A BAN on using e-cigarettes indoors being proposed by the World Health Organisation could hinder smokers’ attempts to quit, according to an East Lancashire MEP.

UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, who represents the North West in Brussels, made the comments a week after Blackburn e-cigarette firm Totally Wicked said it would mount a legal challenge against the proposed restrictions.

Mr Nuttall said: “They want them to be banned both in public spaces and in work places on the basis that exhaled e-cigarette vapour could increase the background air levels of some toxins and nicotine.

“Yet at the same time they say that there should be no claims that the devices can help people quit smoking until there is evidence to support this.

“They demand evidence for one but are happy to propose restricting people’s freedom without proof of the other.

“Their experts say the devices may also pose a threat to adolescents and the foetuses. Again they seem to be making assumptions, yet tobacco is far more dangerous to unborn children.

“They should treat adults as adults and leave them to make informed choices rather than introducing a ban.

“Their proposal to prohibit e-cigarettes for children is, however, sensible as it brings it in line with the age for tobacco sales.”