E-cigarettes to be scrutinised by MPs in fresh inquiry into health, regulation and business of vaping

 
Lynsey Barber
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World Health Organisation Calls For Regulation Of Ecigarettes
The number of people "vaping" is nearing three million in the UK (Source: Getty)

E-cigarettes will come under the scrutiny of MPs in a new inquiry looking at the impact of the devices on health, regulation and business.

Regulations covering the growing trend for vaping and their suitability will be probed by the science and technology committee in a fresh inquiry launched today, as will health implications.

Read more: British Medical Journal study links e-cigarettes to quitting smoking

“Almost three million people in the UK now use e-cigarettes, but there are still significant gaps in the research guiding their regulation and sale," said committee chair Norman Lamb.

Just 700,000 people used e-cigarettes five years ago. The number of people smoking now stands at 7.6m, or 16 per cent of the population, an all-time low.

"They are seen by some as valuable tools that will reduce the number of people smoking ‘conventional’ cigarettes, and seen by others as ‘re-normalising’ smoking for the younger generation. We want to understand where the gaps are in the evidence base, the impact of the regulations, and the implications of this growing industry on NHS costs and the UK's public finances," he said.

Read more: Stoptober is backing vaping for the first time: How the industry reacted

Laws covering vaping came into force last year under EU legislation, limiting advertising of e-cigarettes clamping down on the sale of some flavours among other rules. In the Department for Health's five-year tobacco plan published over the summer it said such regulation will be reviewed in light Brexit.

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