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Smoke Free Housing... Does Vaping Count Too?

Posted 10th May 2017 to Vaping News, Quit Smoking


Will smoke free housing become the next challenge for vapers?

Take a Deep Breath... Smoke Free Housing

There’s loads being written about what will happen to smokers and vapers come May 20th.  The law is changing to make smoking more expensive and less attractive.  Vaping is facing regulation in a way that it's not seen before.

But smokers are facing another challenge… new suggestions are that council tenants would have to sign agreements to make their homes smoke free.

Speaking to the Sunday Times recently Professor John Middleton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said that such agreements were being considered in some areas.  It mirrors a move in November last year when the US government passed similar laws banning smoking from public housing.


Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke


Current tenants wouldn’t be evicted for smoking but new tenants would be asked to sign agreements that create smoke-free housing.  Some observers have said they believe there’s a place for such rules where children are living in the premises.  And charity Cancer Research claims that most second-hand smoke exposure for children occurs at home.

At the same tiome smoker’s rights group Forest has said that the agreements unfairly penalise people who can’t afford to buy their own homes.

As the law stands you can’t smoke in an enclosed work space and it’s illegal to smoke in a car while carrying anyone under 18.  But the government recently turned down proposals to ban smoking in beer gardens and in al fresco dining areas, saying that such proposals would risk the loss of business.

However, there’s no mention of vaping in any of these plans. Perhaps those that make the rules are letting vaping play out, and seeing where it falls naturally on the spectrum of public health, but it does raise the question of how far vaping is considered the same as smoking.


Vaping and Smoking - Tarred with the Same Brush?


When it comes to health insurance it’s clear – vaping and smoking are one and the same.  Regardless of whether insurers consider vaping as less harmful than smoking or not, the issue hinges on nicotine.  If you vape nicotine it will be in your system, and if it’s in your system there’s no proof of how it got there – insurers will assume it’s from smoking. 

But vapers can take comfort in one thing – insurers consider nicotine patches as smoking too.  Anything that delivers nicotine will be classed as smoking in terms of insurance premiums.


Zero Percent - You Don’t Vape Nicotine?


Unfortunately nicotine-free vaping is still classed as smoking too – because of the psychological connection to smoking. And some reports claim insurers are still unsure as to the potential health benefits or threats from vaping and so are unwilling to act on it.

So in most circumstances unless you've been smoke or vapour free for 12 months, you're a smoker.  You're insurers may not care, but your health will definitely thank you.  And while Public Health England supports vaping, hopefully other bodies will follow suit.

Figures show that 300,000 children visit a doctor each year because of the effects of second hand smoke.  Around 9,500 of those end up in hospital. 

  • Outdoor smoking bans already exist in Canada and South Australia. 
  • The US ban on smoking in public housing is due to come into force in November 2018.

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