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« The healthiest option | Main | No UK premiere (yet) for A Billion Lives. Why not? »

Vaper-friendly conference restricts and even prohibits vaping to appease "non-vaping delegates"

I like a challenge so I'm tempted to accept Dick Puddlecote's suggestion that I attend the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw next month.

Read his full post here.

As things stand it's probably the only opportunity I'll have to see A Billion Lives before it goes to DVD (see previous post).

Anyway I've just been on the GFN website and my eye was immediately drawn - I don't know why - to the vaping policy.

I must have a sixth sense for the absurd because this is what I found:

GFN is a vaper friendly conference, actively encouraging participation by consumers and advocates. For various reasons this year we have had to introduce a vaping policy, which we hope will accommodate everyone's needs. The main reasons for this are:

- that some non-vaping delegates last year felt that they were 'trapped' with the vapour, which they found unpleasant and distracting, particularly in the plenary and parallel sessions where there are a lot of people packed into a relatively small space;

- that the Polish government are pushing for indoor usage restrictions - there may be regulators present and we would like them to leave with a positive view of vaping and vapers, and indeed of the conference;

- that since last year the majority of experienced vapers have switched to high powered devices and sub-ohming, which is fine for vape meets but not so good in the conference venue where it tends to create a rather disconcerting fog bank for those who are not used to it.

So who were the "non-vaping delegates" who felt "trapped" by "unpleasant and distracting" vapour?

I'm guessing it was some of those "pro-vaping" public health campaigners. You know, the ones vapers are so keen to join forces with.

Well, they're so "pro-vaping" vaping is now banned in all "plenary and parallel sessions". Furthermore:

You are free to vape in the networking and public areas, but please be discreet and considerate.

Use low powered devices as it helps to keep the amount of vapour created to a minimum.

If you want to blow clouds there will be a terrace available on the same floor as the conference takes place, or please go outside the venue.

In other words, if you must vape please try very very hard not to draw attention to it, ask before you vape near "non-vaping delegates" (they might not like it), and if you insist on using a high powered device – sorry, that's now prohibited indoors but, don't worry, you can use it outside with the smokers.

Some might argue (with some justification) that the organisers are merely using their common sense. But I can't help thinking this is yet another example of how public health campaigners are dictating the agenda on e-cigarettes.

It's clear the hotel hasn't got a policy on vaping otherwise the organisers would have said so and used that as an excuse. Instead, and in order to placate those "non-smoking delegates", the organisers have imposed their own vaping ban.

The hope is that by prohibiting the use of even low powered devices during formal sessions – while driving the use of high powered devices outside – it will give regulators a "positive view of vaping and vapers".

It may work. The problem is they are effectively conceding that in order to achieve that goal vaping has to be banned or severely restricted in enclosed public spaces, while the use of "high-powered" devices must be policed in exactly the same way as smoking.

How on earth are vapers going to argue that vaping should be allowed in pubs and other indoor public places when a conference organised and attended by advocates of e-cigarettes voluntarily imposes its own prohibitive policies because of the "rather disconcerting fog bank for those who are not used to it"?

I'm sure the organisers are doing their best to be socially responsible but by imposing this policy on delegates the implication is that vapers cannot be trusted to be discreet and considerate without a formal "policy".

Meanwhile what happens if someone chooses to ignore the policy? I can think of several delegates who will view it as a challenge but perhaps the fear of being exposed by "some non-vaping delegates" will force them to comply.

Either way it should be interesting.

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Reader Comments (10)

Thank God I am 'just' a nasty, dirty, stinky least I know where I stand...outside in the rain like all the other lepers.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 15:47 | Unregistered CommenterThe Blocked Dwarf

I don't think I'd want to share an indoor space with these 'public health' people. After all they're proud that they haven't had to wash their clothes since July 2007.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 16:06 | Unregistered CommenterTony

not so good in the conference venue where it tends to create a rather disconcerting fog bank for those who are not used to it

I used to find the fog machines in nightclubs disturbing, at least the smoke went up to the ceiling the fog always hung around your face.
Does vapour go up or down in a confined space?

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 17:22 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

The vapour behaves in exactly the same way as the fog machines. When sensible equipment is used discreetly, it isn't generally a problem. However the high powered devices used by some vapers mimic fog machines and the vapour hangs in the air - which is rather unpleasant for many people.

I used to organise a monthly social get together of 'vapers' in a local club. For 3 years we were welcomed by the committee, then the 'vapers' became selfish and started using the high powered devices without consideration for the other members of the club. Needless to say, those 'vapers' are now banned from the club - and it serves them right!

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 17:48 | Unregistered CommenterRussell VR Ord

They could always just vape real tobacco, but I have a hunch that this idea would be "shunned" as there are some (if not many) vaping advocates that are anti-tobacco. The smell is faint and pleasant (especially with a quality pipe tobacco), kind of like being in a tobacco bakery. Vaping tobacco emits little visible vapor while delivering heavily in the flavor (sorry, department:-)

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 18:43 | Unregistered Commenterjredheadgirl

Just remembering that SHS is now scientifically proven to be harmless, therefore:
100% of NON smokersw die
100% of smokers die (&)
100% of vapers die
so all of these retstrictions are simply petty minded in reality!

Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 19:11 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Same tactics used to divide and conquer smokers too. I can hear them now. : "Oh, but I'm a considerate vaper. I never do it where other people might not like it."

Fast forward a decade : "Vaping is banned everywhere and vapers are lepers? How did that happen?"

Play with the devil and you will get burned. This shows just how stupid vapers are.

There are better ways to win than suck up to the smokerphobic bigots in public health and bash smoking and smokers but that it hasn't yet occurred to vapers means it's just a question of time before they're hated as much as we are by public health and subject to all the same bans and restrictions. They will have no one to blame but themselves - even if like everything else, they'll probably blame Big Bad EviiiiiiiiiiiiiL Tobacco

Monday, May 9, 2016 at 10:38 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I'm trying to imagine a food conference where eating is banned or frowned upon.

Monday, May 9, 2016 at 16:39 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Mallon

I don't blame evil tobacco. I blame pen-pushers spreading lies and fear following filthy lucre and not giving 2-hoots for anyone.

It's shameless but has been swallowed. I'm not sure how many more have to suffer and even die as a result of their lies, all I know is that they don't care as long as their funding continues.

Monday, May 9, 2016 at 23:59 | Unregistered CommenterHelen D

I wonder sometimes if there’s something about vaping that erases peoples’ memories. On the basis that most of them were previously real smokers, do they not remember the days, pre-ban, when we smokers dutifully lit up only in the designated smoking area? For all the antis’ constant complaints about “selfish” or “inconsiderate” smokers, I never witnessed a smoker sparking up in a non-smoking area, ever. Not once. Neither do I know of any smoker who would have dreamed of lighting up in a non-smokers’ home without first asking if it was OK to do so; many (like myself) simply went outside for a cigarette without even asking (in my case, often being ushered back inside by non-smoking friends along with protestations to “come and smoke inside – we really don’t mind!”). Nor did I ever witness anyone smoking in those few places which had gone completely non-smoking even before the ban had been imposed.

So the fact is that before the ban came in we smokers – which almost certainly includes a large proportion of current vapers – did try very hard to be considerate and to restrict ourselves only to those places where it was made obvious that we were permitted to smoke. And what good did that do us? Answer: zilch, nada, none at all. Indeed, since the ban, the level of compliance amongst smokers has been massive – and yet still the antis won’t leave us alone and insist on continuing to complain about us, even though we are obeying a law designed for and by them, for their – and only their – benefit!

So those vapers who believe that by “showing consideration” towards those people who dislike the look or smell of vapour or the feeling of it hanging around the place are simply deluding themselves and are playing right into the hands of those who think that, because vaping looks a bit like smoking, then it is smoking and therefore should be banished to the outdoors. Those who dislike vaping will use this against them, along the lines of: “Look! Even vapers themselves think that theirs is a nasty, smelly habit which steams up the windows and makes the place feel like a Turkish bath!” It wouldn’t surprise me if the “magical 70%” figure starts to be gleaned from such rules. “70% of vapers think that vaping should only be done outside.” Never mind that it’s only the very thick, heavy vapour that vapers themselves dislike – if it gives them the “magical 70%” one way or another, that’ll be how they’ll spin it. Have vapers so totally forgotten how this works?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 0:52 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

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