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« GFN - just another echo chamber? | Main | The titans of tobacco control who are still waiting to be honoured »

Ban vaping in public places? Dame Sally needs a wake-up call

England’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies was in the news a few days ago.

Discussing e-cigarettes she told the Commons science and technology committee that vaping was “clearly much safer than tobacco smoking” and “If they help people stop ... I’d encourage [smokers] to use them.”

Bizarrely however she added that vaping should be restricted to people’s homes and gardens because she personally didn’t like having to breathe in “white clouds” of e-cigarette vapour.

According to the Daily Mail Dame Sally said she found it offensive:

‘I would have them not smoked in public places. I hate it when I walk past someone and they waft vapour over me and I think, “Here we are talking about pollution...” 

‘We want people to live in clean air. Why do we let them smoke in public places and let them waft it all over us?

I don’t mind if in the privacy of their own houses or gardens they continue. I just don’t want to set an example to children for them to be smoked or used publicly.’

It’s hard to know where to begin with these extraordinary comments but earlier today I was invited to respond on The Wake Up Call, the BBC Radio Kent breakfast programme.

The item (‘Should we ban vaping in public places?’) begins at 52:10 and I’m interviewed from 54:25.

Given the time of day (6.55am) I think I was quite robust.

If I sound a bit bleary-eyed and breathless however it’s because my alarm didn’t go off at 6.00 and I only woke up when the BBC rang me to do the interview. Two minutes later I was live on air!

Update: David Newell has uploaded the interview on YouTube here.

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Reader Comments (4)

The antismokers hate anything that looks like smoking. The fact that vapor isn't smoke is immaterial in their bizarro world. Their goal is prohibition and totalitarian control. Too bad many vapers join the tobacco controllers in persecuting smokers since the antis have set their sights on vapers too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 18:59 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

‘Twas always to be so, Vinny. All we smokers can do is say, ever-so-slightly smugly, “told you so.” But vapers won’t see it. Rather bizarrely – as ex-smokers who, presumably, have experienced most if not all of the anti-smoking campaign from the outset to the present day – none seem to remember that logical argument simply doesn’t cut any ice when it’s up against well-funded, idealistically-minded, semi-religious types with the bit between their teeth and the ear of those in power. Vapers can (and do) cite all those studies showing that vaping is supposedly safer than smoking, they can ramp up its appeal through countless stories of how it’s “helped smokers quit” and they can point out till the cows come home that steam and smoke are two different substances, but all their protestations will fall on deaf ears. The hard facts are that there are two major elements to vaping that the anti-smoking crew can’t accept. One is that vaping bears a passing resemblance to smoking, and the second is that vaping offers some smokers a way of avoiding the public “punishment” which the anti-smoking brigade like to see being meted out to those who refuse to obey their instructions. For these two reasons alone, vapers don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell that the anti-smokers will ever treat them any differently to how they treat real smokers. Quite simply, vapers backed the wrong horse when they chose to throw their lot in with the anti-smoking movement instead of joining forces with us to demand that some semblance of choice and respect be restored to us and protected for them. Together we could have been a formidable force which really gave the Puritan masses pause for thought.

Oh well – they made their bed, now they can lie on it ... outside, with us!

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 1:33 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

Any such measures will inconvenience vapers, but not too much. With flavourless liquid and stealth vaping, it will continue anywhere out of sight. The people who once stood smoking outside offices are now vaping in toilets, stairwells and store rooms.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 8:15 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

First they made up the vast majority of harm caused by smoking but vapers were happy to believe all the bullshit because they quit smoking, in their own words, and did as the Bully State told them to.

Now, as we all said, the Bullies are coming for vapers and vapng. It is such a shame they were too pretentious to work with us and take on board that the issue is not about alleged harm, but freedom, tolerance, and the right to consume legal products in an alleged free society without harrassment, intimidation or discrimination.

Forgive us smokers for sitting back with the popcorn watching everything happen to vapers and vaping that we have seen played out before on smoking and smokers - especially as we have for some years now wasted our breath in trying to get through to vaping orgs that pandering to the smokerphobics in public health would get them absolutely nowhere but clear the way for them to be targeted next.

Serves them right.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:03 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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