The Electronic Cigarette to be Regulated in the UK
July 06, 20131 min read
While you can still get an electronic cigarette in the UK, they will soon be regulated like medicines. As it stands, electronic cigerettes can be purchased without any restrictions. This will all change in 2016, when the electronic cigarette will be subjected to more stringent testing and will also have to be licensed as nicotine-containing products - however, they will still be sold over the counter.
As it stands, about 1.3 people in the UK use an electronic cigarette. These battery powered cigarettes turn nicotine into vapour and while the vapour is still inhaled, the harmful effects of tobacco smoke are avoided. Still, the amount of nicotine in the cigarettes has been shown to differ from the amount indicated on the package. Also, electronic cigarettes are relatively new, and there have not been enough studies done to determine long term effects. However, they are deemed to be safer than smoking tobacco.
The UK is one of the only countries where the electronic cigarette is sold over the counter. Many countries have banned them altogether, and other countries only sell them in pharmacies.
Some anti-smoking groups want to make sure children and non-smokers are not targeted as potential buyers of these tobacco alternatives. However, there is no evidence to show non-smokers are drawn to this option. Electronic cigarette users are the same people who use nicotine patches. While the long term effects are unknown, the long term effects of tobacco smoke are known, and if these e-cigarettes offer a bridge to a smoke free life, then the juice could be worth the squeeze.
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