The Scotsman newspaper yesterday announced that all vaping was to be banned from the Commonwealth Games. E cigarettes are to be treated in the same way as tobacco cigarettes, and as the games are smoke free, this means no e cigs either.
To justify this ruling, the usual vague conjectures of excuses have been rolled out.
It’s not going to be 100% draconian though, should you be one of the vapers that has already bought their tickets under the belief that you could vape in the open air, Mr Zealey, the head of Engagement and Legacy has said “the products (e cigs) would not be confiscated if people were carrying them, but they would not be allowed to use them in the venues or within their defined perimeters.
“The ultimate sanction would be for them to be asked to leave the venue, but hopefully it would not come to that,” he said.
ASH Scotland was in on the discussions for this ban, and they are quoted as saying, “The Commonwealth Games will showcase excellence and aim to build a healthy legacy for the next generation.
“Providing smoke-free environments during events will help deliver on that commitment, and the decision to exclude e-cigarette use should make enforcement more straightforward and also help put the appearance of smoking cigarettes out of fashion.”
Reading into this further, e cigs are banned from the Games because stewards might not be able to tell an e cig from a real cigarette, they are not healthy enough and they make smoking tobacco fashionable.
But none of the above ‘reasons’ are truthful.
If you read this excellent piece of research that has put pretty much everything we know about e cigs together, (warning it is very long) http://www.scribd.com/doc/195347257/Nicotine-and-Health
You will see that the normalising smoking argument,( for this article ASH have used the word fashionable) is yet another anti tobacco falsehood.
Vaping actually denormalizes smoking. Millions are moving from smoking to vaping, not the other way round. So what better way to get people away from smoking than showing them something that is of a magnitude less harmful?
E cigarettes are not healthy like an organic apple is considered healthy, but as already stated, if we are talking about encouraging a healthy lifestyle, (which the games organiser say they are,) e cigarettes are a harm reduction tool and far less damaging than cigarettes.
Plus, most stewards will be able to smell a cigarette at 100 paces, let alone spot one.
The Scotsman did print both sides to this argument, and they chose Simon Clark, director of Forest to do so . He quiet rightly points out, “If the organisers don’t want people to smoke in and around venues, I can’t understand why they would ban e-cigarettes.
“E-cigs help remove the temptation to smoke, so they should be welcomed, not prohibited.
“There is no evidence e-cigs are harmful to consumers or anyone around them. Nicotine is a drug like caffeine. Are they going to ban coffee as well?
“The London Olympic Games had designated smoking areas. Glasgow should do the same, or allow e-cigarettes.”
And finally, a personal note to the Scottish Health Minister, who has said e cigarettes are not regulated. Yes they are, 17 regulations at the last count.