The first airport “vaping zone” for e-cigarettes is going to be launched later this month at London’s Heathrow.
Demonstrating the increasing popularity of the smoke-free devices, commuters will be able to take time out of their journey and enjoy a break in the new indoor zone located at the international departure lounge at Terminal 4.
The new zone will measure 30 square metres and will only be available to those aged 18 and above between the hours of 5am and 10.30pm. The introduction of this specific zone demonstrates the increasing public acceptance of the smoke-free devices, which are becoming more popular thanks to their range of health benefits for both its users and non-smokers.
In a BBC News report earlier this month researchers estimated that e-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives due to their innovative design, which uses e-Juice to deliver nicotine to its users without releasing carcinogenic chemicals into the air. They could therefore be seen as an effective solution to the five million deaths per year which occur worldwide and are attributed to smoking tobacco.
Heathrow Airport isn’t the only public place where e-cigarettes are accepted, with a number of forum users for the website ukvapers.org contacting national UK companies earlier this year to find out their guidelines and policies on vaping in their outlets.
When contacted directly companies such as Easyjet declaring that whilst e-cigs are allowed to be taken in either hand or hold baggage, but are not allowed to be used onboard. However, national shopping centres such as Liverpool ONE, the Bullring in Birmingham and Westfield in London confirmed their permission for visitors to use electronic cigarettes within their shopping centre’s public areas, alongside supermarket giants Asda stating in an email that “We don’t have any specific policy for these products as there are no health implications for other customers. It would be fine to use them in our stores”.
The only by-product of an e-cigarette when used is an odourless water vapour which quickly dissipates in the air and presents no hazardous consequences to others, hence why in a recent BBC poll 75% of people who participated stated they would not feel uncomfortable if someone used an e-cigarette either near them or their family.
Despite this increasing public acceptance, legislation on their usage still remains divided. Most recently the UK government unveiled plans to classify e-cigarettes as medicines from July 2016, with this decision to have been likely relatable to official research from the European Respiratory Society which suggests they are just as effective as nicotine patches for those who want to stop smoking. These benefits have consequently been reflected amongst life insurance providers, with the average 10-a-day smoker swapping to electronic cigarette starter kits predicted to save more than £1000 per year.
With over 1 million British users and 5 million global users, e-cigarette consumption is only set to rise, putting increasing pressure on health professionals and governmental departments to establish some definitive legislation regarding their public usage for the benefit of users across the world.by