Industry slams decision to ban e-cigarettes in Welsh pubs

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

E-cigarettes will be banned in enclosed public spaces in Wales from 2017
E-cigarettes will be banned in enclosed public spaces in Wales from 2017

Related tags: Welsh pubs, Outright ban, Wales

A plan to ban e-cigarette smoking in Welsh pubs has drawn a mixed reaction, with some suggesting licensees should be free to make their own decision.

The Welsh Government has announced that from 2017 the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces and workplaces will be illegal.

Chief executive of the British Beer & Pubs Association, Brigid Simmonds, said a system of individual premises deciding whether to permit the use of e-cigarettes is more appropriate.

“There is a clear case for a consistent approach on this issue across the UK, and while we continue monitor the issue, we don’t believe that we have reached the point where a ban is the right way forward,” she said.

In addition, shops selling e-cigarettes will need to join a register, and it will be illegal to pass e-cigarettes on to children.

Licensee at Tafan-y-Deri in Swansea, Wales, Wyn Jenkins said he has no problem with e-cigarettes, but thinks a ban in pubs should go ahead.

“If the landlord has the choice then he can get a bit of abuse and confrontation if he tells people to stop. Otherwise you could say ‘it’s the law’,” he said.

He said though he doesn’t worry about e-cigarettes being detrimental to customers’ health, the smoke and smell produced is ‘invading’ people’s nights out.

Association of Licensed Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said it is ‘difficult to see the logic’ of an outright ban due to a ‘lack of evidence of health harms’ related to vaping.

“Vaping in venues should boil down to a matter of practice for the operator,” she said.

Many of the ALMR’s members have their own rules in place prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes indoors.

“A blanket ban on e-cigarettes in public places is unnecessary and will only increase the legislative burden already being placed on pubs and bars,” Nicholls added.

Janet Dooner, lease holder at The Railway Tavern in Stratford, London said she is sympathetic that people may want it banned, and that she is worried about potential unknown affects e-cigarettes may have on people’s health.

But she thinks licensees should have the right to decide whether to introduce a ban.

“I think we need to look at pubs individually rather than nationally,” she said.

“If it got to the stage where a lot of people were doing it I would say something myself.”

Licensee at The Grange, Ealing, London, Barbara Smith said introducing the ban in England is a good idea.

“If it stops people smoking then it’s the natural way for the law to go,” she said.

Though people often smoke e-cigarettes in The Grange’s garden, she if she said if people began using them inside she would be happy for a ban, to encourage people to ‘stop smoking altogether’.

Related topics: Legislation

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