E-cigs group slams train service bans

Major transport companies rule out electronic cigarettes on board as market competition intensifies

New Vype, from BAT-owned Nicoventures, is going into a range of chain retailers and is being backed by a £3.6m marketing push.
New Vype, from BAT-owned Nicoventures, is going into a range of chain retailers and is being backed by a £3.6m marketing push.

THE electronic cigarette market looks set to hot up as one of the world’s largest tobacco firms starts the roll out of its e-cigarette brand, other companies bring new lines to the market and established players boost advertising and marketing efforts ahead of Christmas and the New Year.

But one of the bodies representing electronic cigarette suppliers says it’s disappointed at a growing tendency for transport companies to extend mandatory tobacco smoking bans to the electronic products.
Rail companies Cross Country, ScotRail and Virgin Trains have all stopped travellers using the devices on their trains and managed stations. East Coast, however, still allows passengers to use electronic cigarettes on board.
A spokesperson for Cross Country said: “Given their remarkable likeness, the use of e-cigarettes can cause concern amongst other passengers, so we ask customers not to use them.
“In the same way as you would expect people to react if you were to smoke an e-cigarette in a restaurant, in the confined space of a railway carriage their use has led to complaints.”
But Katherine Devlin, president of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association said: “I think it’s a great shame. We do need to have much better information out there but it does seem a bit counter intuitive.
“Everybody knows that it’s illegal to smoke in public places and hardly anyone these days would dare to light up a cigarette where they’re not allowed. The notion that other passengers are thinking somebody is just blatantly smoking in a banned place seems a bit odd.
“The smoking ban makes sense. We know there is a risk from smoke but it’s not the same thing with electronic cigarette vapour. There’s research that shows there is a negligible risk to bystanders from electronic cigarettes.”
l Vype, the new electronic cigarette brand from Nicoventures, which is owned by tobacco giant BAT, has agreed listings with several chain retailers .
The product will go into selected stores and forecourt outlets of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Shell, McColl’s and Spar.
The firm said the brand is being backed by a £3.6m marketing campaign, running to the end of the year and designed to build awareness of Vype as an alternative to smoking tobacco.
Electronic cigarettes have grown in popularity since they were first introduced with an estimated 1.3 million UK adults using the products, up from 700,000 last year, it said.
• Competitor VIP has launched its first TV campaign with two 20-second ads which will be shown after 9pm and which it describes as “provocative”.
Following Advertising Standards Authority rules, the VIP e-cigarettes aren’t shown. But actors ask: “Do you want me to get it out?”