Come On UK Vapers Let’s NOT Lose To Germany In Either The World Cup OR On Vaping Penalties!
As the football world cup draws ever closer – in the Nanny State Nicotine Index we’re drawing with Germany and we all know how that pans out…
There’s barely any penalties for vapers in Germany with no public bans – no special taxes – a few regulations on advertising and no rules on cross border sales a case of pretty much vape where you like!
In fact according to one recent article on the state of the vape in Germany it’s one of the more liberal leaning countries with vapers pretty much everywhere – who’da thought!
Looking at that it seems pretty odd that Blighty shares second spot with both Germany and Holland with Sweden topping the league for the most relaxed attitude to new nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes.
I mean as I’ve covered numerous times the UK when it comes to allowing public vaping – be that pubs – pub gardens – train platforms etc – is shall we say a little backward with bans imposed at will with little or no reasoning.
In the spirit of the up coming World Cup and the fact that hundreds of us will be in the bars up and down the country cheering on the Three Lions – isn’t it about time the vast majority of pubs had a more relaxed attitude towards us vapers?
And that dear vaper is where you and I come in.
We’re All Vaping Advocates and Ambassadors!
The advocacy groups can’t do it all on their own – sure they have access to the politicians and some of those ‘jobsworths’ imposing the silly vape bans up and down the country – but we as vapers are the grass roots – the ones who can change reluctant landlords minds.
And to prove I’m not just talking the talk…I’m actually walking the walk…
Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking all things vape to landlords – managers and bar staff in a few of the pubs in my hometown of Leamington Spa and with I might add some success.
Obviously larger chains such as Wetherspoon can’t lift vape bans at local level – that’s down to the management team – however as vapers we are like it or not – not only pseudo advocates but the ones that can get those bans lifted by setting the right example.
You’ll see what I mean by that in a wee while.
OK let’s just show you what the New Nicotine’ Alliance campaign of Considerate Vaping Welcome actually means in the real world and how sensible conversations on vaping can and does change pub landlord’s minds.
House Leamington Spa
I’ve drank in this pub for over 30 years [plays Hovis music lol] and have seen many changes none more so than the drop in customers following the no smoking rule.
It’s been under new ownership for a couple of years now and after talking to the new barman on day one I was told that no way was vaping allowed.
That meant me on the step on the main street vaping with the smokers – not what we want to see!
However after a few weeks of this the new owner Alex Fleet – at the time a smoker – saw me on the step in the rain vaping away and told me if I was ‘sensible’ I could vape inside!
Now many months and vape related conversations later not only is Alex a good mate – he’s a confirmed vaper with 6 weeks off the cancer sticks!
Not only that he’s quickly gone from MTL to sub ohm vaping and absolutely loves it!
And after a few discussions we’re now planning Leamington’s first ‘Vape Night’ roping in the town’s independent vape shop to offer starter and advanced kits and advice on all things vape – including hopefully business owners unsure of the effect and indeed rules/legislation around vaping – watch this space!
OK so House is a funky contemporary themed bar on two levels and is HUGE with a restaurant sandwiched between the main street bar another bar at the back and a roof terrace.
Co-owner Alex Fleet wasn’t aware I’d been told vaping was banned back then – however his relaxed attitude towards the type of vapers he gets in the busy bar can be stretched by the cloud chuckers.
We’ve decided to not allow vaping in the restaurant area but there’s plenty of space in the other bars where vaping is allowed as long as they aren’t absolutely throwing out clouds.
I’m all for vaping in our bars but if they have a those sub ohm set-ups I ask them to blow the clouds to the floor rather than in the air.
In general the vapers make the place smell nice – though as I said too many cloud chasers means we do get a thick mist everywhere which I don’t want.
As to the amount of vapers in the bar he says more and more are coming in and he’s seeing a lot of women with smaller MTL devices.
However there’s a bit of an age gap in vapers attitudes:
The older ones always ask if they are allowed to vape and by that I mean the over thirties.
However the younger ones tend to just vape without asking which isn’t a problem really – until they start clouding the place out.
Communication it seems is a major issue and Alex is happy to take a couple of the Considerate Vaping Welcome signs to place in the bar but wishes they were bigger – I’ll tackle that later.
Given House is my go to town centre pub and I’ve helped Alex with advice on vaping and we’re now mates it wasn’t to difficult to get him to welcome vapers.
However the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and at least vapers and staff seeing the signs know exactly where they stand.
As to the up coming Leamington Spa Vape Night he said:
It’s a great idea and I’m more than happy to bring in other local businesses – vapers and indeed those curious about vaping to a night where they can learn more about the health benefits and of course it will help with our brand awareness.
Like I said I’ll let you know when this will take place 😉
The Royal Pug Leamington Spa
Another great pub in the town centre that’s on my way home so I regularly pop in – great real ale too 😉
Once again and given some months ago I’d already had more than a few chats with the management I know vaping is allowed – but again within reason as manager Luke Stanley explains:
Star Pubs has left it to individual publicans to decide whether they ban or allow vaping.
We ran a test and found the clouds didn’t set off our fire alarms and we’re more than happy to allow it within reason.
There’s that ‘within reason’ point again which like I keep saying is down to every vaper out there showing consideration for their surroundings and others.
In other words Considerate Vaping – less of the clouds in public building especially bars folks!
A young guy came in recently and asked if he could vape and after saying he could he promptly began fogging the whole place out!
I had a word and he became quite indignant because I’d told him vaping was allowed – not like that it isn’t!
We find that 9 times out of 10 the older vapers are the ones that ask first and don’t cloud the bar out and we’ve not had any complaints from any of our customers even the ones eating.
Pubs and restaurants are really being squeezed unfairly these days and with this new so called sugar tax coming in our customers are going to be paying a lot more for soft drinks and mixers so the last thing we’d want to do is alienate the growing number of vapers.
Yet another sensible and refreshing stance on vaping on his premises and one that we the vapers could see happening across our towns IF we take the ‘vaping ambassador’ mantle seriously.
Even pubs with strict no e-cigarettes allowed signs can – if you enter into sensible dialogue – shift their bans as you’ll see below 😉
The Greyhound Leamington Spa
Another pub that’s recently changed hands and decor and extremely close to home.
Up until a year or so ago it was managed by a lovely young couple who were more than happy to allow vaping inside.
However a takeover and new look saw a new management team and the last landlady – a heavy and I mean heavy smoker – banned vaping outright on her second day!
The night before I’d been chatting with her about it whilst discreetly tooting on my MTL device lol…
Enter recently the new younger and 2 year vaping veteran landlord Rob Gazzard and whilst the ban sign is still on the wall – a long conversation with yours truly might see that about to change.
The main issue we have in this bar is the very sensitive fire alarms – I live upstairs and vape and have set them off a few times so really that’s the main issue.
However if I can get those looked at I may be able to lift the ban.
Whilst I understand that and given he’s a sub ohm vaper enjoying chucking clouds in the pub garden with me and after showing him my small MTL device I asked if maybe none cloud chucking devices could be allowed in the bar:
It’s certainly something I’ll consider and actually I know the vapour isn’t as big as the one I use.
Look let me talk to the fire alarm engineer and take it from there.
But as it stands now I can’t see any reason for the smaller devices not to be allowed inside!
Final Thoughts On Considerate Vaping
I popped into House yesterday to be told a female customer had indignantly told Alex that she’d seen a man [me] ‘vamping‘ not a spelling mistake lol – in the bar and did he not know that was illegal?
Luckily Alex was able to explain that no vaping is not illegal anywhere and doesn’t come under the No Smoking legislation and BTW it’s vaping NOT vamping haha – never been called a vamper before lol.
Sadly Alex has now taken to calling me the Vamper which is not a nickname I’d choose if I’m honest lol.
But seriously this is a typical misconception and one that really needs addressing as indeed does all the fake news and downright lies surrounding vaping.
The way to do that and indeed get these crazy vape bans lifted is for each of us to enter into dialogue with not only pub and other business owners – but family – friends and members of the public.
Indeed on my return from Vaper Expo I was challenged by a customer in a bar that vaping causes Popcorn Lung and I was affecting his health – no it doesn’t and no I wasn’t and was able to explain in great detail why!
Hearing the true facts was I have to say a real eye opener for him and he left muttering something about the press ‘always making things up’ lol.
So not only should all vapers educate themselves they should educate others – particularly business owners who have dropped the ban hammer with no other reason than its easier that way.
Talk sensibly and calmly to pubs near you where the ban is enforced and please don’t throw clouds about in public buildings even where vaping is allowed – think Considerate Vaping!
Vape sensibly and considerately and you’ll be surprised how quickly we can get even one pub – club and business vape friendly in no time at all.
Jessica Harding from the New Nicotine Alliance said:
We in NNA felt it was important to campaign around vaping in public places, to encourage business owners and managers to really consider the issues around whether to allow vaping on their premises rather than just to impose the blanket bans we are seeing everywhere.
As Neil’s excellent article shows, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing – and policies can be structured to accommodate vapers and non vapers (this is where the idea of “considerate vaping” might come in, or allowing vaping only in certain areas).
It will be fantastic if this article inspires more people to enter in dialogue with their local pub landlord, cafe owner, boss, etc, as it is conversations like the ones Neil has been having which will turn this round.
Please do get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like any advice, or some “considerate vaping welcome” stickers to hand out to businesses.
Get Considerate Vaping Welcome stickers and more info from the New Nicotine Alliance website: Challenging Prohibition – you can also download images to make larger notices!
BTW I’m going to be working on a fact sheet come crib sheet that will give us the vapers clear bullet points of rebuttals to use around the misconceptions around vaping – so watch this space…
Right I’m off for a vape and pint or two…thirsty work this vape advocacy malarkey 😉
PS: C’mon England!