Industry News

Home  > News  > Industry News  > 

E-cigarettes will be aggressively marketed to smokers, the UK health minister said on the eve of No Smoking Day

E-cigarettes will be aggressively marketed to smokers, the UK health minister said on the eve of No Smoking Day


In a keynote speech on tobacco control, Neil O'Brien, the UK Health Minister, said that e-cigarettes are a powerful tool for quitting smoking and that the UK government is developing its huge potential to quit smoking by giving free e-cigarettes to smokers, among other ways, in order to achieve the national "smoke free" target by 2030.

Cigarettes cause a heavy health and economic burden in the UK. Cigarettes kill two out of every three British smokers, figures show. Although cigarettes bring in a lot of tax revenue, smokers are more likely to get sick and lose their jobs than non-smokers, and the economic losses are more staggering. In 2022, the UK's tobacco tax revenue was 11 billion pounds, but the total cost to the public purse related to cigarettes was 21 billion pounds, nearly double the tax revenue. "It's a secular myth that cigarettes are a net economic benefit." Neil O'Brien said.

The British government has decided to promote e-cigarettes in an effort to help smokers quit. A wealth of research evidence has established that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes, and high-quality evidence from leading international medical organisations such as Cochrane has shown that e-cigarettes can be used to stop smoking and are more effective than nicotine replacement therapy.

But e-cigarettes are not without controversy. In response to questions about the potential appeal of e-cigarettes to minors, Neil O'Brien said there are some brightly colored, cheap, disposable e-cigarettes with cartoon graphics that are marketed to children. "Those are illegal products," he said. "Special flying squads have been formed to crack down on them." This is in line with the government's promotion of compliant e-cigarettes to smokers.

"E-cigarettes are a double-edged sword. We do everything we can to prevent minors from accessing e-cigarettes and to help adult smokers quit using e-cigarettes." 'he said.

In April 2023, the British government launched the world's first "e-cigarette before quitting" program, which offers free e-cigarettes to smokers to improve their success rate of quitting. One million British smokers will be offered free e-cigarettes and a range of behavioural support under a scheme that has been successfully piloted in poor areas with high smoking rates, O'Brien said.

A growing number of British smokers are using e-cigarettes to successfully quit. Figures show that just a few weeks after quitting, smokers' lung function levels increase by 10 per cent and their risk of developing diseases such as heart disease is significantly reduced. Quitting would also save each smoker around £2,000 a year, which in deprived areas would mean a significant increase in local consumption.

"E-cigarettes can play an important role in helping governments achieve their 2030 smoke-free targets." Neil O'Brien said the use of e-cigarettes was not widespread enough and more needed to be done to get adult smokers to switch quickly because "if they quit today, they won't be in a hospital bed next year".

Chat Online
Chat Online
Leave Your Message inputting...
Sign in with: