E-Cigarettes are being banned by local E-Cig Bans
Many countries have already either strictly regulated, controlled, or banned, e-cigarettes at national level as
part of a harm reduction approach to protecting their citizens from the potentially harmful effects
of electronic cigarettes.
However intensive lobbying of national decision makers and politicians by the e-cigarette industry has lead to
some countries having taken no action to date to protect their citizens from the potentially harmful effects
As a consequence decisions on e-cig policy are being taken at a 'local level' by individual policy makers
at pubs, restaurants,
states, counties, villages, businesses, schools, hospitals, libraries, civic authorities etc.
In general, reasons for banning the public use of e-cigarettes include:
Passive Inhalation/Secondary Intoxication - Electronic devices are not zero emission
and there is no way of knowing whether a device may have been tampered with by the user (or the
supplier/manufacturer, without the user's knowledge) to incorporate additional, or alternative, drugs and
chemicals that may, for example, increase the 'addictiveness' of the product (as is seen already with the wide
variety of flavours that are available for e-cigarettes), or introduce other harmful or hallucinogenic effects -
that may have adverse effects on non-smoking bystanders and dangerously impair their ability to drive and
Health - Manufacturers, pushers and users of these drug delivery systems claim that they
are harmless - however they all clearly have a vested interest in making this claim. e.g. In spite of the huge
number of smoking related illnesses the tobacco industry denied for years the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes
(now generally agreed to be responsible for the early deaths of nearly 1 in 2 smokers) - before
eventually capitulating and paying vast sums of money in settlement claims. With research proving that nicotine
promotes cancer, and nicotine being a highly toxic poison, there are strong concerns about the effects that
nicotine inhalation will have on the unseen delicate and sensitive tissue of the lungs - particularly the effect of
nicotine on the tar (and carcinogenic toxin) filled lungs of former smokers (see E-Cigarette Health Warning on this web site).
Health - Although some of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes have been approved for
food/ingestion purposes the chemicals have usually been tested in their non-heated state, and haven't
been approved for inhalation purposes - where their effect on sensitive lung tissue may well be different
to their effect when ingested using the more robust digestive system. Additionally some of the chemicals,
when heated (as usually happens in an e-cigarette) can become carcinogenic, and carcinogens have been detected in
tests on the fumes generated by these devices.
Addiction/Dependency - The majority of e-cigarettes provide a method for inhaling nicotine,
however nicotine inhalation does have an 'addictive quality' - many users 'enjoy' the habit to such
an extent that they develop a habit of dependency upon the drug and find themselves unable to quit - for example,
they persevere with the habit despite it causing them extreme life threatening medical conditions that require
major surgery, such as limb amputation.
There are some concerns that e-cigarettes will be even more 'addictive' than tobacco cigarettes - because
users, believing them to be safe, will 'smoke' more, rather than be continually trying to cut down their
Also, with tobacco cigarettes, smokers tend to make the decision to quit smoking when they eventually realise
the damage that smoking has done to their body, health and fitness. With e-cigarettes offering what
superficially appears to be a cleaner and safer method of inhaling nicotine it is more likely that e-cig users
will make no such attempt to quit inhaling e-cigarettes - resulting in longer and more frequent exposure
of their lungs to potentially damaging and untested e-cig nicotine, drugs, and chemical pollutants.
There are also concerns that many smokers initially experiment with smoking in their early teenage
years. And those initial experiments induce the body's natural physiological response to smoking - coughing,
spluttering, nausea etc. This response is such that many of those that do experiment decide that they don't like
inhaling hot tobacco smoke and its effects, and as a result they decide that 'smoking isn't for them' and
they go on to live their lives as non-smokers. In contrast, some teenage smoking experimenters will train
themselves to overcome and ignore the natural physiological response of their body (maybe because of accompanying
peer pressure when smoking in the company of friends) - and go on to become long term smokers with a nicotine
inhalation dependency habit that wrecks their lives. So there is clearly a concern that e-cigarettes, which not
only lack the discouraging 'noxiousness' of tobacco smoking but also, in many cases, contain
additional sweet flavoured flavourings to encourage the habit, will encourage some teenagers to become a
regular, dependent, user of e-cigarettes - whereas those teenagers wouldn't have persisted with smoking
tobacco cigarettes because they would have decided that 'smoking isn't for them'. So in terms of take up and
adoption of e-cigarettes, there is the potential for e-cigarettes to be far more 'addictive'
and widespread than tobacco cigarettes have ever been.
Pollution - E-cigarettes have been banned in cinemas and theatres because the clouds of
fumes produced by the devices interact with the lighting of spotlights and spoil the visual qualities of the
Pollution - E-cigs have been banned in supermarkets and restaurants because the fumes
produced by these devices typically contain contaminants such as nicotine and propylene glycol (and potentially
other, unknown, recreational drugs) - and consumers do not want to consume food that has been contaminated as
a result of e-cigarettes being used in proximity to food.
Security - An e-cig usually comprises a battery and controlling electronics that control a
heater that heats a solution of nicotine. As such they have the potential to be tampered with to create an
explosive device, and many airlines, airports, railways and bus operations have banned the use of these
Safety - There have been reports of e-cig batteries exploding and/or catching fire, and
they clearly have the potential to harm the user and also bystanders.
Encourages Smoking by Others & Interferes with Quit Smoking Attempts - One reason that the
e-cig industry want users to use e-cigs in public is because this is a free and very effective way of
advertising their product. It is known that one of the psychological triggers, for a smoker (or vaper) to
develop the desire to have a cigarette, is the sight of a cigarette, or someone smoking a cigarette. So those
office workers who are endeavouring to quit smoking may well be encouraged to return to smoking (or start
vaping) by the sight of another person in the office vaping an e-cigarette.
Distraction - Teachers and schools are concerned that the presence of e-cigarettes in
classrooms proves a distraction to learning.
Toxicity - Nicotine is a highly toxic poison - more toxic than arsenic or strychnine.
There has already been a report of one Israeli toddler being killed by ingestion of the nicotine solution used by a
Confusion with Tobacco Cigarettes - Many e-cigs are designed to look like tobacco
cigarettes - it is easier and more cost effective for organisations and businesses to include e-cigs in
smokefree legislation that ban public smoking - rather than have security personnel individually assess each
Crowd Psychology - If one person starts using an e-cigarette in an establishment then everyone
will - thus greatly increasing the amount of pollution created by the use of these devices in public spaces and
driving non-smokers away. - Many people can remember those smoke filled pubs and clubs where it seemed that
absolutely everyone smoked - because all the non-smokers had been driven away by the pollution and their
concerns about the effects on their health.
Gateway to Harder Drugs - The availability and public use of e-cigarettes
normalises the acceptability and recreational use of drugs, and thereby provides a gateway to
experimentation with 'harder' and more dangerous drugs - and there are already reports appearing of
e-cigarettes being used to inhale cannabis.
Children - it is well understood that children are curious and that cigarettes and e-cigarettes
are a source of mystery and intrigue to many children - and that the public use of e-cigarettes will both normalise
and encourage children to experiment and embark upon a lifetime of nicotine drug dependency. Many smokers first got
into a nicotine smoking dependency habit because a parent smoked - and through curiosity they stole and smoked
their parents cigarettes and subsequently got hooked and ruined their lives.
Non-Smoker Concerns - Non-smokers have concerns about the erosion of their rights to
breathe clean air that is unpolluted by the public use of these devices - and the long term effect on
their health of being forced to breathe the polluted air created by these devices.
Public Order - Businesses and organisations are concerned about public order offences occurring
as a result of confrontations between non-smokers and users of electronic cigarettes that assert their 'rights'
to vape in public.
Businesses - Operators of public areas such as restaurants, bars, pubs, shops, and malls
understand that by permitting the use of e-cigarettes within their establishments they make their
premises considerably less attractive to the 80% of the population that are non-smokers. There are concerns
that non-smoking customers will be driven away by a very small minority of e-cigarette
Workers Rights - Workers and employees, such as bar staff and waiting staff should not be
forced to work in conditions where they are being forced to passively breathe the pollution created
by electronic cigarettes - which are not zero emission and have not been proved to be harmless.
Political and establishment decision makers are experiencing an immense amount of lobbying from the
e-cigarette industry, both directly, from the industry itself, but also from the nicotine drug dependent
users that the industry has mobilised and encouraged to campaign for the public use of e-cigarettes on its
The arguments promoted by the e-cigarette industry to its dependent users in favour of the public use of
e-cigarettes are pretty much the same as were employed by the tobacco industry and smokers for years:
"Freedom & Liberty" - E-cig users are encouraged to lobby for public use of
e-cigarettes on the basis that e-cigarettes do not burn tobacco and are therefore not subject to the
regulations that apply to tobacco cigarettes - regardless of other people, and conveniently overlooking the
rights of other people to go about their business free of concerns about the long term effects of passive
inhalation of the various chemicals present in the fumes created by electronic cigarettes.
"E-Cigarettes Have Not Been Proven Harmful" - When there is such a long time delay between
cause and the harmful effects arising from long term use it can be very difficult to prove cause and effect,
and the tobacco industry relied upon this and protested its innocence for decades before eventually
capitulating and eventually paying out millions of dollars in settlement and compensation. It is now generally
agreed that nicotine inhalation through tobacco smoking results in the premature death of nearly 1 in 2 smokers.
The fact is that some studies have already shown an immediate short term adverse effect on lung function
directly from the use of e-cigarettes - however the protracted longer term tests that the e-cig industry would like
have not been carried out under clinical conditions, partly because of the obvious ethical considerations arising
from continuing tests on a device that has already been show to produce adverse effects.
"People smoke for the Nicotine but die from the tar" - This often repeated line circulated
by the nicotine industry advocates should be recognised for what it is. It suits the nicotine industry to
project an image of nicotine as being 'harmless', and all of the 'harm' being due to the other 4000
toxins present in tobacco smoke. In this way the door is left open for the development of a variety of
nicotine based addictive products. The reality is that nicotine has received a lot of attention and research
over many years, and the presence of nicotine has been found to encourage tumour growth through a number
of mechanisms, and electronic cigarettes may well be particularly harmful to ex-smokers, as described in the
E-Cigarette Health Warning on this web site.
"I'm addicted to nicotine - it's not my fault" - This is just the
smoker's manipulation of other people, to gain sympathy such that the user can continue smoking or vaping
in public regardless of the concerns of others about the content and effect of the smoke and e-cigarette emissions.
Smoking is not a physiological addiction that the body craves - it is a psychological habit of dependency on
nicotine, and people are not addicted - they could quit anytime they liked, if they really wanted to, as described
in Nicotine Addiction Facts on this web site.
"Banning e-cigarettes will adversely affect the economy" - Although some countries have
banned e-cigarettes completely, there will be no adverse effects on the economy by subjecting e-cigarettes to
the same restrictions on use as tobacco cigarettes because e-cigarettes have not achieved a wide level of
use in public.
With the success of the smokefree legislation that was introduced in 2007, which has
been shown to be supported by over 70% of the population (ASH surveys), smokers and
non-smokers, there is no compelling need to take what can only be seen as a backward step, by encouraging
the public use of e-cigarettes and the problems that accompany them.
Smokers are happy conforming to the smokefree legislation, and not smoking indoors in public; the situation
should be no different for e-cigarette users. E-cig users are being encouraged by the e-cig industry to use
e-cigarettes in public because this is free advertising and promotion for the e-cig industry.
With decisions on e-cig policy being taken at a 'local level' by individual policy makers at pubs,
restaurants, states, counties, villages, businesses, schools, hospitals, libraries, civic authorities etc. it is
pleasing that so many policy makers are resisting the organised lobbying by e-cigarette users and instead
are putting the interests of the majority of the general public first - and merely modifying their existing
'no smoking' policies to also explicitly incorporate the use of e-cigarettes.
If you have personal responsibilities or input into decisions taken at your place of business or work regarding
e-cigarette policy why not join all of those people who have taken a stand and banned the public use of
To find out more about organisations that are similar to yours and are implementing local bans on e-cigarette,
please see the news reports linked to in the following pages:
Local e-cig ban news reports 1
Local e-cig ban news reports 2
Local e-cig ban news reports 3
Local e-cig ban news reports 4
1st published 23rd November 2013. Last updated 7th December 2013.