The Dundee City Council recently introduced a new vaping ban that applies to all council employees. This rule means that employees can only vape on their own time or on unpaid lunch breaks, banning vaping during tea breaks or while traveling between council buildings during work hours. Anyone failing to comply with the vaping ban could face disciplinary action.
This ban has received a lot of criticism with concerns about the legality of the rule as well as health concerns for smokers using vaping to help quit cigarettes. Critics have also pointed out that Dundee City Council’s ban is not in line with the current research into the effects and benefits of vaping or with the United Kingdom’s health policy regarding vaping.
It seems that Dundee City Council have based this decision on misinformation and rumours instead of the facts. A lot of people are worried that this ban ignores the latest research into vaping and the opinions of the NHS and United Kingdom health policy.
Behind The Ban
The average life expectancy in Dundee is one of the lowest in the country and the city also has one of the largest percentages of smokers. It’s understandable that Dundee City Council wants to improve the health and life expectancy of its citizens, but the vaping ban is a terrible way of going about it.
A spokesman from the Dundee City Council has claimed that they are committed to protecting the health of their employees and promoting positive health across the community.
The vaping ban for council employees is part of a larger campaign to reduce smoking in Dundee. The council believes that reducing the number of ‘role-models’ seen smoking will help discourage children from taking up smoking.
It’s easy to see that the Dundee City Council’s ban is based on the idea that vaping and smoking are the same thing and that vaping encourages people to take up smoking. In reality smoking and vaping are very different and vaping is significantly less dangerous than smoking as well as almost doubling the chances of smokers successfully quitting.
Organisations like Public Health England agree that vaping is around ninety-five percent less harmful than smoking, doesn’t encourage new people to take up smoking and is beneficial as an aid to quitting smoking.
Other vaping bans
Dundee City Council have also justified their decision to ban vaping by claiming that it mirrors policies in NHS Tayside and other local authorities across Scotland. But this isn’t accurate either.
Although the NHS Tayside did implement a vaping ban, it only applied to employees vaping within the hospital premises, not a total ban on vaping during work hours like Dundee. The NHS Tayside ban is also being reviewed as it’s considered out of touch with current research into the health effects of vaping and the benefits of vaping to smokers trying to quit.
So, not only is the Tayside ban far less strict than the Dundee one, it’s also considered inaccurate and in need of reform.
The Dundee City Council ban has received heavy resistance and been criticised as overly aggressive.
But the main concern is the vaping ban which is seen as the council policing employees lifestyles and doesn’t make any sense when you consider current research into vaping. If the Dundee City Council feels that they can ban employees from vaping during tea breaks and while not inside council buildings, then what else are they going to ban?
The ban fails to separate vaping from smoking and instead lumps them both together. Dundee City Council are acting as if cutting down on vaping will help cut down on smoking.
In reality vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of smokers successfully quitting. Organisations like Public Health England and the NHS support the use of vaping to help smokers give up cigarettes.
The Royal College of Physicians also agrees with current research into how vaping can help smokers give up cigarettes. The RCP has said that smokers who use e-cigarettes or prescribed medications are more likely to quit permanently.
If research shows that vaping is significantly safer than smoking as well as being proven to help smokers give up cigarettes for good, how does the Dundee City Council justify their ban?
If the council want to cut down smoking and improve the health of their citizens they should be supporting the use of vaping and other products that help people quit. But instead they’re banning employees from vaping during tea breaks and threatening the same disciplinary action for vaping as smoking.
This vaping ban is ill-informed, aggressive and likely to do far more harm than good. The Dundee City Council is making it harder for employees who want to quit smoking and their decision seems to be based on rumours and misinformation instead of facts.
When It All Is Said And Done
The Dundee City Council vaping ban was only recently announced but it has already received a lot of negative feedback. The new rules mean that council employees will be banned from vaping during tea breaks or while outside of council buildings during working hours.
The council claims that the ban is part of their commitment to reduce the number of smokers in the city and discourage people from taking up smoking. But this reasoning doesn’t make any sense and lumps smoking and vaping together as if they are the same thing. People are worried that the council are making their decision based on misconceptions instead of the facts and current research into vaping.
Vaping has been proven to be significantly safer than smoking and almost doubles the chances of smokers successfully quitting for good. Research has also shown that vaping doesn’t encourage new people to take up smoking. So, if the Dundee City Council was really committed to helping smokers quit and discouraging smoking, they’d be supporting vaping instead of banning it and threatening employees with the same disciplinary action for vaping as they’d receive for smoking.