To vape or not to vape – de­vices un­der scru­tiny

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Smoking Alternative - By Shauntal Wind­sor

How do you feel if some­one “vapes” next to you on a train, in a res­tau­rant or a pub?

It is be­com­ing a more and more com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence as droves of smok­ers turn to al­ter­na­tives in a bid to stop smok­ing cig­a­rettes.

Ash­ford now has four e-cig­a­rette and vape out­lets.

But gen­er­ally there are few rules and reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing the use of e-cig­a­rettes and vapes in public places, whether en­closed or not.

Many non- smok­ers are un­happy at hav­ing to in­hale the vapour pro­duced by e-cig­a­rettes, va­por­is­ers or sim­i­lar de­vices, which were orig­i­nally de­signed to help to­bacco smok­ers quit their life-threat­en­ing habit.

And even med­i­cal ex­perts are strug­gling to con­firm if they are harm-free.

They emit vapour in a sim­i­lar way to the smoke pro­duced by cig­a­rettes, and from a dis­tance you can’t al­ways spot the dif­fer­ence. So who al­lows it and who doesn’t?

Look­ing at the Ash­ford De­signer Out­let, it’s easy to think that the tented area is out­doors, invit­ing smok­ers or vapers to get their fix.

But as de­ter­mined by Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, the shop­ping cen­tre ac­tu­ally qual­i­fies as en­closed, mean­ing cig­a­rette smok­ers must go else­where.

But not vapers, as own­ers McArthur­Glen say they cur­rently have no pol­icy on the use of e-cig­a­rettes or va­por­is­ers there and as such they are per­mit­ted within the cen­tre.

A McArthur Glen spokesman said: “Each store is, how­ever, en­ti­tled to re­strict their use if they choose.”

So what about public trans­port? A spokesman for Ash­ford’s United Taxis said: “As most of us are self-em­ployed, ev­ery­one has their own rules – some of the taxi driv­ers are smok­ing these e-cig­a­rettes them­selves. But as a com­pany, we don’t have a gen­eral rule.”

Train com­pany South­east­ern said: “It is al­lowed at the mo­ment, but it’s some­thing that is be­ing re­con­sid­ered.”

Stage­coach says va­p­ing falls un­der its smok­ing pol­icy, and so is not ac­cept­able in any way on its buses.

Like­wise Cineworld and Frankie and Benny’s res­tau­rant on the Eureka Leisure Park and Wether­spoons, which owns The County Ho­tel pub in Ash­ford’s Lower High Street, also said they do not al­low any smok­ing, in­clud­ing e- cig­a­rettes, on their premises.

Do you think vape or e-cig­a­rette users should be banned from us­ing them in en­closed public places? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

Pic­ture: Andy Pay­ton FM3859984

Busi­nesses have a range of poli­cies re­gard­ing va­p­ing

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