IBVTA writes to local authorities
The IBVTA are aware of recent media reports claiming that a number of local councils have already, or are considering banning smoking in outdoor spaces. We have written to the councils concerned, and the contents of that correspondence are below.
The Independent British Vape Trade Association is the only trade body for vaping in the UK exclusively representing businesses that are independent of the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. We are writing to you regarding recent media reports of outdoor smoking bans at hospitality venues, and outside retail premises.
Vaping (the use of e-cigarettes) is now the UK’s most effective and most popular tool to de-normalising smoking and has already helped millions of smokers across the UK to quit. There are currently around 3.2 million vapers in the UK, and independent research has found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking., The vapour emitted from e-cigarettes represents less than half of one percent of the cancer risk of tobacco smoke, and vaping is not considered to present any risk to bystanders in the same way as “second-hand smoke” does.
Many public health-oriented organisations have stated that smoking bans should not be extended to vaping. In its most recent report, the Royal College of Physicians stated:
“Permitting vaping in outdoor areas where smoking is prohibited makes a clear distinction between these two activities each with very different health implications for both the user and the bystander. At the same time, it creates a situation where smokers are ‘nudged’ into replacing smoking with a far less harmful activity and it protects ex-smokers who have quit smoking from the risks of exposure to smoke and relapse to smoking.”
Many local authorities and local stop smoking services now make vaping part of their smoking cessation efforts, and indeed the IBVTA and its members support and facilitate local efforts in encouraging greater numbers of smokers to make the switch. A huge part of the success of these projects has been to make clear the distinction between smoking and vaping.
We hope that you agree that to include vaping in restrictions on smoking outdoors would be detrimental to these local efforts, further confusing smokers and the public about the benefits of switching to vaping, and ultimately harming public health.
If you require any additional information or would like to meet with the IBVTA to discuss this issue further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Gillian Golden, Chief Executive.