Adopting Vaping

Posted 3rd March 2015 by Dave Cross
Following £20,000’s-worth of failed fertility treatments, an unnamed couple have been banned from adopting by heartless Staffordshire County Council officials. The reason given is that the prospective father uses an electronic cigarette.

Current figures, according to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) statistics, are that 68,840 children reside in public care in England. The number of children successfully adopted from care into loving families runs between the pitifully low figures of 4-5,000 each year.

The couple successfully underwent the extensive vetting procedure that included medicals, interviews, and having to prove their sound character and ability to look after children financially. But the drawn-out progress (taking over a year) hit a rock when a social worker witnessed vaping taking place.

Labouring under the misapprehension that vaping is the same as smoking, the social worker emailed the couple to say: “Should you both become non smokers/e-smokers over a 12-month period, then you could of course reapply.”

This is a position that the council has since backtracked on, but unfortunately too late for the couple that now need to restart the process from the beginning should they wish to continue. “Applications from people who use e-cigarettes are considered,” said Councillor Mike Lawrence, “as long as they have not smoked tobacco for over a year.”


Bury, Kirklees, North Tyneside, Durham, Warrington, West Sussex, Poole, Cornwall, Camden, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley councils have all confirmed that, following BAAF advice, they will discriminate against prospective parents who use electronic cigarettes.

But, according to the BAAF, this is not their position at all. Their statement on e-Cigs says: “We are continuing to monitor research, discussing the issue regarding e-cigarettes and in light of the latest Public Health England report, which states that “the hazards associated with use of products (e-cigarettes) currently on the market is likely to be extremely low, and certainly much lower than smoking” we are updating our recommendations.”

In fact, rather than advising against vaping, the BAAF say: “At the next meeting of our Health Group Advisory Committee, we will be recommending that agencies now consider e-cigarettes as different to tobacco cigarettes.”

Agencies should therefore recognise the low risk to children and not see the use of e-cigarettes as a reason to preclude foster carers or adopters purely on this basis. E-cigarettes appear to have positive benefits for smokers when providing them with a route to abstinence and the risk to children from passive smoke is lessened.”

Professor Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, said the policy being adopted by councils was “badly thought out” causing “significant harm”.  “There are so many misconceptions about e-cigarettes that policy makers and the public are getting very confused,” he said - a misconception amplified by the mixed coverage vaping receives from the likes of the Daily Mail.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker