Are you feeling annoyed at the prospect of a Welsh ban on ecigarettes in public places?
If so, it’s worth remembering that vapers did manage to stop the EU from medicalising ecigarettes.
The people who won that battle were the vapers who wrote to their MEPs and explained how an effective ban on electronic cigarettes would affect them.
One MEP I spoke to said she had received hundreds of letters from concerned vapers – she turned out to be a huge ally.
Who to write to:
1. Your AM
You can find out who your AM is by using Write To Them.
The process is simple, easy and quick.
Simply enter your post code, click on the name of your AM and type your message.
The most important parties to focus on are Labour and Plaid Cymru, as we have already had confirmation that the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Conservatives are against a public ban on ecigarettes.
2. The Health Minister
Mark Drakeford has said that he wishes to ban ecigs because they may turn out to be a gateway to smoking.
Fortunately, there’s no evidence of that yet – in fact, surveys by Action on Smoking and Health have proved the opposite.
Apparently, Mark is a genuinely nice guy (when he’s not banning ecigs!) To let him know how the Welsh ban on ecigs would affect you, email him on Correspondence.Mark.Drakeford@Wales.gsi.gov.uk or write to him at:
Minister for Health and Social Services
3. The Public Consultation
To contribute to the consultation, you can:
Submit your response online: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/healthsocialcare/?lang=en
Public Health Development Team
Health Improvement Division
Directorate for Public Health
4th Floor, East
Please quote consultation number WG20703 when you write.
What to Write:
The most important thing is to say what’s on your mind. How have ecigarettes helped you? How would a ban in public places effect you? Is your job at risk?
In case you are really stuck, here’s an example of what you could write (obviously, feel free to use just parts of it and add your own input!):
I am writing in response to consultation WG20703, and to express my opposition to the proposed ban on ecigarettes in public places.
Electronic cigarettes have helped me to move away from tobacco cigarettes. Experts such as Professor Siegel and Professor John Britton believe they are many times safer than tobacco cigarettes and they could save my life. A number of studies have shown there is no link between electronic cigarettes and passive smoking.
By banning electronic cigarettes in public, you will be making it more difficult for me and people like me to stop using tobacco cigarettes, forcing me back into the proximity of tobacco users and smoke. Indeed, this policy could claim the lives of Welsh smokers.
I would be grateful if you could reply to me, at the above address, outlining what evidence the Welsh Government has collated in regards to banning ecigarettes in public places.
Remember, only by showing that we really care can we make a difference.
If you have a second, I’d really appreciate if you could share this post so it reaches as many people as possible. Even if you’re not in Wales, remember that the rest of the UK could be next!