Hospital bosses have been urged to stop “bullying” e-cigarette users.
James Barker, vice chairman of UKIP in Lancashire, has to the chairman e of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs Preston and Chorley hospitals, asking him to reconsider the policy of treating e-cigarettes the same as tobacco.
It comes after Public Health England said smoking e-cigarettes - or vaping - is 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco and the NHS should support their use for secession work.
Vaping is banned from Preston and Chorley hospitals.
In his letter, Mr Barker said: “Many or most users of e-cigarettes are being treated unfairly and unwisely. This bullying of citizens, by banning them from car parks and pathways as well as hospital buildings, has to stop. If the NHS carries on like this they will force people, many desperate to stop smoking, back onto cigarettes.”
Stuart Heys, chairman at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our current policy states that we do not recommend the use of electronic cigarettes. As health professionals we can only recommend the use of evidenced-based strategies to support people to be smoke free.
“Currently the e-cigarette is not regulated as a tobacco product or as a medicine in the UK. However, we do welcome the report published by Public Health England and we will review the new evidence and any new guidance issued by Public Health England.”