The European Public Health Committee (SANT) recognized the potential role of e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit smoking. A report recently released by the committee recognized that e-cigarettes are a way for smokers to gradually quit smoking. However, the committee’s recommendation to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places has sparked controversy.
Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said health authorities’ recognition that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit is a step in the right direction.
He said: “There is good evidence of the success of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, so it is vital that this tool is fully adopted in the EU strategy to reduce smoking-related diseases. E-cigarettes not only provide smokers with a way out and help achieve public health goals.”
Randall believes that despite this recognition, the report’s recommendation to extend the ban on smoking in public places to e-cigarettes is considered problematic.
“There is currently no evidence that second-hand e-cigarettes are harmful, and treating e-cigarettes the same as smoking in public places sends the wrong message to those who want to quit smoking,” Randall said. “Health boards must reconsider the wider implications, including the risk of relapse for ex-smokers. A more thoughtful regulatory approach based on common sense must be adopted to ensure e-cigarettes remain a viable option for those committed to quitting smoking.”