A question has been asked as to why the vaping industry is banned from advertising research by Public Health England that says more smokers should be made aware of the benefits of switching to vaping.

The UK Vaping Industry Association has described a Public Health England (PHE) evidence review as another ringing endorsement for the positive public health opportunity that vaping represents.

The PHE electronic-cigarette evidence review, which was made public yesterday, was undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts and provides an update on PHE’s 2015 review.

It covers e-cigarette use among young people and adults, public attitudes, the impact on quitting smoking, an update on risks to health and the role of nicotine. It also reviews heated tobacco products.

The reviews key findings are:

* E-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more;

* E-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country;

* Many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40 percent of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette;

* There is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10 percent of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine;

* The use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under three million;

* The evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people. Youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline. Regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked.

“The UK Vaping Industry Association welcomes yet another ringing endorsement for the positive public health opportunity that vaping represents,” said an association spokesman.

“It is shocking that 40 percent of smokers haven’t even tried a vaping product to reduce or stop smoking, when the evidence quite clearly demonstrates it is the most effective way.

“If we are to persuade the UK’s remaining seven million smokers that there is a viable, effective, safer alternative to smoking, then the industry must be allowed to communicate effectively with smokers. Why is the vaping industry itself explicitly banned from advertising the research that Public Health England have reported on today?

“Professor Newton [Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE] is absolutely right that it would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit are put off because of false claims and junk science. That’s why the government must deliver on its commitment to review and reform vaping-related regulation as we leave the EU to create a system that better reflects the public health reality.”


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