Thursday, June 20, 2024

Why is the UK a safe place for e-cigarettes?


Compared with the US’s recent vape control policy, the UK’s policy is too liberal.

In 2018, the United Kingdom began to allow the sale of e-cigarettes in hospitals and provide patients with e-cigarette lounges to encourage smokers to switch from traditional tobacco to e-cigarettes and eventually quit smoking.

According to a recent Public Health Report (PHE) published in England, at least 1.3 million people have completely quit cigarettes because of e-cigarettes as British officials continue to support the reduction of tobacco harm through e-cigarettes.

In the United Kingdom, e-cigarettes exist as medicines, which predestined that it will take a completely different path from other countries from the beginning, but it is not only due to the perspective of those in power that they have such a clear perception, the complex social system and policy positioning behind this also deserve our careful consideration.

Polarized perspective on vapes (Geen stands for liberal policy, while red means strict policy)
Polarized perspective on vapes (Geen stands for liberal policy, while red means strict policy)

01. One of the three pride of the British people: NHS

In the hearts of the British people, there are three things that are most proud of their country: Shakespeare, the countryside and the medical system.

As a globally recognized leader in the field of health care, the British National Medical Service System (NHS), which is a universal free medical service system, has been praised by countries around the world for its “low health costs and good health performance.”

The Royal College of Physicians specifically told doctors to promote e-cigarettes as widely as possible to those who want to quit smoking. The British public health department’s recommendation is that the risk of vaping e-cigarettes is only a small part of the risk of smoking.

According to the BBC, in the northern Birmingham area of ​​the United Kingdom, the two largest medical institutions not only sell e-cigarettes, but also set up vaping areas, which they call e-cigarettes “public health necessities.”

It is understood that the two hospitals are Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich and Birmingham City Hospital. The e-cigarette stores opened by Ecigwizard sell Jubbly Bubbly and Wizard’s Leaf products.

In order to promote the popularization of e-cigarettes, the two hospitals also set up e-cigarette smoking areas and emphasized that smoking traditional cigarettes in smoking areas will face a fine of 50 pounds. Focus: smoking of traditional tobacco will be fined!

Therefore, it is not surprising that e-cigarettes are accepted in places like the United Kingdom. Using some means (such as nicotine patches, e-cigarettes) to help people stay away from cigarettes is meaningful to people.

And as a pharmaceutical, the production and sale of e-cigarettes in the UK must follow super detailed regulatory regulations.

Unlike in the United States, the United Kingdom has strict regulations on e-cigarette advertising, and all television, Internet and radio marketing is banned. The only promotional images for e-cigarette events are usually men with beards and look boring.

From this point, it seems that we can understand the reasons for banning fruit and mint flavor electronic cigarettes in the United States. Things that are too flamboyant are indeed more attractive, even if they have never smoked, and this is against the original intention of promoting electronic cigarettes.

02. Keeping Sober Cognition: Scientific Research

More than 30 countries in the world have completely banned e-cigarettes. Some people must ask, why can’t these countries learn like Britain? The national conditions of different countries do affect policy changes, but it will not happen overnight that the perception of the entire population or the ruling class change.

In the UK, there are many institutions and scientific researchers who have long been engaged in research on cigarettes. Some specialize in the harm of second-hand electronic cigarettes to the human body, and some specialize in the effects of different flavors of electronic cigarettes on the human body …

Researchers are very aware of the role and harm of e-cigarettes, and have even come to the forefront in many research fields, such as the study of the effects of different flavors and the effects of second-hand electronic cigarettes. In contrast, most countries and regions are still at the point of “being afraid of electronic cigarettes”.

A BBC documentary, “E-Cigarettes-Miracle or Menace”, recorded a set of experiments by relevant institutions. Researchers found a group of heavy smokers, and then divided this group into three groups, giving different ways to quit smoking. , the traditional methods of quitting smoking, e-cigarette and nicotine patch.

One month later, the experimental results showed that the group that used the traditional smoking cessation method to quit smoking had the lowest success rate. Most of them failed to quit, but returned to the path of traditional tobacco.

In the rest of the country or region, most of them are busy making meaningless arguments instead of trying to practice them. To find out right and wrong, professional research is needed.

British health authorities also agree that e-cigarettes are not without risks. According to the UK Drug Administration, between May 2016 and September 2019, the agency received dozens of reports of negative reactions related to e-cigarettes.

In addition, British media exposed that some retailers sold e-cigarettes to minors without checking documents, which also caused social concerns.

But these things did not prevent the authorities from insisting on the e-cigarette. In fact, as early as the policy document of the British Ministry of Health’s “Tobacco Control Plan” in 2017, the government may intentionally liberate the e-cigarette regulations after the UK exits the European Union.

Dr John Britton, director of the University of Nottingham’s British Tobacco and Alcohol Research Centre, once said: “The response in the United States is totally insane. The reality of smoking is that if you tell people to stop vaping, they will return to the tobacco industry, and tobacco kills people. ”

03. Clear direction and positioning: quit smoking

According to statistics from the British Health Organization, e-cigarettes can increase the success rate of quitting smoking by about 50%, and can reduce health risks by at least 95% compared to cigarettes.

The British government and the medical community’s support for e-cigarettes stemmed mainly from an independent review of the 2015 Public Health Agency (PHE), an executive agency of the UK Department of Health. The review concluded that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than common tobacco in terms of user health, and have helped tens of thousands of smokers quit.

This data has since been widely publicized by health agencies such as the British government and the National Health Service (NHS), and has become a powerful tool for promoting electronic cigarettes to replace ordinary tobacco.

Subsequently, the British government asked the Public Health Agency of England to update the safety review of e-cigarettes every year by 2022, and to publish the review report in February every year. So far, every year’s reports still “support” the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a good method to quit smoking.

According to the British government’s plan, the aim is to eliminate traditional cigarette smokers by 2030. It can be said that the e-cigarette industry in the UK has fully entered the fast lane.

Except for medical research that proves that e-cigarettes are safe, no serious cases related to e-cigarettes have occurred in the UK in real life. Unlike the current situation of young people smoking e-cigarettes in the United States, the popularity of e-cigarettes among non-smokers in the UK has not soared. Surveys of adult smokers in the UK also show that the vast majority of people use e-cigarettes to quit traditional tobacco.

All this shows that in the UK, e-cigarettes still maintain the original intention and position of being invented-a tool to help adults quit combustible cigarettes. This has also become an important reason why British authorities have always supported e-cigarettes.

The United States bans the sale of non-tobacco flavored e-cigarette products to control the trend of young people smoking e-cigarettes. But Martin Dockrell, head of the British PHE Tobacco Control Program, said that if the ban on the addition of flavors to e-cigarettes could cause e-cigarette users to re-smoke ordinary cigarettes.

For the same original intention, the United States and Britain have adopted completely opposite methods. The logic behind this is very intriguing. One is simple one-size-fits-all, and the other is systematic management that leverages strength.

Obviously, the British way is more worth learning, but their welfare system and management details are difficult to copy.

Differences in national conditions have led to today’s situation. The United Kingdom has become a “heaven” for e-cigarettes, but to put it another way, the UK is actually preparing the “end of the road” for e-cigarettes and truly giving the people a break.

04.Further reading

Specific to the British market, starting from May 20, 2017, the UK requires that the volume of a single tank of electronic cigarettes does not exceed 2 ml; the maximum capacity of refilling vape juice does not exceed 10 ml; the nicotine concentration of e-liquid does not exceed 20 per ml Mg; nicotine-containing products and their packaging must be able to prevent children from unpacking and cannot be restored after disassembly; prohibit the addition of certain ingredients in e-liquids, including pigments, caffeine, and taurine; add new labels & warning content to the packaging; no matter the electronic cigarette device or e-liquid, all electronic cigarette products must be notified to the drug regulation bureau before they are sold in the UK.

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