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Nicolites – the UK’s favourite brand of e-cigarettes – has welcomed support from a leading national cancer charity which says the devices could save millions of lives every year.

nicolites-logo-colourA health expert from Cancer Research UK says e-cigarettes are more than 100 times safer for smokers than the traditional tobacco alternative.

Speaking on the ITV Tonight focus on e-cigarettes, Professor Robert West, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Cigarettes at the moment are killing in the region of six million people every year. Can you imagine if every one of those cigarette smokers used an electronic cigarette instead – we would see the death toll drop.

“You are talking about potentially saving millions of lives a year – a public health benefit we could hardly have dreamed of years ago.

“While you get people say that we don’t know yet whether e-cigarettes are safe, the answer is we know what the ingredients are that are within them and we know that those are.” He added: “Compared with a cigarette they are 100 times safer if not more.”

Meanwhile, the New Scientist says 15 prominent scientists who have investigated the health consequences of electronic cigarettes have accused European Union regulators of misinterpreting their results. The scientists say the EU aim is to draft an unjustifiably burdensome new law to regulate e-cigarettes.

In a letter to the EU’s health commissioner Tonio Borg, the scientists state that if the newly amended Tobacco Products Directive becomes law as it stands – which could happen as soon as April – it will severely limit the scope for smokers of real cigarettes to give up or cut down by switching to e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine but not the tobacco that contains tar and thousands of other substances harmful to health.

“If wisely regulated, e-cigarettes have the potential to make cigarettes obsolete and save millions of lives worldwide,” the signatories say in the letter, which was also sent to members of the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council of Ministers – the three bodies that will decide the fate of the directive.

“Excessive regulation, on the contrary, will [perpetuate] the existing levels of smoking related disease, death and health care costs,” it continues, pointing out that smoking currently kills 700,000 Europeans each year.

The British Medical Association told New Scientist that longer trials are needed to learn more about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. “Better regulation of e-cigarettes is essential,” said a spokesperson.

Nicolites managing director Nikhil Nathwani said: “It is very pleasing to see that the medical and scientific arguments in favour of electronic cigarettes are beginning to be made loud and clear. It is now widely accepted that e-cigarettes have a major role to play in potentially saving millions of lives by encouraging smokers to switch from traditional tobacco products which contain more than 4,000 carcinogens.

“We agree with the concept of clinical trials and regulation and have always supported the introduction of legislation, but would support Professor West’s assertion that we already know e-cigarettes represent a significant public health benefit.”

This year will see the Nicolites product range expand and the company attempt to take an even tighter grip on the rapidly evolving sector. The e-cigarette market is evolving rapidly as more companies enter the category. Nicolites is well positioned to increase its sales with innovative new products supported by continuous investment.

As the most sold brand in the UK, Nicolites last year secured more than 40% of the independent retailer and convenience store market, with the nearest competitor recording sales of around half that of Nicolites. In 2013, turnover leapt from £6 million to £23 million.

Nicolites is the UK’s favourite brand of electronic cigarettes, stocked by a large number of national retailers including Tesco, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Superdrug, Co-op, WH Smith, Martin McColl and over 10,000 independent pharmacies and convenience stores.

E-cigarettes are designed to look and feel like real cigarettes, but are battery-powered products containing nicotine solution, which is inhaled as a vapour. They contain no tobacco and do not burn, and therefore do not expose users to tar and other carcinogens found in normal cigarettes.

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