For the second year in a row, a report issued by The Freedom Association’s ‘Freedom to Vape’ campaign, is clearly indicating that almost two two-thirds of UK councils are still ignoring the government’s and PHE’s advice in relation to vaping, and are imposing no smoking regulations on vapers
Last year the PHe pointed out that forcing vapers to use their e-cigarettes in smoking areas, will not only expose them to harmful second hand smoke, but also undermine the users effort in trying to quit smoking. The health organization had also insisted on other ways of offering support as an employer, such as suggesting more frequent and shorter breaks for vapers, than for smokers. E-cigs provide lower and slower doses of nicotine than their combustible counterparts, this is why vapers need to vape more often than smokers need to smoke.
Unfortunately research carried out last year by the Freedom Association, had found that 87% of UK councils where still applying identical policies for vaping and smoking, and that 29% of councils where even forcing e-cig users to vape along with the smokers in designated smoking areas.
More councils than last year are asking vapers to use smoking areas
In the report provided by the Freedom Association they found “in total, 391 councils responded to our freedom of information requests, a successful response rate of just under 94%, the key findings of this research show that:
- 126 councils (32% of those who responded) require vapers to use designated smoking areas in all or some circumstances, despite the face that vapers are not smokers. This is an increase from 112 councils in 2016.
- When asked if councilors are due to debate the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan and/or PHE’s advice on vaping policies a total of 287 councils replied no.
- When asked if the council’s policy will be reviewed as a result of the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan, 150 councils either said yes, was scheduled for review later this year or in 2018, or that the policy was under review – a measly 38% of those councils replied.”
Several public health experts are concerned about these results. Among these people are Director at Counterfactual Consulting, and former director of Action on Smoking and health (ASH), Clive Bates he says, “The message to councils is ‘think before you ban’. When people are vaping, it’s almost always because they’ve quit smoking, cut down or are trying to quit. he also added “Given it’s barely noticeable in most situations, maybe councils should stop treating vapers like pariahs, get behind their efforts to quit smoking, and consider the effect of forcing them back outside with the smokers.”