Syed Kamall's liberal vision

Posted on September 10, 2015

A London Mayoral candidate wants London to embrace e-cigarettes and become the “most vape-friendly city in the world”. 

Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London and the Conservative leader in the European Parliament, told the campaign group Action on Consumer Choice: 

"E-cigarettes are giving millions of smokers the ability to kick the habit. I would like to see London becoming the most vape-friendly city in the world.

“Unlike smoking there are no nasty smells, there’s no evidence of vaping being a risk to third parties, and bodies such as Public Health England say it’s 95 per cent less harmful than smoking tobacco. This is a technology that can save lives and we should welcome it.”

Kamall added that while he didn’t like the habit himself, if he became Mayor of London he would prefer incentives to give up smoking rather than further restrictions on smoking. 

“I don’t like smoking but rather than imposing more restrictions, former smokers tell me we should instead encourage smokers to kick the habit by trying new consumer-driven technologies like vaping.” 

Rob Lyons, campaigns manager for Action on Consumer Choice, said: "It's encouraging that a high-profile politician like Syed Kamall has recognised the benefits of vaping, benefits enjoyed by millions of former smokers who have switched from combustible cigarettes.

“We’re pleased too that he has resisted the temptation to jump on the anti-smoking bandwagon and call for further restrictions on tobacco.

“It’s one thing to encourage smokers to quit by making London vaper-friendly. It’s quite another to force them to stop by denying them the choice of smoking in outdoor public places, as some mayoral candidates would like to do. 

“Syed Kamall understands that if London is to maintain its reputation for being a diverse, liberal city, politicians shouldn’t over-regulate legitimate habits such as smoking and vaping.”

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The other Conservative candidates are Andrew Boff, Zac Goldsmith and Stephen Greenhalgh.