Legislation to ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces in Wales has been supported by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), which warns that rising use of the devices threatens to normalise smoking once more.
A Public Health Bill put before the Welsh parliament on 8 June 2015 would bring rules on the sale and use of e-cigarettes into line with those for tobacco products.
This would prohibit their use in enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces, and mean pharmacies could only supply them to people aged 18 years and over, unless licensed products were being issued.
Mair Davies, chair of the Society’s Welsh Pharmacy Board, says it supports the measures being taken by the Welsh government. “It’s alarming to see e-cigarettes being marketed to our young people. Use of e-cigarettes is increasing in Wales and other parts of the UK, particularly among younger age groups.
“If we don’t act now, there is a danger smoking will become the ‘normal’ thing to do again. E-cigarettes could become the gateway to tobacco. We do not believe this is a risk worth taking.”
She adds: “Nicotine is an addictive substance and e-cigarettes are currently not licensed and regulated, so we don’t know what’s in them or their long-term effects on health.”
If passed, the Bill is expected to become law by spring 2016.