Earlier this year Public Health England, the government group responsible for all matters relating to public health, including public health campaigns such as Stoptober, released a telling review. This review centered on vaping and how it is a valid and suitable alternative to smoking that should be encouraged. PHE announced their finding that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking. On the back of this PHE have lobbied MPs to push for vaping at work to get the green light and for numerous other concessions that will make vaping more accessible.
A Push For Vaping at Work
The APPGV or The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping are also calling for more official and vaping-friendly policies around vaping at work. They also want to see suitable indoor vaping areas being put into place, as well as vaping access outside where appropriate.
Speaking as the APPGV chairman, M Pawsey wants there to be a clear distinction between smoking and vaping. Smokers are not the same as vapers and vaping is not restricted in the same way that cigarettes have been since the Go Smoke Free legislation came into force back in 2007. It is generally understood that on account of politeness and consideration that vapers shouldn’t vape indoors/in queues and so on, although it is not illegal. This act of consideration has nothing to do with any risk of passive vaping, as there have been none identified, despite much testing. The idea is that an indoor vaping area away from non-vapers would encourage more smokers to ditch their unwelcome and banned tobacco cigarette smoking habit in favour of the clearly better alternative.
Current Law Governing Vaping
While there is no specific legislation banning vaping at work building owners and businesses can stipulate that vaping is not allowed. New legislation, if the APPGV and PHE manage to push it through, will make vaping at work allowable and supported by law, where there aren’t any very good reasons that it can’t take place in specified areas.
While vaping is not something that should be allowed anywhere and everywhere, for example in cars and crowded places with non-vapers, there is no reason why separate areas should not be designated.
With NHS trusts and health charities, including Cancer Research UK also advocating for the use of e cigarettes and e liquids instead of tobacco cigarettes, the pressure is on for MPs to find a solution that works. There is proven scientific evidence that shows the harm that smoking does, and alongside this, the World Health Organisation has classified a number of chemical ingredients in tobacco cigarettes and being toxic and as having the potential to cause cancer.
Encouraging smokers who have struggled to quit smoking via other methods, namely either by going cold turkey or using gums, patches and/or NHS stop smoking services to switch over to vaping successfully will help to further drop the rates of adult smokers in the UK. It stands to reason that making vaping more accessible will help with this, particularly as the move is backed by science, medicine and government health groups. What is your opinion on vaping at work?