Global Tobacco Control: What To Do About E-Cigarettes?

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room 230B (San Jose Convention Center)
Deborah Arnott ,Action on Smoking and Health, London, United Kingdom
Smoking remains the major preventable cause of death killing 6 million people annually. This is a choice we make as a global society, as it is possible to reduce the burden of addiction, disease and premature death attributed to tobacco. Currently, electronic cigarettes are only covered by consumer product regulation. There is little evidence to-date of harm from e-cigarettes, especially in comparison to smoking. Yet, some groups are calling for their outright ban, while others are campaigning for public place bans. From the middle of 2016 they will come under the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive, except where therapeutic claims are made or they contain over 20 mg/ml of nicotine, when they will require medicines authorization. The World Health Organization, The US Food and Drug Administration and several influential governments are beginning to propose sweeping new rules extending regulatory authority from cigarettes to these popular nicotine delivery devices. Approaches clearly differ. My talk will provide insights into the best policy-making practices and pitfalls encountered by Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), a front-line campaign organization working for greater harm reduction and product regulation, both inside the UK and internationally. A clear focus will be on counteracting moralistic dogma and separating fact from fiction about what the scientific evidence is actually telling us at this crucial moment in the overall debate.