The UK government feels that people who are currently using regular nicotine products and tobacco products would be better served if they switch to electronic cigarettes. This is a remarkable turn of events as previous governments in the UK, US and other nations around the world usually stay relatively silent when it comes to matters pertaining to smoking. Conspiracy theorists suggest that the United States government in particular has an affiliation with tobacco companies. However, the UK government cannot be accused of such a partnership judging by their latest comments.
At one point, electronic cigarettes were under attack from several quarters. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently failed in their attempts to have electronic cigarettes subjected to the same stringent testing as pharmaceutical drugs. This was a significant victory for e-cigarette companies.
UK Government says YES to e-cigarette
Support for e-cigarettes has intensified as of late and the UK government backing is yet another indication that the winds of change are blowing. They feel that the number of people who die each year due to smoking related diseases can be decreased if they make the switch to electronic cigarettes.
This sentiment has been echoed by advocacy groups and users of the product in the United States. For a long time, the problem was that they were not being taken seriously enough.
The so-called ‘nudge’ unit in the UK is a behavioral insight team. For years they have been trying to use scare tactics to discourage people from using regular tobacco products. However, these tactics are no longer effective and people continue to smoke on a consistent basis as the number of deaths from smoking relating illnesses suggests.
So the tactic has changed.Rather than trying to scare people into quitting, they are now being encouraged to switch to a healthier alternative.
The unit believes that millions of deaths related to smoking can be prevented if people switch to the electronic cigarette. Currently in the UK, smoking claims up to 80,000 lives per year.It is obvious that an alternative would be extremely useful. The question is: Will support for e-cigarettes ever come from such a high authority in the United States? Not likely! The reality is that smoking is a big business and a huge amount of money would be lost by enormous corporations if electronic cigarettes were allowed to take a controlling share in the market.
Companies that sell traditional tobacco products make billions of dollars per year and they are heavily taxed (Philip Morris International Inc. enjoyed a revenue of $27 billion in 2010 for example). Users of these products have to purchase them on a consistent basis due to the addictive nature of cigarettes.
The electronic cigarette is cost-effective and does not have to be utilized as often. This may be one of the reasons why there is so much opposition to the product. It threatens to seriously hurt the pockets of large tobacco companies in the United States.There are no active bans on traditional cigarettes except one which prevents smoking in public places. These bans are limited to certain areas. There seems to be far more aggressive tactics being implemented for those who use an electronic cigarette. Hopefully, the support of the UK government will go some way towards helping smokers see the light and make a healthy switch.