Electronic Cigarettes

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 19th October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on levels of smoking of an increase in the take-up of vaping.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has received representations on the link between the levels of (a) vaping and (b) smoking.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing the policy of local stop smoking services in order to promote vaping.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Smoking rates have fallen steeply in recent years at the same time as e-cigarette use has increased. Adult smoking prevalence in England is 14.9%, the lowest rate on record, whilst around 2.5 million people in England use e-cigarettes, the majority of whom no longer smoke. Whilst the link between uptake of vaping and decline in smoking is not straightforward, the latest research suggests that up to 57,000 people a year are quitting smoking through e-cigarette use who would not have quit through other means.

Ministers and officials receive a wide range of representations from different stakeholders regarding smoking and vaping. The Government is committed to keeping the evidence on e-cigarettes under review and Public Health England (PHE) will continue to publish an annual review of the evidence base.

Local stop smoking services are able to promote vaping as a tool to stop smoking, drawing upon advice from PHE and the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training. According to PHE, smokers who combine e-cigarettes with local stop smoking services have some of the highest quit rates of all service users.

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