YOU report that Professor Linda Bauld of Stirling University fears that that e-cigarettes are being marketed at children (“Fears over e-cigarette adverts), The Herald, October 15). Comments have already come from those who seek to defend the e-cig industry, who deny that this industry is targeting our children. We only need to look at the displays of e-cigs in any corner shop in which they try to get their flawed message that this is a route to stopping smoking. There is as yet no proof of that, so it is illegal for them to imply it in advertising. None of this surprises me because this industry is in bed with the tobacco industry to do everything it can to retain their nicotine addicts, and to recover the fast-dwindling number of us who continue to smoke tobacco.

E-cigs are a big con. They may have six million users in Europe and 2.6 million users in the UK, but their message that they are the route to nicotine freedom is a lie. It is all about making money. They can sell what they want, to whomever they want, including our children. Evidence from France and California and new research in Scotland already shows that e-cigs are starting to be used by youngsters.

We must not allow lobbyists to blind us into letting this sort of business to profit from our ill-health. The core drug in tobacco cigarettes is nicotine, it is highly addictive and traps its users in a cycle of the highs and lows of any stimulant drug. We puff on a fag and get high, seconds later we get dumped back down, so crave more of the stimulant’s high. A perfect drug that will earn the sellers a fortune, and our Government ironically gets a profit too, as 80 per cent of the cost of fags is tax.

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The time is long past when we the taxpayers have to waste our taxes on proving the health-damagers wrong. E-cigs may have the potential to reduce some of the harm of smoking tobacco, but it keeps the user addicted to nicotine. That eventually will lead to health problems we at the moment cannot identify, but prevention is always better than cure. So let’s hope that our politicians will for once have the insight and guts to take on the multi-national industries that are harming our health.

Max Cruickshank,

13 Iona Ridge, Hamilton.