Public Health England, the UK government expert, has said banning e-cigarette use in public could be counter-productive by discouraging tobacco-cigarette smokers from quitting their habit.
Rosanna O’Connor, director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at PHE, told the British Medical Association’s annual meeting in Belfast: “Vaping is not the same as smoking, second-hand smoke is harmful to health but there is no evidence that e-cigarette vapour carries the same harms.”
The vapour from an e-cigarette contains none of the dangerous chemicals or particles that are in smoke, because there is nothing to burn. Technically known as an “aerosol”, the vapour is based on heated water and is no more dangerous than steam.
“In fact a ban on using e-cigarettes in public places could be damaging, as it may put off smokers from using e-cigarettes to help them quit,” said Ms O’Connor.