Smoking Ban: Anniversary to stir new debates?

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We all know that there is much debate surrounding whether or not smokers should be able to light up when and where they want and as the anniversary of the smoking ban in public spaces has just been, does this just mean that there will be even more debates? GoMotorTrade elaborates on the situation.

At the moment it is currently illegal in the UK to light up in public spaces, including company cars and vans. Now doctors are calling for a ban on e-cigarettes too as they believe it normalises the use of nicotine.

The smoking ban came into place on July 1st in 2007 and has been very successful in terms of restaurants, offices, bars and public transport becoming smoke free which means non-smokers can feel confident knowing that the environment that they are going into is a healthy one.  The ban came from a consensus in which the majority agreed that the ban was a good idea although there aren’t any clear cut lines as to what fines or penalties you will face if you are to light up in a public place. This is a result of there being no high-level cases or claims of a breach of human rights however, there is a feeling of resentment amongst smokers.

Having said this, one of the biggest areas for concerns and controversy was the ban for smoking in company vehicles, especially if the driver is alone. Many drivers believe that if it is only themselves in the vehicle and therefore they are not harming anyone else they should be allowed to have a cigarette if they want to. The same is also felt among those who share a van with others who also smoke. If everyone in the vehicle is a smoker then surely there is a general consensus that it is ok? Now if you are running a motor fleet, you may agree with this notion although the law does state that it is not acceptable which means as the manager you may end up giving out disciplinary warnings to those that choose to go against the ban.

To make the matter even more complicated, many have now taken to “vaping” instead. This is what smoking an e-cigarette is called and actually these “cigarettes” are perfectly fine to puff on in public spaces. This is because, even though they contain nicotine, they do not contain tobacco or give off a smoke, rather a vapour.

Many are arguing that the use of e-cigarettes in public areas is going to normalise the consumption of nicotine and therefore promote it to children. This is further fuelled by the fact that they also come in flavours such as bubble gum and peach candy which many believe are targeted at the younger generations. There are also concerns over what is actually in the “vapour” and how harrmful it may be.

These debates may cause further changes to the current ban which will mean more controversy amongst those that are “vaping” who feel that they have a right to smoke in their van. If there are any changes made to the ban regarding e-cigarettes this is going to pose a challenge for fleet managers as well as HR departments.

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