E-cigarette users should be allowed to vape in public places, such as in offices, buses and trains, a controversial report by MPs has recommended.The Science and Technology Committee said that forcing vapers into the smoking shelters could undermine their efforts to quit and called for a ‘liberalisation on restrictions’ which would necessitate ‘non-vapers having to accommodate vapers.’MPs also said regulations should be relaxed to allow licensing, prescribing and advertising of e-cigarettes to promoted their health benefits.Committee chair Norman Lamb MP, said: “E-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, but current policy and regulations do not sufficiently reflect this and businesses, transport providers and public places should stop viewing conventional and e-cigarettes as one and the same. There is no public health rationale for doing so.”However the inquiry and report was widely criticised for taking oral evidence predominantly from vaping lobbyists, big tobacco and pro e-cigarette supporters, while seemingly ignoring dozens of letters from experts cautioning about the health impacts. Professor David Thickett, of the Institute for Inflammation and Ageing, at the University of Birmingham, who earlier this week published research showing that vaping may damage the immune system and trigger lung disease said clear evidence of harm was emerging.“This is a very controversial report and it does seem to downplay the potential for harm to long term vaping of nicotine,” he said.“There is mounting evidence at least in the lung that much of the potential damage is driven by the nicotine.“I think we have the data to suggest that long term vaping may cause inflammatory lung disease such as cold because at least in the lung it is driven by nicotine inhalation”. Scientists and health officials across the world are currently divided over the safety of e-cigarettes. Public Health England (PHE) continues to urge smokers to switch to vaping, claiming they are around 95 per cent safer than tobacco. Simon Capewell, Professor of Public Health and Policy at the University of Liverpool said there was mounting evidence suggested the public were at risk from passive vaping.“Vaping in public spaces like offices, pubs and cafes is a bad thing because bystanders, adults & children, are at risk from inhaling the toxins and it undermines the hard-won victory to legislate for smoke-free public space.“Big Tobacco companies will be thrilled by this report. They are using e-cigarettes as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to normalise the act of smoking, and to undermine decades of progress in Tobacco Control.” Prof Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: “Those involved in tobacco control outside England will be amazed at these conclusions although not entirely surprised as the committee took oral evidence almost entirely from individuals who are strong supporters of e-cigarettes.“Once again it will show that England is out of step with the rest of the world. It is especially astonishing that the 95% safer figure is used, given that it has no credibility internationally. “It is equally astonishing to see the claim that they are a proven smoking aid given the recent publication of a large controlled trial in the New England Journal of Medicine showing no effect. Moreover, there is now lots of evidence from observational studies that they reduce quitting.” A controversial report has said that business and public transport companies must reconsider banning vapers Credit:Yui Mok According to the Office For National Statistics, there are around 2.8 million regular vapers in Britain.However, the US Surgeon General has warned that e-cigarettes leave young people at risk of nicotine addiction, brain development problems and mood disorders, while the World Health Organisation has said it is concerned that heating e-fluid can lead to the ‘formation of toxicants.’ There are nearly three million vapers in Britain but the long term health impacts are still unknownCredit:Bloomberg News Timothy Fadek Yet in written evidence to the committee experts from Committee on Toxicity, Chemicals and Food, Nice, Ash Scotland, The University of Liverpool, London Southbank University, The University of East London, The University of Glasgow, The Royal Society of Public Health, the British Heart Foundation and British Lung Foundation, as well as individual doctors, all warned that it was too soon to tell the long term health effects of vaping. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.