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Bradford councillor backing electronic cigarettes
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Mark Benson Offline
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Bradford councillor backing electronic cigarettes
In what may turn out to be a sign of the times, Conservative group leader Cllr Simon Cooke has gone public with his opinion on electronic cigarettes and how they could well turn out to be the best quit smoking aid in our lifetime. Over the last few years we have become accustomed to politicians, and the "establishment", closing rank and dismissing the positives of electronic cigarettes and this is something of a breath of fresh air to see a Conservative councillor with a different opinion.

It will be interesting to see how the political fraternity in Bradford react to his comments and indeed whether increased pressure on the council’s health board has any real long-term impact.

Ex-smoker talking sense

While many politicians like to throw out as many "soundbites" as possible it is worth noting that Simon Cooke is an ex-smoker himself. He confirmed that if electronic cigarettes had been around when he stopped smoking he would have made full use of them. As it happens, like so many ex-smokers in the past and even today, the official "smoke cessation aids" seem to revolve around nicotine patches and nicotine gum.

Mr Cooke is part of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board and is set to write to the director of public health, Anita Parkin. It is also worth noting that in the article highlighting the councillor’s comments it was confirmed that a number of other public bodies seem to be going more "ecig friendly".

NHS stop smoking services

While the official line within the NHS says that electronic cigarettes are unregulated and unlicensed it seems a number of regional NHS stop smoking services are actively engaging in discussions about electronic cigarettes. While they can give general advice about the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes, at this moment in time, because of the regulatory situation, they are unable to supply these products. Many people looking to reduce their tobacco intake and eventually stop smoking will be hoping that this situation changes in the short to medium term.

A spokesman for the NHS confirmed that "electronic cigarettes are not currently recognised as a smoking cessation aid in the UK by health providers" which effectively means they cannot be officially promoted as a smoking cessation aid.

Mimicking the act of smoking

Time and time again advocates of the vaping industry have highlighted the fact that electronic cigarettes are at worst less harmful than their tobacco counterparts. Many have also discussed the fact that electronic cigarettes mimic the actions associated with smoking tobacco cigarettes thereby assisting the fight many people have to cut back on their tobacco intake. We can only hope that more politicians will follow suit and if nothing else at least we can have an open and honest debate about the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes.


It is certainly a breath of fresh air to see a politician openly discussing electronic cigarettes as a potential smoking cessation aid. Indeed this story is given more credence when you bear in mind that the councillor in question is himself an ex-smoker. It will be interesting to see if this move gathers momentum or, as many critics would prefer, those against the vaping industry again manage to stifle open debate.

For more information on OK Electronic Cigarettes and the various products available please visit the OKCigs website.
23-07-2015 05:03 PM
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Michael (07-23-2015)
Michael Offline
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RE: Bradford councillor backing electronic cigarettes
Thanks for another great blog, Mark! It's really refreshing to see political figures stepping up and speaking the truth. I know it's a bit of a risk on the politician's part to speak up about something like this since there are so many anti-vaping groups, and I'm glad Mr. Cooke (sorry, I don't know the proper way to address a politician in the UK) has taken that risk on behalf of all of us. There are many times where it can feel like we don't have much of a voice, especially for those of us who are not involved in the political sphere, so it's very encouraging when someone speaks out with a voice loud enough to be heard above the din. 
23-07-2015 06:43 PM
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