SMOKERS trying to quit the habit are being banned from using electronic cigarettes in hospitals and council premises.

Last month, the Evening Times revealed Molly Malone's bar in Hope Street had become one of the first in Scotland to stop customers using e-cigs.

All but one Scottish health board has now also banned patients and visitors from using the plastic cigarettes in their buildings and grounds.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "The use of e-cigarettes in NHS grounds perpetuates the idea smoking is acceptable in public areas."

Many local authorities have also decided to veto the use of electronic cigarettes which many smokers say have helped them to quit.

And it seems Glasgow City Council is likely to follow their lead.

A spokesman said: "They are a replacement cigarette with an inhalable substance and therefore should be treated as cigarettes."

However, smokers lobby group Forest has branded the ban in public buildings as crazy. Spokesman Simon Clark said: "An e-cigarette seems a reasonable compromise. People can puff on one and don't have to leave their desks."

However groups against the use of e-cigarettes say not enough research has been done into any possible risks and the EU is considering changing its rules to ban them.

Electronic cigarettes produce puffs of vapour and deliver a nicotine hit without tar and toxins.