Local Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, raised concerns about the safety of vaping in the Assembly’s Business Statement last week.
Speaking in the Senedd Nick said:
“Members may be aware that there's been an issue in the United States, which is currently in the process of banning most flavoured e-cigarettes. Hundreds of people are suffering from a mysterious lung illness. I know that vaping products in America are different to the vaping products here—the nicotine is much stronger, the other chemicals in them are stronger—but nonetheless, there's an issue there and some of my constituents have been asking me what my opinion is. I'm not an expert on vaping, but I wonder whether we could have an update on the guidance of the Welsh Government in the light of those concerns.”
In response to Nick’s request Rebecca Evans AM replied: “In terms of e-cigarettes, I know that reports from the United States of the cluster of serious pulmonary disease amongst people who use e-cigarettes are very concerning. However, I think that it's fair to say at the moment the exact cause of the disease is unknown. But we're very clear in Welsh Government that e-cigarettes shouldn't be used by non-smokers, they should not be used by young people. At the same time, we recognise some people have found them to be helpful in terms of helping them stop smoking, but we're very clear that evidence of the longer term health affects of e-cigarette use is currently very limited. We are working with partners across Wales to develop a shared consensus about e-cigarettes that is evidence based and I'm sure that we'll have more to say on that in due course, but in the meantime we'd certainly encourage anyone who wants to quit smoking to call our free national helpline, Help Me Quit, on 0800 085 2219. We also have our helpmequit.wales website, which you can also visit as well, should anybody be interested. “