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Doctors call for e-cigarette ban in public places over ‘passive vaping’ fears

Electronic cigarettes should be banned in public places to avoid the risk of “passive vaping”, doctors have warned.

The British Medical Association (BMA) yesterday called for e-cigarettes to be outlawed in bars, cafes, restaurants, museums and schools.

Glasgow public health consultant Dr Iain Kennedy warned there was evidence of second-hand vaping, particularly at people’s homes.

He claimed the activity, judged to be around 95 per cent safer than smoking tobacco, still polluted the air with harmful chemicals.

Dr Kennedy told the association’s annual meeting in Belfast: “There is growing evidence that passive vaping happens, particularly based around testing nicotine levels in households.

“What we don’t know yet is what the precise mechanisms of that are, what long-term harm there is.

“This is cutting edge research, with findings being published at the moment.”

But the BMA’s position put them at odds with Public Health England, which has warned that banning e-cigarettes would damage people’s chances of quitting smoking.

The organisation’s director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, Rosanna O’Connor, said: “Vaping is not the same as smoking.

“Second-hand smoke is harmful to health but there is no evidence that e-cigarette vapour carries the same harms.

“In fact a ban on using e-cigarettes in public places could be damaging, as it may put off smokers from using e-cigarettes to help them quit.”

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