As a market leading manufacturer, Fontem Ventures is committed to protecting consumer safety by setting exemplary standards in manufacturing quality and responsibility. Moreover, we support sound, evidence-based, proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes.
The protection of children and young people is an important part of our stance on responsibility, and we fully support the current UK rules on e-cigarette advertising and marketing which limits the extent to which e-cigarette advertising can target or appeal to an under-18 audience.
It is important, however, that legislation also takes into account the general consensus among the public health community that e-cigarettes offer a significant public health benefit.
E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, do not burn, and do not smoulder unlike tobacco products.
Fontem Ventures therefore believes Northern Ireland requires a regulatory approach that protects minors while also encouraging existing cigarette smokers to shift to e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco consumption. It is therefore inappropriate to conflate e-cigarettes with tobacco products by incorporating them into tobacco-specific legislation.
Public Health England has concluded that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking and that there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers.
Studies funded by Cancer Research UK found that people attempting to quit smoking who used e‑cigarettes were approximately 60% more likely to succeed than those who used willpower alone or over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies. The same report noted that e-cigarettes could “substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking”
Meanwhile, experts from University College London estimated that for every million smokers who give up tobacco products in favour of e-cigarettes, more than 6,000 premature deaths could be prevented annually.
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