FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We, Vapers in Power, are deeply concerned by the published report from the Welsh Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) which shows clear division within the Committee in regards to e-cigarette use in enclosed public spaces and workplaces.
The positions of the Committee members appear to be split along party lines, which we find deeply disturbing when the matters under discussion affect the health and lives of every Welsh citizen. Public health matters should be based upon solid scientific evidence, not predetermined party agenda, and this clearly has not been the case in this decision.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt does not constitute evidence, and using this basis for the application of the precautionary principle is entirely wrong and counterproductive. We applaud those members who supported the scientific evidence presented to the council, and are highly disappointed with those members who have failed to grasp this immutable fact.
We now strongly urge all members of the Committee to press for the removal of all measures related to vaping from the Bill entirely, and progress with the remainder of measures contained within it. Public health is far too important a matter to become a political football to be played along party lines. The sensible and proactive measures in the Bill should not be withheld due to the incalcitrance of Labour AMs.
The failure to reach consensus by the HSCC particularly highlights which parties in the Welsh Assembly listened to vapers and the evidence of scientific experts, and which acted on predetermined policy outcomes. We would like to express our overwhelming gratitude to Plaid Cymru, Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Liberal Democrats for their honesty, and their continuing support for the estimated 242,000 vapers in Wales.
Many vapers and advocates have campaigned vigorously since the proposals were announced to get their local representatives to comprehend the significance of vaping, particularly vaping in public. This is an important milestone in their campaign and we express tremendous gratitude for their hard work. We urge them to continue writing to their AM’s to demand that they insist on evidence based policy, rather than political ideology. To aid in this, we have created a new web resource which enables members of the public to easily contact their representatives. This is available at http://writetovape.co.uk/wales/
We firmly believe that by the introduction of this Bill, the Minister for Health has shown himself to be an embarrassment to public health in Wales, and that his misguided actions and inactions require further investigation. We believe that failing to listen to, understand and represent the voice of vapers does not mean that they can be ignored at the ballot box.
For this reason, we are pleased to announce that we will be fielding a candidate to stand in direct competition against the Minister for Health in his own constituency for the Welsh Assembly Government Elections, to be held in May 2016.
For further information, please contact:
Abigail Cottril, Social media and press secretary, Vapers in Power
Notes to Editors:
Vapers in Power is a UK registered political party, established in 2014 to give a voice to vapers.
242,000 vapers in Wales reference http://100thousand.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/E-Opinion-Poll-Results.pdf (page 9)