Experts from Public Health England found that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than normal cigarettes, and could be a ‘game changer’ for people who want to quit.
Cancer Research UK expert Linda Bauld said: “Fears that e-cigarettes have made smoking seem normal again or even led to people taking up smoking are not being realised based on the evidence in this review. In fact, the overall evidence points to e-cigarettes actually helping people to give up.”
The evidence from the review undermines the Welsh government’s plan to ban e-cigarettes in public places amid fears they will ‘re-normalise’ smoking.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams urged the Welsh government to drop the proposals, which have sparked concerns from Welsh licensees.
“The truth is that Labour wants to ban e-cigarettes because it doesn’t like them, rather than basing the decision on evidence-it’s as simple as that.
Conservative MP Darren Millar added that the ban would be a ‘huge step backwards.’
“Labour minister in Wales need to take heed of the evidence that is stacking up against them and scrap these proposals for good.”
Many operators, including Mitchells & Butlers, JD Wetherspoon and Fuller’s have already banned e-cigarettes.
The English government has already allayed fears that the proposed ban could spread, and told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser it would not follow the Welsh government’s lead.