The Welsh Assembly has been debating plans on whether or not to ban vaping in public places alongside smoking.
Had it succeeded, it would no longer be legal to vape in restaurants, cafes, and on public transport.
Fortunately, however, the Senedd (assembly) voted against the ban, a decision that came down to just one vote.
In doing so, Wales shows itself as a country to be one that puts smoking cessation alternatives first, allowing current smokers a good avenue to try to beat the addiction.
The party behind the initial proposal was Labour, but the shadow health minister and Conservative AM Darren Millar pointed out what a failure it would be to ban vaping.
“Labour ministers are totally misguided in their war on e-cigarettes and in the end their arrogant attempt to force a ban through were thwarted,” he said.
Like many anti-vape advocates, much of the sentiment against electronic cigarettes comes from a misunderstanding of what they are, what they do, and why people use them. As the majority of vapers appear to be current smokers using liquids to cut down on their tobacco intake, and ex-smokers using vaping to stay away from cigarettes, it’s clear that many people would prefer to vape in public areas for these reasons.
Plus, vaping in public areas doesn’t offer the same level of toxic chemicals – or the bad smell – as traditional combustible cigarettes.
Naturally, the Labour Health Minister Mark Drakeford is disappointed in the results.
He said that the vote “puts to waste five years of careful preparation and constructive work”, and that “there will be widespread anger that opposition parties… failed to support [the bill] into law and abandoned all the important protections for the public it would have put in place”.
It appears Mr Drakeford is somewhat confused about protecting the public, but with a 27 to 26 vote against the bill, the overall Welsh government isn’t.