THE proposed ban on electronic cigarettes in public places has been branded unfair and intrusive by people in Newport.
The Welsh Government announced proposals to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and places of work as part of their White Paper bill on public health.
Professor Mark Drakeford, health minister, cited concerns that e-cigarettes could normalise smoking behaviour and shared concerns of the impact of e-cigarettes on the enforcement of the smoking ban.
Jamie Strickland, 21, of Pant Road, a volunteer at Friends of St Anne’s Hospice, said: “My mother has been using the e-cigarette for the last six to seven months, she’s slowly been reducing the level of nicotine. It’s completely changed her life. I think it would be unfair, the ban sends the wrong signal to people.”
Martin Reynolds, of Stow Hill, said: “I think this is far too intrusive, it’s people’s decision not the Welsh Government or the governments. I think this ban would create the opposite effect to what the government want. Smokers would not be attracted to e-cigarettes and less people will be making the transfer from cigarettes.”
E-cigarette retailers in Newport say they have seen a growth in customers wanting to use the product to quit smoking tobacco.
Lee Woolls, 44, managing director of Cigg-e, the electronic cigarette shop on Commercial Street, said: “We offer zero nicotine products. The vapour that is exhaled is steam, it doesn’t harm anybody. It’s up to the individual and the business owners to decide whether to allow e-cigarettes on their premises not the Welsh Government. I think it’s a complete overreaction. by them, based on what evidence?”
Electronic cigarettes are devices used as a vaporiser to deliver a chemical mixture typically composed of nicotine and propylene glycol and are offered in various flavours including blueberry.
Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative shadow minister for health, said: “We should be giving people a helping hand to quit – not yanking them backwards. Anything that stigmatises those working hard to improve their health should be very carefully examined.”
Other proposals in the White Paper include to make it an offence to deliver a tobacco product ordered online to someone under 18, even if the item was ordered by an adult.
Views are sought through a public consultation which closes on June 24. ‘Listening to you: your health matters’ is available at bit.ly/Od4lha