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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Welsh Government has no evidence base for e-cigs ban

Whatever happened to evidence-based policy making? At one time it was a rallying cry for Welsh Ministers. Now, however, they prefer to legislate to regulate how we behave. It can only be a matter of time before they start to tell us what to think. Oh, wait...

Any thoughts that the Welsh Government might actually have some evidence for banning the use of e-cigarettes in public places were decisively dispelled by the very strong recommendations of Public Health England yesterday who went as far as suggesting that vapers should be prescribed on the NHS as they help smokers quit smoking cigarettes, which they say are far more dangerous.

I would not endorse that, but there is a clear body of expert opinion now that says that E-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco estimates, that contrary to the views of Welsh Ministers, there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers, and that some of the highest successful quit rates are now seen among smokers who use an e-cigarette and also receive additional support from their local stop smoking services.

And it remains the case that, unlike cigarettes, there is no evidence of harmful effects from second hand 'smoke' from vaping.

All-in-all the Welsh Government's case for its ban was systematically dismantled by Public Health England yesterday and yet, they persist in pursuing it. What will it take to make them listen and to stop behaving like the nation's nanny?
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