Read all about it as electronic cigarettes become hot topic
It is probably a combination of the M6 Toll coach ‘incident’ in July and the increased popularity of electronic cigarettes, but the past couple of months has seen a large amount of press coverage of ecigs on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Financial Times naturally looked at the growth from a financial point of view on the 12th August. It reported:
‘E-cigarettes have been on the market for several years, but few solid statistics are available on their uptake among the UK’s 10m smokers. Estimates for the size of the UK’s e-cigarette market range from £10m up to £70m. According to figures from some of the multitude of e-cigarette makers, about 2m Britons have a tried the devices and 650,000 have become regular users’
The FT confirmed that no electronic cigarette has yet to gain UK approval as a recognised stop smoking aid known as medicinal nicotine replacement therapy – a market it valued at £150m annually – but declared that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is investigating the devices and is scheduled to report back next year. The FT believes ‘In spite of concerns over their safety, the MHRA wants to regulate their use rather than ban them and push smokers back to tobacco cigarettes.’
At the other end of the newspaper market The Sun has also spent time investigating electronic cigarettes – reporting fears about the results of the MHRA report. The tabloid reported that over 2 million Brits have tried e-cigs and over 650,000 use them regularly. It reported Labour Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott as believing that electronic cigarettes had the potential to help millions of tobacco smokers.
As you might expect the US market is bigger, and the debate louder and more extreme on both sides. Popular paper USA today took the opportunity to review the current state of the electronic cigarette market. It reported how use had rocketed from 50,000 in 2008 to 3.5million this year. Celebrity users such as Katherine Hegl were mentioned but perhaps the most interesting quote came from within the medical profession as Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health in a study published in April 2011 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine claimed "E-cigarettes may hold promise as a smoking cessation method." He and two co-researchers found that two-thirds, or 67%, of the 222 smokers queried said they smoked less after using e-cigarettes for six months and nearly a third, or 31%, said they kicked the tobacco habit.
With the continued growth of ecig use, it seems that the press will continue to report on the debates they arouse.
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