Update: Welsh Health Minister Drakeford has just released ‘evidence‘ in favour of a ban.
The letter ignores the massive body of positive e-cig evidence, the opinions of the Welsh public who were opposed to e-cigs in a public consultation and the many public health bodies mentioned below who oppose an e-cig ban.
This post is more relevant – so please keep fighting for your right to vape!
E-Cigarettes may have achieved more than any other smoking reduction strategy in the history of smoking, but the Welsh assembly don’t want you switching to e-cigs.
Mark Drakeford, who another AM told me has never smoked and doesn’t understand smokers, is aiming to ban the devices in all public places in Wales.
He claims that e-cigarettes could lead children to take up smoking. But research by Action on Smoking and Health shows that very few children are using e-cigarettes, and the majority of that few were already smokers. (See our infographic: Are Ecigs a Gateway to Smoking.)
(That’s the official reason. One civil servant told me he suspected the policy, which was launched when Welsh NHS figures came out, was more to do with distracting attention away from the Welsh government’s poor performance on health.)
To push ahead with the ban, Mark Drakeford has had to ignore a long line of experts and public health bodies, including The Royal College of Physicians, Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health, The British Heart Foundation, Tenovus, British Lung Foundation, the UK Nudge Group and many others.
In fact, he’s so desperate to find support he has had to turn to discredited anti-nicotine extremists from the USA.
A Policy Sham
The policy is going ahead despite the fact that 79% of responses to a consultation were against the ban. That’s even after the Government chose to ignore hundreds of responses from vapers who signed and sent a letter we had drafted.
The same policy in Spain has lead to a collapse in both the numbers of vapers and the number of vaping shops, with one estimate suggesting a 70% fall in usage.
You’ll no longer be able to try flavours or e-cigs in shops before you make a purchase, and you’ll no longer be able to use these in your local pub.
What can you do?
This is not a lost cause. At the last count, around 50% of AMs were against a ban on vaping, and at least two Labour AMs are rumoured to be very uneasy against a ban on vaping.
It will, however, be a close run thing.
That’s where YOU can make a difference. Writing to representatives, and telling them how e-cigs have personally made a difference to YOUR life, has proved the best weapon vapers have to fight illogical bans on e-cigs.
To find out who your representative is, click here.