Doctors group opposes plans to ban e-cigarettes in public places

The Royal College of Physicians in Wales says it does not support a ban on e-cigarettes in public places, as proposed by the Welsh Government. Doctors say the devices could lead to significant falls in smoking and prevent deaths.

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RCP: 'E-cigarettes are way out of smoking for so many'

Professor John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians' Tobacco Advisory Group, said the doctors group disagrees with the Welsh Government's plans to ban e-cigarettes from enclosed public spaces "simply because electronic cigarettes are the way out of smoking for so many smokers."

He said "it's inappropriate to use tobacco legislation" for the vapour devices.

Doctors group: E-cigarettes could help cut smoking

The Royal College of Physicians says "e-cigarettes could lead to significant falls in the prevalence of smoking".

While it supports regulation of electronic cigarettes, the doctors group does not support the Welsh Government's plans to ban the use of e-cigs in enclosed public places.

The RCP says: "On the basis of available evidence, the RCP believes that e-cigarettes could lead to significant falls in the prevalence of smoking, prevent many deaths and episodes of serious illness, and help to reduce the social inequalities in health that tobacco smoking currently exacerbates."

Read More: Welsh Government proposes ban on e-cigs in enclosed public places

It has published its response to the Welsh Government's consultation, saying:

  • Electronic cigarettes and other novel nicotine devices can provide an effective, affordable and readily available retail alternative to conventional cigarettes
  • These new products present potential risks as well as opportunities for health, and therefore the RCP advocates proportionate regulation
  • Regulation should ensure that products deliver nicotine effectively and safely, that advertising and promotion do not target young people or other non-smokers, and that advertising and use (for example, in public places) do not undermine smoking prevention policies
  • The RCP supports regulation of electronic cigarettes - and close monitoring of their use is essential to ensure trends counter to public health are identified and acted upon

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Doctors group questions e-cigarette public ban plans

Doctors group the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in Wales has published its response to the Welsh Government's proposal to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places.

It says it doesn't support a ban because the devices can help people give up conventional cigarettes. But it does support better regulation and a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to people under 18.

The Royal College of Physicians argues e-cigarettes can help people avoid the dangers of tobacco. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The RCP says smoking accounts for approximately 5,450 deaths every year in Wales where it is estimated that 14,500 young people a year take up smoking.

The Welsh Government has said there is a risk e-cigarettes could 'normalise' smoking once again. It say it will consider all responses to its consultation in due course.

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