Vaping News

Tanks For Not Vaping

Army training centre for teenage recruits, previously embroiled in a bullying scandal, is banning cadets from vaping

Share on:
Army Foundation College Harrogate has declared vaping to be “unacceptable” for recruits and conflates it with smoking. Teen recruits joining the UK’s primary training centre this week will find that vaping is banned because it isn’t “isn't compatible with health, fitness and developing potential”. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hall says he expects criticism of the action. The college has previously been embroiled in a bullying scandal.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hall said: “Most recruits don’t smoke on arrival, yet most do by graduation. This is unacceptable. We stand for health, fitness and developing potential and smoking isn’t compatible with this philosophy. We are banning it for recruits from next week and will be smoke free for all in 2020.”

“I expect critics... we have discussed College options at length over many months.  But fast forward to March and nobody will be saying ‘let’s build smoking shelters and factor smoke breaks into the programme to help our non-smoking teenagers cope with ‘stress’.”

Twitter user Gary McDade pointed out: “smoking isn’t illegal at 16. Think it’s a great initiative but wondering where it stands, banning something that is legal. Can someone be disciplined for doing something the law says they are allowed to do?”

Lieutenant Colonel Hall told him to, “Get with the spirit of this.” He went on to add that there’s “no issue on being a smoker as a member of staff - they just will not be allowed to smoke on camp or in front of recruits when deployed (already in place). Suspect this will become the norm across the MOD - makes sense to lead it here given the age of our trainees”.

Matt Simpson, Section Commander at AFC Harrogate, commented: “Agree with this decision massively. Having seen the influence a few smokers have on a platoon/company and how it grows as the intake progresses it was definitely a problem that's now been sorted.”

Regimental Sergeant Major Stevan Skinner added: “We have 1 x Coy at the College who started in March with 336 junior soldiers. 20 smoked and now over 130 smoke. Those who smoke 15 to 20 a day are spending £70 per week and a total of £3640 per year. I think that an incentive on its own as well as having a healthier lifestyle.”

3 Brigade’s Brigadier Scott Winter said: “What a great example. I could not agree more with this approach. We’ll soon be commencing our quit smoking campaign in 3 Brigade.”


  • Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hall MBE Twitter – [link]
  • “Camp Snowflake” bullying article, The Sun – [link]

Photo Credit:

  • ‘Alvis Combat Vehicles’ edited for banner, Pixabay [link]

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today