This just about sums up the evidence on vaping and renormalising smoking - the biggest stick used to beat up on vapers:
"There are people in the public health community who are obsessed by e-cigarettes. This idea that it renormalizes smoking is absolute bullshit. There is no evidence so far that it is a gateway into smoking for young people."
And this quote isn't from a pro-vaping lobby group but from Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health - ASH - the granddaddy of anti-smoking groups.
This fact hasn't stopped councils, hospitals, universities, pub chains and a host of other places from banning the use of e-cigs:
While the university recognizes that these may be useful aids to those wishing to give up smoking, it has taken the view that e-cigarettes could undermine the policy of banning smoking in the work place as it gives the impression of normalising smoking in the work place. (Head of health and safety in the human resources division at Manchester Metropolitan University, Chris Bolam)
The Trust has taken the decision to not include e-cigarettes as part of our approach to support abstaining. The decision has been taken as there is currently insufficient evidence about their impact on health or risks associated with their usage. (Guys & St Thomas Hospital)
We do not allow the use of electronic cigarettes either. They are difficult for you the Managers to police and it would be the Managers as well as the Brewery who would be fined if persons were caught smoking the real thing (Humprey Smith, Director, Sam Smiths Brewery)
I could continue with hundreds of other pathetic, mealy-mouthed excuses for banning e-cigs - organisations from Alton Towers and Weatherspoons through to the Association of Conservative Clubs and Starbucks have all taken the decision to stop you vaping on their premises. Mostly the excuses given are one (or more than one of the following):
1. The WHO (or BMA or some other bunch of fussbuckets) has said we 'don't know enough about the health risks'
2. It looks like smoking and someone might light up a real cigarette meaning we get fined for breaking the smoking ban
3. It looks like smoking which makes smoking look normal and we have children as customers
The comment from ASH's boss should give the lie to all of these excuses. What would be good would be for some of these public health sorts to start telling premises that they should allow vaping inside rather than hiding behind the supposedly blazing row in their profession.