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In a report, it is claimed that e-cigarettes are overlooked as an aid to stop smoking and should be made available on the NHS.

This could include prescribing medically licensed e-cigarettes to assist smoking cessation efforts.

It also suggests that the tax on e-cigarettes should be cut, creating a financial incentive for smokers who use traditional cigarettes to buy the product instead to help them quit their habit.

A report by the Science and Technology Committee said that rules around e-cigarettes should be relaxed to help accelerate already-declining smoking rates.

"Businesses, transport providers and public places should stop viewing conventional and e-cigarettes as one and the same", he said.

The committee said that while "uncertainties" remained about the long-term health impact of the devices, they presented "an opportunity to significantly accelerate already declining smoking rates".

The report's release comes days after scientists cautioned that the view that e-cigarettes aren't damaging should be treated with care.

But the British lawmakers concluded that the balance clearly favoured vaping over tobacco smoking and it urged greater regulatory leniency to allow advertising of the relative benefits of e-cigarettes.

A landmark review by Public Health England (PHE) published in 2015 said vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

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The MPs urged that a tobacco product called "snus" - which is taken in the mouth - is made legal in the United Kingdom, despite the fact it has previously been linked to oral cancer.

The science and technology committee said it has considered evidence from more than 90 organisations including a range of academics, NHS professionals, NICE, and Government departments to inform its recommendations.

- The limit on the strength of refills should be reviewed as heavy smokers may be put off persisting with them-and the restriction on tank size does not appear to be founded on scientific evidence and should therefore urgently be reviewed.

"NHS England's default policy should be that e-cigarettes should be permitted in mental health units".

The report is the latest in a long-running debate about e-cigarettes and their harm.

And in Wales, concern have been raised abut young people using e-cigarettes on a regular basis.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: "Today's call to improve the process to enable e-cigarettes to be licensed as medicines is extremely welcome". Meanwhile, 7.4 million people (15.1 percent of people aged 18 years and above) are classified as current smokers, according 2017 data from the Office for National Statistics.

The group also said that there is no evidence to suggest that it encourages young people to take up smoking tobacco. The BBC article quotes several sources agreeing that e-cigarettes are indeed a safer alternative to normal smoking and deserve to have fewer restrictions.

The University of Birmingham has done research which found the vapourised e-liquid fluid in e-cigarettes has a similar effect on the lungs and body that is seen in regular cigarette smokers and patients with chronic lung disease.


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