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London Midlands Derails Hopes For On-Train Vaping

Earlier in September, the UK train company London Midlands finally clarified their view on vaping on board their trains. The Birmingham based company decided to include vaping in their smoke free policy, going against the Tobacco Control Plan and increasing an unnecessary stigma against vaping.

This debate raises many of the same concerns and queries as in office vaping debates. The curbing of tobacco users in the new TPD laws and aims from the government to reduce adults who smoke tobacco to just 12% of the population by 2022 surely mean that vaping should be promoted in public spaces.

Alternative options

Vaping experts and anti-tobacco advocators have recently raised their opinions on the Midland Rail news. They believe that the best way to deal with the situation is to have something akin to a quiet zone on board trains, but focused on carriages where vaping is allowed. The New Nicotine Alliance recently came out with a piece in which they suggested vaping designated carriages, allowing passengers to vape in peace and without worry of upsetting other passengers who wouldn’t want to be around the vapour. In the past there were smoking carriages, which has now been banned completely from trains, but what’s to say that they couldn’t bring the policy back now that vaping has reached record highs? Using clear signs, vape users and non-vapers will be able to differentiate between a vape free and a vape designated carriage, leading to a clearing up of policy which would satisfy everyone.

Second hand smoke and vaping

The one worry which non-vapers have about vaping is that some believe that it still emits carcinogens into the air even though it doesn’t use tobacco smoke. This would deem vaping in train carriages both dangerous and selfish. The truth however is far from the disturbing studies posted a few years ago. Occupational health expert Igor Burstyn has argued of the dangers of overcautiousness, stating that hysteria inducing studies are “propaganda mixed with wilful ignorance.” He goes on to state that that form his own research he has found that vaping “poses no apparent concern” for bystanders due to the extremely low levels of any potentially toxic chemicals in second hand vape smoke. Vaping has far less carcinogens than the 60 known ones in tobacco smoke, and when this vapour is inhaled second hand, the emissions are so low that they shouldn’t be a cause for concern for non-vapers.


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