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Could the Welsh Ban on E Cigarette Smoking Indoors be a GOOD Thing?

17th Dec 2015

Recent legislation changes in Wales will see e cigarettes being banned from public use, much like tobacco cigarettes are now, by 2017. E cigarettes, vaping and E Liquids will no longer be permitted in pubs, cafes and a range of additional public places.

The Go Smoke Free Legislation England was released in 2007 and from the 1st July of that year public transport, workplaces and a number of public areas saw a blanket ban of the use of tobacco cigarettes. The proposed e cigarette legislation for Wales will see similar restrictions on the use of e cigarettes in public places.

The reasoning behind the proposed new law is aimed primarily at the reduction in the visibility of vaping as a whole as some ministers and a number of health professionals believe that this will reduce the risk of exposure that teenagers and children now may face with regards e smoking and smoking in general. There has been concerns for some time that e smoking would normalise smoking again after the 2007 smoking ban.

A Bad Thing?

Should e cigarettes be treated the same as tobacco cigarettes in that they should be regulated? Many e cigarette and e liquid manufacturers and retailers agree that e smoking should fall under legislation in this way, certainly with regards to any points made regarding e cigarettes and minors. No reputable retailer has any interest in supplying e smoking goods to anyone under the age of eighteen and so this type of regulation will make it much harder for those who are less concerned about who they choose to sell to.

Some smokers have raised concerns about their individual rights when the legislation goes through, arguing that the ban on tobacco cigarettes in public was primarily pushed through due to overwhelming evidence regarding the risk of passive smoking where as currently no such evidence exists connected to e smoking.

The ban may seem restrictive however many in the industry hope that it will encourage a new wave of additional research into e smoking safety which will eventually see e cigarettes being more widely recognised as being safe / healthier than tobacco cigarettes. This is something that retailers currently can't legally claim as not enough research has been done over a long enough period of time (the e cigarette industry is still fairly young).

Additional research may in the future also see vaping being used as an alternative to cessation devices currently on the market.

The Welsh authorities have released advanced guidance regarding the proposed legislation which will include:

• Making it strictly illegal to sell or give e cigarettes and associated paraphernalia to minors.
• E cigarette shops or retailers selling e smoking items will have to register in the same way that tobacco retailers do, again in order to stop illegal under-age sales.
• A restriction on using e cigarettes in public places such as at work, in public transport and in a number of public areas.

While e cigarettes do feature heavily in the new legislation there are a number of changes being made via the updated Public Health Bill, including tighter regulations for tattoo parlours who will also need to be registered.

The restrictions are not wholly unexpected and many e cigarette manufacturers and retailers expect to see more of the same on a global scale, perhaps with e cigarettes being adopted formally into the Go Smoke Free legislation already in place across the world.

Once more, these changes could work out to be advantageous to retailers in many ways and they have until 2017 to decide how to best market their business in order to make the most of the changes while ensuring that they continue to trade within the scope of the new laws.

At the time of writing no fixed dates in 2017 has been announced regarding when exactly these changes will come into effect.

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