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To Vape or Not to Vape? The E-Cigarette Debate

Posted by ECigaVapeUSA on 9/23/2014 to E-Cigarette News
The vaping debate is characterized by confusion and contradiction - but those who have converted to e-cigarettes seem convinced.

The World Health Organisation this month insisted that e-cigarettes should be banned from use indoors because the risk to third parties was too great. 

The health body's decision to weigh in on the vaping debate has added further confusion to what is already a cloudy issue. 

While many highly-respected groups have sounded warning bells over vaping, there is also a vociferous health lobby rallying against over-regulation, arguing that getting smokers to switch to e-cigarettes could actually save lives.

The UK-based anti-smoking charity QUIT was among the high-profile voices raised in protest at WHO's call for a ban.

It cited university studies that prove those who have never smoked are extremely unlikely to use e-cigarettes - despite EU and WHO assertions to the contrary.

"Evidence does not support the view that e-cigarettes are undermining tobacco control," the study added.

Also quick to criticse WHO's call for a blanket ban was Professor Ann McNeill of King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry.

In response to the study, Prof McNeill stated: "Although e-cigarette vapor may be an irritant to people in close proximity to the e-cigarette user, there is no evidence of harm from other people inhaling e-cigarette vapor - unlike the known risks of second-hand cigarette smoke. There is also, as yet, no evidence that e-cigarettes are renormalisng smoking."

Medically referred to as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (Ends), e-cigarettes release a nicotine-infused vapour - but, significantly, they contain no tobacco or tar.

However, with such an onslaught of contradictory information, when it comes to legislation, taxation and regulation, many governments, it seems, are unsure of their next move.

A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed to the Irish Independent that they will "continue to monitor the evidence on the potential harm and the potential benefits of e-cigarettes before deciding the best approach".

They acknowledged that scientific studies and current research is at times conflicting.

Though the devices are currently unregulated, the spokesperson said the Government was poised to take action, recently approving the "drafting of legislation".

"Areas under consideration in the proposed legislation include the prohibition of the sale by and to those under 18 years," they added.

In Ireland, much has been achieved in the last decade in terms of reducing the number of smoking-related deaths and illnesses: a ban in public places; a reduction in the number of smokers by 7.5pc; a reduction in the number of cigarettes sold annually by 1.5bn. The figures from 2004 to the present day are certainly impressive. Little wonder, then, that a bolstered Leinster House has stated that it is committed to making Ireland smoke-free by 2025.

And as those tobacco sales fall, e-cigarette sales rise rapidly. In 2013, e-cigarette sales in Ireland grew by an eye-watering 478pc. It's a pattern being repeated globally. In the UK e-cigarette users have snowballed from 700,000 in 2012 to 2.1 million in 2013. In the US, sales grew 115pc each year between 2009 and 2012.

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