The popularity of electronic cigarettes is undoubtedly on the rise and as a result city councils all are starting to come down hard on these devices in terms of regulating them until 2016. Lancaster’s council is just one of the latest to propose a blanket ban until the devices ‘official’ medical regulation in two years’ time.
Cabinet members have recently agreed to move forward with a regulation that bans all market traders from selling the devices on the street until 2016. Cabinet member of the council, Jon Barry, whose responsibility lies within the markets on the streets, said that he “believed the current policy should be continued until 2016 when e-cigarettes are to become licensed and regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.”
He also said when we reach this time of regulation, cabinet should then review the current issue again.
According to Lancaster guardian, members of the city council agreed with the proposal.
Eileen Blamire stated, “We don’t know whether they’re harmful. We would be rushing into something we don’t know anything about. I don’t think it would sit easily with us to allow them to be sold at this time.”
David Smith said, “I am totally in favour of waiting for more information because I don’t think we know enough about them yet, so we should err on the side of safety.”
Lancashire’s public health director added that the area do not support any sales of the devices. A spokesman stated, “The use of electronic cigarettes is becoming more common, both in Lancashire and at a national level. However, these products are currently unregulated and unlicensed in the UK and therefore vary widely in their composition.”
In addition, Lancashire already has an agreed no smoking policy and it does not make the distinction between traditional tobacco-based cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. The policy currently applies to all council buildings including Assembly rooms and also applies to the markets. Requests from existing traders were put in to allow the sale of these devices on council markets but were later declined due to the fact that they came from trades who currently are only allowed to sell what is stated on their license.
Lancashire’s director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England, Rosanna O’Connor said, “e-cigarettes provide nicotine to a user without many of the other damaging constituents contained in cigarettes and do not product the toxic smoke that seriously harms the health of smokers and those around them, particularly children.”
“Research has found that people are regularly using these devices to reduce harm from smoking or in attempts to quit completely. However, e-cigarettes are not currently licensed for this purpose and both their contents and quality varies greatly. People are entitled to know that these products are safe and effective and Public Health England supports on-going plans to regulate e-cigarettes.”
Despite Lancaster’s decision and no support from the public health director of Lancashire, both South Lakeland and Preston City Council allow electronic cigarettes to be sold at markets.