THE Welsh Liberal Democrats’ leader has said the Welsh Government’s ban for e-cigarettes in public places “flies in the face” of scientific evidence.

A Royal Society for Public Health report, published yesterday, said the devices have benefits and that they should be used as a step for people to quit smoking.

And the party’s leader Kirsty Williams said: “The evidence is stacking up against Labour's e-cigs ban. They claim the ban is in the interest of public health, yet a respected public health organisation has now said their use should be encouraged to help people quit smoking.

“This report completely flies in the face of the Welsh Labour Government's plans. In fact, it backs up what Welsh Liberal Democrats have said all along: these devices can help people give up smoking, and banning them could cause more harm than good.

“Welsh Labour Ministers need to take heed of this advice and scrap their proposals at once.”

The Welsh Lib Dems’ campaign against the Welsh Government’s e-cigs ban has been signed by nearly 3,000 people.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said in response: “We have outlined plans to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces, bringing them into line with conventional cigarettes.

“We are concerned the use of e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to and re-normalise smoking, especially for a generation who have grown up in a largely smoke-free society.

“We are not alone in our concerns - the World Health Organisation and other international bodies have called for greater regulation of e-cigarettes and 40 other countries have already taken similar steps.”