Bradford’s Phantom Lounge has been ordered to close down by Bradford council. The eShisha lounge and nightclub, on Hey Street, opened without planning consent and, despite claiming to be the “best experience in Yorkshire”, council officers say the owners never applied for change of use permission. The owners claimed customers were not sharing eShishas, but were using their own eShisha pens – or other vape equipment.
Down south, London Fire Brigade crews were despatched to the Tower Hill tube station after hysteria gripped train passengers and they fled from the platform. A bag was "sparking like a fire cracker", and a witness noted: "A lot of sulphurous smoke appeared out of the container which was attached to a thin wire going into the bag. At that time everyone started screaming and running in two directions. It (the bag) started jumping around and sparking. It all happened within 10 or 20 seconds." It was due to a charger being used incorrectly and comes hot on the heels of a similar vape-induced panic at Euston.
Fear-mongers would have us believe that explosions are just one example of the myriad of risks society faces from electronic cigarettes. It’s not a perspective Shout Out UK buy into. The multi-award winning independent youth news platform believes in providing young people with the tools necessary to engage in political debate – and, in this case, with reference to vaping.
“Within one month,” they write, “you can read completely conflicting views; e-cigarettes can be ‘as bad for your heart as smoking’ (The Sun), or that they are as much as ‘95% less harmful than tobacco’.”
With words to gladden the heart, Shout Out UK points out that although there seem to be many lie-ridden campaigns, “scientific research is making it quite clear where our opinions should lay. With over half of the vapers in the UK having completely quit using tobacco because of their e-cigarette, it’s about time we saw an end to media smear tactics.”
Changing the way they operate applies equally to The Sun newspaper. The fading tabloid claims Cancer Research UK were being prevented from running adverts promoting vaping as a means to quit smoking – and “the problem lies with a barmy EU directive”.
Not so, according to Cancer Research UK. They’ve not been banned from doing anything, and Clive Bates explains why.
Bates writes: “The fault does not lie with EU law, at least as interpreted in the UK, it lies with inconsistent transposition of the EU directive in the [Broadcasting Code of Advertising Practice]. The government’s clear policy intent – as expressed in its regulations – is to limit the advertising prohibitions of the directive to commercial (i.e. in the course of a business) communications, not to public health messages.”
Given that Clive Bates is speaking directly to government at the Tory party conference, change might happen soon.