A CALL for Bradford to become more "vape friendly," including allowing people to vape in offices and public buildings, has been voted down by councillors.

Councillor Simon Cooke, leader of the the Conservatives on Bradford Council, had tabled a motion at the last council meeting that would see the council review current policies that treat vaping the same as smoking, and could see the authority adopt vaping as part of its stop smoking programmes.

But councillors from other parties opposed the motion, saying vaping could still provide an unpleasant atmosphere, and there was no proof it was totally safe.

Cllr Cooke told the meeting that research had showed vaping was 95 per cent safer than smoking, and pointed out that Bristol and Leicester had supported vaping as a smoking cessation method.

He added: "The number of smokers is dropping, but the number of people coming into stop smoking services is also declining.

"The reason people are stopping smoking is vaping and e-cigarettes.

"Vaping is a public health benefit. If people who smoked switched to vaping, it would be a huge public health benefit. Nearly every single vaper is an ex smoker. Nothing else is as effective as getting people to stop smoking as vaping."

Councillor Val Slater, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: "For me the jury is very much out on passive vaping, including the impact on asthmatics."

She said there were other, more pressing issues public health faced, adding: "Sometimes you have to step back and look at more important things rather then engage in a bit of flag waving."

Cllr Slater also pointed out the logistics of Bradford having different rules about vaping in public buildings as neighbouring councils.

Councillor David Green (Lab, Wibsey) said: "Three months ago I stopped smoking and started vaping." The announcement was greeted with applause from some councillors. He continued: "However, I don't vape in anybody's house without permission and I won't vape in a pub or club.

"The smell of these things can vary from being like a rotting garbage heap to sometimes smelling quite nice.

"If you had four or five people vaping in an office you would have a big mix of smells.

"It is safer than smoking, but the issue is do we want it in environments we are asking people to work in?"

Councillor Dominic Fear (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) said: "Anything that reduces smoking is a good thing.

"But it can be unpleasant and invasive. And being just five per cent as bad as something is still bad.

"If smoking never existed and vaping was suddenly invented, would we be advocating it for health reasons?"

WHen it became obvious the motion would fail, Cllr Cooke added: "I'm very disappointed. This is not a party political things, it is a matter of public health.

"I hope we do return to talking about this.

"There are about 20 to 30,000 vapers in Bradford, if we could get the other 60/70,000 smokers in Bradford into vaping then there would be a huge public health benefit."

The motion was ultimately voted down by the council, although many Conservative councillors voted to support it.