LONDON, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- A call for a relaxation of rules on e-cigarettes was made Friday in a report by politicians who described conventional cigarette smoking in Britain as national health crisis.
If used correctly, e-cigarettes could be a key weapon in the stop-smoking arsenal for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee concluded.
In a major report on e-cigarettes, the committee said they should not be treated in the same way as conventional cigarettes.
The report said e-cigarettes, estimated as 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes, are too often being overlooked as a stop smoking tool by the NHS, especially in mental health units where patients are often banned from using them.
Committee members want regulations relaxed relating to e-cigarettes' licensing, prescribing and advertising of their health benefits. Their level of taxation and use in public places must be reconsidered, the report added.
Around 2.9 million people in Britain currently use e-cigarettes, and it has been estimated that about 470,000 people are using them as an aid to stop smoking, the report said.