Scotland business

Oil and Gas UK advises firms to ban e-cigarettes offshore

Man smoking e-cigarette Image copyright PA
Image caption The report advises that e-cigarettes should be banned unless, and until, they become medically regulated

Industry body Oil and Gas UK is advising companies not to allow e-cigarettes to be used offshore.

Current safety measures permit workers to smoke in designated locations on offshore installations.

But Oil and Gas UK's 2015 health and safety report has recommended e-cigarettes should be banned unless, and until, they become medically regulated.

It suggested the industry should be consistent with public health measures aimed at reducing tobacco smoking.

The report said the increasing use of e-cigarettes had prompted employers across the industry to request advice.

It read: "The common argument for e-cigarettes is that they are an aid to smokers who wish to stop smoking.

"This is not supported by the only scientifically-led investigation to date of this concept, which shows that e-cigarettes are not more effective than existing nicotine replacement therapies (gums, patches, etc) in helping individuals to stop smoking.

"Existing nicotine replacement therapies are medically-regulated, but e-cigarettes are not, although it is expected that those containing more than 20 milligrams/litre of nicotine will be regulated from 2016."

It added: "The advice recommends that the industry is consistent with well-established public health measures to reduce tobacco smoking and that unless, and until, they become medically regulated, e-cigarettes should not be permitted offshore."

Last November, offshore operator Talisman Sinopec Energy UK banned e-cigarettes from its North Sea platforms after one overheated while it was charging.

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