as you probably already know the +Welsh Government is considering a bill which, if passed, will introduce draconian measures against vaping.
Sadly, the measures were bolted amongst a number of worthy actions on unrelated topics, almost as if they had to sneak it in.
On the 24th July 2015 Nesta Lloyd-Jones wrote a piece in the Click on Wales blog entitled "A welcome step forward for public health". Click on Wales is a publication of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, an organisation apparently " dedicated to promoting the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales"
In the piece a number of matters are raised which, if not frankly untrue, are unproven or contentious;
"Continuing to allow the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places has the potential to undermine....... the smoking ban. It can be hard, particularly from a distance, to differentiate between those smoking tobacco and those using e-cigarettes, which makes enforcement of the ban difficult."
"Current research on this issue is limited, but rather than helping people to quit, e-cigarettes could also act as a gateway to conventional tobacco..."
"In some cases, e-cigarettes might have eight times as much nicotine as a traditional cigarette."
"And while cases of lung cancer could go down as a result of the use of e-cigarettes, what is not yet known is whether some other cancers may actually be linked with nicotine."
The first claim is, I'm afraid, laughable. There is no smell of smoke (unless, custard, fruit, cakes or sweets are now smoky), vapour does not behave in the same way as smoke (it disperses much more quickly) and if you think a current vaping device/e-cig looks like a cigarette then frankly, you need ophthalmological or other medical help!
The last claim about nicotine potentially causing cancer... We'd better ban some more things. Aubergines, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Potatoes. Yes, I know they contain less per kg but I don't intend on serving my kids vape chips with vape sauce....
Some people have apparently posted comments in rebuttal of these claims which have not yet been allowed past moderation. (UPDATE - The comments are now live and worth a good read)
Personally I don't want Nesta or anyone else to miss out on mine, so here it is;
that is simply NOT TRUE. E-cigarettes were included in the bill in the hope that, amongst the actually useful parts, it would simply get swept in.
There is, and has been for some time, plenty of study, plenty of evidence. Whether you and your colleagues have been hoodwinked, have failed to undertake due-diligence in studying the data or have outright chosen to ignore it I don’t know. This is behaviour we’ve seen from the BMA as well, despite ASH UK , NCSCT, Dept of Health, Public Health England etc all coming down on the side of NO BAN.
Let me give you a few of the research/study examples;
No passive effect http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/5/4889
No passive effect/no nasties http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230014002505
No gateway effect http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf
No gateway effect http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(14)00555-8/fulltext
Harm Reversal http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053879
Those who put themselves forward claiming to help protect the public have a duty to ensure they are FULLY up to date and conversant in what they speak on.
Nesta, IWA, I really, truly hope that rather than relying on political and commercial rhetoric you can actually spend some time learning what the subject is about and what ALL the evidence actually shows. What "Harm Reduction" is.
After all, isn't that what "Public Health" should really be about?