PHE Expert Calls for E-Cigarette Regulation
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that only 0.14% of people surveyed had never smoked before taking up e-cigarettes. The research has gone some way towards easing fears that the use of e-cigarettes would normalise smoking and lead to more people taking up the habit.
As the number of smokers continues to decrease in line with the increase in e-cigarette use, Public Health England Director of Health and Wellbeing Professor Kevin Fenton feels that it is essential the new products are regulated. Speaking in Metro, he said, “With one in eight smokers now using e-cigarettes, it is essential that people can be assured of their quality and safety. Balanced and effective regulation of e-cigarettes will help manage the risks and maximise the potential for these products to replace smoking – greatly reducing smoking-related disease that kills nearly 80,000 people in England every year.” E-cigarettes sales have been rising steadily since they were introduced in 2006 with more than 2 million people now thought to be using them in the UK.
The latest smoking rates released by the ONS show figures are highest in the North East of England where 22.3% of the population still smoke. The average figure for Great Britain has fallen from 40% in 1974 to 19%.