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If the public were not bemused by the mixed messages in relation to e-cigarettes, surely they would have been by any reliance by Public Health England on the data published by Dr Brown and Professor West. However achieved, reduction is smoking rates is most welcome but, from afar, it seems extraordinary that the impact of plain tobacco packaging and an unprecedented decline in tobacco affordability is discounted in favour of a unidimensional view that all good things are related to e-cigarette use - a smoking cessation strategy still employed by a minority of British smokers many of whom may have otherwise used equi-effective supervised nicotine replacement therapy. There is no reason to believe that e-cigarettes should be more effective in lower SES groups but every reason to believe that affordability would be more impactful.
I have received honoraria for SCME Lectures and Advisory Board membership in relation to Respiratory Disease management from GlaxoSmithKline a manufacturer of smoking cessation products
03 October 2017
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University NSW Australia 2109