News & Comment

Encourage use of e-cigarettes but don't discriminate against smokers, says Forest

Thu 13th August, 2015

Forest has welcomed the Royal Society for Public Health's announcement that "nicotine is no more harmful to health than caffeine" but has rejected calls for smoking to be banned outside pubs and clubs and in open air parks so more smokers are forced to use e-cigarettes.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

"We support proposals that make it easier for smokers to use e-cigarettes but we reject measures that will make it harder for adults to smoke tobacco.

"While it makes sense to encourage smokers to switch from combustible cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, public health campaigns should be based on education not coercion and prohibition.

"Banning smoking outside pubs and bars would discriminate against adults who enjoy smoking.

"Renaming e-cigarettes is a silly idea. It ignores the fact that e-cigs are popular because they mimic the act of smoking. The name is part of their appeal.

"Calling them nicotine sticks or vapourisers suggests a medicinal product and that misses the point.

"For many consumers e-cigarettes are a recreational product. If public health lobbyists don't understand that they could sabotage a potentially game-changing device."

See also: Call for pub garden smoking ban (BBC News), Call for smoking ban OUTSIDE pubs (Mail Online), Promote e-cigarettes over harmful tobacco smoking, say experts (Guardian)

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