One of the main advantages of using e-cigs over traditional cigarettes is the ability to use them almost anywhere, as tobacco smoke is now illegal in all enclosed public areas.
The ban on smoking cigarettes in enclosed public areas and workplaces has been enforced in the UK since July 2007. This blanket ban across the four nations is split into four separate pieces of legislation, specific to each U.K. country. These are:
- The Health Act 2006 (England).
- The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007.
- The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.
- The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
UK Smoking ban and electronic cigarettes
The Health Act defines smoking as:
- smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance, and,
- being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.
This means the use of electronic cigarettes is allowed in public places because:
- They contain no tobacco smoke.
- They are not "lit" and do not burn. Instead, they vaporise through heating (in the same way a kettle produces steam, but at a lower temperature).
- They emit vapour rather than "smoke" due to the lack of combustion.
Informal bans on e-cigarette use
Some companies such as restaurants or airlines may choose to have a policy that bans the use of electronic cigarettes on their premises. E-cig companies can have no control over policies such as these, which can be compared to bars that ask customers to wear shoes instead of trainers or not to wear sports tops. Policies like these are usually related to the comfort of others as companies may be concerned with how their customers/employees feel about the use of electronic cigarettes, or that at a glance the e-cigarette will be misconstrued as a real cigarette and lead others to believe smoking is being permitted. We always recommend checking with staff before using an e-cig in an enclosed public space. As long as staff are aware, they're usually comfortable with you using e-cigarettes.
Overcoming the informal bans on E-Cigs
As a direct response to the apprehension of certain people or establishments to allow electronic cigarettes, blu’s iconic black e-cig and blue-tipped battery come as standard in both our single use lines and re-chargeable products. This means that when a user begins to use a blu™ electronic cigarette in public, any confusion or concern can be quickly dispelled, thus allowing the user to feel safe and relaxed using our e-cigarettes around others. Additionally, as the popularity of e-cigs rises, they are becoming more recognisable and therefore the general public are becoming more comfortable with their use indoors. blu strives to educate the public about e-cigs whenever possible. We always want to be transparent about our technology, how it works and what the effects are. The more information we give people, the better equipped they are to make up their own minds about e-cigs.
The fine line of realism In e-cigarette design
Some users remain shy about using e-cigs indoors because they are concerned staff or others may publicly reprimand them if their e-cig is mistaken for a tobacco cig. As a result, we're finding that users are more likely to feel comfortable using e-cig devices in public if they look LESS like traditional cigarettes. This does, however, present a clear disadvantage for many e-cig users. One of the large advantages of an e-cig that more closely resembles a cigarette is that if feels the same size and shape in a user's hand, thereby replicating the psychological connection to cigarettes.
blu has tried to bridge the gap between smoking psychology and comfort in public with our signature blue-tipped battery and black casing paired with a comfortable and portable shape and size.
This helps to avoid confusion and concern from others whilst still maintaining our differentiation and distance from the appearance of traditional cigarettes.
Raising awareness about electronic cigarettes
Currently, we believe the e-cig industry is still in the "awareness" stage. Thus, raising awareness and understanding in this area is key. People are learning about this new technology and researching the ins and outs of how it works and how it's made. When enough people feel comfortable that they understand e-cigs, acceptance will come.
Future of electronic cigarettes in public spaces
See below some of the institutions and bodies who are currently holding, or have held, consultations and reviews into e-cig regulation, guidelines and sales: