Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Response

Ann McNeill and colleagues reply to Martin McKee and Simon Capewell

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 24 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5010
  1. Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction1,
  2. L S Brose, lecturer in addictions1,
  3. R Calder, PhD student1,
  4. S C Hitchman, lecturer in addictions1,
  5. P Hajek, professor of clinical psychology2,
  6. H McRobbie, reader in public health interventions2
  1. 1Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, National Addiction Centre, King’s College London, London SE5 8BB, UK, and UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
  2. 2Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK, and UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
  1. ann.mcneill{at}

McKee and Capewell recently criticised Public Health England’s position on e-cigarettes (ECs)1 and our underlying report2 in the Lancet,3 the media,4 and now The BMJ.5 Their statement “directors of public health and the wider community desperately need advice on EC that is evidence based and free from any suspicion of influence by vested interests”5 is offensive.

We have an extensive track record of research dedicated to understanding smoking behaviour and population and individual approaches to help smokers stop and prevent uptake of smoking; we have published hundreds of primary research articles on smoking, nicotine, and ECs; and we have years of clinical experience in smoking cessation. We have never taken any tobacco or EC industry funds. By contrast, McKee and Capewell are not experts in this field—they have carried out no nicotine dependence, smoking cessation, or EC …

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