Just when we thought the UK was heading in a great direction, we hear that a new vaping ban is being proposed. No, this is not the result of the so-called Brexit. The United Kingdom may be on its way out of the European Union, but up until now they’ve been far better about vaping than the EU. The idea of a vaping ban in England didn’t even seem realistic considering the support electronic cigarettes have been receiving there. But, yet again, we see that the fight is far from over.
Again, this comes as a surprise specifically because the UK has shown itself to be much more open to vaping than their EU brethren. It was only last December that UK leader David Cameron himself gave vaping a thumbs up and acknowledged how helpful electronic cigarettes can be for the British public. That public support came on the heels of a study coming out of the UK that showed that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. It only make sense that we would be far away from thinking a vaping ban in the UK was on the horizon.
Yet, here we are, not even a year later, and we hear that there is a new proposal for a vaping ban in the UK. This one comes from a public health consultant named Dr. Iain Kennedy. The Glasgow-based Kennedy is proposing that e-cigarettes and other vapor products be banned from use in the outdoors. Kennedy claims that while “We always ask ‘are e-cigarettes safer than cigarettes?” we shouldn’t be using that as a measuring point. “I don't think taking probably the most harmful man-made product as the yardstick for safety is a good idea,” added Dr. Kennedy.
Vaping Ban Needs a Brexit
Maybe this is all just conjecture, but it’s still frustrating that a doctor from the British Medical Association could propose such a far-reaching vaping ban. Well, I’ll tell you what, this ban needs its own Brexit. Anytime legislation is proposed without having any actual facts to back it up, we should question why new laws are being imposed on us.
It doesn’t matter if it happens across the pond in the United Kingdom, or here at home. It affects us all.
The good thing is that plenty of folks in England are going to be fighting this new idea. Like Rosanna O’Conner, who is the director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England. She wisely points out that, “vaping is not the same as smoking. Second-hand smoke is harmful to health but there is no evidence that e-cigarette vapour carries the same harms.” O’Conner went on to make the another incredibly important point, insisting that, “a ban on using e-cigarettes in public places could be damaging, as it may put off smokers from using e-cigarettes to help them quit.”
We also are seeing more groups coming together and taking action. They are coming to their senses. A perfect example of that is the very recent lifting of the vaping ban on hospitals in the UK. Now patients will be able to vape on hospital grounds, even if they can’t vape inside hospitals themselves. It’s another step in the right direction and we hope to see more of it.
So, for now, we’ll have to think of this proposed outdoor vaping ban as just a bump in the road. Overall things seem to be going in the right direction for British vapers. We’ll keep a close eye and see if this proposal goes anywhere, but we hope the already active opposition will make sure it meets its end.
As for the UK and it’s exit from the European Union? That’s a big can of worms that was just opened. Will the UK be able to move away from potentially stifling EU vaping regulations? Or will the exit of the UK from the EU prevent rational-minded British doctors from exerting their own influence on EU medical institutions. This all could get very interesting, very quickly. Stay tuned.