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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Welsh Government defying the evidence on e-cigarettes

The Welsh Labour Government's proposal to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places has been based on the premise that they could act as a gateway to tobacco.

In the world of evidence-free legislation this is a special case. With cigarettes there is evidenced harm caused by second hand smoke, that does not apply with e-cigarettes. And now newly published research has cast doubt on claims that e-cigarettes attract non-smokers.

The Western Mail reports that the Welsh Health Survey asked regular users of vaping devices if they had previously been tobacco users, and almost every single respondent said yes:

Of the 3,565 people aged 16 and older spoken by the Welsh Health Survey, only 1% of adults said they were e-cigarette users who had never smoked before.

A further 9% said they had tried e-cigarettes and considered themselves “non-smokers” in the survey, which is published by the Welsh Government.

Of those who currently use e-cigarettes, not one person said they had never smoked before.

As Kirsty Williams says:  “If Labour’s claims that e-cigarettes were a gateway to tobacco were correct, we should be seeing people who have never smoked a cigarette before using e-cigs now.

“In fact, the opposite is true: Labour’s survey couldn’t find a single e-cigarette user who’s never smoked a cigarette before.

“Welsh Labour Ministers must be pretty embarrassed that their own report is undermining their own argument for a vaping ban.

“It’s about time they listened to the evidence, and the thousands of people who have supported the Welsh Lib Dems’ campaign against their proposed ban, and scrapped these illiberal and illogical proposals.”

Back to the drawing board for the Welsh Labour Government it seems.
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