Government regulation of e-cigarettes will harm competition, increase prices and damage public health. New research released today by the Institute of Economic Affairs finds that excessive regulation of alternative nicotine products will actually do more harm than good.
This new study, Free Market Solutions in Health: The case of nicotine, finds that safer nicotine products are not a gateway to smoking, but a gateway from smoking. Evidence suggests that alternative nicotine products have little appeal to non-smokers, and have a marked impact on helping smokers to quit. Banning e-cigarettes will mean more people continue smoking cigarettes, a vastly unhealthier product.
Smokers should not be discouraged from switching to far less hazardous forms of nicotine. Harm reduction is a better strategy than prohibition.
- The legalisation of alternative nicotine products is good for public health.
Evidence from Sweden shows that alternative products have a dramatic effect on the rates of smoking and smoking-related diseases. Over the last four decades the proliferation of alternative nicotine led to the lowest smoking rate in Europe by the end of the century.
- Government regulation is regressive.
Heavy regulation of e-cigarettes incentivises the consumption of normal cigarettes and hampers the creation of healthier products. Regulation is not succeeding. Countries that employ extensive regulations on cigarettes such as warning labels, high taxes, and smoking bans do not have lower smoking rates than countries which do not use these tactics.
- Smoking regulation harms competition.
The banning and regulation of e-cigarettes is a boon for both the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries as it eliminates competition from alternative products.
- Consumers would benefit from the introduction of new pr