiasts were formerly cigarette smokers, and since 2012 the number of vape users has bene multiplied by 4. To address this, cigarette companies are channelling billions of dollars into researching alternatives to smoking tobacco. Philip Morris is now investing 1% of its revenues to a new product, iQOS. A type of Heat-Not-Burn or HNB device, the iQoS heats tobacco without burning it.
Different legislation from one country to the next
E-cigarettes acceptance is varied depending on local laws. Australia, Japan, and Brazil for example have banned electronic cigarettes sales domestically. In Thailand, even tourists caught vaping risk substantial fines and even actual prison terms.
American authorities have taken a different approach. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food & Drug administration, has stated he is aware of the importance of vaping products in the effort to reduce smoking. In the USA, e-cigarette usage is encouraged to help smokers quit, or simply for improved health. Indeed, recent studies have shown conclusively that electronic cigarettes are by far less dangerous for health than classic cigarettes.
Currently, the UK has adopted a legal framework that is favourable to vaping and e-cigarette usage. This freedom has allows the vape industry to develop considerably, reaching 1.1 Billion pounds (or 1.3 billion dollars). The study is expected to shed new light on vaping and its effect on the health of British citizens.