They may be faking it but e-cigarette smokers could soon be tarred with the same brush as real smokers.
Invercargill City Council has been asked to consider forcing e-cigarette smokers to stub out their electronic devices as part of its smokefree policy. But a ban on e-cigarettes in parks, reserves and playgrounds is taking political correctness too far, a councillor says.
Councillor and community services committee chairman Lindsay Abbott said he was not happy with the recommendation.
“How politically correct do we get?” Abbott quipped from his chair at the community services committee meeting yesterday.
A smoking habit was harder to kick than a heroin habit, he said. “Smokers are already legislated against harshly.”
Community development manager Mary Napper recommended the use of e-cigarettes be included in relevant council policies.
The use of e-cigarettes continued to normalise smoking, she said.
“It reinforces the practice of smoking as being acceptable and normal. This is of particular concern as it can contribute to young people taking up smoking.”
There was no research available that confirmed e-cigarettes led to young people taking up smoking, however, public health units were keen to normalise smokefree and so were recommending that these products be excluded in relevant policies, she said.
My God, they’re morons. E-cigarettes are what people use to get themselves out of smoking. They are not a gateway into smoking. No teenager decides to start using e-cigarettes. They are what people use to quit smoking, and they don’t kill their users like tobacco does.
But the idiots in Invercargill want to ban them. God save us from these people.
Councillor Lindsay Thomas said e-cigarettes were developed to help people quit smoking. Going cold turkey was very hard so banning the use of e-cigarettes in outdoor areas would not help those trying to quit, he said.
In May, End Smoking New Zealand chairman Dr Murray Laugesen told The Southland Times normalising smoking was not going to kill people, but smoking a real cigarette would kill people, “in fact, it would kill one in two people”, he said.
Laugesen is NZ’s most experienced researcher on anti-smoking research and policy. He has found e-cigarettes are 100 to 1,000 times safer than normal cigarettes.