Starbucks has banned e-cigarettes after health worries

People who enjoy an e-cigarette with their cappuccino risk being turned away as a major coffee chain joins hotels, shops and attractions in banning vaping.

Starbucks has confirmed it has banned electronic cigarettes after a World Health Organisation report said the product touted as a healthy alternative smoking may have hidden dangers.

This is bad news for more than two million people in the UK who use electronic cigarettes, as the coffee chain joins Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger, KFC and Nicholson’s pubs in imposing the ban.

Rail firms across the country already prohibit vaping, as do London attractions including the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and the hotel Claridge’s.

The WHO report said the vapour released by e-cigarettes contains toxins which may cause an ‘increased risk of disease and death’ among users and bystanders.

The British Medical Association supports imposing bans, with Professor Sheila Hollins, who chairs the organisation’s board of science, urging ‘stronger controls’ on their use to ‘protect others from exposure’ and avoid encouraging non-smokers from taking up the habit.

However experts argue the WHO report is misleading as it fails to acknowledge the risks posed by e-cigarette toxins are tiny compared to cigarette smoke, which contains tar and toxins that cause cancer and other diseases.

Clive Bates, who directed Action against Smoking, said banning e-cigarettes would discourage smokers who had embraced the product as a healthier option.

He added: ‘The danger is they put all these restrictions in and you end up with more people smoking.’