UKVIA Responds to COT Review

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) welcomes the latest review by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) into vaping. COT has investigated both electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), collectively abbreviated to E(N)NDS.

COT is an independent scientific committee, providing advice to the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health and Social Care, and other agencies in the UK.

The review finds that E(N)NDS products, when produced and used appropriately, are ‘likely to be associated with a reduction in overall risk of adverse health effects, although the magnitude of the decrease will depend on the effect in question’ when replacing cigarettes.

COT also examined the role of potential toxicity in vaping aerosols. The review again found that the ‘use of E(N)NDS products may be associated with a reduced risk compared with (conventional cigarettes), but this should not be taken as meaning that these products are risk-free.’ The UKVIA is clear that vaping products are only for adult vapers and smokers.

The review highlighted best practise in manufacturing and production as the way to minimise risks. COT states that ‘fidelity of construction, materials used, and operating capabilities’ are vital considerations for devices, while for e-liquids ‘formulants should be derived from a reputable source, and non-standard constituents should not be included.’

The COT review also touched upon incidents of lung injury seen in the United States, confirming vitamin E acetate as ‘strongly linked’ to the cases. COT further notes that ‘this substance is banned from UK-regulated nicotine vaping products.’

UKVIA director John Dunne reacted to COT’s latest publication:

“We welcome this review, as we do all contributions to the growing vaping literature, as it helps us better understand the harm reduction and public health potential of vaping.

“The UKVIA is heartened to see that COT confirms a likely overall risk reduction for those moving from cigarettes to vaping, as this is a cornerstone of our mission.”

COT chair, Professor Alan Boobis, said:

“Our assessment on e-cigarettes largely reinforces the scientific consensus to date on their relative safety, that while not without risk they are significantly less harmful than smoking.”

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