Majority of Lib Dems say e-cigarettes should be regulated as medicinal smoking cessation patches or gum!

The words below were copy and pasted from this website:

This is apparently what the Liberal Democrats really think about e cigs, and it has surprised us here at Save e cigs, as there were ( are? ) a few Lib Dems who fought very hard for e cigs.

But it appears they are the minority.

Have a read and then let us know what you think in the comments section – ( but please be polite!)

Majority say e-cigarettes should be regulated as medicinal smoking cessation patches or gum

Electronic cigarettes contain a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporised and inhaled by the user, providing a flavour and physical sensation similar to smoking a cigarette. They do not contain tobacco, which means there is no tar – it is the tar in ordinary cigarettes that kills.

Some say that e-cigarettes will lead to a reduction in people smoking tobacco cigarettes. Others say they are a gateway to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Which of the following statements do you agree with most regarding e-cigarettes?

54% – They should be regulated in the same way as medicinal smoking cessation patches or gum
20% – They should be regulated in the same way as products such as food

14% – They should be treated the same as standard tobacco cigarettes

1% – They should be banned entirely

3% – Other

9% – Don’t know

An interesting response here: over half (54%) of Lib Dems supported the regulation of e-cigarettes as medicinal smoking cessation patches or gum. This was the option Lib Dem MEPs successfully defeated in the European parliament on the grounds it would would have increased e-cigarettes’ cost and reduced their availability in many countries. Their accepted amendment saw e-cigarettes treated in the same as standard tobacco cigarettes, an option favoured by just 14% of party members here. Here’s a sample of your comments…

• As a smoker, I’d say getting rid of them is crazy – we need to think about getting people off cigarettes, and a smoking substitute like this has far more appeal than patches or gum. Having said that, nicotine even without tar isn’t as vanilla as chocolate or whatever, so the food classification strikes me as odd.
• Tax the electronic cigarette if purchased on the high street , if prescribed for addicts to recover from addiction do not tax.
• They shouldn’t be advertised; the advertising of a addictive substances should be banned entirely. Otherwise, restricting access to adults seems entirely sufficient.
• They should be banned entirely: it will not be long before some smart alec developes a method of vaporising most, if not all, hard drugs to be “smoked” and inhaled with these contraptions. Even the Dutch are contemplating outlawing the process because of this risk.
• I suspect the answers to this question will make me consider whether I am in the right party when they are published. Far too many of my fellow Lib Dems are fond of bansturbation… :/
• Restricted to chemist shops, or e cigarette shops.
• Why on earth should anyone be complaining about e-cigarettes? If they stop people from real smoking then they should be supported.
• Thanks to electronic cigarettes I have not touched a real cigarette for more than eight months. I would estimate that over half the smokers at work now smoke electronic cigarettes. I feel far healthier and don’t get out of breath easily like I used to. They are very new, however, and until there is any evidence of harm they should be easily accessible.
• Restricting e-cigarettes threatens what could be the greatest public health advance for years. Tobacco kills so anything that helps people off it must be good.

• My wife uses one sometimes, and I hope that it may help her to reduce her use of cigarettes. It slightly reduces my exposure to passive smoking. If they were available on prescription then there would be another opportunity for the medical advice to be repeated.
• I support the regulation of these products to ensure they are of a safe standard and are not available to minors but I am totally opposed to the use being banned in public places as there is no issue with breathing in second hand smoke, dangerous to health unlike real cigarettes
• We do not have longitudinal studies of the impact of e-cigs, and while the risk is unknown, let’s not kill people. We made that mistake with normal cigarettes.
• There is plenty of evidence that cigarettes are dangerous to people who aren’t smoking them, which it is right for them to be regulated. There is no such evidence for these, so let people get on with their lives.
• I stopped smoking virtually overnight with these. They are far less harmful than cigarettes. It would be madness to ban then whilst still allowing incendiary cigarettes.
• I’m happy with the compromise agreed upon by the European parliament. They are not the same as food, and should not be regulated as such, but it is far from proven that the risk of encouraging smoking comes close to outweighing the advantages to people trying to give up.
• We have no idea what drugs these preparations contain, nor what their long-term effects are. They should therefore either be treated as drugs or food products and their safety evaluated and monitored.
• The passing of the ‘smoke-filled room’ has been accepted socially. It would be hard for organizations to stop the near-equivalent from returning – and for the occasional real cigarette to be spotted. They do make ‘smoking’ acceptable again.
• Why on earth would a more expensive product that is only now becoming as available as cigarettes be a gateway to cigarettes?
• There needs to be regulation of the content and strength of e-cigarettes. Nicotine is a very addictive drug (some say more addictive than herione) so, though having fewer side-effects such as cancer (as far as we know so far), they are not to be encouraged. If tobacco had been discovered today, it would have been treated as a hard drug and rightly banned. Too late, unfortunately.
• All substances should be sensibly regulated with an eye to ensuring the individual is fully aware of risks.

1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with 745 responded in full – and a further 87 in part – to the latest survey, which was conducted between 16th and 22nd April.
Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However,’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.


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