The medical world is still very much split on the topic of e-cigarettes, with some senior doctors now calling for them to be banned from public places. Dr Iain Kennedy, a consultant in public health from Glasgow, proposed the motion at the British Medical Association’s annual meeting in Belfast this week, receiving support in some quarters and criticism in others.
“It is a myth that there is no such thing as passive vaping,” he said. “There are new potential risks, and we don’t yet know the level of those risks. It is a precautionary principle – until we do the studies and have a better idea of what the risks may or may not be, we should restrict their use in public places.”
Though Kennedy admits that e-cigarettes are ‘undoubtedly’ less harmful than regular fags and have the power to help people quit smoking, he believes that the public has been given false reassurances about their safety.
However, his critics hit back, arguing that such a ban could actually have a damaging effect. “Vaping is not the same as smoking, secondhand smoke is harmful to health but there is no evidence that e-cigarette vapour carries the same harms,” said Rosanna O’Connor, the director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England.
“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.” [ITV]