Saints sponsor blasts county council’s e-cig stance

editorial image

An electronic cigarette manufacturer and one of Saints main sponsors has launched a stinging attack on a county council.

Totally Wicked, who sponsor the Langtree Park side’s North Stand, have criticised a Lancashire County Council funded advertising campaign which they believe will result in fewer smokers making the switch to vaping and many vapers returning to smoking.

Who are these people that will be put off e-cigarettes? They are current and former smokers. Lancashire County Council is essentially saying to these smokers that they are better off continuing to smoke which, as every right thinking person knows, is patently ludicrous

Fraser Cropper, managing director of Totally Wicked

The advert in question, which is appearing on local radio stations, states: “Have you ever used an e-cig? Did you know they are not risk free? Some contain nicotine and other chemicals that can cause addiction. We still don’t know enough about the health risks of e-cigs, so don’t take the risk get the facts.

“From the 1st of October 2015 it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy e-cigs. It will also be an offence for anyone over 18 to buy e-cigs on behalf of a young person.”

The company says it fully supports the ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to under 18s, having voluntarily enforced their own ban on such sales since 2008.

However, the firm says it is appalled that Lancashire County Council is using the introduction of the age of sale restrictions to also tell smokers not to switch to vaping.

Fraser Cropper, managing director of Totally Wicked, said: “Vaping is recognised by all credible public health experts as being significantly less harmful than smoking.

“There is never a situation where it is better to smoke than it is to vape.

“Lancashire County Council has to ask it selves some pretty serious questions with regard to this radio advert. Its tone is totally negative and almost deliberately designed to put people off vaping.

“Who are these people that will be put off e-cigarettes? They are current and former smokers. Lancashire County Council is essentially saying to these smokers that they are better off continuing to smoke which, as every right thinking person knows, is patently ludicrous.

“Already 2.6 million adult smokers in the UK have made the switch to vaping.

“This should be a cause for celebration rather than concern. From a public health standpoint, we urge Lancashire County Council to withdraw this advert at once and issue a statement setting out the true facts surrounding vaping.”