Vape Stores Open At Two UK Hospitals To Help Smokers Quit
Vaping at hospitals takes another twist as vape stores open at two NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom. The move comes as UK health officials aim to provide smokers with access to e-cigarettes, which Public Health England (PHE) found to likely be 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
The statistic cited is derived from PHE's independent e-cigarette evidence review, which is a government mandated report carried out by independent experts.
With vaping now seen by health officials in the UK as a likely much less harmful alternative to smoking that has helped some smokers quit smoking, it now finds itself actively promoted by the UK's public healthcare system. Last year, PHE went as far as to recommend that hospitals allow patients to vape indoors and in their hospital beds.
In the two hospitals where vape stores recently opened for business, which are Birmingham city hospital and Sandwell general, smoking is completely banned and e-cigarette use is not permitted indoors, not yet anyway, but vaping e-cigs is permitted on hospital grounds so long as vapers stay away from doorways.
The smoking shelters that once existed at both hospital sites have since been converted to vaping areas. The ashtrays once there have been removed and those who do smoke on the grounds are subject to a £50 fine (about $62). To enforce the smoking ban on hospital grounds, police are reportedly using security cameras
to catch smokers in the act.
The two new vape shops that opened up are run by UK vape company Ecigwizard, which also operates an online store where customers can order vaping products through the internet and have them shipped to their homes. The company's head of retail, Joe Lucas, was quoted by the BBC as having said that Ecigwizard is "incredibly happy" to support the smoke-free status of the hospitals and that the company is "keen to offer vaping as an alternative to smoking" and "a means to help people cut down or quit" smoking.
Data analyzed by NHS Digital earlier this month found that over half of those who reported vaping in the UK said that they were using vaping as a means by which to help them quit smoking.
Skip across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States and vaping is under fire from various sides with regulators across the country calling for and implementing varying degrees of restrictions, such as the recent e-cigarette sales bans that passed in San Francisco and Livermore, two cities in California that are located in what is known as the San Francisco Bay Area. In other parts of the country, indoor vape use in public spaces has been banned.
San Francisco, home to e-cigarette company Juul Labs, has quickly risen to become one of the toughest cities in California on vaping. At the company's headquarters, which is located in SF, employees are unable to legally use their own products while they're inside the corporate headquarters.
Head down under to Australia and nicotine vaping is banned, however, import regulations still allow Australians to import them, but only for personal use and only from overseas companies. As a result, nicotine e-liquid and e-cigs cannot be purchased from local stores, but they can be purchased online and imported into the country from an overseas e-cig supplier like Vaper Empire
, which has been providing Australian customers with access to nicotine vaping products since 2012.
Surf over to New Zealand and vaping is much less regulated, providing smokers with relatively easy access to nicotine vaping products that have already helped some smokers quit.
With regulations in flux and laws at times differing from city to city, state to state, and country to country, it is undoubtedly a complicated time to be a vaper.
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