Electronic Cigarettes

Health written question – answered on 25th February 2014.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2014, Official Report, column 606, if he will assess the effects of e-cigarettes on passive smokers in cars; and what estimate he has made of the cost of prescribing e-cigarettes through the NHS.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The limited number of studies conducted to date indicate that the risk of passive exposure to electronic cigarette vapour is small relative to tobacco cigarettes. Further research was, however, recommended to evaluate the impact of e-cigarettes on indoor air quality and to estimate any possible effects of passive inhalation of e-cigarette vapour. There is no research assessing the risks to health in small confined spaces, such as cars.

No estimate has been made of the cost of prescribing licensed e-cigarettes. Any e-cigarette licensed as a medicine would be treated as a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence public health guidance on smoking harm reduction. The revised European Union Tobacco Products Directive makes provision for e-cigarettes not subject to medicines licensing to be regulated as consumer goods with specific requirements set out in the directive.

The current cost of prescribing NRT on the national health service can be found in the Prescription Cost Analysis section of the NHS Business Services website at:

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/PrescriptionServices/3494.aspx

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Annotations

Robert Feal-Martinez
Posted on 26 Feb 2014 1:51 pm (Report this annotation)

This answer is of course complete twaddle, the vapour emitted is totally harmless water vapour, as is 90% of tobacco smoke.

The pharmaceutical industry are frighted of the competition as are the tobacco industry. Chemist chains like Boots are more than happy to stock the products as they remove the harmful elements of tobacco smoking.

NICE and the NHPA are merely acting as agents for BigD.