Royal College of Physicians or RCP in Wales disagrees and does not support the ban on electronic cigarettes in public places. The chairman of the Tobacco Advisory Group at RCP, Professor John Britton, said that tobacco legislation is inappropriate for the electronic cigarettes.
The public ecig ban was proposed by the Welsh Government. According to the doctors, the devices could help in significantly reducing smoking rates and prevent untimely and unnecessary deaths. RCP disagrees with the Welsh government’s ecigarette ban in enclosed public places because the devices are way out of smoking for many smokers.
Yes To Regulation No To Prohibition
RCP supports regulations for the devices. However, the doctors group supports not the plan of the government on ecigarette ban.
RCP stated that based on available evidence, the group believes that ecigs can help reduce the prevalence of smoking. Eigs have the potential to prevent many deaths as well as episodes of grave and serious diseases. The social inequalities in terms of health brought about and exacerbated by tobacco smoking, RCP said, can also be reduced.
RCP Statement On Electronic Cigarettes
According to the released statement of the RCP, tobacco remains the biggest public health issue in the UK. There are 100,000 deaths occurring each year and for each death there are also 20 smokers suffering from smoke-related diseases.
Several reports have been published by the RCP to advocate for harm reduction for the tobacco smoking people. It was in 2007 when the group published a report particularly on harm reduction in nicotine addiction. Since the report was published, the use of ecigarettes has rapidly grown and emerged.
It is recognized by RCP that ecigs and other novel nicotine delivery devices could offer an affordable effective and easily available retail alternative to the conventional cigarettes. Harm reduction could become a reality through these innovations. This was proposed in the RCP’s 2007 report.
The group also recognizes that the latest products also present probable risks and opportunities for the health of an individual and the entire population. Thus, it advocates for a proportionate regulation that could maximize the overall benefit on public health.
Proportionate Ecigarette Regulation
Regulations must ensure that the products will deliver nicotine safely and effectively. They must also ensure that the promotion and advertising do not focus or target young people and non-smokers. Advertising and use should also not undermine the smoking prevention policies. Thus, RCP supports regulations of ecigs as medicines.
Ecig use in the UK must be closely monitored so that trends that will counter public health are identified and addressed promptly.
Ecigs As Medicine?
One article has been previously written by Global Health, Economics, and Development senior fellow Thomas Bollyky on how ecigs can be saved. He wrote that there are benefits that the ecig industry could reap benefits if the devices are treated as medicines rather than tobacco.
As medicines, ecigs can avoid high taxes and innovations would probably not become too hampered. Yet, there are also probable disadvantages from being regulated as medicines. Medicinal regulations, like tobacco product regulations, involve high expenses that many small ecig companies would not be able to afford.
As medicines, ecigs also need to compete with almost saturated medical devices and medicines industry. It will also be inconvenient for smokers to access the devices that they believe could save them from their doom.
Regulated as medicines, ecigs will no longer be as freely available as they are now. As medicines, smokers need to first see their doctors and then ask for a prescription. Vape shops and specialty ecig stores and other stores selling ecigarettes would most likely just close down since only pharmacies could sell the approved smoke cessation ecigarettes. If product quality and safety are the concerns of experts, medicinal regulations are most likely not the only way to ensure these with electronic cigarettes.