Currently there are an estimated 7 million users of electronic cigarettes and e-liquid across Europe and over 1.3 million in the UK. Smoking is the biggest single cause of preventable death in the developed world and causes over 5 million deaths a year with recent trends suggesting that tobacco use will result in more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
The devastating effect of a lifetime addiction to smoking cannot be underestimated, with up to two-thirds of all lifetime smokers dying from smoking-related diseases and many more suffering a compromised quality of life not to mention the impact on passive smokers impacted by second-hand smoke. It is well recognised that the most damaging health impacts are caused by smoking tobacco products, rather than the consumption of nicotine.
Liberty Flights are attending the E-Cigarette Summit in London on the 12th November 2013 which is an important meeting for scientists, government and regulatory policymakers, health professionals and electronic cigarette stakeholders to come together and debate the future of electronic cigarettes in context of health, efficacy and regulation.
The issue of how to regulate and manage the proliferation of e-cigarettes and e-liquid is vital to ensure quality manufacturing, distribution and responsible marketing of this disruptive market technology.
Despite the known risks of traditional cigarettes they remain readily available worldwide. This fact makes the decision to regulate e-cigarettes which are estimated* to be between 99% and 95% safer (*source:http://e-cigarette-summit.com/) – highly controversial and has divided opinion amongst health campaigners and policymakers.
So are e-cigarettes a backward step in the fight against smoking or the single greatest transformative public health phenomenon? Whichever side of the debate you fall on or even if you are undecided, it is without a doubt vital that all considerations are explored before decisions are taken that could have such far-reaching implications.