Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association

Tel : 01639 710 558

Email : support@ecita.org.uk

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Welsh Government amends Public Health Bill following pressure from ECITA

09, Dec, 2015

Yesterday, in the face of strong cross-party opposition, the Welsh Government backed down over plans to ban the use of e-cigarettes in all enclosed public places.

There is no room yet for complacency. Unfortunately, the Welsh Government is continuing to push for a narrower ban that captures schools, public transport and places where food is served, which would include nearly all pubs and bars.

But this is certainly a step in the right direction, allowing vaping in far more places than previously proposed. It offers hope for further reasonable amendments to the Bill that will make the right, evidence-based distinction between the intake of vapour and the smoking of tobacco products.

For months, ECITA has been engaging with the Welsh Assembly on this Bill, through face to face contact and email correspondence.

We recently published the report Banning E-cigarettes in Wales: The unintended harm to smokers and to non-smokers. The report used the Welsh Government’s own data to identify a potential 84,000 quality adjusted years of life lost if the vaping ban goes ahead, because of the risk of relapse to cigarettes for vapers, and the risk of fewer smokers switching to e-cigarettes. 84,000 quality adjusted years of life is equivalent to over £5 billion.

In total we submitted 23 pages of evidence to the Health Committee, and in September Katherine Devlin and Tom Pruen from ECITA were the only industry representatives to appear before the Committee and make the case against this ban.

Reading the Stage 1 report on the progress of the Bill, it is striking how opposed this Committee was to a blanket ban, with members of all parties either favouring a much more limited ban or no ban at all. We believe this reflects their attention to the evidence we and others presented. Indeed, four out of the five Labour members of the Committee we appeared before (Alun Cairns was the exception) backed a less restrictive ban.

This campaign will continue, but it is heartening to see so many Assembly Members of all opposition parties put the evidence first. It is also heartening that the Welsh Assembly Government is beginning to do the same.