Wales to experience ‘first of its kind’ E-cig ban
Wales to experience ‘first of its kind’ E-cig ban in enclosed spaces
It seems that vaping in enclosed areas – such as in restaurants, workplaces, and pubs – is on its way out in Wales, due to a new law that will probably take affect sometime in 2017. This would be the first law of its type regarding E-cigs in the UK, and many people are disagreeing about what it will or won’t do – and whether or not it’s even necessary.
Of course, proponents of the new law believe that it will prevent smoking from being ‘normalized’ after it was dealt such a swift blow by the smoking ban. They also claim that it will make E-cigs more difficult to obtain for individuals under the age of 18.
BBC.com published a pretty good article on this topic, which you can find here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-33025872. Of course, it’s a fairly complicated affair, but many of the changes that will take place can basically be broken down into the following…
1… It will be an offence to ‘hand over’ both E-cigarettes and tobacco to children. This will also span online sales.
2… E-cigarettes will be restricted and banned in certain enclosed public spaces. Such areas will include places of business, like pubs and restaurants, as well as taxis, lorries, and workplaces.
3… Shops that sell E-cigs will need to join a register for retailers of tobacco and E-cigs. The point of this is pretty much to stop sales of the products to minors (those under the age of 18).
It seems that a precise date for when all of these measures will be implemented has not been given yet – but it would seem that it will probably be 2017 before we can plan on seeing them come into force.
Of course, opponents of the law argue that these measures will make it more difficult for smokers to use E-cigs as a cessation device – and many different organizations have actually spoken out in opposition to the idea. Interestingly, the ASH, Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Physicians Wales, and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies are all against the proposal.
Change in cigarette smoking habits over time (UK 1974 – 2013)
But the E-cig industry isn’t the only one that’s being impacted by the new plan. Tattoo parlors are also getting some new regulations. Most significantly, they’re getting a licensing system that will attempt to enforce professional health and hygiene standards by 2017. Of course, many of the more prominent tattoo parlors in Wales are already licensed – though there are also others, called ‘scratchers’, that haven’t thus-far been required to go through these legal gateways. These smaller operators would need to verify that they’re competent before being allowed to practice – with the possibility of prosecution and fines for those who don’t conform to the new regulations.
The new laws would also ban intimate piercings on those under the age of 16.
Such sweeping reform hasn’t been seen in the tattoo-piercing industry since the early 1980s – though many are saying that the new changes are well-overdue in a world where such things are becoming more and more mainstream.
Are all of these changes a good thing?
Most people seem to agree with the majority of what’s being proposed – though many do object to the new indoor ban on E-cigs, saying that this could get in the way of people switching over to E-cigs in an effort to quit the real thing.
But on the flipside, it’s also understandable that lawmakers don’t want to see the good already accomplished by the smoking ban to be ‘undone’ by E-cigs. However unlikely this may be, it appears that many lawmakers seem to agree that this is at least a possibility.
The Royal College of Physicians had an interesting response to the new proposals. They were apparently disappointed that no serious measures were taken to help curb obesity and physical activity – both of which, they say, are said to have a pretty major impact on health and chronic illness in the UK. What do you think?