Vape in the UK

Posted 20th October 2016 by Dave Cross
It may come as a surprise to many that there are other vape-related stories from around the United Kingdom besides the current fascination with exploding lithium-ion cells. With so much taking place in the vape world it is often difficult to cover everything, so here is a roundup of some of the recent stories we’ve missed. It will delight everybody to find out that none of them feature people dressing up as killer clowns.

Disappointingly, the Aberdeen Evening Express reports that Trading Standards officers have discovered the number of Scottish ecig sellers prepared to flout the rules on under-age sales has grown. While they state the number now sits at 33%, they don’t highlight that fewer sellers have been inspected – a drop from 64 vendors inspected down to just 12.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) in Scotland, said: “Restricting access to tobacco plays a key role in protecting the next generation from exposure to a lethal product. While most retailers are responsible, unfortunately there is a significant minority who do consistently sell tobacco [and electronic cigarettes] to under 18s.”

Still in Scotland, the recent Health Survey uncovered the great news that falling smoking rates have been bolstered by an increase in the numbers of people successfully switching to vaping. Sheila Duffy, she seems to be getting everywhere, said: “This is a significant drop [down from 11% in 2014 to 6% in 2015] and good news for the Scottish Government's target of halving children's exposure to second-hand smoke by 2020. Tens of thousands of children are now more protected from breathing dangerous tobacco smoke in Scotland's homes.”

Questions about relative harm, from swapping smoking for vaping, weigh on the shoulders of the UK’s GPs. GP Online reports: “Many are concerned about the potential harms of e-cigarettes and use of e-cigarettes as a gateway to smoking, while others consider e-cigarettes a golden opportunity for smokers of tobacco products.”

In an effort to aid doctors to make better decisions and offer informed advice, researchers at the University of Bristol are conducting an investigation. It aims to discover the depth of knowledge GPs believe they have, their attitudes towards vaping and the kind of advice they currently offer. Doctor Van Hove says: “Results will be analysed to inform where further education and training of the workforce may be required to ensure high quality information and support for patients.”

Analysis of a different kind is taking place in Blaenau Gwent as Gwent police investigate another vape store robbery. Thieves are believed to have absconded with around £5,000-worth of stock. Officers are looking for one man wearing an orange T-shirt and another in dark clothing.

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