The third annual E-Cigarette Summit will take place at the Royal Society in London on the 12th November 2015 and will provide an evidence based perspective on the public health issues raised by the growing popularity of e-cigarettes.
The issue of how public health should respond to the exponential growth of e-cigarettes remains a contentious issue and continues to divide scientists, policy makers and health professionals alike. The E-Cigarette Summit has established itself as a neutral environment for scientists, policy makers, medical and public health professionals and e-cigarette stakeholders to come together and look at the latest scientific research and evidence available on e-cigarettes and debate their impact in context of public health and regulation.
Alongside examining the latest evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes for users and bystanders, The E-Cigarette Summit will also address broader debates including evidence on Gateway for children and non-smokers, advertising and marketing, use in public places and the conflicts arising from the tobacco industry’s dual corporate ownership of tobacco harm reduction products and cigarettes. The role that e-cigarettes could play in ending or extending the smoking epidemic will remain one of the most fiercely fought debates in public health history.
For policy makers/advisors, the weight of making the right decision cannot be underestimated. From outright bans to higher taxation the way that each country introduces, interprets and implements legislation, including consumer and medical licensing routes, will have far reaching consequences. Setting the regulatory bar at the correct level, will be vital to harnessing the opportunities that e-cigarettes could offer while remaining responsive to a fast moving and emerging market, that neither health professionals nor governments have been involved in creating.
The E-Cigarette Summit will include high level briefings from experts and encourage interaction through panel debates and open floor discussions. Questions will be explored in a balanced and objective environment allowing attendees to build their knowledge and share their viewpoints. So, are-cigarettes a valuable harm reduction strategy or a tacit U-turn on decades of effective tobacco control efforts? Whichever side of the debate you fall on, this is likely to be one of the most significant public health issues for a generation.
Smoking is the biggest single cause of preventable death in the developed world, and causes more than 5 million deaths per year with trends suggesting that tobacco use will result in more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030. The devastating effect of long-term smoking cannot be underestimated, with up to half of all lifetime smokers dying from smoking related diseases and many more suffering a compromised quality of life.
Despite these known risks, tobacco products and cigarettes remain readily available. This fact makes the debate over whether to regulate e-cigarettes as strictly as cigarettes– which are estimated to be up to 95% safer – highly controversial and has divided opinion amongst health campaigners and policy makers.
The E-Cigarette Summit will provide a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to debate and explore the future of e-cigarettes, and will include high-level panel debates from opposing perspectives to ensure a balanced and objective debate.
In particular, this event will be relevant to: