A professor from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has raised concerns that ecigarettes are marketed as exciting edgy lifestyle devices but that could encourage people to stay hooked.
Professor Gillian Leng has also said that there are still doubts over the long-term health effects of vaping.
Currently ecigarettes are available in a host of devices that aren't just replicating cigarettes including pipes, and e cigar s.
Speaking in front of MPs at the Science and Technology Parliamentary Committee this week, Professor Leng, the deputy chief executive of the health watchdog said:
“They are being marketed as an interesting, exciting, edgy product that might encourage people to use them in the longer term.
“Evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful to health than smoking but are not risk-free and that the evidence is still developing, including the evidence on long-term health impact.”
Ecigarettes or E Cigar - Quit Aid or Lifestyle Choice?
She said the distinction lay between ecigarettes being used to quit smoking, by gradually reducing nicotine, and being marketed as exciting edgy lifestyle devices - something that might encourage people to use them for the long term.
NICE had previously refused to endorse any use of ecigarettes, but in March this year updated its recommendations, claiming that because the evidence was still developing people should not be discouraged.
“People who smoke often ask healthcare practitioners about using nicotine-containing e‑cigarettes, which are increasingly being used for quitting. Because of the misconceptions and confusion about the safety of e‑cigarettes, the committee agreed that advice should be given to allow an informed discussion on using them to stop smoking.”
Encourages 20,000 Quitters Every Year
In making its recommendations NICE had taken into account Public Health England’s published views and also those of the Royal College of Physicians. Both have said that vaping is safer than smoking, and PHE are looking to have them introduced on the NHS.
PHE also found that ecigarettes could be playing a part in at least 20,000 people quitting smoking every year.