GPs fuming at football e-cigarette sponsorship deal

GP leaders in Wales have criticised a football team for taking sponsorship from an electronic cigarette distribution company.

Dr Bailey: Sponsorship deal is 'barking'
Dr Bailey: Sponsorship deal is 'barking'

Merthyr Town FC has renamed its ground the Cigg-e Stadium after a deal with the Cardiff-based distributor of nicotine-replacement devices.

GPC Wales deputy chairman Dr David Bailey said it was 'barking' to give a sports facility that is supposed to encourage people to be healthy and exercise a name that sounds like the slang for a cigarette.

Although nicotine-replacement devices may help some people, he said, there was little clinical evidence of their effectiveness.

‘E-cigarettes are going to be regulated by the MHRA, but aren’t yet, so no one really knows what is in them.'

He added: 'They reinforce the habit of putting something in your mouth, which goes against other, accepted ways of helping people stop smoking.'

The BMA has previously warned about the lack of peer-reviewed studies into e-cigarettes’ safety and effectiveness as nicotine-replacement therapy.

Dr Bailey added that the devices 'undermine the whole fabric of the smoking ban because it’s practically impossible to tell if someone has a real fag or an e-cigarette'.

Cigg-e says its nicotine vaporisers produce no tar, no carbon monoxide, no carcinogens and no passive smoking risk, and can help smokers to quit.

The company's operations manager, Scott Davies, told the Mirror: 'We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship both on and off the field.'

Merthyr Town FC’s business development manager, Brent Carter, told the paper the deal would aid the club’s long-term stability.

Cigg-e and Merthyr Town FC had yet to respond to GP's request for comment at the time of publishing.

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