In the week that we saw news of a trebling in the number of e-cigarette users across the UK, it is deeply worrying that Public Health England are considering a ban on the use on e-cigarettes in public places.
See this article here:
There are now 2.1 million e-cigarette users in the UK who are all smoking fewer or no cigarettes as a result. This should be a cause for celebration, not concern!
We know from research published by ASH that e-cigarettes do not act as gateway to smoking. Research by Professor Robert West of University College London found no evidence that e-cigarettes re-normalised smoking, and a major scientific study undertaken by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos and Professor Riccardo Polosa concluded that the “effects of e-cigarette use on by standers are minimal compared with conventional cigarettes.”
Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University London and the NHS have both made clear that e-cigarettes are “orders of magnitudes safer than tobacco cigarettes.” Finally, a recent BBC poll found that 62% of the public believed e-cigarettes should not be banned in public.
So why are they even considering this ban and what would such a ban achieve?
We know a number of vapers have made clear that if they are forced to go outside to vape with the smokers that they would be more likely to go back to smoking or to smoking more. Do public health officials really want to force vapers out into the cold to huddle with the smokers?
It is hard to think of any positive reason for this ban.
With a ban on the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes soon to be introduced, following the passing of the Tobacco Products Directive, where are smokers to find out about e-cigarettes, particularly if they are banned in public places? Smokers need to see people using e-cigarettes in public, they need to be able to go up and speak to e-cigarette users so that they can find out further information and then hopefully make the switch to a safer alternative. We hope Public Health England think again and continue to allow e-cigarettes to be used in public.