.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, April 28, 2016

As doctors say that E-cigarettes should be offered to smokers will Welsh Ministers admit they were wrong to try to ban them?

Welsh Labour Ministers who tried and failed to ban e-cigarettes in public places at the end of the last Assembly term should take note of the verdict of the Royal College of Physicians before they try again after these elections.

The Royal College say there is resounding evidence that e-cigarettes are "much safer" than smoking and aid quitting. In a new report they say that with the right checks and measures, vaping could improve the lives of millions of people. And as if to directly refute arguments put forward by Labour Ministers the Royal College add that fears that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking are unfounded.

The BBC say that The Royal College of Physicians have concluded that smokers who use e-cigarettes or prescribed medications, with support from their doctor, are more likely to quit permanently.

And in terms of long-term health hazards, e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than regular cigarettes, something Public Health England has also said.

E-cigarettes are not entirely risk-free of course but there is no case for any sort of ban and strong evidence that they work better than any other nicotine-replacement therapy in helping people quit the much more harmful activity of smoking tobacco.
In your sensationalist title, if not your first sentence, you seem to be misrepresenting Welsh ministers who as far as I recall only tried to ban using e-cigarettes in enclosed public places where children were likely to be present.
Today's report by the RCP states, "Users of e-cigarettes exhale the vapour, which may therefore be inhaled by others, leading to passive exposure to nicotine. There is, so far, no direct evidence that such passive exposure is likely to cause significant harm, although one study has reported levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that were outside defined safe-exposure limits. It is clear that passive exposure will vary according to fluid, device and the manner in which it is used."
Safer for smokers than cigarettes does not mean it is as safe as fresh air for those around them and I would much prefer to see Lib Dems calling for research and evidence of the effects of passive inhalation of nicotine vapours rather than demanding a libertarian free-for-all of vaping in offices, schools, nurseries, cinemas, restaurants, hospitals, etc. Do you really think it is okay for vapers to blow nicotine into the faces of children, because that is the way your strident defence of e-cigarettes comes across in this article.
Thanks for your comment. I don't accept that my headline is sensationalist. I think it is a valid question. The Welsh government proposal was not just for enclosed public spaces. My opposition to it was based on the total lack of evidence to back it up.

I sat on the original inquiry into the ban on smoking in public places and voted for that because the evidence was clear that whatever mitigating measures were taken second hand smoke is harmful to others. There is no evidence to support a similar ban on vaping.

In fact not only do authorative bodies say that vaping helps people give up smoking and that there is no evidence that it leads to people taking up tobacco, but there was a danger that casting vapers out to smoking areas will drive them back to cigarettes.

I agree that vaping is not entirely harmless but it is less harmful than tobacco. I would like to see research to establish whether second hand vapour is harmful but until that evidence I available then my view is that the measures in the public health bill were premature and not justifiable.

I would also add that this is a view I have taken consistently as you will see if you look at other pieces I have written on e-cigarettes on this blog.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?