A debate is gathering steam as more people are being shown the door for ‘vaping’ in public places across Northampton.
A number of businesses and organisations in the town are treating vapourisers as normal cigarettes because they still give a casual image of smoking that can have a negative influence on young people.
Although manufacturers have experienced a boom in sales following the smoking ban, many pubs and businesses ban e-cigarettes.
One pub said that vapourisers were not permitted on the premises as they treated them as a ‘legal high’.
Northampton Saints Rugby Club bans ‘vaping’ from their premises and includes a notice in their pre-match announcements.
Public health manager at Northamptonshire County Council, Pam Berry, said: “We recognise that lots of people use vapourisers and evidence shows they cause less harm than normal cigarettes and can help people stop smoking.
“However, until they are regulated, we cannot be sure of their full health effects or restrict sale to young people who, in using e-cigarettes, could be attracted to smoking later on.
“In the meantime we recommend using regulated nicotine products and our NHS Stop Smoking service.”
“This service can be contacted on 08456 013116.”
But the idea of banning the use of e-cigarettes in public places has upset many who argue that it will damage business for local pubs and is an infringement on human freedom.
Stevie Cowee, from Abington, said: “I have been told not to vape in restaurants but when I ask to see a sign or policy, they have nothing. Once I was even told over a supermarket tannoy system to put it away.
“This is unfair and discriminating; e-cigs are a brilliant way to stop people smoking the real thing and, as an asthmatic, they have allowed me to ‘smoke’ without having any health problems.”