The British Parliament plans to hold a live debate on January 18. The topic of the debate will focus on the regulation of e-cigarettes in the UK, the 10th Conference of the Parties on Tobacco Control (COP10) to be held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Panama, and the organization and the UK. The government’s different stances on e-cigarettes unfold. The debate, initiated by MP Andrew Lewer, aimed to examine and challenge the WHO's stance against e-cigarettes, particularly on policies that ban or over-regulate e-cigarettes, heated tobacco and oral nicotine pouches.
The World Health Organization has long been committed to controlling the use of tobacco and nicotine products, especially e-cigarettes. According to a report on December 14, 2023, WHO emphasized the need to take urgent action to control e-cigarettes to protect children and non-smokers and minimize health hazards to the population. WHO points out that the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes is highly addictive and harmful to health.
At the same time, the UK's position is significantly different from that of the WHO. The UK government has long supported e-cigarettes as an alternative to reduce the harm of smoking. According to the British government, e-cigarettes can help smokers quit smoking and are far less harmful than traditional tobacco products. A report from the British Policy Exchange shows that smoking has a huge impact on the economy, and reducing smoking rates can not only improve health conditions and reduce the burden on the National Health Service (NHS), but also promote productivity and economic growth.
The debate in the British Parliament is expected to cover a variety of areas, including concerns about the WHO's influence on British health policy and calls for the British delegation to adhere to its position on the role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation on the international stage.
This debate in the UK Parliament provides a rare opportunity for the public to understand the controversy and complexities of e-cigarettes in the global tobacco control enterprise. This debate is expected to shed new light on the future development of global tobacco control policy.