UK smoking ban: Smokers may be forced to kick the habit and start vaping – scientific warning | Politics | News

Dr Nveed Chaudhary’s call for urgent action comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid has a review of tobacco products set to be published soon with the aim of making the UK ‘smoke-free by now’ 2030″. Dr Chaudhary, who previously worked for tobacco giants Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Imperial, hailed UK public health policy for already being at the forefront of the world in promoting e-cigarette alternatives to traditional “fuel” smoking. “. But he said the review offered an opportunity for a big step forward that could have an impact around the world.

But representatives of smokers’ consumer groups have warned that “bullying” will be counterproductive and the ban will never work.

Dr Chaudhary said: “Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the world which kills thousands of people every year.

“Banning smoking tomorrow would force smokers to use e-cigarettes, which will end up saving many, many lives.”

He continued, “Unless we do something like this, we will never see the change we need. We need to manufacture combustible products like cocaine and make them illegal. »

Some studies have shown e-cigarettes to be less than five percent as harmful as traditional tobacco cigarettes.

He also said that while big tobacco companies are talking about people quitting smoking, “combustible cigarettes keep the light on” for their companies and they need to be pushed to invest in safer vaping products.

Dr Chaudhary praised the UK for not following World Health Organization (WHO) policy which has sought to ban or restrict e-cigarettes.

Countries like India and Brazil have banned the products while still allowing very high levels of traditional cigarette smoking causing cancer and other significant health issues.

He also believes a ban would solve the problem of illicit cigarettes being smuggled into the UK and sold under fake brands in markets and on the internet.

According to anti-tobacco campaign group ASH, the annual cost of smoking to the UK economy is around £17.4billion.

This includes £2.5billion spent on health problems caused by smoking by the NHS, £13.2billion in lost productivity due to illness and £1.2billion in social spending.

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He told that much of UK policy at present is correct, including allowing flavored products which are currently restricted in the US.

He pointed to studies that have shown that flavored products “are a way out of traditional tobacco products and get people to quit.”

But he said the government needed to review its policy of doctors prescribing e-cigarettes and allow them to entice smokers to switch to more potent products.

At the moment they can prescribe weak 20mg products, but 40mg products have to go through a lengthy approval process.

He said: “If we can make it easier for smokers to access stronger e-cigarette products, it will help them quit traditional cigarettes more easily.”

The Independent Government Review chaired by Javed Khan is due to deliver its report on May 25.

The comments infuriated the consumer group, Forest, which represents smokers.

Simon Clark, director of smokers group Forest, said: “You cannot intimidate or coerce smokers into vaping. Smokers should be informed about reduced risk products, but if they have to switch from one legal product to another, it is their choice.

“The ban rarely works. Banning cigarettes will simply lead to cigarettes being sold underground, creating a huge black market. The only people who will benefit are the criminal gangs who will gladly sell cigarettes to anyone, including children.

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