Ever get the feeling you've been here before?
The British Medical Association yesterday called for e-cigarettes to be outlawed in bars, cafes, restaurants, museums and schools. (Evening Standard)
E-cigarettes should be banned from public places like bars and restaurants because of the risks of "passive vaping," medics say. (Daily Telegraph)
Studies have found e-cigarettes are less harmful than fags but the vapour holds so much nicotine bystanders can absorb significant amounts. While the vapour is less likely to cause cancer, experts warn it could have other health effects. (Daily Record)
Those of us who have been fighting the smokers' corner for an indecent number of years knew it was only a matter of time before the prohibitionists turned on vapers.
This is obviously the more extreme wing of public health but 15 years ago we said the same about campaigners who wanted to ban smoking in every pub, club and bar in the country.
It'll never happen, most people said. Don't bet on it, we said. And look what happened.
Anyway we were a bit late to this story but Forest's response reads:
The smokers' group Forest has condemned a call to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in bars and restaurants.
Responding to reports that the British Medical Association wants e-cigarettes banned in enclosed public places to avoid the risk of 'passive vaping', Forest director Simon Clark said:
"The BMA has taken leave of its senses. E-cigarettes are often used by smokers who are trying to quit.
"Banning vaping would be counter-productive because it would completely undermine the number one reason for switching to e-cigarettes.
"There's no evidence that 'passive vaping' is a risk to anyone so bars and restaurants must be allowed to decide for themselves what their policy is."
He added: "Once again the BMA has underlined its prohibitionist tendencies. Doctors should disown this ridiculous organisation before it brings the medical profession into disrepute."
Oddly enough the New Nicotine Alliance, which advocates the use of e-cigarettes, used exactly the same language when they tweeted this:
The BMA has taken leave of its senses. https://t.co/m9M3MPUeNL— NNAlliance (@NNAlliance) June 23, 2016
I may use it again when I discuss the issue on LBC after 7.00pm.
If I get a chance I'll also point out that as well as allowing vaping there is absolutely no reason why publicans shouldn't be permitted to allow smoking as well, subject to certain air quality standards.
Meanwhile we're still waiting to hear pro-vaping bodies like the NNA criticise smoking bans (even outdoor ones) in the manner that Forest opposes bans on vaping.
Safe to say I'm not holding my breath. If I did I'd have been dead long ago.
Update: You can listen to me on LBC here.