The Welsh Government’s proposals to extend the e-cigarette ban to cover more public places failed today in a stunning victory for vapers.
Labour’s proposals looked set to become a reality, but after an unpleasant exchange Plaid Cymru chose not to support the move, leaving the Government with a great deal of embarrassment.
Labour’s Leighton Andrews described Plaid as a “cheap date”, and that didn’t go down well. Perhaps Labour should show a bit more respect if they want to legislate successfully.
The move attempted to prohibit smoking in public playgrounds, school grounds and hospital grounds.
It was recently reported that 39 assembly members voted in favour and 17 were opposed to add the ban to the bill.
E-Cigarette inventor Hon Lik recently blasted the Welsh Government and the Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford for the Bill.
Hon Lik said: “I’m very proud that thanks to my invention, millions of smokers have managed to either cut their consumption significantly or stop smoking completely.
“That is why I am extremely disappointed to hear that Wales has proposed a ban on vaping in public places.
“I believe that e-cigarettes are a key component in a harm reduction approach to cutting smoking rates.
“Banning their use in public places is wrong. It sends a contradictory message at a time when authorities have clearly stated that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.”
Mark Drakeford was fairly disappointed with the outcome.
“It puts to waste five years of careful preparation and constructive work with a very wide range of stakeholders and supporters. Today was an opportunity to protect a generation who have grown up in a smoke-free environment from re-normalising smoking,” said Drakeford.