Ipswich traders feel a vaping ban is unlikely
- Credit: Archant
High Streets are populated with e-cigarette and vaping shops. But could there be a ban on the way for this alternative to smoking?
In the USA San Francisco has become the first US city to ban the sale of e-cigarettes until their health effects are clearer.
Officials voted to ban stores selling the vaporisers and made it illegal for online retailers to deliver to addresses in the city.
The Californian city is home to Juul Labs, the most popular e-cigarette producer in the US which has products on sale in the UK too.
They cited the rapid rise in vaping among teenagers in the US.
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More than 4.5m American teenagers used e-cigarettes in 2018, a rise of 1.5m on the year before.
In the UK e-cigarettes have been praised by health professionals as a way of helping people to quit smoking permanently.
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In Ipswich, traders feel a vaping ban is unlikely to make it over here.
Klye Wicko, manager of The Vaping Emporium in Northgate Street, said. "I heard about it. I think in the USA it is a lot about the tobacco lobby.
"It is very powerful and a lot of senators are from those areas.
"The health benefits of switching to e-cigarettes are many. I started vaping seven years ago and I haven't touched a cigarette since.
"I tried vaping for the first time and really enjoyed it. It stopped me smoking. I feel fitter too.
"I can run up the stairs easier and I swim quite a lot."
Aden Sheppard, manager of Ecigwizard, in Westgate Street, is another former smoker. He said: "I can't see a ban coming in here.
"There are a lot of people in favour of vaping. The NHS back it so I can't see it being stopped in the UK.
"The products sold in the USA are stronger. Over there think it is seen as cool, the way smoking used to be.
"My parents and their generation all smoked."
He and his ex had decided to quit smoking when their son was born, he said. "We went cold turkey and it was very tough.
"I smoked every day and used to do roll-ups. I decided to try vaping. Since day one I haven't touched another cigarette."
Public Health England says e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than the tobacco alternatives.
A study for Action for Smoking and Health last year found most young people who vaped did it "to give it a try", rather than because it was "cool."
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said then:"We need to be vigilant and continue to monitor e-cigarette use among young people. However, smoking prevalence among children and young adults in Britain has fallen substantially since 2010, which doesn't indicate that vaping has been a gateway into smoking. And to date there is little sign that vaping is the "super-cool" phenomenon among young people here that it is said to be in the USA."
Professor Parveen Kumar, chair of the British Medical Association Board of Science said:"While the British Medical Association believes there is a role for e-cigarettes in helping adult smokers quit, it is vitally important that we do all we can to protect children and young people from taking up vaping. That is why the BMA supported the introduction of substantial restrictions on advertising, promotion and sale of e-cigarettes in the UK."