Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Overview

Nearly 3m people in the UK use ecigarettes. The market is growing rapidly. The e-cigarette market has been led by small companies, but all the major tobacco companies have products.

A growing body of evidence shows that ecigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco. There is evidence showing that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit tobacco.  Current evidence suggests that e-cigarettes do not encourage tobacco smoking among non-smokers or children. Most e-cigarettes are regulated as tobacco related products, via new EU legislation. There are a wide range of potential impacts of the EU Directive, which are uncertain. Producers must license e-cigarettes as medicines if they make health claims, such as effectiveness as a stop-smoking tool.