Council Ban Vaping

Posted 6th November 2018 by Mawsley
Nottingham Council blazed a trail when it banned its employees from vaping in 2016. Barnsley ignored the benefits of normalising vaping earlier this year, then Sheffield banned all employees, customers, visitors, contractors, volunteers and members of the public from vaping. Now Dundee has followed suit because it wants to reduce the number of adult 'role models'.

Nottingham floated its proposals in 2015, forcing an ideological position onto over 1,000 of their 9,000 employees – those who were estimated to be current smokers and/or ecig users. The move was described as “bonkers” and “barking mad”.

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council's Public Health Committee, Joyce Bosnjak pushed for the authority to ban vaping from all council buildings, land and vehicles. She said: “the jury is out on whether it’s safer.” Then she added that employees were, “allowed a comfort break - they just can’t smoke or vape during it.”

Barnsley pushed through a ban on vaping near schools. Its spokesperson told POTV: “We want to encourage a smoke free generation and make all smoking invisible to children so they don't see it as a regular adult behaviour.”

The council employee refused to respond to our questions regarding the Public Health England recommendations.

Sheffield’s ludicrous ban was implemented at the beginning of October. Vaping was banned from all premises, grounds, courtyards, entranceways, car parks, depots, on any approach to any Council buildings, and in areas opposite council buildings.

Greg Fell, the council’s Director of Public Health said that they “want to help and support our employees who smoke to quit or switch to vaping”, but it’s hard to see how this excessive ban helps achieve that aim.

Dundee has the UK’s largest percentage of smokers but the City Council has chosen to ban its employees vaping anywhere during working hours. Not just on council property or, like Sheffield, near council buildings – they are banned from vaping anywhere.

Dundee’s spokesperson said: “'The council has revised its smoking policy as we are working to protect the health of employees and also promote positive health messages across the wider community, in line with the agreed Our People Strategy and health and wellbeing framework.”

“A key part of that approach involves discouraging children and young people from taking up smoking. One way to assist that is to reduce the number of adult "role models" who can be seen smoking in public.”

“Across Dundee, there has been the introduction of voluntary no-smoking areas at children's play parks and we will be looking to extend this to more open spaces in the future.”

At some point these little bureaucrats need to wake up to the fact that vaping offers a working solution to the problem of tobacco-related harm – one that carries minimal costs to authorities who are starving Quit programs of desperately needed finance.