How to Stop The Welsh Ban On Ecigs

5 great comments - add yours!
by: James Dunworth
A man with a cigarette holds his hand up to a pub outside heater.

This could be you if the Welsh Government gets its way!

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.

Screen shot from the website 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 [email protected] or write to him at:

Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Tŷ Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

3. The Public Consultation

To contribute to the consultation, you can:

Submit your response online: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/healthsocialcare/?lang=en
Email: [email protected]
Write to:

Public Health Development Team
Health Improvement Division
Directorate for Public Health
4th Floor, East
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Please quote consultation number WG20703 when you write.

What to Write:

A woman's hands hover above a white keyboard.

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!):

Dear Sir

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!

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5 Responses to “How to Stop The Welsh Ban On Ecigs”

  1. Simon April 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    I responded to that ridiculous PH White Paper within 3 days of it being released. I have also encouraged non-smokers to respond too as it also covers minimum alcohol unit pricing which will invariably push up the price of alcohol at your local pub. It’s not just about ecigs (though that is obviously the bit that concerns us the most). If the White paper goes through in it’s entirety, we will see even more pubs closing down and at an increasing rate.

    As I tweeted recently:

    If WG gets it’s way, we will soon not be able to vape in pubs that no longer exist because we could not afford the beer they were selling !!

  2. James Dunworth April 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Smashing, well done Simon. Based on correspondence so far, I work out we have at least 19 AMs definitely in our favour, so we need to keep up the correspondence!

    • Simon April 17, 2014 at 6:25 am #

      It is interesting that ASH Wales also oppose a ban on vaping in public spaces. I actually had that stance confirmed by ASH Wales in a Tweet. They are apparently reporting into Welsh Government to inform of their opposition to the ban (at least that is what they have told me)

  3. Rhydian April 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    I filled in the official consultation form and also sent an accompanying email. To my amazement the official form asked for evidence to support our opinions/answers. Personally I think this is cheeky and just plain lazy of the Welsh Dept of Health. I sent the most appropriate titles of research thats to do with enclosed spaces etc.

    I am not going to be happy if my recommendations of research to them are completely ignored or dismissed if they are discussed with major anti-ecig public health individuals and tell the WG to say “the public aren’t experts, they dont know what they are talking about!”

    • James April 23, 2014 at 9:28 am #

      Yes, I think the effect on users is also relevant and that someone who has benefitted from ecigarettes should not necessarily have to submit additional evidence.

      If you do have to support evidence, this new survey of almost 20,000 vapers: http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/161-survey-ecig shows that vaping both aids cessation of smokoing (for over 80% of users) and has significant health benefits.

      It’s also worth contacting your AMs – we have had very supportive letters from some AMs, and we found with the EU attempt to medicalise ecigarettes that speaking to our representatives IS effective.

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