Challenges of our Time: Tobacco harm reduction
"How e-cigarettes and vaping devices have transformed tobacco control"

Date and Time:

Tuesday 19 September 2017

12:30 - 2:00pm


Lecture Theatre B4
Cottrell building
University of Stirling

The event is free of charge, but we ask that you register in advance here.

Lecture Abstract:

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the world, accounting for 5 million deaths worldwide per year. Evidence on the health harms of tobacco began to accumulate in the post-war period and was first brought together in the 1962 Royal College of Physician’s report Smoking and Health followed 2 years later by an equivalent Surgeon General’s report in the USA. Governments around the world began to respond by gradually introducing measures to prevent smoking uptake and promote smoking cessation, and in the UK a comprehensive strategy was introduced from 1999 following the publication of the White Paper Smoking Kills. Since then we have seen gradual but consistent declines in smoking in the UK which have accelerated in the past 5 years, with 16% of adults still smoking in 2016. In many ways this is a success story, particularly given the fact that the UK once had the highest rates of smoking in the world, reaching 80% of men in the 1950s.

One of the reasons that prevalence declines have accelerated in recent years may be due to electronic cigarettes. First patented in China in 2004, measureable use became apparent in the UK from 2010 and since then their popularity has soared. E-cigarettes are not a single product but involve many different types and features, and are now used by 2.9 million people in the UK. They are the most popular aid to stopping smoking, used in over a third of quit attempts. The most recent estimates suggest that 1.5 million smokers in the UK have stopped smoking using e-cigarettes. Teenagers are also experimenting with these products but regular use in never smoking children is very low.

This presentation will outline what we know and don’t know about e-cigarettes, drawing on a growing body of evidence from studies conducted at the University of Stirling, our partner Universities in the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and international colleagues. This will include evidence on: safety and risks; health effects; trends in use; smoking cessation; and harm perceptions. The social and political factors that shape regulatory frameworks and public opinion on vaping will also be touched upon by both the presenter and the discussant, as well as the current policy context and future research opportunities


Chair: Sir Kenneth Calman

Sir Kenneth Calman is Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, and Chair of the Board of the National Library of Scotland. He previously served as Deputy Chair of the British Library, and as Vice Chancellor and Warden at the University of Durham. He has also previously chaired the Board of the National Trust for Scotland and led the Calman Commission, a review into Scottish devolution.

Sir Kenneth held the position of Chief Medical Officer in both Scotland (from 1989) and England & Wales (1991-98).

During his surgical career, his clinical interests were in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Transplantation. He was also particularly interested in nutrition, chemotherapy, cancer education, counselling, and patient support groups. He was involved in developing medical education projects and in the supervising of medical education in the West of Scotland.

Sir Kenneth has contributed to the improvement of public health throughout his career, chairing boards including the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation; the European Environment and Health Committee; the NHS Genetics Education Steering Group; and the National Cancer Research Institute. He was President of the British Medical Association and a member of the Board of Cancer Research UK; the Nuffield Council on Bioethics; and the Statistics Commission.

He gained BSc Biochemistry, MBChB, PhD, MD, and has a number of honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and numerous Royal Colleges and Faculties.

His current academic interests are in storytelling, ethics, education and Scottish Literature. He has written 12 books and over 200 scientific papers, gaining an M.Litt in Scottish Literature and Medicine which lead to his latest book “A Doctor’s Line”.

Speaker: Professor Linda Bauld

Linda Bauld is Professor of Health Policy, Director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Dean of Research Impact at the University of Stirling. She is also Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, which covers 13 Universities, and holds the CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK.

Linda has conducted studies on smoking cessation and tobacco control for the past 20 years and more recently has been active in alcohol and obesity policy research. Linda is Deputy Editor of the journal ‘Nicotine and Tobacco Research’ and is President-Elect of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe. In 2017 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for her contribution to public health.

Discussant: Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Centre Lead, Public Health England

Martin Dockrell has worked in public health for over 30 years. Starting his career in HIV prevention in the 80s, he was involved in drugs harm reduction and safer sex work.

For several years he was Director of Policy at ASH where he was involved in the campaigns for Smokefree Legislation, point of sale display bans and standard packaging. In 2014 he set up the tobacco control team at Public Health England.

E-cigarettes around 95% less harmful than tobacco estimates landmark review - Press Release from Public Health England

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