Welsh pub owners voice concerns over indoor e-cigarette ban

Welsh pub owners have voiced serious doubts over the government’s plans to ban e-cigarettes in public venues, according to a new survey released today.

The study, conducted during October, canvassed the views of pub owners and customer service staff in over 70 premises around Cardiff, and found very little support for an indoor vaping ban.

Of those who engaged in the survey, an overwhelming 97 percent said it should be up to individual business owners rather than the government to decide whether or not to allow vaping inside.

Many staff also believed that banning e-cigarettes in public places would have a detrimental impact on cigarette smokers looking to either quit or reduce their tobacco consumption by switching to vaping.

The majority – 64 percent – said it would be “unfair” to make vapers go outside into designated smoking areas where they would be exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, and over half of those who responded – 53 percent – believed a ban would discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes altogether.

The study also revealed significant support for tobacco smokers seeking to quit, with 40 percent of respondents saying they would support vaping indoors if it meant more people stopping smoking.

Privately owned premises were most opposed to the ban: none of the independent pubs surveyed supported the proposal. Of all remaining premises that engaged in the study, including franchises and chains, just seven percent said they agreed with a ban on e-cigarettes indoors.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Fontem Ventures, owner of market leading e-cigarette brand blu. 

Commenting on the results today, Marc Michelsen, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, said: “We wanted to find out what Welsh businesses think of the ban and clearly most local pubs and restaurants not only oppose it; they also recognise the public health implications of implementing a proposal that is likely to prevent a more rapid decline in smoking rates across Wales. We agree that businesses should be able to self-regulate rather than have legislation imposed upon them. Further, a blanket ban is both misguided and unjustified considering the lack of any current evidence that e-cigarettes pose a health risk to bystanders.”

According to a recent poll of 12,156 adult smokers across the UK, 29% of Welsh smokers are currently using e-cigarettes.

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