Conservative MP Mark Pawsey has criticised a new rule banning members of the Houses of Parliament using their e-cigarette inside their private offices.
The MP for Rugby was left disappointed at the decision to enforce this rule, as now people using electronic cigarettes will have to stand with tobacco smokers in designated outdoor smoking areas. He argues that by doing so, those who have made the switch to e-cigarettes will be once again exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
Speaking during the business statement, he said:
“There is no evidence of any dangers posed by second-hand inhalation of e-cigarette vapour, yet a recent ruling of the House of Commons Commission means that members and their staff who have given up tobacco and choose to vape are no longer permitted to do so in their private offices.
The use of e-cigarettes is restricted to designated areas outdoors where users of e-cigarettes are exposed to harmful second-hand tobacco smoke.
As chair of the all-party parliamentary group for e-cigarettes and keen to stimulate informed debate on these devices, I wonder if we might have a consideration of the consequences of the commission's ruling.”
Leader of the House Chris Grayling said he should make a formal request to the Administration Committee once it is established, giving Mr Pawsey an opportunity to outline the changes he would like to see.
Electronic cigarettes are increasingly being seen as a way for employers to cut down on the lost working hours caused by smoking breaks, and this decision will be seen as a step back by many. This new rule contradicts our previously discussed decision to allow electronic cigarettes to be used within private offices in the Houses of Parliament.
What do you think about this decision? Let us know in the comments!