E cigarettes banned from Royal Sussex because they look too real

4 40am Wednesday 26th February 2014 in News By Siobhan Ryan

An e cigarette

Electronic cigarettes are being banned in hospitals because they look too much like the real thing.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is updating its policy to include e cigarettes in a blanket ban on smoking in its buildings and grounds.

E cigarettes produce puffs of vapour and deliver a nicotine hit without tar and toxins.

They have been billed as a safe alternative to tobacco and an aid to quitting smoking.

But managers at the trust, which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath among others, believe the e cigarettes could cause confusion.

Why nyc banned e-cigarettes in public places – csmonitor.com

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The vote came amid sharp disagreement within public health circles over how to treat e cigarettes. The tobacco free smokes heat up a chemical solution and emit vapors while giving smokers their nicotine fix.

Manufacturers say the mist is harmless, and most scientists agree that regular smokers who switch to e cigarettes are lowering their health risk substantially.

The devices, though, aren’t heavily regulated. And experts say consumers can’t yet be sure whether they are safe either for users or people exposed to second hand vapor puffs.

Like regular cigarettes, the nicotine in e cigarettes is also highly addictive. People who use them may be unable to quit, even if they want to. That has raised concerns that a new generation of young people could gravitate toward e cigarettes and wind up hooked for life or even switch to tobacco cigarettes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it intends to regulate e cigarettes as tobacco products but has yet to issue any rules, leaving manufacturers free to advertise while regular cigarette ads are banned.

Several states, including New Jersey, Arkansas, Utah and North Dakota, have already expanded their indoor smoking bans to include e cigarettes. Other bans have been proposed in several big cities. About half of the states restrict sales to minors.

The American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids supported expanding New York City’s ban on to e cigarettes Other public health advocates did not. They said that in a nation where roughly 1 in 5 adults are hooked on indisputably deadly cigarettes, safer alternatives should be embraced, not discouraged, even if science hasn’t rendered a final verdict.

E cigarette manufacturers say they don’t believe their products will be used as a gateway drug to cigarettes, and they have criticized New York’s proposed ban as a rush to judgment.

“Companies like us want to be responsible, but when you have municipalities prematurely judge what should be and what shouldn’t be, based not on the science, I think it does the public a disservice,” said Miguel Martin, president of e cigarette brand Logic.