Today is National Train Day. Throughout the last year over one and a half billion journeys occurred across the British rail network. With over 2.9 million vapers in the UK, it’s safe to say that some of these commuters are vapers.
Commuting via train is not an easy process. Combine elevating rail fares with lengthy delays and overcrowded carriages and you have a recipe for stress every day. But vapers looking for some relief with a sneaky draw on their e-cig could be in for a fine and even prosecution.
Vaping is Banned on Trains
In 2015, almost all rail network operators started to enforce a blanket ban on electronic cigarettes including within the train station, on platforms and in carriages. Action on Smoking and Health did not support this move, stating that:
“There is no evidence that the vapour produced by electronic cigarettes is harmful in the same way as tobacco smoke. For that reason, ASH does not support a blanket ban on the use of these devices in all enclosed public places. However, it’s up to individual organisations, including train operators, to choose whether or not to permit their use. We’d suggest that before doing so they think about the potential health benefits of these products which are mainly used by smokers trying to quit.”
Even with bodies such as Public Health England stating that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, policy makers have set in motion rules and regulations with little guidance or cohesive message.
This last week, the ongoing e-cigarette enquiry in the House of Commons highlighted this issue to the Science and Technology Committee, suggesting that vapers in the UK need centralised guidelines that are consistent across the country.
Terrible Vaping Regulation
Describing the current legislative climate as a ‘regulatory dogs dinner’, Sarah Jakes, Chair of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), spoke about the lack of a cohesive message when it comes to vaping in a public place:
“The managers or owners of these public spaces are relying on the opinions of its customers and patrons.”
She also explained that there needs to be a louder, clearer message from PHE. There is a need to promote good policies for both private and public space owners.
She also suggested that there be a ‘vape friendly’ carriage available for commuters on trains.
With Brexit looming, the TPD will be reviewed. It is hoped that the regulations will not be expanded to ban vaping in public spaces as in some parts of the USA. In fact they will hopefully give business owners and rail operators solid, consistent guidelines to adhere to.
What do you think? Should we have dedicated, vape friendly train carriages? Vote in our poll below.