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« Special pleading – ASH battles to save Smokefree South West | Main | Are vapers in denial about tobacco control? »
Wednesday
Mar092016

Vapers, ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

So how's the relationship between tobacco control and the vaping community working out?

Not great if this morning's news is any guide.

Newspapers are reporting that Little Haven beach in Pembrokeshire is to become the first beach in Britain to trial no-smoking signs.

As you can imagine the news has been greeted with delight by tobacco control groups. According to ASH Wales:

"We fully welcome the smoke free beach pilot in Pembrokeshire to protect our young people from the harmful effects of tobacco."

First British smoke free beach unveiled (Telegraph).

Significantly the 'voluntary' ban includes the use of e-cigarettes and on that subject ASH is noticeably mute.

Another 'pro ecig' body supporting the initiative is Cancer Research UK.

To quote the great John Lydon, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Update: Only one group is quoted in today's press opposing the scheme - including the ban on vaping - and that group is, er, Forest.

Fancy that!

PS. I'm discussing this on BBC Radio Somerset after 9.00. Tune in!

Update: I also discussed it on BBC Radio Devon and this evening I was quoted by BBC Wales News.

Smokers' lobby group Forest accused the council of imposing a policy to "denormalise a legitimate habit".

Criticising the scheme, Simon Clark said: "There is no evidence that the sight of a complete stranger smoking encourages children to start smoking.

"The ban on the use of e-cigarettes demonstrates that this is not about health, it's about control."

Full report: Little Haven becomes UK's first smoke free beach (BBC News).

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Reader Comments (3)

Reject this unnecessary and draconian beach smoking ban. Outdoor smoking bans don't protect; they persecute smokers and divide communities.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 11:26 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

BBC Breakfast's reporting was of the typically poor standard one has come to expect. I shall await a response to my complaint (below).

"Dear BBC,

I am writing with reference to your report on Breakfast this morning, concerning the “smoking ban” on the beach at Little Haven. Why, I hear you cry, have I put quotes around the term ‘smoking ban’? That’s something I choose to answer with another question – When is a ban, not a ban?

From the Oxford Dictionaries online defines a ban as either:

‘Officially or legally prohibit (something)’, or
‘Officially prevent (someone) from doing something’

However, in this instance the “ban” was described as being voluntary, therefore, by definition it is not a ban, it’s some nannyist types in the council responsible for Little Haven putting up a few signs (at taxpayers’ expense) to ask people to not smoke (or use electronic cigarettes).

This begs the question as to why the BBC reported it as a ban (the details about the voluntary nature of this move are absent from you online report as of 10:21 this morning).

I have several alternative theses as to why this ‘news story’ was reported thusly and was hoping that you could set the record straight as to which is correct:

1. No-one within the BBC News editorial team has a strong enough grasp of the English language to know what the word ban actually means, and to therefore realise that a ‘voluntary ban’ is not a ban. This notion is bolstered somewhat by the inability of several of your Breakfast presenters to effectively read an autocue.

2. The News department knew that this wasn’t a ban, but decided to deliberately mislead the public by reporting it as such. This notion is bolstered by the omission online of any mention in your online report that it’s voluntary and therefore not actually a ban.

3. The BBC has fallen hook line and sinker for anything the “public health” lobby feeds them through their media departments and is reduced to being little more than a mouthpiece for narrow interest groups who meet the BBC’s ‘politically correct’ internal guidelines. This notion is bolstered by many things, most notably the awful episode of Panorama covering proposals for a minimum unit price on alcohol; which was withdrawn from iPlayer in September 2012, due to a ‘mistake’ from the Sheffield University ScHARR . A mistake they were reluctant to admit and no-one at the BBC even thought to look into until a flurry of correspondence from myself pointing out the obvious nature of this mistake (in that it was vanishingly unlikely a minimum unit price of 45p would save more pensioners’ lives than the ONS reported to be dying from alcohol related conditions).

4. The BBC has decided that standard definitions of words are no longer appropriate for the state broadcaster and has decided instead to introduce its very own lexicon. This is standard practice in the drafting of patents, however, one is required to provide definitions when one’s usage differs from the standard lexicon. If this is the case, would you be so kind as to direct me to the new BBC lexicon to enable me to properly interpret future news reports.

I eagerly await your response.

Best regards

Dr Stephen Wintersgill"

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 14:23 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Wintersgill

This ban should be ignored. These people have no right to ban smoking on a public beach.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 15:06 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy Goodacre

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