Vaping MPs Ignore Parliament Bans

Posted 9th December 2015 by Dave Cross
Throughout the year, John Bercow (MP and Speaker of the House of Commons) has worked towards making the Parliament buildings a vape-free environment. Finally, despite requests to be allowed to vape in their offices or to have a designated vaping room, he pushed through a total ban. Vape areas were set up outside, the only places where the use of an electronic cigarette was permissible. Vaping MPs have treated the move with disdain.

At the outset, Kevin Barron MP (ex-head of the health committee) said: “We have to be very careful when people are coming off cigarettes and on to e-cigarettes that we encourage them – it's better for their health and there's no good evidence that e-cigarettes are being used by people to start smoking.”

This week, an image demonstrated how popular the new vape areas are with MPs, unused and sandwiched between a bicycle rack and a disabled access ramp. It is one of the two designated areas that have cost taxpayers money to implement and remain scorned by vapers.

The Sun reports that although MPs are now banned from using devices within the buildings all of those affected are continuing to vape in their offices and the subsidised bars.

Stephen Metcalf MP, South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “The ban is so silly that MPs are increasingly ignoring it, which is not a great image for lawmakers. We need evidence-based policy making on vaping.”

Vapers have discussed the merit of workplace bans and generally agree that extreme forms of vaping are out of place with the working environment – but we have yet to see a picture of Nick Clegg blowing Os with a subohm kit. In light of the research stating that vaping is 95% safer than smoking and there is no danger posed by second-hand vape it is difficult to see the reasons for prohibition.

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Lord Ridley has previously spoken in support of vaping: “I must say that there is a strong suspicion that the only reason the medical establishment wants to see these things regulated as medicines is because it cannot bear to see the commercial sector achieving more in a year in terms of getting people off cigarettes than the public sector has achieved in 10.”

Commenting on the ban he said: “This ban is scientifically illiterate, control-freakery. Let’s have a sensible discussions about where is polite to vape – but banning MPs and Lords from vaping in their own private offices is more than stupid. We want to help people off tobacco not push them back into smoking.”

Amidst allegations that no one has ever been seen using on of the areas, Mark Pawsey MP stated: “The problem is that some of those spaces are used by conventional tobacco smokers and we have the absurd situation where vapers, people who have in most cases quit tobacco, are forced to stand side by side with smokers.”


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