As the debates rage on regarding e-cigarettes, one expert is stating that being ‘unsure’ is no good reason to ban e-cigarettes from hospitals.
Currently all Scottish Health Boards bar the NHS Lothian have banned e-cigarettes in hospitals and on their grounds. However, David Shaw, senior research fellow at the institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basil, Switzerland stated,“by refusing the use of e-cigarettes on hospital grounds, the NHS is harming the health of patients and the wider public.”
Shaw stated that substantial evidence has shown e-cigarettes are a better option than conventional cigarettes.
The Medical Daily reporting on Shaw’s opinions that were originally published in the British Medical Journal write, “The prohibition of e-cigs will also increase the risk of smoking right outside the hospital. The article points out that many members of the public must pass by smokers on their way into the hospital, and would have to hold their breath in an attempt to avoid breathing in the fumes from patients (some of whom are very ill) smoking outside. Even if the vapor from an e-cigarette wisped in front of entrances, it would be less harmful and unpleasant to walk through than a cloud of cigarette smoke.
“Permitting e-cigarette use on hospital grounds would provide much more positive role modeling for children than seeing pregnant women and patients with cancer smoking conventional cigarettes in subzero temperatures at the main entrance to hospitals.”
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