Aside from eliminating tobacco and tar, one of the biggest benefits of switching to electronic cigarettes is the freedom to use them indoors. However, that privilege could seen disappear for ecig users in Wales. A new law would outlaw vaping in all public places including restaurants, bars, workplaces, and even taxis. This is the first time we’ve seen a total public vaping ban anywhere in the UK and many worry this could be damaging to the smoking cessation movement.
Lawmakers that are pushing for the public ecig ban believe that if they allow people to use ecigs in public places, it will renormalize smoking and open a dangerous door for cigarettes to grow in popularity. However, many believe the outcome would actually be quite the opposite. By banning vaping indoors, lawmakers could be inadvertently pushing many former smokers back to cigarettes.
Reactions from Wales’s health agencies have been mixed. Public Health Wales is in favor of the new ban, but the anti-smoking group ASH and the Cancer Research UK have both spoken out against the ban, claiming it is a terrible idea. Still other groups are unsure. The British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, and the Royal College of Physicians are cautioning lawmakers to collect more evidence before moving forward in new guidelines for vaping indoors. The vast majority (79 percent) of Wales’s residents said they are opposed to the new ecig ban.
George Butterworth, the tobacco policy manager at Cancer Research UK, believes that banning public vaping is actually ludicrous. Those that claim a public ban would protect kids are not looking at the research. “Those that are (trying ecigs as teens), are the type of people who would try alcohol and tobacco cigarettes anyway – so without that evidence we wouldn’t support a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors under the idea of normalization,” Butterworth said.
“E-cigarettes are an opportunity for people to move away from tobacco smoking which is very, very bad for their health, and we wouldn’t want to put up any barriers to prevent people from quitting cigarettes.”
Do you think a ban on public vaping will lead some ecig users to go back to smoking? Would you keep vaping even if you weren’t allowed to use your ecig in places where cigarettes are already prohibited?