ELECTRONIC cigarette users, who are trying to kick the habit, have been banned from using the devices on First Capital Connect (FCC) trains.

The rail operator says the 'cigarettes', which release a vapour instead of harmful smoke, could "unsettle other passengers". In response, manufacturers said the devices are not lit, and the vapour is harmless.

An FCC spokesman said: "We have a no-smoking policy, regardless of the type of device customers would like to smoke. Our concern is that e-cigarettes will unsettle other passengers or cause people to think that smoking real cigarettes is allowed."

He added: "Many airlines also enforce this for similar reasons."

A statement from manufacturer Electric Zebra said: "There is no risk to others from passive smoking, as the e-cigarette produces water vapour, not smoke.

"The vapour does not leave any bad odours and evaporates in seconds."

FCC added that a bylaw, dealing with "unacceptable behaviour", allowed it to ban the devices. The legislation states: "No person shall molest or wilfully interfere with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway."