BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Should e-cigarettes be banned in public places?

South Wales Argus: BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Should e-cigarettes be banned in public places? BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Should e-cigarettes be banned in public places?

Electronic cigarettes have 1.3 million users in the UK so how will the Welsh Government proposals to ban the use of them in public places and places of work affect them? CARYS THOMAS looks into the argument for and against the ban of e-cigarettes in Wales.

SMOKERS have been banned from lighting up their cigarettes in public places since 2007 but now the Welsh Government wants to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places, citing concerns of their impact on the enforcement of the smoking ban.

Professor Mark Drakeford, health minister, announced the proposal as part of a White Paper bill on public health last week which is currently undergoing consultation.

He said: “I am also concerned their use in enclosed public places could normalise smoking behaviour. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and I want to minimise the risk of a new generation becoming addicted to this drug.

“The proposals in the White Paper are based on good prudent healthcare principles – taking proportionate and preventative action to improve public health and reduce the likelihood of individuals becoming dependent on costly treatment later in life, when it might also be too late to make a lasting difference to their health.”

Electronic cigarettes use liquid nicotine with a vaporiser which produces steam. The majority of e-cigarettes contain propylene glycol or vegetable glycol.

The amount of nicotine can vary between zero mg and extra strong at 24 mg. While there are numerous opposing studies, the long term effects of e-cigarettes on public health are not yet known according to a report by the European Commission.

One study suggests the amount of carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes is less than that in tobacco cigarettes according to the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales (RPS Wales) supports the proposals to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed public spaces.

Jocelyn Parkes, director for RPS Wales, said: “It’s right that the Welsh Government has drawn our attention to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. Unless we act now there’s a risk of a new generation becoming addicted to this drug.

“It’s deeply worrying that a product is being marketed and advertised, before it is properly regulated. We don’t know what’s in each brand.”

She added: “The official position of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is there have been limited rigorous peer reviewed studies to support their use as a safe and effective nicotine replacement therapy. We believe that currently e-cigarettes should not be sold or advertised by pharmacies.”

The European Union has included e-cigarettes in their Tobacco Products Directive which will come into effect in 2016. This means the levels of liquid nicotine will be capped at 20 milligrams which they say has been shown to be ‘adequate for the majority of smokers’ as a substitute for smoking.

E-cigarette users will only be allowed to purchase higher concentration levels if it is approved under a pharmaceutical framework.

Nathan Edwards, 25, campaigner for e-cigarettes, said: “If this does happen I will more than likely be penalised for trying to improve my own health. I use 30 to 36 milligrams. If e-cigarettes are taken away from me I will more than likely return to tobacco cigarettes.

“I think it’s diabolical that the Welsh Government wants to ban e-cigarettes in public places. It is a safer and healthier alternative to cigarettes. I don’t think the ban would make more people go back to tobacco, I think they will just find another area to do it.”

Mr Edwards has accompanied MEPs with the European Free Vaping Initiative to the European Parliament in Brussels.

He said: “I am nicotine dependent, not a smoker. I started on 18 milligrams of nicotine but the content was too low. With the cost of a pack of cigarettes up to £10 for 20 you can vape for around £5 a week – financially using an e-cigarette has saved me thousands of pounds.”

“I used to smoke 20 to 30 cigarettes a day. I tried therapy, went to my doctor and tried NiQuitne products, I tried them all but nothing works. I started using the e-cigarette in 2009 and haven’t touched tobacco since.”

The e-cigarette market has grown year on year since it began in the late noughties. Retailers of the product believe the ban to be an ‘overreaction’ on the Welsh Government’s part.

Lee Woolls, 44, managing director of Cigg-e, the electronic cigarette shop on Commercial Street, said: “E-cigarettes are an aid to quit smoking, personally it was a way for me to quit smoking four years ago, I’ve been using e-cigarettes ever since.

“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?”

Andrew Payne, 48, commercial director of Socialites, a UK wide e-cigarette company, said: “Why would you ban e-cigarettes which massively benefit people? There is no odour, no passive smoking and no carcinogens.

“It’s going to get people who are using e-cigarettes back onto tobacco. It isn’t smoking, it’s vaporising, there is no smell, no odour and no side effects.

He added: “If e-cigarette users will have to stand out in the rain they will be with tobacco smokers, passively smoking.”

The Welsh Government are concerned that e-cigarettes could be a gateway for younger people to take up smoking. The UK government announced that it would introduce age of sale restrictions for all nicotine products including e-cigarettes making it an offence to sell them to anyone under 18-years-old or by proxy purchase of nicotine products in England and Wales.

Mr Payne said: “Our customer base are all ex-smokers, we don’t sell the product to under 18-year-olds. E-cigarettes are used by ex-smokers to reduce their tobacco intake and also save on money.”

James Fisher, owner of Dragon-10, e-cigarette retailer on Commercial Street, said: “The Welsh Government are just scaremongering. We’ve had customers who’ve had throat cancer come to us and thank us for getting them to stop smoking – people stop smoking straight away with the e-cigarette, we offer a seven day guarantee or you get your money back.”

The Welsh Conservatives believe the proposed ban would be a step backwards for people who have quit smoking.

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.”

Elin Jones, shadow health minister for Plaid Cymru, said: “Plaid Cymru would want to see clear evidence on the need to ban e-cigarettes in public places and the Minister needs to present that evidence to us. E-cigarettes are used widely by people who are trying to give up smoking, so we should be very careful not to halt that trend.”

Pubs and restaurants at the moment can decide whether to allow people to use e-cigarettes on their premises.

Uri Gagarin, manager of Ye Olde Murenger House, on High Street, Newport, said: “We don’t allow the use of e-cigarettes in the pub at the moment, it’s company policy. The smokers just go outside, it’s not an issue and this will be even less of an issue.”

The Pen and Wig said that they allow the use of e-cigarettes but it is a rarity for people to ask to use the e-cigarettes indoors.

Views are sought through a public consultation which closes on June 24. The ‘Listening to you: Your health matters’ is available at bit.ly/Od4lha

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:51am Tue 8 Apr 14

endthelies says...

No I don't. If you're going to ban them, then ban cars as well because they give off a lot more fumes. I would be more impressed if the underage drinking laws were enforced more rigorously. I'm sure that causes a lot more problems than e cigs.
No I don't. If you're going to ban them, then ban cars as well because they give off a lot more fumes. I would be more impressed if the underage drinking laws were enforced more rigorously. I'm sure that causes a lot more problems than e cigs. endthelies
  • Score: 8

11:00am Tue 8 Apr 14

spanner100 says...

YES YES YES. Horrid things. Just imagine trying to eat your food with some pXXXXXr puffing away!. Get the ban into place asap.
YES YES YES. Horrid things. Just imagine trying to eat your food with some pXXXXXr puffing away!. Get the ban into place asap. spanner100
  • Score: -16

11:20am Tue 8 Apr 14

endthelies says...

spanner100 wrote:
YES YES YES. Horrid things. Just imagine trying to eat your food with some pXXXXXr puffing away!. Get the ban into place asap.
All that comes out of an ecig is steam! there's more of that coming from the kitchen that has cooked the food than there ever could be from an ecig.
[quote][p][bold]spanner100[/bold] wrote: YES YES YES. Horrid things. Just imagine trying to eat your food with some pXXXXXr puffing away!. Get the ban into place asap.[/p][/quote]All that comes out of an ecig is steam! there's more of that coming from the kitchen that has cooked the food than there ever could be from an ecig. endthelies
  • Score: 11

11:41am Tue 8 Apr 14

-trigg- says...

As the Health Minister stated, the proposals should be about " taking proportionate and preventative action to improve public health and reduce the likelihood of individuals becoming dependent on costly treatment later in life, when it might also be too late to make a lasting difference to their health"

The best way to take preventative action for future damage to health is to encourage and assist people to stop smoking traditional tobacco products. electronic cigarettes are demonstrably the most successful method of doing just that and as such should receive the full backing of the minister.

I would like to see the Welsh Assembly take positive action to improve the health of the populace by actively encouraging smokers to switch to using electronic cigarettes as part of their overall stop smoking and harm reduction strategies
As the Health Minister stated, the proposals should be about " taking proportionate and preventative action to improve public health and reduce the likelihood of individuals becoming dependent on costly treatment later in life, when it might also be too late to make a lasting difference to their health" The best way to take preventative action for future damage to health is to encourage and assist people to stop smoking traditional tobacco products. electronic cigarettes are demonstrably the most successful method of doing just that and as such should receive the full backing of the minister. I would like to see the Welsh Assembly take positive action to improve the health of the populace by actively encouraging smokers to switch to using electronic cigarettes as part of their overall stop smoking and harm reduction strategies -trigg-
  • Score: 11

12:07pm Tue 8 Apr 14

mr david says...

Have your so called steam tested ,you will have a shock .
Have your so called steam tested ,you will have a shock . mr david
  • Score: -8

12:41pm Tue 8 Apr 14

endthelies says...

mr david wrote:
Have your so called steam tested ,you will have a shock .
The nicotine that is contained in an ecig is inhaled by the smoker. However, the ecig does not contain the carcinogenic contained in an ordinary cigarette. The nicotine is inhaled by the smoker only and not emitted into the atmosphere. Its like saying that chewing nicotine gum contaminates people who are around the chewer.
[quote][p][bold]mr david[/bold] wrote: Have your so called steam tested ,you will have a shock .[/p][/quote]The nicotine that is contained in an ecig is inhaled by the smoker. However, the ecig does not contain the carcinogenic contained in an ordinary cigarette. The nicotine is inhaled by the smoker only and not emitted into the atmosphere. Its like saying that chewing nicotine gum contaminates people who are around the chewer. endthelies
  • Score: 8

12:54pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Dai Rear says...

So these WAG clowns are going to "ban" something west of an arbitrary line on a map. How about "banning " people with poor hygiene? People with stinky dogs with them? Chavs who can't be assed to change the nipper's nappy? boom boom boom in cars at traffic lights? seagulls making a grab for your sandwiches? telly programmes with too many ads? People who've lived in the country for decades who insist on gabbing to their kids in the lingo of the place they came from? Russell Brand? We've all got a bee in our bonnet about something, but only these pointless no- hopers actually inflict it on others.
So these WAG clowns are going to "ban" something west of an arbitrary line on a map. How about "banning " people with poor hygiene? People with stinky dogs with them? Chavs who can't be assed to change the nipper's nappy? boom boom boom in cars at traffic lights? seagulls making a grab for your sandwiches? telly programmes with too many ads? People who've lived in the country for decades who insist on gabbing to their kids in the lingo of the place they came from? Russell Brand? We've all got a bee in our bonnet about something, but only these pointless no- hopers actually inflict it on others. Dai Rear
  • Score: 4

4:48pm Tue 8 Apr 14

kelburt says...

With the help of my e-fag I have been smoke free 4 6weeks! !! I would not of done this without it, e-fags r no dowt healthier and better 4 us and others around us... tho I agree that you shouldn't smoke them in public places :)
With the help of my e-fag I have been smoke free 4 6weeks! !! I would not of done this without it, e-fags r no dowt healthier and better 4 us and others around us... tho I agree that you shouldn't smoke them in public places :) kelburt
  • Score: 0

10:02pm Tue 8 Apr 14

taff52 says...

Of course the royal pharmaceutical sociiety is going to be anti ecigs. Who will buy their patches gums and nasal sprays? Consider instead The Royal college of physicians 24th March 2014 "Despite the controversies, it is clear that e-cigarettes are far less hazardous than is tobacco. With more than a million UK smokers using them to help to cut down or quit smoking, they are proving to be valuable harm reduction and cessation products and could make a substantial contribution to reducing the burden of death, disability and poverty currently caused by tobacco smoking. Health professionals should embrace this potential by encouraging smokers, particularly those disinclined to use licensed nicotine replacement therapies, to try them, and, when possible, to do so in conjunction with existing NHS smoking cessation and harm reduction support. E-cigarettes will save lives, and we should support their use."
Of course the royal pharmaceutical sociiety is going to be anti ecigs. Who will buy their patches gums and nasal sprays? Consider instead The Royal college of physicians 24th March 2014 "Despite the controversies, it is clear that e-cigarettes are far less hazardous than is tobacco. With more than a million UK smokers using them to help to cut down or quit smoking, they are proving to be valuable harm reduction and cessation products and could make a substantial contribution to reducing the burden of death, disability and poverty currently caused by tobacco smoking. Health professionals should embrace this potential by encouraging smokers, particularly those disinclined to use licensed nicotine replacement therapies, to try them, and, when possible, to do so in conjunction with existing NHS smoking cessation and harm reduction support. E-cigarettes will save lives, and we should support their use." taff52
  • Score: 4

10:54pm Tue 8 Apr 14

gingertom says...

This banana bunch need to sort out the basics in the NHS like waiting lists, ambulance service, operations that are cancelled for the fourth time, etc, etc
This banana bunch need to sort out the basics in the NHS like waiting lists, ambulance service, operations that are cancelled for the fourth time, etc, etc gingertom
  • Score: 0

4:12am Wed 9 Apr 14

Mike0408 says...

Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something.

This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.
Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something. This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self. Mike0408
  • Score: 0

7:20am Wed 9 Apr 14

Dai Rear says...

Mike0408 wrote:
Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something.

This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.
No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much.
[quote][p][bold]Mike0408[/bold] wrote: Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something. This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.[/p][/quote]No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much. Dai Rear
  • Score: 2

3:43am Thu 10 Apr 14

Mike0408 says...

Dai Rear wrote:
Mike0408 wrote:
Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something.

This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.
No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much.
the guy that wanted to ban cigarettes killed him self??

no offence but what would that have achieved?

i am only 26, so i have no idea what happened in 1945.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mike0408[/bold] wrote: Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something. This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.[/p][/quote]No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much.[/p][/quote]the guy that wanted to ban cigarettes killed him self?? no offence but what would that have achieved? i am only 26, so i have no idea what happened in 1945. Mike0408
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Dai Rear says...

Mike0408 wrote:
Dai Rear wrote:
Mike0408 wrote:
Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something.

This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.
No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much.
the guy that wanted to ban cigarettes killed him self??

no offence but what would that have achieved?

i am only 26, so i have no idea what happened in 1945.
He had a moustache and looked a lot like Charlie Chaplin, ranted and chewed the carpet when Party Members smoked in his presence....oh, never mind.
History was clearly optional in your comp.
[quote][p][bold]Mike0408[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mike0408[/bold] wrote: Would just be best to take cigarettes off the market and people who already smoke should only be able get to cigarettes on a prescription paid for by them self, after they have tried all the other things that help stop you smoking. And they should only be given enough to last them a few days or something. This will cut down on future people smoking as they won't be able to buy them and cut down on the number of underage smokers, their parents will know if they steal them as they will only have enough to last them self.[/p][/quote]No. You probably won't remember but the chap who wanted to do that committed suicide in May 1945 in a bunker in Berlin. Since my dad was hurt and my Uncle killed in achieving that we definitely do not want that carp back, ta very much.[/p][/quote]the guy that wanted to ban cigarettes killed him self?? no offence but what would that have achieved? i am only 26, so i have no idea what happened in 1945.[/p][/quote]He had a moustache and looked a lot like Charlie Chaplin, ranted and chewed the carpet when Party Members smoked in his presence....oh, never mind. History was clearly optional in your comp. Dai Rear
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree