When the FDA deeming regulations were first published, many vapers were surprised to learn that their e-liquids and vaping devices are now classified as tobacco products. Sure, most vaping enthusiasts are not strangers to those sideways glances and turned-up noses from passersby when they begin puffing away on their favorite vape mod. But the new deeming regulations seemed like government regulation gone amuck.
Shortly thereafter, government buildings and private employers began banishing vaping activities to the same outdoor areas designated for smokers. Although not totally agreeing with the concept, many within the vaping community reluctantly relinquished their freedom to vape indoors without much of a fuss
After all, isn’t this a small price to pay? Isn’t going outdoors to vape just proper vaping etiquette?
Not so, says at least one public health official from the Yorkshire Cancer Research Center in Great Britain. Vapers have rights, too!
Designated outdoor smoking/vaping areas are harmful to public health
In a recent StrayFM interview with the center’s executive director, Dr. Kathryn Scott states that the smoking of combustible cigarettes is the leading cause of death in Yorkshire. The agency estimates that more than 750,000 citizens are currently daily smokers in Yorkshire, whose total population is just slightly over five million people. That’s about 14.3 percent of all Yorkshirians, and Dr. Scott believes that public health officials should be doing more to convince smokers to switch to vaping.
In fact, she believes so strongly in vapers rights that she also says that forcing vapers to vape in the same areas as conventional smokers is bad for public health. According to Scott, it’s all too easy for unwitting vapers to become tempted to relapse into a life of smoking. Vaping should be made more convenient for the general public, not pushed to the sidelines or hidden away in dark, dismal corners.
“E-cigarette use is not covered by UK smoke-free laws, which prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. Vaping is a different activity to smoking, and should be treated as such. It is not acceptable to require vapers to share the same outdoor space as smokers, or to ban e-cigarette use. This could undermine an attempt to quit or make it more difficult for people to stay smoke-free. Vaping should be made a more convenient, as well as a safer option.”
Dr. Scott also goes on to say that healthcare professionals must get it out of their heads that vaping and smoking are essentially the same thing. She then quotes the 2015 study published by Public Health England which claims that vaping is 95 percent healthier than combustible tobacco. Meanwhile, Scott also blasts the mainstream media for spreading Fake News about vaping.
“It is vital that healthcare professionals understand that vaping is an essential tool for improving the health of people living in our region. Negative coverage in the media has led to a misconception that vaping is dangerous, when the reality is that e-cigarettes have the potential to reduce the harm from tobacco caused to smokers, those around them and the wider society.”
In Yorkshire, England, public health officials estimate that more than 86 percent of lung cancer diagnoses, 37 percent of bladder cancers diagnoses, and 23 percent of liver cancers diagnoses can be directly attributed to smoking. Of the estimated 250,000 Yorkshire vapers, 52 percent self-identify as former smokers. Dr. Scott wants to see these numbers dramatically improve next year and every year thereafter.