Electronic cigarette vendors have rubbished calls from health chiefs for them to be banned in public places.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) plea has been described as “alarmist” by researchers at University College London, a point of view agreed with by those selling the products on the Fylde coast.
Jack Heaton, from No-Match, on Cookson Street, central Blackpool, said: “Each country has got its own laws and views on it but there’s a lot of ignorance because it’s a new industry.
“There has to be an informed way forward and a lot of people who need to be educated about their benefits.”
Chloe Hatfield, from The Vapour Stop, on St Georges Road, St Annes, believes it should be up to the owners of individual premises whether they allow e-cigarettes to be used rather than having a blanket ban enforced.
She said: “I don’t think it should be banned in public places but people should take more consideration before whipping their e-cigarette out.
“I’ve been into many restaurants and I just ask them if it’s OK to use it.
“I can understand why certain places would say no and it should be left to the discretion of business owners.”
E-cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed by manufacturers as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco
A spokesman for WHO said: “We currently recommend that smokers should first be encouraged to quit smoking and nicotine addiction by using a combination of already-approved treatments.
“In addition, the report says existing evidence shows that e-cigarette aerosol is not merely water vapour as is often claimed in the marketing of these products.
“While they are likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, e-cigarette use poses threats to adolescents and foetuses of pregnant mothers using these devices.
“E-cigarettes also increase the exposure of non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and a number of toxicants.”