Electronic cigarettes today are globally accepted as effective tools in the fight against smoking. However, the laws regulating its use and sale remain open to interpretation. Vaping is sometimes banned in public spaces, sometimes only in the workplace, proving different approaches to the issue exist.
While it is understandable to have legal differences from one country to the next, sometimes there are differences between the regions of a single country. This is true in UK, for example, where vaping remains contested as an alternative to smoking by some.
The UK is the first country in the world to adopt electronic cigarettes as an officially-sanctioned smoking cessation method. Anti-smoking initiatives by Public Health England strongly recommend vaping as a strategy. However, according to the New Nicotine Alliance, these recommendations are not always communicated effectively by local British authorities.
British counties are not sure what to think about vaping
A recent study highlighted this issue, proving that there remains a certain amount of confusion regarding the differences between cigarettes and vaping. 391 counties were surveyed via a national health policy application managed by the Freedom Association.
Smoking and vaping are two distinct activities, with distinct health risks. And yet, at least 32 % of counties consider them roughly the same thing. The results indicate that 126 councils, compared to 112 last year, still require that vaping be restricted to smoking areas. Yet, only 38 % of these counties are planning to review their policy to be compliant with the government’s anti-smoking initiatives.
If Public Health England makes no moves to manage vaping regulations, it will be a long road to establishing e-cigs as an accepted smoking-cessation strategy. Clives Bates, who militates for smoking harm reduction, regrets this attitude to vaping. This situation may even have a negative effect on the national anti-smoking policy as a whole.