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I would like to know other party members thoughts on E-Cigarettes. A good or a bad thing? I personally think a good thing in comparison to cigarettes. So why the sudden demonisation? I'd be interested in your thoughts.
As you know, this is an area of significant importance for me.
Despite great efforts amongst a small section of the scientific community, greatly supported by the media, that always prefers a scare story over a success story, there is no evidence (but plenty to the contrary) that ecigarette pose any risk to user or bystander. They are also not attracting youth in any significant number (and almost all youth use is amongst existing smokers), nor is there any justification in the suggestion that seeing people use smoking alternatives in any way "denormalise" the act of smoking.
People smoke for the nicotine, but die from the tar. In fact, cigarettes also contain other addictive compounds that make them more addictive than nicotine alone. Most ecig users (vapers) find their need for nicotine reduces over time after quitting cigarettes, and they buy increasingly lower strength juices as their journey progresses, with some ultimately moving to nicotine-free liquid.
Nicotine itself is not a health hazard (it is in fact being researched as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's & other diseases affecting cognitive function). Nicotine is found in all plants in the nightshade family, including aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes. Anyone worrying that being near ecigarette vapour imposes a drug on them, it is important to remember that anyone eating a nicotine-containing vegetable will ingest far more nicotine than they would sitting near a vaper.
Research has shown that there are lower toxins in exhaled vapour than in ambient air.
It is essential to public health that article 20 of the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) is opposed, along with all other attempts to restrict the sale or use of the product.
Recent estimates place the number of ecigarette users at just under 4 million, with a recent surge in sales since Public Health England released the statement that ecigarettes were at least 95% safer than cigarettes (in fact, there is no evidence of any harm, and 95% is actually a very conservative estimate).
Allowed to develop freely as consumer products with sensible regulations to ensure safety (such as age limits, childproof packaging and detailed ingredient lists), the product has the potential to replace smoked tobacco within a generation and save thousands of lives per year.
Has anybody thought about who benefits from a ban on ecigs? The only people I can see who might be benefitting are the tobacco industry as vapers would have to go back to cigarettes for their nicotine fix.
To be honest, it's the pharmaceutical industry that arguably stands to lose most, and who appear to have been most involved in the design of the TPD. We have on record at least one public health figure who has come out with the information that they were offered significant sums by pharmaceutical companies to lobby against ecigs.
The tobacco industry can, and will if necessary, adapt to the new phase in relatively safe recreational nicotine use - if huge industry and some in public health (who are almost exclusively funded by pharma, directly or indirectly) fail to suppress the product.
The sad fact is that pharma have long benefited from cessation products that fail around 96% of users - many smokers spend a lifetime (and lots of their own or public funds) on failure. It's estimated that smoking kills half of all users. So half of those who fail to give up on pharma products will ultimately require expensive products to treat the terrible diseases they develop.
It suits pharma to maintain the status quo. Sell us ineffective quit aids until we need very expensive cancer/COPD treatments.
I know this might have the sound of a conspiracy theory, but when you see the tactics taken by pharma to supress and discredit ecigs, it's impossible to deny.

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