Vaping in taxis could be banned by Calderdale Council

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Long-term health impact of e-cigarettes is not yet known

Councillors may ban people using e-cigarettes in taxis.

Calderdale Council is among the first authorities to consider clamping down on vaping.

There is already a smoking ban in taxis and private hire vehicles, but the council may go one step further and extend it to e-cigarettes.

Council papers say that because they are not regulated councillors need to consider if it is suitable for taxi drivers and passengers to vape in private hire and hackney carriage vehicles and operator bases.

They add: “There is a growing consensus that using e-cigarettes… is significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco. In addition, e-cigarettes reduce second-hand smoke exposure as they produce a vapour not smoke.

“However, although they are not subject to any regulation at this time, there are still some concerns regarding their safety as few of the manufacturers disclose the ingredients within the products.

“The short term health risks associated with e-cigarette use appear to be minimal, but the potential long term impact remains unknown.

“The vapour emitted from the e-cigarettes may trigger smoke alarms; the vapour may also affect those around who suffer with health issues for example, sensitive asthma.

“Although it is not an offence to smoke (or vape) whilst driving; the police may consider it the offence of driving without due care and attention of not being in proper control of the vehicle.”

Council officers say they’ve seen people ‘vaping’ in taxis and say the appearance of it is “not considered to be acceptable.”

If Calderdale moves to ban e-cigarettes at a public meeting next Monday, it would be following Bradford which has already banned them. Leeds is considering it, however Kirklees and Wakefield is yet to consider it.

But there is some debate about e-cigarettes. Earlier this month Public Health England called for them to be prescribed on the NHS within the next few years because of how successful they have been in helping people give up smoking.

Research suggests at least 20,000 people a year are quitting with the help of e-cigarettes and they are at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

But they’re not popular everywhere, the Welsh Government tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes in some enclosed places, including schools, hospitals and places selling food, fearing vaping would “re-normalise smoking” but the bid failed due to a political row.

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