United Kingdom

Electronic cigarettes are not a competition, but vaper won in Britain

The news of e-cigarette brand entering British hospitals has been taken as a positive case by all kinds of e-cigarette practitioners in the world. E-cigarettes have always been very low-key in Britain, and the attitude of the British government is obviously different from that of the FDA authorities in the United States.

In recent years, many of the strong support for the domestic and foreign electronic cigarette industry comes from the United Kingdom.

For example, Luo Yonghao quoted for FLOW that “reasonable estimates show that electronic cigarettes are 95% less harmful to health than traditional cigarettes”. With the help of smoking cessation services, it can help most smokers quit smoking altogether, ” according to many years of research by the British Ministry of Public Health.

Electronic cigarettes are not a competition, but vaper won in Britain

The famous “Cotton Ball Experiment” in the British BBC documentary “Electronic cigarette: Miracle or Threat” makes the public realize the difference between cigarette burning and electronic cigarette vaping very intuitively.

Cotton Ball Experiment

In Britain, e-cigarettes are no more than seven times as toxic as cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not kill casually. E-cigarettes do not easily induce minors. The Prime Minister does not repeatedly mention e-cigarettes in the social media. Most importantly, when official agencies analyze the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes, they always compare them with burning cigarettes. Most of these up-to-date research reports are used to demonstrate the detrimental effect of electronic cigarettes on cigarettes.

Therefore, it is no mistake to say that Britain is the gospel of electronic cigarettes.


British Tobacco Control: Smoking e-cigarettes is OK, but not cigarettes!

In fact, it is policy that can create a good environment for e-cig good word-of-mouth.

First of all, Britain is a country with strict smoking control. The public health problems caused by burning cigarettes are the same as most countries in the world, and the actual anti-smoking campaign in Britain can be considered very strong. According to a 2007 British statistics, among the 30 major European countries, the UK has the broadest range of tobacco control measures, including price control, resources for tobacco control, and treatment for quitting smoking.

British Tobacco Control

Since 2007, British authorities have banned people from smoking cigarettes in any enclosed environment (except in designated rooms in some hotels, nursing homes and prisons).

In addition, the British authorities have always believed that electronic cigarettes are a harmless way to obtain nicotine.

In 2018, members of the House of Commons applied to the government for the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the NHS medical prescriptions, which means that smokers who need to quit smoking can obtain e-cigarettes through health insurance.

The conversion rate of electronic cigarettes among British traditional smokers is also relatively high. Since 2010, the number of smokers using electronic cigarettes has continued to rise. In 2018, about 20% of the old smokers have converted to electronic cigarette users, while 60% of the old smokers have contacted and tried to use electronic cigarettes.

More than 95% of the current e-smokers in Britain are old smokers who have smoked traditional cigarettes, and the attraction to non-smokers is low.

For electronic cigarettes, there has never been a legal order prohibiting smoking places, whether indoor or outdoor. But many places will have self-reliance rules, restricting users of electronic cigarettes to swallow clouds and smoke at will, bothering others. These venues include: all airports and airplanes, all railway stations and trains, subway, museums, art galleries, etc.

It is worth mentioning that smoking electronic cigarettes while driving requires careful consideration. It’s very likely that you’ll be parked by cops and fined nine points (12 points every three years for holding a British driver’s license) plus a fine of 2500 pounds. This is completely different from the use of electronic cigarettes when driving in our cognitive range. Because in a high-speed car in the smoke, is tantamount to putting yourself and others in danger at the same time. (So if you must smoke electronic cigarettes while driving in the UK, it is recommended to smoke a pod vape instead of a box mod, and to ensure that every mouthful of cigarettes is puffed out of the window.)

British Tobacco Control

In short, electronic cigarettes are relatively unrestrained in the UK, but it does not mean that they can “set themselves free” completely. Compliance with specific rules in different places is the basis.


Application, Review, Regulation

The European Union Tobacco Products Direction (TPD) was fully implemented in May 2016 to regulate the manufacturing, design, packaging, sales and advertising of all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarette products to be marketed in the UK need to comply with Article 20 of the EUTPD standard and be subject to the full supervision of the Medicines & Health Care Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

TPD rigidly stipulates that the nicotine content of electronic cigarettes should not exceed 20mg/mL, that is, 2% of the nicotine content (this figure is 24% before 2017), and that the volume of the vape juice container should not exceed 10mL, and that the pod and disposable products should not exceed 2mL.

Application, Review, Regulation

On the packaging, all e-liquid products need to be clearly marked with the contents and warnings on the packaging.

Any e-cigarette products entering the EU market need to be strictly tested, including e-cigarette emissions analysis, e-liquid composition analysis, nicotine emissions, production processes and so on. Caffeine, pigments, taurine and other ingredients are strictly included in the illegal ingredients.

This series of audits takes about six months and is subject to approval by the UK Drug and Medical Products Regulatory Agency before going public.


E-cigarette advertising depends on buses

According to the requirement, even though the British government has publicly recognized e-cigarettes, no brand of e-cigarettes can publicize its products directly or indirectly through television, publications, audio broadcasting, offline activities, name sponsorship, etc. In other words, e-cigarettes are basically the same as traditional tobacco, and no hype is allowed. Television and radio advertisements of traditional tobacco were banned by EU law in 1990 and 1996 respectively. Publications, e-mails, billboards and name sponsorship have also become history from the British Tobacco Advertising Act of 2002.

The only e-cigarette content that can be released is brand and retail websites, which must be authentic, such as product parameters and profiles. The “non-sponsored” content published on personal social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog, etc.) is also not strictly restricted.

In the UK, the only advertising platform for e-cigarettes is outdoor advertising, including cinema posters, outdoor posters, bus posters and so on.

E-cigarette advertising depends on buses

Online media has the advantages of high speed, wide range, diverse forms and rich content. In contrast, outdoor advertising gives e-cig brands some freedom of publicity while restricts the circulation channels, so that nicotine and tobacco products reduce the “eye-catching” opportunities.


Electronic cigarettes help reduce the national medical burden

Sandwell General Hospital and Birmingham City Hospital, which legally sell e-cigarettes in the UK, are both NHS hospitals, i.e. NHS Trust Hospitals.

E-cigarette vendors in British hospitals
E-cigarette vendors in British hospitals

The universal medical service system, commonly known as “universal health insurance”, was born after World War II, emphasizing the equality of citizens and the wide acceptance of medical service, including short-term visitors and tourists. Therefore, NHS even has the name of “British National Treasure”.

E-cigarette vendors in British hospitals

In the American director Michael Moore’s documentary Medical Insider, it can be seen that British hospitals have no charge window, no cost to see a doctor, high quality medical services and so on. By contrast, the United States has high medical costs and cumbersome health care processes.

However, this enviable social welfare system benefits the people and imposes a great budget burden on government departments. In 2016-2017, the NHS budget accounted for more than 30% of the total public service budget; in 2017-2018, the NHS budget exceeded 140 billion pounds.

The BBC says that no matter how much money is invested in the NHS system, it will never be able to make ends meet.

The Health and Social Welfare Ordinance 2012 overhauled the NHS architecture, shifted responsibility for public health to the local government, and on April 1, 2013, established a new branch, the Public Health England (PHE).

Public Health England (PHE).

Traditional tobacco, which can lead to a variety of chronic diseases and other national and government burdens, seems to have become one of PHE’s primary public health problems.

According to the British government statistics, 78,000 people die every year from smoking-related diseases. Of the inpatients, 25% were smokers. In addition, 64% of people seeking help from mental health institutions had smoking habits.

The bitter consequences of cigarettes can only be paid by the national government.

Traditional tobacco, which can lead to a variety of chronic diseases and other national and government burdens, seems to have become one of PHE's primary public health problems. According to the British government statistics, 78,000 people die every year from smoking-related diseases. Of the inpatients, 25% were smokers. In addition, 64% of people seeking help from mental health institutions had smoking habits. The bitter consequences of cigarettes can only be paid by the national government.

Therefore, the large proportion of traditional smokers and many health problems caused by smokers have become the reason why PHE joins hands with NHS to vigorously control smoking.

In the official five-year plan for tobacco control for 2017-2022, e-cigarettes were mentioned, saying that PHE would continue to conduct annual research on e-cigarettes, including how to better assist smoking cessation and educate relevant professionals to better serve the public.


E-cigarette lethality? The British people refused to agree.

In the past few days, the “electronic cigarette death cases” in the United States have caused social panic, and electronic cigarettes have been on the tip of the wind. Many voices in Britain: Vapers in Britain are safe.

Martin Dockrell, head of the PHE tobacco control agency, said illegal THC and some synthetic cannabinoids were the main culprits of the electronic cigarette accident in the United States. These products were often purchased from unidentified street vendors or even homemade, with no qualifications. In Britain, electronic cigarettes are very different from those in the United States. Any electronic cigarette device and e-liquid legally sold in the United Kingdom can be identified by the official MHRA website. If any unexpected situation occurs, consumers can complain directly to the Yellow Card Scheme about the bad experience of using electronic cigarettes.

yellow card

There is currently no case of serious side effects caused by electronic cigarettes in the UK.

Linda Bauld, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and also a public health expert, supported the statement, saying: “Those electronic cigarettes that cause life danger in the United States can never be these conforming nicotine products on the European market. All the evidence points to illegal cannabis products, including vitamin E acetic acid.”

Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioral medicine at Oxford University, said the cases were worrying and needed further investigation. And all official agencies in Britain prefer electronic cigarettes to cigarettes. This health advice should not be changed.

By the way, any entertainment marijuana and products containing THC ingredients are controlled substances in the UK. Medical and industrial cannabis is legal.


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