Members of the Scottish parliament have been told that electronic cigarettes offer a ‘huge potential public health prize’, according to a Press Association story.
And they have been urged to be cautious in regulating the sale of these products so that the potential benefits to smokers are maximized while the potential harm is minimized.
The government is consulting on whether to ban electronic sales to under-18s, make it illegal for an adult to buy electronic cigarettes for someone under age, restrict advertising of these products and introduce other regulatory changes.
Speaking to the parliament’s Health Committee, John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, said electronic cigarettes offered a huge potential benefit to public health by helping smokers to shift to an alternative source of nicotine.
“If all smokers in Britain were to do that we would be talking of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of premature deaths avoided,” he said.
When legislating to control the inevitable abuses of the market that would come with electronic cigarettes and the inherent risks posed by these products, about which little was known, it was important to manage those risks, he added, but not in a way that eliminated the benefits in the process.
There was a huge potential public health prize in these products.
The full story here.