Globally speaking, the United Kingdom has the most support rate on electronic cigarettes. In other words, in the UK e-cigarettes share the most prevalence among smokers, ex-smokers and those people who have need in nicotine. But how come? We can simply explain that: 1. e-cigarettes as an alternative of combustible tobacco can significantly reduce the harmful health issues that smoking causes; 2. E-cigarettes use is compliant with and good for complementing the smokefree legislation in the UK. Therefore, vape products are highly recommended to help smokers quit smoking and enjoy a relatively high reputation in the UK. Though the high reputation of vape is, there are also rules and restrictions on using e-cigarettes and they are different from smoking restrictions.
The PHE (Public Health England)said that: “E-cigarette use, known as vaping, is not covered by smokefree legislation. E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco and do not create smoke. While debate continues about their absolute level of safety, the consensus across England’s public health community is that e-cigarettes are significantly safer for users than smoked tobacco. An independent review of the latest evidence published by Public Health England (PHE) in 2015 found that, based on the international peer-reviewed evidence, vaping is around 95% safer for users than smoking. It also confirmed the findings of PHE’s 2014 independent evidence review, that there is no evidence of harm to bystanders from exposure to e-cigarette vapour and the risks to their health are likely to be extremely low. ”
The emerging vape shops and vape products seem to be the endgame of traditional tobacco cigarettes. PHE’s ambition is to secure a tobacco-free generation by 2025, “We believe e-cigarettes have the potential to make a significant contribution to its achievement. ” Around 2.8m adults in Great Britain use e-cigarettes. Almost all are smokers or ex-smokers. E-cigarettes have rapidly become the most popular stop smoking aid in England and a developing body of evidence shows that they can be effective. While experimentation with e-cigarettes among young people has increased over recent years, regular use remains rare and almost entirely confined to current or ex-smokers.
Generally speaking, vaping has more public space than smoking does. While the PHE doesn’t want e-cigarettes share the same public space with smoking cigarettes. The reason will be clarified in the following text. What’s more, there is no fixed rules or regulations on vaping in public thus PHE provides us with 5 key principles to guide the policy making. That’s to say, every organization can compose their own vaping rules in line with the principles that PHE offered.
It was explained that: “PHE has produced this guide in consultation with public health partners and other stakeholders. It is deliberately non-prescriptive, because no one-size-fits-all answer exists to the issue of e-cigarette use in public places and workplaces. Instead, by setting out some key principles for an approach that fits with our current knowledge and protects against the unintended consequences of being either too permissive or too prohibitive, it can help organizations develop their own policies.”
Main Principles on Making the Public Vaping Policy
Principles on use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces aim to maximize the potential for e-cigarettes to improve public health while managing the risks in any particular setting. Let’s have a brief understanding on the 5 main principles. (You can visit the gov.uk for detailed information)
1. Make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking
The first and most important thing that the PHE wants us to know is that vaping and smoking are totally different. Smoking is defined clinically and in law, and e-cigarette use does not meet the definition in either context. Studies show that: “e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and have the potential to help drive down smoking rates and improve public health.”
2. Ensure policies are informed by the evidence on health risks to bystanders
Studies indicate that the harm of secondhand vaping is extremely low compared to the secondhand smoking. And the evidence on harm of the secondhand vapour is insufficient to ban the e-cigarettes. Hence managers of public places and workplaces should ensure that this evidence informs their risk assessments.
3. Identify and manage risks of uptake by children and young people
- cigarettes are not advised for young people. In the UK protection is in place via prohibitions on the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s and purchase by adults on behalf of under-18s, and restrictions on advertising.
4. Support smokers to stop smoking and stay smokefree
Vaping is a great approach to help smokers cease smoking, it’s one of the most popular nicotine fulfillment therapies in the UK. In particular, vapers should not be required to use the same space as smokers, as this could undermine their ability to quit smoking and stay smokefree, particularly among those most heavily addicted.
5. Support compliance with smokefree law and policies
Compliance with smokefree requirements can be maintained and supported by emphasizing a clear distinction between smoking and vaping. Managers should indicate accurately where vaping is permitted or prohibited, and communicate the policy clearly to everyone it affects. Use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces.
Based on the above 5 key vaping policy making principles offered by the PHE, we can clearly find out that via vaping it not only aims to improve the health status of smokers but also protects those bystanders, teenagers and minors in particular, and eventually accomplishes the great target– smokefree society by 2025. However, in order to achieve the target, vape manufacturers keep innovating as well. More and more newly designed vape products live in the vape shop, and disposable vapes enjoy a rather high market share. And let’s come back to the question, Are You Allowed to Vape in Public in the UK? Yesn’t? It depends. Every public organization has simply different rules on it according to the principles, but the rules basically obey the principles so you’ll have more public space to vape compared to smoke.