Seeing through the fog

Seeing through the fog

August 28, 2018

piece at by Martin Cullip has brought some perspective to a row that has blown up over a recommendation contained in a report by the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on electronic cigarettes.

Cullip reported that the medical community had largely welcomed the Committee’s report, but that one aspect of it had led to uproar on social media. Many media outlets too had focused on this same small part of the report.

‘The objections all followed the same themes,’ Cullip wrote. ‘People were convinced that this would mean huge clouds of vapor in every place they visit. Many said e-cigarettes should “remain banned” in public places. Others declared that if vapers wanted to “kill themselves” they should do so in their own spaces and not subject others to “toxic” second-hand vapor.

‘Unwittingly,’ Cullip added, ‘every comment along those lines backed up the 66-page report’s conclusion that there is a huge misunderstanding about what e-cigarettes are and how they are used, and that this misunderstanding is hampering efforts to tempt smokers away from tobacco.

‘Firstly, vaping is not banned in public, as smoking is, and the government has consistently said it has no plans to change that.

‘Additionally, as the report clearly states, it has been “impossible to measure the risks from second-hand e-cigarette vapor because any potentially harmful compounds released into the surrounding area are so negligible”.

‘Restrictions on vaping in certain places have nothing to do with government and are not based on any public-health threat. Mostly, anti-vaping policies have been installed because those applying them don’t understand anything about e-cigarettes, so banning them is the simple and lazy option.

‘Pubs, businesses and, yes, train companies set their own policies. All the report is saying is that they should be better informed as to what e-cigarettes are and how they are encouraging smokers to quit at a rapid rate. Some may change their policy, some may not, but it is better that they understand the debate so that they can make a more informed decision.’

Category: Breaking News

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