THE RIGHTS of people across the district will go up in smoke if plans to ban the use of electronic cigarettes are given the go-ahead, it was claimed this week.
Health chiefs at Warwick District Council have recommended the authority’s smoking policy is revised to ban the devices, which use nicotine vapours to help people quit, in all council buildings.
If the proposals are given the green light e-cigarettes would be treated the same as normal cigarettes and both staff and the public would be banned from using them in or around council buildings, including the likes of leisure centres and entertainment venues.
The council’s employment committee was set to decide whether to agree the changes as we went to print yesterday (Wednesday).
Jim Lacey, who runs e-cigarette store Smoke No Smoke on Warwick Street in Leamington, said the plans were nonsensical and would victimise people trying to quit smoking.
Mr Lacey, who runs a number of other Smoke No Smoke stores across Warwickshire, said: “There is absolutely no evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful to either the person using them or people around them.
“We have doctors, nurses and councillors as customers at our stores and medical professionals are recommending smokers to us as a safe way to cut down or quit.
“It seems absurd that an organisation would just pass a blanket ban like this without any real reasoning.
“The devices have achieved phenomenal results so banning them will just make it even harder for smokers trying to quit.”
The results of a study released this week showed using e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ can more than double the chance of smokers kicking the habit.
But in a report to Warwick District Council’s employment committee health bosses said continuing to allow the use of e-cigarettes would be ‘inconsistent with both the behaviour and image the council fosters’.
There is currently no law banning e-cigarettes but household names like Starbucks and Wetherspoons have passed their own bans.
Earlier this year the World Health Organisation called for a law banning the devices indoors amid health concerns and because of a lack of comprehensive research on their safety.
What do YOU think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.