Another day, another disappointing news story regarding politicians who refuse to look into the potential benefits of vaping, and instead treat it as if it were the same as smoking harmful analogue cigarettes. In Wales, many politicians are pushing for a ban on vaping in enclosed public spaces as part of a wider Public Health Bill, which also includes restrictions on tattoos and piercings (you know, the other great evil of our time...).
The bill has opponents even among anti-tobacco organisations such as Action on Smoking and Health Wales and the British Heart Foundation, which released a statement saying, “The law to prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces was implemented to reduce the public health impact of second-hand smoking and was founded on a strong evidence base.
"There is little evidence that electronic cigarette vapour causes harm to non-users exposed to it, so the equivalent argument cannot be made”.
Some British authorities and health organisations argue that e-cigarettes are bringing back the “normalisation of smoking.” Health Minister Mark Drakeford called e-cigarettes a “gateway” to regular smoking. This is, of course, counterintuitive since so many British citizens are using e-cigarettes as a possible method of harm reduction from traditional cigarettes. As far as we know, there’s no such thing as a gateway to a behaviour you’ve already been engaging in.
While the health benefits and risks of vaping continue to be studied and debated, it is important that at the very least the lawmakers stick to facts and logic. Unfortunately, it looks like many would rather do their lawmaking based on knee-jerk responses as opposed to science or fact.