Updated Parliamentary briefing on Electronic Cigarettes

A mere 24 hours after the US vaping industry heard it’s death knell; the UK government has published an updated Parliamentary briefing known as a POSTnote – and the gulf between UK and US Public Health Policy could not be wider.


What are POSTnotes, why are they important?

POSTnotes are four page summaries of Public Policy issues. They’re based on reviews of research literature and interviews with stakeholders from across academia, industry, government and the third sector (voluntary/community organisations). They’re also peer reviewed by external experts and their purpose it to allow parliamentarians to easily gain knowledge on key issues. Important stuff then.

So, what does this one cover?

This POSTnote updates POSTnote 455 (January 2014), summarising the latest data on scale of use, safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, and their value as a stop smoking tool. It also explores the implications of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive and regulatory approaches in the UK.POSTnote 533

Essentially it fills in a lot of gaps that were present back in the heady days of 2014. It’s good reading and filled with properly cited information that makes it eminently sharable.

If I had one complaint it’s that it’s a little too balanced in it’s language, but POSTnotes are supposed to inform rather than influence and let’s be fair here, this document is staggering in comparison to everything coming out of the FDA.

Key points are

  • A growing body of evidence shows that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco.
  • There is evidence showing that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit tobacco.
  • Current evidence suggests that e-cigarettes do not encourage tobacco smoking among non-smokers or children.
  • Public perceptions of harm are changing: 25% of the UK public think that e-cigarettes present a risk of harm similar to that of tobacco smoking, compared with 7% in 2013.

Read the full POSTnote summary here, or head here for the full PDF. And of course, share the points made with anyone that needs their opinion of vaping changing.