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Millions Of Brits May No Longer Be Allowed To Vape Due To Ban

Millions Of Brits May No Longer Be Allowed To Vape Due To Ban

2021-03-02

Millions of Brits may be forced to give up vaping if new World Health Organization recommendations to outlaw e-cigarettes are implemented.

Around 3.2 million British people smoke e-cigarettes, while business around the technology has also boomed in recent years, with some 2,000 businesses relying on the sector - which is worth more than £2 billion.

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

That could all change, though, if the UK joins more than 30 countries who have already banned vaping.

Understandably the proposal has hit plenty of resistance, with several voices worrying that it would drive up death related to tobacco, with smokers struggling to quit without the step down that vaping provides.

Clive Bates, a tobacco harm expert and the former director of anti-smoking group ASH, said: "The advice is completely irresponsible and bizarre.

"If governments take it seriously, they will be protecting the cigarette trade, encouraging smoking and adding to a huge toll of cancer, heart and lung disease. Something has gone badly wrong here."

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

The specific change that the WHO wants to make would potentially effect 2.4m of Britain's vapers. The report, released by their tobacco regulatory committee, wants to target vapes which allow 'the user to control device features and liquid ingredients'.

This is known as open-vaping and, in an open system, it means that the liquid that's vaporised is refilled manually by the user. The WHO worries that this method allows more dangerous substances to be added to the liquid, which could make it more harmful overall.

That sort of makes sense, but then couldn't you also just add crack to mushy peas?

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

The issue for Britain's economy is that 77 percent of Britain's vapers do so via open-vaping and - while currently public health officials say vaping is 97 percent safer than smoking, and encourage e-cigarettes for those trying to quit tobacco - the proposals will be discussed later this year at a conference in Glasgow.

Expert Peter Hajek, from London's Queen Mary University, told The Sun: "There is no evidence vaping is highly addictive. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit."

His comments were echoed by James Dunworth, from Swansea, who runs a string of vape shops. He said: "A ban would lead to the unnecessary early deaths of smokers and an explosion in the black market."

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

Complicating matters further, though, is the fact that last year there was a case of someone who'd died of vaping-related lung disease in the UK.

Experts at Royal Papworth Hospital, one of the world's leading cardiothoracic hospitals and the UK's main heart and lung transplant centre, published the report, with the image showing that a patient met the criteria for a 'confirmed' diagnosis of vaping-associated lung injury (otherwise known as EVALI).

According to the report, the patient was a previously fit and well man in his 40s who attended the emergency department complaining of chest pain and worsening shortness of breath.

The only underlying health condition he had was the fact that his appendix had been removed some time prior to his hospital admission.


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