The United Kingdom is probably the most pro-vaping country in the world, and a new anti-smoking policy released this week takes vaping laws even further – the department of health plans to actively promote vaping as an alternative to smoking.
The British government released a new tobacco control plan on Tuesday, following months of lobbying by ASH and other state-funded pressure groups. It’s not quite clear why a new plan was needed, apart from to justify the funding of the groups involved in carrying it out – since the previous one expired, smoking prevalence in the UK has been falling at record rates – but the government has caved into pressure and released one anyway. For vapers it isn’t actually bad news.
While the plan’s introduction gives credit for falling smoking rates to measures like plain packs and smoking bans, buried in the body of the report is an acknowledgement that e-cigarettes have actually played a major role. Page 15 gives unambiguous government backing for reduced harm products and stresses that vaping is much less dangerous than smoking. This section commits Public Health England to adding pro-vaping messages to anti-smoking campaigns, which will hopefully counter negative perceptions driven by the misleading claims of some journalists and anti-nicotine activists.