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E-Cigarette Summit - Introduction from Prof. Ann McNeill

Prof. McNeill: Okay, good morning everybody. I’d like to welcome you to this e-cigarette summit which has been organised by Smooth Events in partnership with the EC forum, and I think it’s fair to say also that the speakers have had some input into the programme. My name is Ann McNeill, I’m a Professor of Tobacco Addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, and I’m also a Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. I’d like to thank you all for coming to this event and I hope that you find it a stimulating day.

I just want to remind people that we will be audio taping the proceedings today and, as you can see, there may also be some filming as well. I only have one piece of housekeeping which is that there’s no fire drill planned for today so if the fire drill goes then it’s a real event, and rather atypical advice is that you stay put but I’m reassured that you will be escorted out in an evacuation procedure. Just to mention the format of the day… This morning we’ve got a number of presentations. I’m going to be very strict and keep to time. If speakers finish ahead of time then I will allow people to raise questions on that particular presentation from the floor. If they go over time then they’ll be cut off. And all questions and answers will be at the end then of each session. In the afternoon, we’ve got two expert panels who are mainly here to discuss questions from the floor.

I just want to mention a couple of ground rules, if I may. If you do ask a question or make a comment from the floor, I would be very grateful if you could give your name and organisation. And then the other thing to say is that the issue of electronic cigarettes does provoke debate and what I would just like to encourage you to do is if you are on one particular side of the debate I would like to encourage you to open your minds to what you are hearing, so listen very carefully please to the issues and feel free to change your minds during the course of the day.

In a similar vein, if you are tweeting during the proceedings I would be very grateful if you could be respectful of the speakers who have taken their time today to put presentations together and come along to give you their thoughts. So, as we’ve got a very busy programme, I’d like to move straight on now to the first session and the speakers this morning. In your packs, you see you have biographies and also competing interests, so I would encourage you to look at those because I’m not going to give lengthy introductions this morning or at any point through the day.

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