THE man in charge of improving the health of Evesham people has questioned the benefit of electronic cigarettes.

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing at Worcestershire County Council, says there is no evidence ‘e-cigarettes’ are a “safe form of nicotine delivery”.

Sales of tobacco-free cigarettes have risen worldwide since bans on smoking were introduced.

Critics say their growing popularity could undermine years of anti-smoking efforts, although those in favour of the devices believe they could help save thousands of lives.

“The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have not recommended e-cigarettes,” said Coun Hart, who is also chair man of the Worcestershire Tobacco Control Alliance.

“At present, e-cigarettes are not licensed in the UK and there is no evidence to show that they are a safe form of nicotine delivery.

“A study by DKFZ, the German Cancer Research Centre, found e-cigarettes to be harmful.

“The council is committed to offer support services that are licensed treatments the public can feel confident in using.”

Smoking remains the biggest single avoidable cause of premature death. For information on support if you are giving up smoking, visit