South West England MEP Sir Graham Watson is backing calls from constituents to stamp out attempts to restrict the availability and strength of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes provide users with a nicotine boost similar to conventional cigarettes, but contain none of the ingredients connected to smoking related disease such as tar or tobacco.
Last year, over 700,000 people took to lighting up an electronic fag. This year that figure is set to top one million. Cancer Research UK believes that up to 60,000 lives could be saved in ten years from lung and throat cancer if smokers switch to clean nicotine alternatives.
“I am opposed to new rules. It would be absolutely cataclysmic to bring in new rules which would reduce consumer’s access to the product.
“E-cigarettes are by no means perfect I admit. There are concerns over how e-cigs are marketed, for instance I would like to see more robust labelling and measures to protect children from using them. But they are proving to be the most effective way of moving smokers off conventional cigarettes and reducing their addiction. And with no secondary impact on others, a cultural shift to e-cigs could result in more and more people returning to pubs and social clubs.
“I do not wish to see restrictions that would stop consumers from having the opportunity to quit the habit. Let smokers judge for themselves if they are a proven remedy for quitting.
“While nicotine is harmful it is less harmful than what is for many the alternative, a traditional cigarette.”
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