UKVIA Calls For Dundee Council To Allow Workers To Vape
As I reported in last week’s Vaping News Dundee council has banned its staff from vaping or smoking anywhere during work hours.
Now the UK Vaping Industry Association has written to council bosses urging them to set an example by allowing staff to vape in line with the policy laid out by NHS Scotland.
As it stands now workers are forbidden from smoking or vaping even away from council offices and during tea breaks – a move that unions described as ‘bullying’.
The new rules were given to workers recently and included a simple Q&A which failed to include vaping – however it has been confirmed e-cigarettes are included in the ban:
- Q: Does this policy mean that I cannot smoke at all while I am at work?
- Q: Can I smoke when I am working out of doors and not affecting anyone else with my smoke?
- Q: If my duties require me to go from one office or location to another, can I smoke on the way, i.e. in the open air in the street?
- Q: Can I leave the workplace during a tea-break to have a smoke?
- Q: I travel from location to location and don’t wear anything to identify me as a council employee, am I allowed to smoke when I am outside?
The ban has angered many vaping advocates and those in public health but it’s the UKVIA that has taken the fight direct to council chiefs.
The letter says:
We consider this policy to contradict the Scottish Government’s own support for vaping products and to be harmful for efforts to reduce smoking rates in Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s Tobacco Control Plan 2018 is clear that vaping products are ‘definitely less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
To incentivise a quit attempt, the council should instead make vaping easier and highlight that it is a better option to smoking.
We therefore ask for your support in challenging Dundee City Council’s decision to impose a vaping ban for employees, and for your assistance in providing education and guidance to ensure a wider understanding of vaping’s potential to assist in smoking cessation.
Dundee council seems unmoved by the letter and reports say it’s unlikely the Scottish Parliament will intervene.
A spokesman for the council said:
The council has revised its smoking policy as we are working to protect the health of employees and also promote positive health messages across the wider community.
Typical political-speak – as in saying nothing – but literally shutting the door on any debate…crazy…
For the record Scotland’s strategy on tobacco control reckons it will have a smoke free Scotland by 2034.