Wales has announced plans to ban ecigarettes in public places today, despite the fact that several studies (such as this and this) have proved that ecigarettes do not cause passive ‘vaping’.
The excuse? That the ban is to protect the Welsh government’s denormalisation policy.
Denormalisation is a deliberate policy to stigmatise smoking and make smokers appear, well, abnormal.
But since the smoking ban was brought in in Wales, the rate of smoking has fallen just 1%.
Electronic cigarettes, on the other hand, work for 1,500,000 million people in the UK, and scientists like Professor John Britton of the Royal College of Physicians believe they have the potential to save millions of British lives.
The Welsh Assembly also made reference to the fact that nicotine is highly addictive, but failed to reference research that shows nicotine is not as addictive as nicotine combined with tobacco alkaloids (as in tobacco cigarettes).
The draconian regulations are no surprise though. Although the Welsh Assembly has called for a debate on ecigarettes, when we approached the Welsh Government offering our expertise to ensure that ecigarettes are as safe as possible, we met with a blank wall.