E-cigarettes don't promote smoking
I refer to the article 'E-cigarettes are threatening to normalise smoking: top doctor' (News, May 18).
As a director for Fontem Ventures, an e-cigarette manufacturer, I agree with Dr McBride that stopping children from smoking is a "public health priority". I also believe that children should not be permitted to buy e-cigarettes and would support a ban on sales to minors in Northern Ireland.
However, there is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that e-cigarettes "normalise smoking", or that they result in a desire to start smoking tobacco.
Indeed, the opposite is true - many people use e-cigarettes to reduce tobacco consumption.
When Public Health England looked at this issue, it said: "There have been some suggestions that, among non-smokers, electronic cigarettes might be used as a gateway to smoking and promote smoking uptake and nicotine addiction, particularly among children and young people.
"However, to date there is no data supporting this claim."
The Office for National Statistics, too, found "negligible" trial and use of e-cigarettes among non-smokers.
Director of corporate affairs, Fontem Ventures