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« Tempted by the smoke of another | Main | Forest's response to council's smoke free children's parks policy »

Why Sheffield's smoke free children's parks policy includes vaping

Interesting response from Sheffield Council to Forest's criticism of their decision to ban vaping as well as smoking in children's play areas.

“The decision to include electronic cigarettes in the smoke free children’s play parks policy was taken following the consultation process with park users. We fully support and continue to invest in helping our communities to quit smoking and stopping our children from taking up smoking.

“However, we believe we have to be consistent in policies to protect children. It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to someone under 18. It is also illegal to buy e-cigarettes for someone aged under 18. Therefore we believe that it is not unreasonable to ask people to refrain from vaping in areas designed for young children.”

Full report here: Sheffield smokefree playground campaign an ‘abuse of public money’ says lobby group Forest.

There's some logic to this which is why smokers and vapers should fight such policies together.

After all, if public health wins the argument that children must be 'protected' from the sight of anything they cannot legally purchase, it's a short step to banning smoking, vaping and drinking in all sorts of locations where children might be present.

Growing up in Scotland in the Seventies I remember pubs having frosted glass and customers being barred from taking their drinks outside. The reason, or so I was told, was to 'protect' children from the sight of people drinking.

And this is where many vapers are getting it wrong. They are so desperate to draw a distinction between smoking and vaping they shy away from defending smoking in public places - even outside - preferring to look the other way.

Sheffield Council's policy on smoking and vaping in children's play areas demonstrates the misguided nature of this one-eyed, ostrich-like approach.

If you keep quiet about smoking bans (effectively endorsing them) you open the door to similar bans on vaping for the reasons the council has given.

In any battle there is a frontline. If you concede territory the battleground moves closer to home. Vapers are not immune to the war on tobacco so every time smokers lose ground the threat to vaping increases because a precedent has been set.

Unfortunately many vapers are either too blind to see the danger to their own habit or they have been convinced of the virtues of vaping as a weapon in the war on tobacco.

Having effectively joined forces with tobacco control they believe, optimistically, they will be exempt from excessive regulations.

It's a naive and blinkered view that ignores the reality that most public health advocates of vaping want e-cigarettes to be a smoking cessation tool and nothing else.

On no account should vaping be 'normalised' among the general public nor should it be allowed where it might be seen by children - hence the bans on the use of e-cigarettes on beaches, hospital grounds and in play areas (not to mention Nottingham City Council's ban on vaping during work breaks).

Admittedly there are relatively few policies like that at present but the fact that some exist - without a murmur of protest from pro-vaping public health campaigners - ought to concern our vaping buddies.

Instead many persist in seeing the tobacco control industry as their friend. Good luck with that.

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Reader Comments (4)

While talking about Sheffield launching a capaign on smokefree play areas, it seems Mansfiled has implemented it (unanimously) from 1st August 2016.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 11:30 | Unregistered Commenterwest2

My policy personally is to ignore all park and beach bans. They have no legitimacy and i shall continue to smoke in these areas. If necessary i shall go to prison. Incidentally i noticed in my town this afternoon a great many smokers and very few vapers. The word here is that smoking properly is far more pleasurable.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 16:51 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy Goodacre

The 'healthist' goal is to eradicate both smoking and vaping. Next comes alcohol, sugar, and meat. The antismoking crusade is the tip of the prohibitionist spear. Reject smoking and vaping bans!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 17:21 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Stuff public health. I had my first visit to the doctors in 12 years today. I only went last time due to pregnancy. I forced myself to go today to play the game to protect myself.

The doctor was shocked and even pointed out that he was surprised to see me once he had looked at my non-existant medical records. I'm healthy. My council has forced me to go to the doctors, not smoking.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 0:16 | Unregistered CommenterHelen D

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