A SENIOR councillor has hailed a Wrexham restaurant for banning electronic cigarettes.
The stance being taken by Frankie and Benny’s at the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre has been praised after the eatery banned the electronic smoking products.
Cllr David Griffiths, Wrexham Council’s lead member for health, said the restaurant chain deserved credit for its pioneering stance on the issue.
He said: “I think Frankie and Benny’s deserve a lot of praise for adopting this policy.
“We have taken the same stance by prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in all our council buildings.
“We have become very used to pubs and restaurants being smoke-free environments and this is very positive step to reduce the circumstances in which non-smokers, especially children, are exposed to the habit.”
As it stands UK law does not regulate the devices as tobacco products, and currently people are free to smoke them in establishments where smoking has officially been banned.
However, it is up to individual establishments to decide if e-cigarettes can be used within their premises.
They are set to be registered as a medicine in 2016.
Frankie and Benny’s manager Peter Cross said: “The ban on smoking cigarettes in enclosed public places has been in place for a number of years but I’m absolutely delighted the company has decided to introduce a policy banning the use of electronic smoking devices on all company premises too.
“The reasons for the ban are twofold. Firstly, although e-cigarettes emit vapour as opposed to smoke, these vapour emissions are yet to be fully tested for their composition.
“Therefore we cannot guarantee they are safe and we refuse to subject our customers or staff to any potential health risk that may come from inhaling vapour from e-cigarettes.
“Secondly, we pride ourselves on being a family orientated business and we want the environment to be welcoming to everyone. The use of e-cigarettes within the restaurant is simply not compatible with the company image.”
He added: “We haven’t gone overboard and stuck signs up everywhere within the restaurant. The no-smoking sign at the restaurant entrance has been amended to include e-cigarettes.
“I have had to advise people on a number of occasions, since we introduced the ban, that they could not use e-cigarettes inside the restaurant. I have to say those people have apologised and immediately stopped using their e-cigarettes.
“Our customers I have spoken to about the issue are right behind us and support the ban. I just think it backs up the ban on smoking and makes it a better environment for everyone.”