Parliament has commissioned an inquiry into vaping to fill “significant gaps” in research and help the government decide whether to help or hinder e-cigarette sales.
Despite vaping being endorsed by the government-run ‘Stoptober’ campaign, it is still not formally endorsed by NICE, which decides what products can be advised by the NHS.
Politicians have asked for submissions to provide further evidence on health, usage and financial impact on businesses and the NHS.
At a Tobacco Control Plan debate last week, Conservative MP for Eastleigh Mims Davies said: “I do not want, 20 or 30 years down the road, to have on our hands the results of thinking it was the new messiah when it was not. However, it may be, so let us do the research.”
The debate showed parliamentary support for vaping with more than 85% of MPs mentioning e-cigarettes supporting their use as a tool to reduce smoking. Shadow environment minister Mary Glindon stating: “I believe that the promotion of vaping and e-cigarettes is key to the Government achieving their vision of a smoke-free generation.”
Glindon went on to support the sale of vaping equipment by retailers stating: “I seek an assurance from the Government that they will ensure vaping always remains affordable, and that they will not be tempted to impose an excise tax that would force up prices and give smokers less reason to switch.”
Parliamentary under secretary for health Steve Brine also lent his support vaping stating: “it is through consistent messaging that we can hope to reverse the harmful, mistaken and increasingly widespread belief that vaping is no safer than smoking.”
Retailers have told Retail Express that e-liquids are an important revenue stream due to the high margins associated with each sale. Lia Rutter from Macclesfield said her stores now turnover £500 a week in vape liquid sales.
The science and technology committee will oversee the enquiry, with those interested able to submit evidence until December 8.
Do it: have your voice heard in the government’s enquiry by submitting your opinions here.