Are e-cigarettes really that much safer than smoking tobacco? I’m not convinced
The tobacco industry certainly has this Government by the short and curlies. Ministers have announced yet another consultation into plain packaging for cigarettes, even though they’ve produced a report saying that standard packaging could reduce smoking. On Thursday, the health minister announced that new legislation was “planned”, but I think you’ll have time to puff a few hundred fags before anything hits the statute book.
The Government has been equally dilatory over e-cigarettes, even though it gets very exercised about drugs like ecstasy and ketamine (just found to be very useful in treating depression, used in very small quantities) – moving them up the rankings and increasing penalties for use. Yet for many months, children all over the UK have been puffing on totally unregulated sticks of nicotine and getting addicted without anyone getting that bothered.
E-cigarettes might be touted as an aid to quitting smoking, but they won’t stop users from getting wrinkles – the biggest argument for nicotine patches. About 1.3 million people use the gadgets – some of which are clearly designed to appeal to the young – and their success has caught regulators on the back foot.