This will be the first ban of its kind in the UK, and it is expected to be implemented in 2017. Under the new ban, shops will have to be registered to sell tobacco products and e-cigarettes in an attempt to curb illegal sales to under-18s.
Ministers claim that e-cigarettes are “re-normalising” smoking, and in turn causing children to take up the habit. However, there is no evidence that this claim is true. The tobacco policy manager for Cancer Research UK, George Butterworth, has said that young people who are using e-cigarettes are “very, very small numbers,” and that the types of young people who use e-cigs “are the type of people who would try alcohol or tobacco anyway.”
There are many organisations who oppose the ban including ASH Wales, Cancer Research UK and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. They, along with many others, believe that a ban on vaping in doors will just keep more people smoking normal cigarettes. George Butterworth was also quoted as saying, “e-cigarettes are an opportunity for people to move away from tobacco smoking which is very, very bad for their health, and we wouldn’t want to put up any barriers to prevent people from quitting cigarettes.”
Liberal author John Snowdon was asked about the decision and said, “From a liberal point of view it is beyond the pale. From a health point of view it’s insane. It’s just one less incentive to actually quit.”
There are currently no plans for similar legislation in England.