I do not have an explanation for the kinds of advertising that have been approved, but some advertising is still permitted. The information that is being put out is that no advertising is allowed.
There are particular concerns for people with serious mental illness, given that about one-third of all tobacco consumption is by people with current mental health problems. I could go into some of the complications of smoking and the relationship between nicotine and some of the psychotropic medications that are used. The Royal College of Psychiatrists states that e-cigarettes,
“seem to be fairly effective in helping smokers stop or control their smoking”,
but it goes on to say:
“Although they seem to be safe, we aren’t yet clear about longer-term health risks”.
Any benefits or disadvantages to public health are not yet well established. This reflects concerns over e-cigarettes’ effectiveness as a smoking cessation aid, the variability of the components of e-cigarette vapour and the absence of the significant health benefit associated with the dual use of e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. The BMA strongly believes that a regulatory framework is essential. I hope that noble Lords will agree with the medical experts who have supported these regulations.