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ITV News Index

ComRes interviewed 2,027 British adults online between 17th and 19th January 2014. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.



Date Published: 22 Jan 2014

Categories: Health | International | Public and communities | Public Sector | Social


Manufacturers and World Health Organisation warn of unregulated E-cigarette dangers


The Rise of the E-Cigarette: Tonight
Thursday 23 January at 7.30pm on ITV

A growing battle over E-cigarettes will be revealed on Thursday in the UK's first TV documentary on the subject.  On one side researchers say the electronic alternative to smoking could save millions of lives - yet there are also deep concerns from worrying sources.     

Most products bought by an estimated 1.3 million UK users are manufactured in China, but some manufacturers are concerned. 
Long Xiaobing, CEO of an E-Cig company in Shenzhen, Southern China makes ten million E-cigs a year. He says "Currently, lots of products in this market are not regulated and products vary in quality."  

Another E-cigarette maker, Hua Ou says: "There is no standard available to regulate them. So the market is in a bit of chaos now. Currently many E-cigarettes are quite made similar, with low quality. These are very serious problems".  Both manufacturers insist their own products are good quality, yet they are well placed to make judgements on the wider market.

 New research conducted by the World Health Organization, and shared exclusively with ITV’s Tonight programme shows international concerns are growing. The United Nations health body researched 85 nations and the current affairs programme will reveal the latest, unpublished findings:


·         More than a third of countries (34%) have a ban on E-cigarettes.

·         Almost 40% (37%) won’t allow sales to children.

·         Only 15% of the nations have conducted scientific research into the products.  

 The Rise of the E-cigarette: Tonight investigates the phenomenal growth in the trend for E-cigarettes and how the products promise to allow the nicotine-addicted to avoid 4,000 chemicals found in regular cigarettes. However, eight years after products first appeared in the UK, there appears to be no adequate regulation in Britain, Europe or beyond.


An exclusive poll for the Tonight programme, conducted by ComRes, reveals:

 ·        Britons are more likely to disagree (45%) than agree (39%) that using E cigarettes should be allowed in public indoor places.

·        This is based on widespread knowledge of what electronic cigarettes are, with just 12% saying that they do not really know what E cigarettes are, compared to 82% who say that they do.

·        The main driver of opposition to E cigarettes appears to be their use indoors, as nearly half of Britons (48%) say it is socially acceptable to regularly use an E cigarette in public (when “indoors” is not specified). However, one third (33%) still say using an E cigarette in public is not socially acceptable.

·        When it comes to personal use, one in seven Britons (15%) say that they are smokers and have used E cigarettes to assist them in giving up smoking.

·        A similar proportion (14%) say that they have used an E cigarette in a public, smoke-free place.


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