Bearing in mind that all someone breathes in when vaping is flavoured vapour with perhaps a touch of nicotine and all they breathe out is breath, there does seem to be a lot of very excited people out there on the subject of whether vaping should be banned indoors. Many venues are adding themselves to the list of those banning it and the arguments are flimsy at best and usually fuelled by a lack of understanding as to what vaping actually is.
Education is badly needed
The argument has got out of hand before anyone really has taken on board some of the basic facts about vaping. One of the misconceptions arises from the use of the word ‘smoking’ when applied to an electronic cigarette. There is no smoke involved, all that is produced is vapour, not unlike steam (although obviously not so hot!) and medical experts are agreed that there are no harmful components in the vapour which can affect bystanders. Anti-vaping lobbyists claim that there has been ‘insufficient research’ on the effects of vaping, but the short answer to their comments is that if there are no ingredients that are harmful in the electronic cigarette in the first place, there is no process in the human body which will make them so. They may as well ban breathing.
Safety is a consideration
There is only one argument that stands up to scrutiny and this is that in a crowded venue it would be totally impossible, given the numbers involved, to tell who was smoking and who was vaping. There is no real reason why larger venues could ban vaping whilst leaving smaller ones – such as restaurants and bars – to allow it, because there is always a little one-to-one contact in these places between staff and customer, and so checks would be easy. It is tempting to suggest that in smaller venues which are claiming the ‘it’s hard to tell’ reason for banning vaping should use their nose – most people can detect tobacco smoke and nothing smells the same, especially not vaping. Also, a simple smoke detector could tell if a real cigarette was being smoked, although to be fair to the bigger venues, it would then be hard to identify who was actually smoking it, so their caveat still makes sense.
The anti-smoking lobby hates losing ground
Whether you are a smoker or not you have the right to enjoy the air around your head without someone dictating how you are to behave. In the case of smoking there are clear health issues with secondary smoking and so it was a good move to ban it indoors. The anti-smoking lobby are now turning their attentions to vaping and this is definitely not fair – vaping has no proven health issues, either for the users or those around them and an outright ban in public places would be a step too far down the road to complete Big Brotherdom and the Nanny State. Common sense must be allowed to prevail.