MERSEYRAIL could ban e-cigarettes on trains as the organistaion reviews its policies.

The review comes as train operators C2C, Greater Anglia and First Capital Connect bring in new rules which stop passengers from using the nicotine devices onboard.

Merseyrail has now said it is canvassing passengers’ views and may follow suit.

A spokeswoman said: “Merseyrail closely monitors the views of our customers regarding the smoking of tobacco and e-cigarettes on trains and stations and we are currently reviewing our policies.

"Should we conclude that there is a case for outlawing it, we would take the necessary steps to do so.”

Almost 1.5m Britons now use the e-cigarettes, which resemble traditional cigarettes, to help them overcome their addiction to tobacco, but the rail companies insist some varieties still expel nicotine, and can make other passengers feel uneasy.

A Greater Anglia rail spokesman said: “In common with other train operators we have recently taken the decision to include cigarettes in the smoking ban on our trains and stations.

“This decision is in line with the British Medical Association’s recommendation that e-cigarettes should be included in the ban on smoking in public places.”

But Amanda Standford, a spokesman for the antismoking group ASH described the ban as “unhelpful” and warned that it could drive many people trying to kick the habit with the fake cigarettes back to tobacco use.

Last week it emerged that Transport for London, which runs the capital’s public transport network, is also considering a ban.

The e-cigarettes are already banned from J D Wetherspoon pubs.