Who's getting it right? The United States and the United Kingdom are taking very different approaches to the "vaping epidemic." In the US cities are banning the sale of all vapor products while cities in the UK are opening vape shops within hospitals to convert long term smokers to vaping.
Why such different approaches to the same issue?
Vape shops have opened in two NHS hospitals in the West Midlands as part of efforts to eradicate smoking in the UK. The outlets run by Ecigwizard are at Sandwell general hospital in West Bromwich and Birmingham city hospital, both of which are run by Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals NHS trust.
The trust is clamping down on smoking on its grounds, with people being issued £50 fines since July 5, 2019, if they light up. Security cameras are also being used to police smoking.
Using e-cigarettes outside is allowed, on condition it takes place away from doorways, while smoking shelters have been converted into vaping areas.
The trust’s medical director, Dr David Carruthers, said his organisation’s board and clinical leaders were united in the view that eliminating passive smoking on its sites was a public health necessity.
“Every alternative is available and we ask visitors and patients to work with us to enforce these changes,” he said. “Giving up smoking saves you money and saves your health.”
Joe Lucas, the head of retail for Ecigwizard, said his company was “incredibly happy” to support the trust’s smoke-free status. “We are keen to offer vaping as an alternative to smoking, as a means to help people cut down or quit,” he said.
Just over half (51.5%) of those vaping said it was to help them quit smoking.
However on the other side of the pod (aka, the Atlantic Ocean), the US has a very different response to vaping and it's benefits.
American children as young as second graders are reportedly vaping. This is a horrifying sign that an intervention needs to end what appears to be a juvenile obsession with electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.
State Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Mass.) is apparently determined to fight against the rapid rise in youth e-cigarette use, proposing a bill recently for a 75 percent excise tax on the wholesale price of vaping products and e-cigarettes.
House Democrats recently began investigating e-cigarette leader Juul Labs and its marketing strategies to children to young adults.
As you can see the approaches to vaping couldn't be more different even though our general economic, societal and political approaches are very similar. Why the difference? Comment below.