Monday, 3 February 2014

Welsh Health Minister wants to restrict e-cigarettes because they resemble a legal product

Because they 'renormalise' and 'reglamorise' smoking, says Mark Drakeford, more restrictions should be imposed on e-cigarettes. In almost the same breath, he mentions New Zealand where these things 'are viewed as health products'. Muddle, muddle, muddle.

Mr Drakeford mentions the addictive nature of nicotine, which the Welsh health authorities don't seem to object to prescribing for pregnant women, only recommending caution. See 'Using nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation in pregnancy'. It's not quite clear what their objection to nicotine is, but in any case e-cigarettes are not the first products to offer alternative delivery systems for nicotine.

As it happens I don't object to e-cigarettes being restricted to young people, but the health authorities would be far better advised to let people use them from age 16. That way, they will be able to obtain e-cigarettes legally at an earlier age than they can obtain cigarettes. Given the dastardly character in which tobacco has been painted in the last few years, it's hard to understand what the fuss is about when a product that is thought to be significantly less harmful becomes available.

Do we know that it's significantly less harmful? No? If not, why not?

1 comment:

jredheadgirl said...

The bottom line is that it is really none of their business.

That's what it has all come down to: whether or not some pious busy body has the right to tell you what you can or cannot put into your body.

As for e-cigs mimicking smoking, they can't ban an expression. Hence, this has also become and issue about freedom of expression and free speech.

They're really showing their totalitarian colors now.