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« Home thoughts | Main | Vaping and the several faces of ASH »

Listen as ASH advocates NRT but not vaping (which will be banned)

Further to my previous post, here is ASH's response to the news that the NHS trust that runs Bristol Royal Infirmary is to ban smoking – and vaping – on all its sites.

BBC Radio Bristol presenter: Now we’re talking smoking on the show this morning. The NHS trust that runs the Bristol Royal Infirmary is getting tough on smokers. From the first of January 2019 smoking a cigarette or e-cigarette on any of its sites, including the grounds, will be completely banned. That means, if you do need to light up, you’ll have to make sure you’re beyond the painted white line on the ground outside the hospital, rather than hanging around the entrance, which is what happens at the moment. Vicky Salt is from the anti-smoking charity ASH. She’s pleased with the decision.

Vicky Salt, ASH: “[It's] part of the Government’s new strategy and it’s also something that [NHS] trusts have been moving towards themselves. The Royal College of Physicians published a report in June recommending that hospital sites go smoke free with smokers being supported to quit, so it’s less about the actual white line where you can smoke on one side and not the other and it’s really about making, as I say, the hospital site smoke free so when someone is admitted to hospital their doctor will say ‘You’re not able to smoke whilst you’re on site, whilst you’re receiving treatment, but we have other options and those other options are nicotine replacement therapies and doctors will be advising smokers of the support they can offer to help them quit or abstain whilst in hospital.”

How bizarre that a spokesman for ASH, which has reinvented itself as an advocacy for e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, should (a) support a policy that includes a ban on vaping, and (b) recommend “options" to smoking such as "nicotine replacement therapies" without mentioning e-cigarettes.

You can hear the full item – including an interview with me – here.

A very similar report – also featuring Vicky Salt and me – was broadcast on BBC Radio Wiltshire this evening. Click here.

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Reader Comments (8)

I thought ASH in the early days of e-cigarettes (or maybe it was just Ms Arnott) welcomed them as a useful aid to giving up real smoking? Perhaps there was always a split in the organisation, or perhaps I misunderstood and it was someone else in the anti-smoking industry who vaguely approved of them? But either way, it’s hardly surprising that the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes as a means of giving up smoking has likely made a big dent in the sales of NRT for the Pharma companies who give ASH plenty of funds, so maybe they’ve been “instructed” not to voice any approval.

What’s more surprising, to be honest, is that the Pharma companies haven’t come up with some kind of “therapeutic” e-cigarette of their own which they can sell as a quitting aid (yes, I know about their daft “inhalator” gadget, but that was no more effective than their other NRT products and looked vaguely disgusting, if you get my drift – I won’t go into the details!) With their resources and their clout, and especially now that all they’d have to do is copy existing e-cig design and manufacture and just adapt it a bit to make it their own and re-label it as a form of NRT rather than something vapers actively want to buy and use, you’d think they’d easily be able to put most of the existing e-cig makers – who are small by comparison - out of business and corner the market.

But either way, I’m glad that at last the anti-smoking movement have shown their true attitude towards vapers. Being as many of the vapers I know only use their e-cigarettes because there are still some places that haven’t banned them, the more places that do, the more likely those vapers are to return to the real cigarettes that many of them have privately admitted to me that they enjoyed a lot more and still miss.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 3:33 | Unregistered CommenterMisty


I listened to both of these broadcasts, you were very good in your rebuttal of their reasonings for this ban they are bringing in. However throughout both debates, all parties concerned including the broadcasting stations omitted one thing, the legality of their ban. No law has been passed in England authorising this ban, therefore this ban is voluntary not legally binding. Therefore if the hospitals insist on this action then it is they who are breaking the law. The broadcasting stations and all news media’s should point this out, then if the government initiates this ban in law, this is the proof that we have entered the same political era as in 1930s Germany although it was another group of persons who were persecuted. Scotland is already trying these actions out, from Oct this year it will be illegal to smoke outside within 15 metres of the hospital building, the SNP are still attempting to introduce a guardianship person for all children up to 18 years old. If England follows this then no one in power has learnt anything from our history

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 7:09 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Kerr

I recently spent overnight in a large hospital in the South of the country. I told a night nurse I was going for a short walk - her reply was if you are going for a smoke please let one of us know so that we know where you are. The hospital map was surrounded by a thick red line - no smoking on site. Nobody took any notice.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 10:20 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Joyce

ASH seems determined to make itself obsolete. However, it's possible to vape unnoticed, even more so with unflavoured liquid. In practice, vaping cannot be banned - not on buses, trains, planes, in airports, pubs, cafes, museums, art galleries,...; and certainly not in the open air outside hospitals.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 10:52 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

Doctors who tried to push ASH's pharmaceutical funder's product on me while in hospital would get an earful.

One is not a prisoner in hospital. Accept me without discrimination or take your smokerphobic hospital and shove it. And then some people wonder why we don't love or respect the NHS as much as we used to.

It is now a judgemental and discriminatory selective service for some and not others. It no longer believes in equality for all or the hippocratic oath. It is no longer for everyone no matter how much some of us are forced to pay for it over and above anyone else in this country.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 11:00 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

Do you have to go on a course in sadism to work for ASH or does it just come naturally?

I would be ashamed to send the elderly and sick outside, but some Hospital boards seem to revel in the opportunity.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 13:34 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

The tobacco control approach to vaping and smoking remains one of 'divide and conquer'. First it was divide smokers from non-smokers by advocating the imposition of smoking bans justified by the second hand smoke ruse.

Then they expanded the second hand smoke gambit to the outdoors and sought to divide smokers from those that vape.

Now tobacco control is moving to eradicate vaping too!

Sadly, many vapers fell for the tactic of division and further(ed) the persecution of smokers while remaining oblivious to the fact that they were (are) next to be targeted.

Tobacco control's lies and manipulation must be exposed.

Friday, August 17, 2018 at 19:34 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

MPs are on the vapers side, and will use them to push smokers into 3rd class citizenship as a way of trying to force smokers to vaping due to the outright propaganda blinding them into thinking that all smokers want to quit and something we know so little about is a miracle cure for smoking.

This is my line. If vapers can blow their sickly cloud in any public place whether a bar or a bus, I will smoke. Many people find vaping very unpleasant. If they are being told to accommodate vapers they must learn to accommodate smokers too. We have been too nice. Relaxing vaping restrictions must allow us to break the law and smoke where they vape. We must not allow ourselves to be discriminated against any more. Enough is more than enough.

This is, after all, the 21st century. We have the technology to clear air and accommodate everyone comfortably and in a decent humane and equal society, we must.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 13:36 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

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