Nottinghamshire, Beacon of Fear

Vapers in Power are incensed by Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to ban employees from using e-cigarettes in its buildings, land and company vehicles (1) . E-cigarettes are used by many to stop smoking and the scientific consensus is that they are at least 95% safer than combustible tobacco (2).

We regard the Council’s actions as inappropriate with regards to smoking but we are particularly concerned by the inclusion of vaping and e-cigarettes in the ban.

This ban will deter people from switching to a far safer alternative and also sends out the false  message that vaping is harmful.

We are also concerned that we have seen no justification from the Council for this ban so we can only assume that it’s lazy policy making: a knee jerk reaction to something which they don’t understand.

As Public Health England noted (2) “increasing numbers of people think e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than smoking”. Steps like this can only compound that misconception.

Nottinghamshire County Council are part of the Smoke Free Action Coalition (3) yet the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the new Nottinghamshire County Council Smoke Free Policy is not in keeping with the advice given by this coalition on e-cigarettes and their use for harm reduction. (4)

The Smoke Free Action Coalition clearly recommends that organisations consider the following information when considering e-cigarette policy:

  • Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study a paper by Robert West regarding e-cigarettes as harm reduction and their effectiveness in quitting smoking (5)
  • Ash Factsheet 891 regarding who uses e-cigarettes and why they use them (6)
  • Ash Factsheet 715 regarding the basics about e-cigarettes and their risks for users, bystanders and the ‘gateway’ effect (7)

 

The Smoke Free Policy of Nottinghamshire County Council has clearly failed to take this information into account with regards to e-cigarettes.

We should also be clear that e-cigarettes are not included in the UK Smoking at Work legislation (8)

We can only conclude that this ban is yet another example of an organisation shaping their policies on fear rather than facts.

We call on Nottinghamshire County Council to re-assess their misguided policy.

E-cigarettes save lives, bans risk them.

 

References

 

  1. http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/DMS/Document.ashx
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/457102/Ecigarettes_an_evidence_update_A_report_commissioned_by_Public_Health_England_FINAL.pdf
  3. http://www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/index.html
  4. http://www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/ElectCigs.html
  5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12623/abstract
  6. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf
  7. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_715.pdf
  8. https://www.gov.uk/smoking-at-work-the-law

 

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4 thoughts on “Nottinghamshire, Beacon of Fear

  1. Having read the policy by Nottinghamshire County council in relation to their smoking policy, I am shocked as Vaper of 2.5 years myself and smoke free to find not only do they not provide designated smoking areas but also don’t allow Vaping on the premises either which I believe doesn’t follow HSE guidelines, to include Vaping in the same context as smoking is absurd considering Public Health England have documented Vaping products to be 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

    Thier policy also suggests using patches instead of having the choice to either smoke or Vape, what prope choose to do is not any business or concern for any county council, moreover Vaping products are now being encouraged to be used by Stop Smoking Servives as they are currently the most successful way to quit smoking.

    So I would urge Nottinghamshire county council to adopt a different approach when including the human rights to life in their policy by allowing Vaping on their premises and also follow HSE guidelines, as Vaping is not smoking there isn’t any harm to bystanders at all and would more importantly encourage people to quit smoking if they choose to instead of potentially misleading people into thinking Vaping is as harmful as smoking, which it is not.

    Please find useful information on the benefits and extensive research into Electronic cigarettes / Vaping products in the links below.

    Public Health England report
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/311887/Ecigarettes_report.pdf
    Electronic Cigarettes- A briefing for Stop smoking Servives

    HSE guidelines
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/basics/substance.htm
    New study on vaper indoors
    http://www.sciencecodex.com/new_study_finds_exhaled_ecigarette_vapour_particles_disappear_within_seconds-180599

    Vaping contains less volatile compounds than normal exhaled breath
    http://www.ecigarette-research.org/research/index.php/whats-new/whatsnew-2015/226-sp

    Like

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