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Athletes who Vape

Ask a smoker why they are trying to give up and they will usually mention health as one of their top reasons. Plenty of people are switching to vaping to make quitting easier than it might otherwise be.

We’ve read about celebrities who vape, and are seen in public vaping instead of smoking, but what about athletes? This is an altogether different area. After all, peak physical fitness is vital if you are going to compete to the best of your ability against the best in the world.

The whirlwind Jimmy White vapes during tournaments

The whirlwind Jimmy White vapes during tournaments

Now we find it hard to believe there isn’t a single athlete or sports-person out there who doesn’t smoke or vape, even if it is only very occasionally. Yet it is very difficult to find evidence of anyone in the sports world vaping in public. We’re prepared to believe there are very few athletes who smoke, since it is known to be bad for your health and can reduce lung capacity too. Think about it – whatever type of sport you play, you will need good fitness levels and plenty of energy to keep up with the opposition. How many rugby players, footballers, tennis players and athletes can you think of that have stopped mid-game or competition, doubled up with a hacking cough?

However, we’ve discovered evidence of legends such as cyclist Bradley Wiggins smoking, not to mention footballer Wayne Rooney. It may only be the odd one, but they’ve done it nonetheless. Ironically it is much harder to unearth information about sportspeople vaping, although there are a few examples we can give you. David de Gea, a Premiership footballer, has been seen with an e-cigarette, for example.

A little further digging revealed that Jimmy White, a famous snooker player, also vapes now. He used to smoke, and now the days of smoking in snooker halls are over, he can at least vape while taking part in matches between frames.

Yet we can see that vaping in the sporting world still seems to be a rarity. But is it, or is it just that we never see these people doing it? After all, while some sports stars smoke, they’re not usually seen doing it that often. If they have switched to vaping they may not do that very often either.

We think there are probably fewer sports stars smoking or vaping than there are in the general population. So maybe that makes them harder to find. What do you think?

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How to Keep Yourself Distracted From Smoking

Deciding to give up smoking is a big decision and many smokers this October will be participating in the Stoptober challenge to quit smoking for 28 days. The decision to quit smoking could have a huge and positive effect on your health and well being too. But let’s be honest – it won’t always be smooth sailing.

Smoking is a habit in more than one way. You’ll be addicted to the nicotine, certainly, but you could also find you struggle to keep your hands occupied. You’ll have got used to the feeling of holding a cigarette as well as smoking one.

In short, it pays to be distracted. Think of something else to hold in your hand instead. Some people switch to e-cigarettes, but you might also want to keep something else handy for times when you’re not using your e-cigs. It doesn’t matter what it is – just choose something you can easily fiddle with and keep close at hand. A coin, a pen, even a small pebble or worry stone – anything can work.

Whenever you feel the urge to smoke coming on, find things to do with your hands and your mind. Ideally you should already have a list of things to do so you can immediately try one of them. People have all kinds of things they turn to when the urge arises. Maybe one of these will help you:

• Read a book
• Listen to music
• Clean the car
• Go for a walk
• Do some cooking
• Chew some gum
• Go somewhere where smoking is not allowed

Everyone finds different distraction techniques that will work for them. It’s really a case of trying different things until you find the ones that make the most sense for you. Most cravings pass in a relatively small amount of time. The trick is to get through that period of time by doing something else.

If you do switch to using e-cigarettes, you could benefit from having more than one of them. For example, keep one at home, one in the car and maybe one at work too. The idea is you should always have one with you. The same applies to sugar-free gum and that worry stone or pen you have been using to fiddle around with to keep those hands busy.

Remember too that the longer you go without a cigarette, the fewer nicotine cravings you are likely to have. If you take things a day at a time to begin with and use as many of the above tricks as you can, you might just achieve your goal of quitting.

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E-Cigarettes on UK TV Shows

When was the last time you saw someone smoking on a British-made television show? There was a time when you’d forever see dear old Dot Cotton with a fag hanging out of her mouth. Nowadays you hardly see cigarettes at all. But you do see something else, and it’s getting more regular too – the e-cigarette.

It was only a matter of time until Dot herself – famously played by June Brown – was given an introduction to an e-cigarette. This happened back in 2011 and it was prompted by June’s decision to switch to vaping in real life. And they say life imitates art. It looks like here it was the other way around.

In November last year viewers were also introduced to the first couple of television adverts promoting e-cigarettes. They were shown after the watershed but they were quite a watershed moment in themselves.

But when you look into the topic of characters using e-cigarettes in TV shows, you don’t find too many examples on UK television at the moment. Not in relation to British characters like Dot Cotton anyway. Who knew Dot would end up being ahead of the curve?

House of Cards, an American TV series, famously featured vaping in a recent series. This was of course based on the original UK series of the same name.

Roxy’s shady solicitor vaping in the popular cafe in Eastenders

Roxy’s shady solicitor vaping in the popular cafe in Eastenders

It’s also interesting to see which characters are vaping when you see it happen. Michael Shannon, an actor who featured in 99 Homes and used an e-cigarette on-screen, said it became an essential part of his character. So perhaps we will eventually see this idea moving over into the world of television as well.

It’s actually very hard to find examples of vaping on UK TV at the moment, unless you are watching something made in America. We suspect this is bound to change, especially as more and more films and TV shows feature the e-cigarette. Of course you have to think about what vaping means for a particular character. It tells you something about that character after all, doesn’t it? And perhaps this is why examples of vaping on UK TV have yet to really come to the fore. Maybe there aren’t too many characters this would fit in for.

We shall keep our eyes open for some other examples of vaping made famous by British TV characters though. We suspect it won’t be long before more examples come to light.

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Nottingham Council Bans Vaping for Employees

Vaping is often seen as a convenient alternative to smoking – and a potentially-healthier one too. The smoking ban led to a rise in people switching to vaping, but even this isn’t allowed anymore by Nottingham Council if you work for them. They’ve announced a ban on smoking by employees even if they go outside to do it – and they’re stamping out vaping at the same time.

Nottinghamshire County Council has decided vaping is no longer allowed for any employee while wearing a uniform, in any council workplace or vehicle. It’s reckoned that some 9,000 work for the council, and around 1,000 of those are either currently smoking or using e-cigarettes to help them kick the habit.

No vaping on the way to and from work either

Yes it gets better. The council believes it has the power to prevent their employees from smoking and vaping on the way to work and on their way home. We question just how they could enforce this. Will there be plainclothes enforcers spying on smokers and vapers from the moment they leave home – all 1,000 of them? Judging by the numerous reports and comments online about it, everyone else is wondering the same thing.

After all, if someone goes to work in their own car, does the council really have the right to stop them from vaping in it?

Only one opportunity to vape

According to details in the news, if employees want to vape while at work, their only chance to do so would be on their lunch break. And to do it, they would first have to change out of their uniform (if they wear one) and wear something else instead. Oh, and walk a sufficient distance away from their workplace too. Presumably by the time they’d done that there wouldn’t be much time left to vape or have lunch.

According to John Tomlinson, a member of the council who spoke to the media about the new rules, the council was “trying to be a supportive employer”. E-cigarettes have yet to be licensed but if this happens the council may have to change its stance. However until then there is a real chance other councils could see what Nottinghamshire County Council is doing and decide to do the same. Watch this space to see if other council employees elsewhere are met by these rules as well.

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Electronic Cigarettes on Sale in a Surrey Pub

The national smoking ban has been a real problem for many pub landlords since it was ushered into law in July 2007. Smokers can’t smoke inside anymore, which means they have to pop out to have a cigarette whenever the need arises. That’s all well and good in the summer, but what about when it’s raining, cold and damp or even snowing? Many have called the ban anti-social, and that’s certainly true on long winter nights.

However, one landlord in Chobham, Surrey has come up with an innovative solution. Why not allow people to use electronic cigarettes in his pub? They’re completely legal to use indoors so no one is breaking the law, and there’s a real opportunity here to get takings back on the up again.

30% drop in takings

The smart-thinking landlord, Frank Booth, runs The Sun Inn. He got his idea after attending the National Pub Show in Birmingham and wasted no time in putting his plans into action. He hasn’t just allowed e-cig smokers to use their e-cigs inside his pub though. He’s actually selling the e-cigs as well.

In common with many other pub landlords, Frank saw his takings slide when the ban came into force. It’s one thing to go outside and smoke a cigarette when the weather is good. However it seems many smokers would rather stay at home and smoke during the winter than go to their local.

So Frank did something smart. He ordered a batch of the e-cigarettes and now has them available to buy alongside a pint in his pub. He thinks this could be a great opportunity to bring in some extra income. And of course, it might encourage some more punters to leave their cigarettes at home and use the e-cigs when they go out for a drink instead.

Will it encourage real smokers to try their luck?

It’s a possibility. However there are some very real differences between e-cigs and the real thing. While the e-cigarettes Mr Booth has for sale are designed to look like real cigarettes, they don’t have to be lit. They don’t produce smoke either – just a vapour that does no harm to anyone else nearby, unlike second-hand smoke. So if anyone did try and light up a real cigarette as a result of the e-cigs being on sale, they’d be caught out pretty quickly.

A spokeswoman for Smokefree Surrey, Karen Simmonds, pointed out the highly-addictive nature of nicotine. Since e-cigs still have nicotine in them – albeit in a much-reduced amount – going cold turkey is the best route. “Stop smoking altogether,” says Karen. Of course, anyone trying to stop might well switch to e-cigs and gradually reduce the amount of nicotine they ingest. The cartridge refills for electronic cigarettes are made available with varying amount of nicotine in them, giving people a choice to reduce their intake gradually.

Clearly Mr Booth is hoping his takings will improve. However, his idea is certainly more sociable than the alternative.

Would you like your pub to sell electronic cigarettes? Let us know what you think below

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E-Cigarettes better for public health, says Experts

There’s been no shortness in a controversy and debate lately over the ill speculated health risks and benefits of smoking e-cigarettes over tobacco products. But in the corner of the more reasoned arguments, the Royal Society for Public Health is encouraging health bosses to promote the use of e-cigarettes and also suggests licensing tobacco sellers.

E-cigarettes better for public health than tobacco

As E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular with the vaping public there has been a somewhat knee jerk negative reaction from various sectors including government, health campaigners and the media. Criticisms of e-cigarettes have ranged from the lofty claims such as “e-cigarettes normalise smoking” to speculative and unproven health concerns. Despite the unwarranted negativity and misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has urged Health chiefs across the UK to adopt a less negative attitude towards the use of e-cigarettes and instead direct their focus towards the far more harmful habit of tobacco smoking. The RSPH has also suggested an educational campaign is required to help people better understand the difference between the addiction to nicotine and the inhaling of harmful chemicals and substances such as tar, arsenic and other cancer causing chemicals found in traditional cigarettes. Such an education would help dispel the myth that nicotine is as bad for you as tobacco and help people better understand that e-cigarettes better for public health.

The RSPH also says new “exclusion zones” should be setup which would ban smoking outside schools, pubs, bars, public squares and parks but e-cigarettes should be exempt from the ban. This comes after Wales recently barred smoking of e-cigarettes in pubs and other enclosed spaces.

The benefits of using of e-cigarettes as a behavioural and nicotine substitute is an attitude which has been embraced and adopted by the North East and in particular, Leicester, where behavioural support is being offered to people who are looking to quit smoking tobacco and use e-cigarettes to help them do so. Although other nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum are offered to people wanting to quit tobacco, e-cigarettes cannot yet be offered by smoking cessation services due to no e-cigarettes yet having a medical license.

The RSPH is also advocating for the licensing of all tobacco retailers. The RSPH would like all local authorities to be able to ban sales of tobacco products by any shop failing to comply with tobacco related legislation such as age restrictions and display restrictions. It would also like to see the compulsory selling of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRTs) such as nicotine gum and patches and to rename e-cigarettes to nicotine sticks or nicotine control products.

With over 6,000 public health professionals who are part of the RSPH charity, if the proposed policies were to become a reality, they would signal one of the largest shifts in the public perception and attitude towards e-cigarettes and nicotine ever seen in the UK.

The policies put forward by RSPH has also been positively received by the Charity Ash and the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association have welcome the differentiation between nicotine and the more harmful chemicals found in tobacco and the proposals to help educate the general public and help clear up the confusion and misinformation which has surrounded the e-cigarette market as it has become increasingly become more drawn into the public eye and political discussions.

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E-Cigarette Vapour as harmless as air

When taking up vaping, many people, including myself, ask if e-cigarettes are harmful – a sensible question to ask. After spending some time reading through articles, reports, opinions and advice from medical circles it became apparent that the most toxic element I would need to be concerned about in e-cigarettes was Nicotine and this was only toxic in large volumes, massively larger than the amount inhaled through e-cigarette vapour. Coming to the world of vaping as a smoker, it was clear that there were fewer health risks associated with vaping and that vaping instead of smoking would be extremely positive change in my lifestyle.

Despite the occasional ‘scare tactic’ article in the media about vaping, the prevailing wisdom in heath circles and in the general public is that vaping is by far a healthier alternative to smoking. To further add to the body of evidence which supports this claim, a recent study shows that e-cigarette vapour is almost as harmless as air, which even to the already convinced vapour, will come as a pleasant surprise.

The tobacco giant – British American Tobacco recently funded research which seems to suggest that e-cigarette vapour could be as safe as air. The study uses human lung cells and robotic smokers to investigate the health risks and effects of smoking cigarettes and e-cigarette vapour.

The research was a joined venture between British American Tobacco and MatTek Corporation, which produces models of human cells used in laboratory experiments. The experiment involved using a smoking robot designed to emulate the smoking / inhaling process of humans. The smoking robot was used to expose the model lung cells to cigarette smoke, e-cig vapour from two different brands and plain air.

When the cells were exposed to traditional cigarette smoke for six hours, the cells died – not a surprise. However, much more surprisingly, when the cells were exposed to an aggressive and continuous dose of e-cigarette vapour, the damage to the airway tissue was “similar to that of air”.

British American Tobacco plans to conduct further research and test a wider range and brand of e-cigarettes and e-liquids to further prove their findings.
The new findings have been welcomed by health professionals and those campaigning for healthier lifestyles. Health officials are being encouraged by such professionals to promote vaping to smokers in a bid to achieve a public health victory.

So, no doubt the debate on whether or not e-cigarette vapour is safe will continue, and despite the arguments, the science and research based argument continues to add to the ever growing body of evidence that e-cigarettes are not as harmful as some misleading opinions and thoughts on the subject suggest.

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