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Thursday
Jun232016

BMA prohibitionists shame medical profession

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:

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.

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Reader Comments (5)

subject to air quality standards AND free choice for business owners - if they were only allowed to have free choice on this issue.

If they don't ban vaping inside, then I will smoke wherever I see someone vaping. As I've said many times, I won't be forced into 3rd class citizenship. Being 2nd class is bad enough.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 20:14 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Smoking and vaping should be allowed indoors and out as there is no demonstrable health risk to others from either activity.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 21:03 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Ah well. Can’t say they weren’t warned, can they, Simon? Right here on this blog, and not so very long ago, either. Maybe now some of those vapers will start to see that they are facing the exact same monster that we have, just swapping the words “smoking” for the words “vaping,” and perhaps then they’ll also see that in order to stop that monster they’ve got to – [gulp!] – swallow their pride and stop agreeing with it on smoking. Because their argument becomes untenable when they accuse that monster of fabricating lies and misinformation about vaping, but maintaining that it’s a beacon of integrity and truth whenever it talks about tobacco. That just makes them look silly. The counter-argument: “Well, you’re only now saying that because it’s directed towards something that you enjoy” is exactly the kind of argument that the general public will take heed of, because, in essence, it has a nasty ring of truth about it ...

Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 2:41 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

Off topic Simon, sorry, but I don't know who else to ask.

Now that we have voted out of the EU, does that mean we still have to abide by the EU TPD? Does it mean, for example, that we still have to endure all of those awful regulations such as the ban on packs on 10 cigs and menthols etc?

Also now that the Govt has effectively resigned, and there will be another election after Brexit, does that also mean that the loss of consumer rights to brand recognition, price comparison and product information will be ignored and we don't have to have plain, AKA gross and humiliating, packs forced upon us against the clear stated will of the majority?

Does it also mean now that we need every penny we have, that tax leeching blood suckers like ASH will lose funding and now that we are free of the EU's directives and influence, can we kick these scroungers, bigots and smokerphobics out of our Dept of Health?

When you have some time, and I am sure you are really busy, some sort of breakdown, informed opinion, on what Brexit means for smokers would be very welcome.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 14:57 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Pat, short answer is I can't imagine Brexit will have any impact on the implementation of TPD - certainly not the ban on 10 packs and menthol cigarettes. However I'll address this at slightly greater length when I get a moment.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 17:31 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

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