Irish Vape Vendors Association welcomes new report from Royal College of Physicians, London
A new report published today by the Tobacco Advisory Group of The Royal College of Physicians in London re-iterates that vaping is safer than smoking and concludes that the greater use of e-cigarettes as a substitute to smoking would benefit public health.
The report, titled ‘Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction’, outlines the need for current tobacco control policy to include harm reduction principles. Because the consumption of nicotine through smoking is so harmful to health, nicotine use by smokers in an e-cigarette removes the by-products of combustion like tar and carbon monoxide and thus pose very little risk compared to smoking.
Welcoming the report, Gillian Golden of the Irish Vape Vendors Association, which represents independently owned retailers of vaping products said ‘’It’s bittersweet however, in that Irish smokers don’t see the same positive endorsement here, which reflects the wealth of international evidence that these products are a viable and acceptable alternative to smoking.’’
”Our members hear some horror stories from their customers, like doctors telling them that vaping isn’t any safer than smoking. Luckily, they’re able to point them to the research that reassures them otherwise. This new report will add to that re-assurance”, she said.
Also included in the report is some criticism of how the Tobacco Products Directive which comes into force on the 20th of May may negatively affect the uptake and availability of e-cigarettes. Mentioned is the 20 milligram per ml cap on nicotine levels in liquid refills which may hinder uptake by heavier smokers, and the requirement for products to carry such strongly worded health warnings when medicinally licensed products do not. It also states that to keep the products economically attractive to smokers, they be excluded from tobacco-like taxes.
The Irish Vape Vendors Association are now calling for Ireland to follow the UK’s lead.
‘’The UK’s Office of National Statistics data from earlier this year put the number of smokers there that have already switched from smoking to vaping at 849,000. That’s greater than the number of smokers identified in the most recent Healthy Ireland Survey. If Irish health bodies were to similarly endorse the use of lower risk nicotine products, imagine what this could do for Irish smoking rates,’’ said Golden.