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Public transport bodies unlikely to re-examine vaping ban

Last month the Medical Independent (MI) reported that the HSE is keeping emerging evidence on e-cigarettes “under review”.

Earlier this month HIQA  announced a national public consultation on a health technology assessment (HTA) of smoking cessation interventions. The assessment is the first of its kind in the EU to examine the cost-effectiveness of e-cigarettes.

The HTA found a “high level of uncertainty surrounding both the clinical and cost-effectiveness of e-cigarettes”. Nevertheless the HTA also reported that increased use of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking would “increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland”.

However, both Irish Rail and Luas management told MI they are unlikely to alter their current stance even if the HSE or the Department of Health change their health advice regarding vaping.

“E-cigarettes are banned on all trains and in enclosed areas in stations,” Irish Rail spokesperson Mr Barry Kenny told MI.

“We introduced this ban in March 2014. This was to ensure we maintained a smoke-free environment and avoided dilution of same on our trains and in our stations.

“We did not consult externally and instead made the decision to provide clarity and consistency in response to customer feedback.”

Mr Kenny added: “We would not reconsider the ban regardless of medical advice, as it could negatively impact on maintaining a smoke-free environment to do so.”

A spokesperson for Luas said e-cigarettes are banned on its trams. This decision was made by Transdev management in consultation with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) over two years ago.

“We have no plans to withdraw the ban at this time.”

By press time, there was no reply from Dublin Bus to MI’s queries. The company also bans use of e-cigarettes on its buses.

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