UK MPs Say Workplaces and Public Spaces Should Become “Vape Friendly” And Say Fears About So Called Passive Vaping Are Unfounded
Vaping should be allowed in the workplace and most public spaces indoor and out according to a powerful group of UK MPs.
They also made it very clear there’s absolutely no proof the health of passers by can be affected by vapour – blowing the passive vaping myth out of the water once again.
Indeed APPG chair Mark Pawsey MP goes to great lengths attempting to finally clear this sticky issue up. In the introduction he writes:
One of the main issues we encountered was a perception that passive vaping or second-hand vaping is harmful to non-vapers in the vicinity.
There is no evidence that this is the case and we have set out the evidence available in this area later in the report.
I was pleased to note that the recent Science and Technology Committee Report into E-Cigarettes also supported this conclusion.
However, there remains a perception amongst the public that passive vaping is as harmful as passive smoking and it is crucial for guidance in this area. Indeed, public vaping bans probably perpetuate this perception; after all why ban it if it is relatively harmless.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping [APPG] launched its new policy yesterday and says the House of Commons – which has only two outside vaping allowed areas – should set an example and become more vape friendly.
The policy has been welcomed by vape advocacy groups and organizations including the New Nicotine Alliance who called it a “timely and well-researched document” going a long way to dispel myths around vaping including the risk to passers by. The document may be added to the Parliamentary staff handbook – however it will still need to be considered by various Government committees before it is accepted.
The suggested policy comes as more and more hospitals – public spaces – employers and councils such as Dundee – ban workers from vaping even outside and during work hours.
There’s 5 key points the new policy is calling for:
- Workplace vaping policies should balance the needs of vapers and smokers looking to switch with those of non-vapers.
- Employers should have a workplace policy which permits vaping outdoors and makes provision for easily-accessible indoor vaping areas.
- The Parliamentary Estate must lead the way and act as an example to other workplaces and public places by becoming vape friendly.
- Public Health England should work to educate employers and owners of public places of the positive public health potential of vaping.
- Vapers should vape in a responsible way
No issues with either of those at all and they pretty much chime with my article Changing Those UK Pub Vape Bans One Bar At A Time Through “Considerate Vaping” – the key point I made back then being a need for a kind of vaping etiquette or what the NNA calls considerate vaping.
In other words whilst it’s great to chuck clouds – if you are allowed to vape at work or in a public space maybe tone it down a little by using either an MTL device or taking smaller draws and holding the vapour in a little longer…you’ll be surprised how that lessens the amount of cloudage – give it a try 😉
Positive Reactions To Calls To Make Vaping More Publicly Acceptable
Public Health England is a great supporter of vaping and e-cigarettes – but will have its work cut out convincing employers. Especially it seems local councils to follow the policy should it be accepted.
Vaping is still a great unknown to many and more than a little bewildering given the sheer amount of fake news scare stories we’ve all seen and are still seeing. But if we are to get e-cigs and vaping firmly accepted in the public’s eye then this is indeed an important task that PHE should put its formidable weight and influence behind.
The document has also been welcomed by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service [ACAS]. This as you may know is an organization that among other things acts as an arbitrator between employers and employers on a whole host of issues.
Spokesman Tom Neil had a message for the UKs bosses:
E-cigarettes or vaping is not covered by the current law that applies to smoking within workplaces. So employers have the freedom to decide what policies to put in place around vaping at work.
Businesses could decide to ban the activity altogether or to introduce areas where vaping may be allowed.
If employers decide to introduce a new policy around vaping, then our advice is to consult with employees or their representatives first to agree a clear policy at work.
.@MarkPawsey being presented with a “considerate vaping welcome” sign by @Twigolet, in anticipation of seeing this on his office wall, when the report recommendations get adopted! #appgvaping #vaping #workplace #parliament pic.twitter.com/JRYBF7KNsR
— UKVIA (@Vaping_Industry) November 20, 2018
Speaking at the launch APPGV chairman Mark Pawsey MP said there was a definite misunderstanding in the public eye about all things vape adding:
…this lack of understanding was very evident in Parliament itself, a place many will look to for an example. There are only two designated vaping locations, and despite being a member for eight years, I still have no idea where either of these locations are.
Welcoming the new policy chair of the NNA Sarah Jakes said:
There are currently 3.2 million vapers in the UK, 1.7 million of whom have quit smoking entirely using e-cigarettes.
This has contributed to the rate of smoking prevalence plummeting, but many smokers are still hesitant due to misperceptions surrounding vaping. More liberal workplace policies can have the dual benefit of correcting these misperceptions while also providing a more encouraging environment for vapers to prevent relapse, as well as for smokers considering vaping instead.
Public vaping bans give the impression that vaping is as harmful as smoking, which is entirely untrue.
In fact, vaping is believed to be at least 95% safer than smoking and the government’s stop smoking campaigns recommend e-cigarettes as a means to quit. It is daft that on the one hand smokers are being encouraged to vape instead, only to then be told they are banned from vaping just about everywhere.
The Parliamentary estate becoming vape-friendly would send a strong message to other employers and venue owners that vapers should be encouraged, not harassed, and would help to educate the public that vapers are simply former smokers doing something that is good for their health.</span
Once again wise words from Sarah and as I always say its’ good to have someone like her on her side and taking the fight for the right to vape direct to the politicians…are you watching America?
UKVIA Stepping Up Once Again
The launch was hosted by the UK Vaping Industry Association [UKVIA] who really are becoming the ‘movers and shakers’ in the UK e-cigarette lobby and also include Big Tobacco and Big Pharma companies in their impressive membership.
Like I said a while ago harm reduction makes for strange bedfellows these days however in this case the UKVIA has once again stepped up and seem to be getting things done alongside the NNA – powerful allies indeed.
There’s no getting away from it and despite this only being a proposal – the UK is still a beacon of reason in the world of vaping. We might think we have it bad with the ridiculous TPD and TRPR EU ordered legislation however just cast your eyes to America and Australia for instance. The majority of politicians over there are scared to death of the vape and would rather collect more cash by banning e-cigs and taxing lit tobacco to the hilt.
Me liking UK politicians and lobby groups?
Like I said this harm reduction malarkey makes for strange bedfellows 😉
Should this policy be adopted I will of course let you know.
OK you can read the full proposed policy document The APPG Vaping in workplaces and public places here.
And should you wish to display an NNA backed Considerate Vaping Welcome sign then please click the link to find out more.