Up in smoke

The UK smoking ban of July 2007 made it illegal to smoke in enclosed workplaces and public areas. It was the single most aggressive step taken by the government in respect to health care.

The hospitality industry was affected terribly by the ban as customers were no longer allowed to have a smoke with their pint, although now beer gardens have become an extension of most bars and pubs, this was not the case in the early years of the ban. Therefore, people were forced to leave the venue and smoke outside.

Within the hospitality industry, the smoking ban has been blamed for changing the British drinking culture and the closure of 1000s’ of pubs a week.

It always seems the case in business when an industry suffers another will prosper or being created. In this case it was the vape and e-cigarette, an industry that is currently worth approximately £1bn in the UK alone and is the largest growing consumer goods sector.

I should mention that there is a difference between vapes and e-cigs. Vapes have no nicotine and come in various flavours, e-cigs contain nicotine and is used as an aid to help smokers quit, they also come in various nicotine strengths and flavours. For the purpose of this blog I will combine the two and refer to both as vape or vaping.

Vaping was seen and accepted by the majority as the answer to tackling the smoking ban. Until in recent years that too was banned in enclosed public places, instead of reducing the numbers of smokers the ban created an additional group of vapers without really effecting the number of smokers.

Vapers are more socially accepted as it was promoted as having no negative affects to the health, major health companies endorsed these products to help smokers quit and some could be obtained with a prescription.

Being so new to the market very little was known about these products and the ingredients used, like all successful products imitations were being created at the same time.

Over ten years have passed and now investigations have shown that vaping may have negative side effects, in recent months the media have reported 6 deaths directly related to vaping.

Due to the increase in demand, it has created a following and a community that have engulfed their life in a puff of vaping smoke. People have claimed fame for bellowing smoke and creating bespoke vapes that ensure the vaper will be able to perform vaping art.

The social acceptance has allowed such communities to prosper and develop, as a result people are vaping at a very young age and using their vape continuously, by repeating the action of vaping they are forming an addiction.    

There are valid arguments in favour of vaping, but one should realise that ingesting oily substances with unconfirmed ingredients should not be surprised if it proves harmful.

Links are now being formed that lungs are suffering tremendously from vape smoke, the effects seem to take hold a lot faster, due to the fast side effects it becomes harder to identify.   

I suggest anyone that is vaping to contact their medical professional and the UKVIA – UK Vaping Industry Association for advice on their vaping products and what action to take next.

Please share this blog or encourage those you know who vape to seek advise before continuing.

Take a breath -Raj

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