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NHS Scotland criticised for e-cigarette ban

Image for NHS Scotland criticised for e-cigarette ban
In a move which has surprised many people, NHS Scotland has announced plans to introduce a ban on the use of e-cigarettes on its grounds. This move obviously grabbed the headlines although in reality many experts believe it is almost unenforceable in line with the ban on tobacco cigarettes. You only have to walk around the grounds of an NHS hospital in Scotland to see the number of people having "cigarette breaks" outside of the buildings. Whether or not you are a supporter or a critic of electronic cigarettes there are a number of questions for NHS Scotland to answer. Why the ban? With the number of ongoing long-term medical trials researching potential health implications of using electronic cigarettes, why has NHS Scotland decided to jump the gun? At this moment in time there is no definitive research to suggest that e-cigarettes are in any way as harmful as their tobacco counterparts and indeed many experts have been supportive of the products. There is a real danger that public bodies around the world, not just the UK, are considering e-cigarettes and other vaping devices under the umbrella of tobacco products. This is something which has been creeping up on the industry, and there are a number of reasons why some bodies appear to be doing this, but when looking at the cold hard facts, it is difficult if not impossible to justify this position. Even the critics have expressed their concerns. A number of bodies which have been mildly critical of the electronic cigarette industry in recent times have even expressed their concern at the proposed ban on vaping products on NHS Scotland grounds. There is an ongoing debate as to whether electronic cigarettes potentially offer the greatest opportunity to rid the world of tobacco addiction or indeed whether they are just a stepping stone to tobacco cigarettes. The general consensus at this moment in time is that they do offer a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes and all research to date suggests that they are not a stepping stone. When you have long-term critics of the vaping industry suggesting that NHS Scotland has jumped the gun and acted with a lack of evidence - where does this leave the industry in the short, medium and long term? Have the authorities shown their hand? Many supporters of the vaping industry are concerned about a negative bias in the political arena which seems to have spread its tentacles into the public sector. In a similar fashion to "assumed guilt" there seems to be an onus on the industry to prove there are no long-term health implications as opposed to critics proving there are concerns and potential problems going forward. The link to tobacco cigarettes is tenuous to say the least because vaping products and e-liquid or disposable electronic cigarettes contain just a fraction of the ingredients in a modern day tobacco cigarette. The pressure is certainly being ramped up on the vaping industry although if you take a step back and look at the situation from a distance, is there any hard evidence to support this particular ban? Guest post brought to you by: Ok - E-cigarettes