I, along with others, am rather concerned at the decision by West Yorkshire Metro to impose a blanket ban on the use of electronic cigarettes, known as vaping, on their buses, trains and in their stations.
While the indoor smoking ban, which has strong public support, has allowed non-smokers to avoid being exposed to harmful cigarette smoke, banning vaping does not have the same effect at all. It will force e-cig users, many of whom are ex-smokers or have started vaping in order to quit tobacco, to stand with smokers and expose them to the very thing they are trying to avoid.
Given the serious health damage tobacco smoking causes, surely it would be sensible to encourage smokers who want to quit, but have so far failed in their attempts, to switch to e-cigarettes? Over zealous restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes will not encourage such switching.
In addition, because e-cigs contain nicotine liquid, but not tobacco, what is exhaled is mostly water vapour, which unlike tobacco smoke disappears very quickly and does not have a strong smell, nor does it contain the numerous harmful substances found in tobacco.
Even if I do not support the decision, Metro are within their rights to impose a blanket ban on vaping on their property. However to claim (as they do) that no smoking signs also apply to e-cigarettes, without any additional signage to indicate this, is both unfair and lazy. It seems that vapers are expected to follow and know Metro’s policy decisions, while Metro has no corresponding responsibility to actively inform vapers or other public transport users of this change. At the very least, additional signage should be put in place to explain Metro’s decision.
Rebecca Taylor MEP