St Albans MP Anne Main fears warnings about vaping could dissuade smokers from giving up

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 July 2017

Picture: JAMES BASS

Picture: JAMES BASS

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

Warnings about the risks of vaping could have the unintended effect of reducing the number of people quitting smoking, an MP has argued.

The European Union’s new tobacco directive aims to treat public health warnings about e-cigarettes in the same way as smoking.

The EU Commission argues that because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, it is harmful to people – adding: “The long-term effects on e-cigarettes on public health are not yet known.”

However St Albans MP Anne Main said that approach could dissuade people using e-cigarettes as a stop gap for quitting smoking – and thereby prevent them from giving up all together.

She pointed to a Public Health England review which concluded that e-cigarettes are about 95pc less harmful than smoking.

Mrs Main said: “Vaping is much safer than smoking, yet these regulations could have a perverse effect.

“We are not doing nearly enough to support and encourage a practical science-led solution. If we continue with the regulations in their current form then we are at serious risk of reversing the good progress we’ve made on smoking cessation.

“Once we’ve left the EU, there will be scope for government to think again, and make the changes that we know are already working.”

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