Fuel has been added to the on-going debate over Saints’ decision to rename Langtree Park the Totally Wicked Stadium from next year by a warning from the American government about the alleged dangers of electronic cigarettes.
Officials in the US believe that e-cigarettes could turn young people into lifelong nicotine addicts and undermines British heath officials’ instance that they are 95 per cent less harmful than normal smoking.
Saints, who have signed a five-year deal with Blackburn-based Totally Wicked - manufacturers and retailers of vape products - said in a lengthy statement announcing the link-up: “We are committed to supporting fans who wish to vape to switch from smoking to a significantly less harmful alternative.
“Supporters are, therefore, allowed to vape within the stadium and this will continue to be the case under the new sponsorship deal.
“The decision was taken after careful consideration of the very latest government-backed evidence which makes clear that vaping does not undermine the smoking ban and there is no evidence of harm to bystanders from second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes.”
The Saints’ board of directors will have given a great deal of thought to their latest decision with a company who already sponsor one of the stadium stands and whose log appears on home and away shirts.
Naturally, they will have expected a number of objections to what is a record sponsorship deal for the Super League club, but I doubt whether the majority of Saints’ die-hards will care two hoots if the money ploughed into the club is the prelude to the kind of trophy success they enjoyed during the first eight years of the Millennium - three Super League titles, five Challenge Cup victories and two World Club Challenge crowns.