Information from ASH has turned up which suggests that 3% of smokers in the UK use onlyecig electronic cigarettes. This is probably not a reliable figure (ASH dreams stuff like this up for their own entertainment) but it's the only one I've seen so I thought I'd do the sums to see what implications compulsory medical licensing might have for the smoking community.
If the survey figures mentioned below from ASH and ecigarettedirect are reliable, then around 7 or 9% of smokers have tried ecigs and 3% are current users (I was a bit confused about whether they meant 3% of the 9% or 3% of all smokers but was told it's 3% of all smokers). 85% will use the black market for ecig products if they can't buy their gear legally and/or 62% will return to smoking or smoke more.
There are around 62m people in the UK
approx 22% of those are smokers = 13.64m
if 3% of all smokers use ecigs that's = 409,200
if 85% of ecig users buy supplies from unapproved, unregulated sources that's = 348,000 people
and if 62% of ecig users start smoking again or smoke more then smoking numbers will increase by = 253,700
So ASH UK and ASH Scotland know that 400,000 vapers will be stuffed if their policy to close the harm reduction/recreational nicotine market goes through.
Sounds like a big win for public health ... not!
I'm not sure how going back to smoking for ASH will make sense in the grand scheme of things,they haven't been able to tell me who actually will benefit from closure of the recreational market. I suspect that they're so addicted to smokers that they don't want to lose us and there's more money to be thrown at developing the cessation industry. Don't forget, we won't be patients and use those medical products and facilities if we manage to wriggle out of the strangle hold they have on smokers in some other way.