Thursday, 5 November 2015

Are there any viable alternatives to electronic cigarettes?

Despite the fact that authorities around the world have attempted to destabilise and disrupt the electronic cigarette industry it is now more popular today than it ever has been. The monumental growth of recent years is expected to be repeated in the short to medium term and this despite the threat of overly strict regulations and in some cases retrospective regulations. So, with politicians and regulators unable to agree whether electronic cigarettes are a help in the fight against tobacco addiction, are there really any viable alternatives?

Quit smoking aids

Those looking to reduce their tobacco intake in years gone by were pushed towards the quit smoking aid sector which is effectively controlled by the pharmaceutical companies. These companies work hand-in-hand with governments around the world to offer an opportunity to reduce an individual’s tobacco intake. There is a lively debate about the level of success of the likes of nicotine inhalers, nicotine patches and other similar products with much of the statistical data not exactly supportive!

It is also worth noting that over the last few years we have seen a significant drop in the number of people seeking quit smoking services provided by the UK NHS. This at a time when vaping products have grown in popularity although they are not even allowed to be mentioned by the NHS quit smoking services staff.

Is it back to tobacco cigarettes?

If you sit down and look at the situation from a distance, those looking to reduce their tobacco intake have had relatively little success with prescribed nicotine products but even in the relatively short life of electronic cigarettes many have waxed lyrical about the impact they have had on their addiction. So, if governments and regulators around the world were to introduce draconian regulations it is highly likely that many people would simply move back towards tobacco products.

Even the most ardent of critics acknowledge that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than their tobacco counterparts with some suggesting they are up to 95% less harmful. There is even, and whisper this, a number of politicians and prominent medical professionals in the UK suggesting that electronic cigarettes should be made more available to those looking to quit tobacco. The European Union has in many ways muddied the water with its ongoing campaign to regulate the whole European electronic cigarette industry. Despite being found out using comments out of context and selective statistics from on the whole positive reports it seems that politicians in Brussels are still looking to control the industry.

A sensible approach

We can only hope that governments and regulators around the world at some point listen to the general public, medical professionals and those with in-depth knowledge of both tobacco products and vaping devices. In the back of our minds the idea that this is “all about the money” will not go away prompting many to fear the eventual introduction of a vaping tax.

While governments and vaping companies continue to fight their own corner perhaps those politicians in power should sound out ecigarette users? The fact that electronic cigarette use in the UK, and around the world, has mushroomed over the last few years in spite of political meddling just about sums it up.


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