back to article Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Publicly owned open spaces in Wales now feature a Red Button that panic-stricken citizens can smack in fury when they spot a vaper on the premises. The button triggers an anonymous pre-recorded PA announcement – read out by a child. The system, which has been introduced at four hospitals, is designed to curb smoking. But this …

  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    I assume being a hospital there will be hand sanitiser next to the button? If not, why not? It's a hospital.

    There needs to be a full public inquiry into who didn't think to put the sanitiser next to the button.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      And a button next to the button, to shame people who haven't washed their hands into doing so. And a hand sanitiser for that. And another button...

      1. PNGuinn
        Coat

        And another ....

        .... black button bilinguilly labelled in 2 distinct shades of jet black on a bicolour black panel, with 2 different colour black leds which light up in 2 distinctive jet blacks to indicate that you've .... and we would need 2 distinctively different black hand sanitisers nearby, labelled ....

        El reg - we need 2 different jet black flame icons ....

        NURSE! My black pills! Make sure they're the right colour ....

    2. goldcd

      But that's not enough

      Imagine if it ran out of sanitizer?

      Or somebody pressed the button (surely the most germy place in the hospital), but then didn't use the sanitizer correctly?

      There should be a sanitizer failure button as well, to report failure or mis-use.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to breath your second-hand vegetable glycerine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Then don't kiss me when I'm vaping because that it is the only way it will happen. (vapour dissipates immediately)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        rubbish

        see people vaping and clouds and clouds of vapour when they exhale. huge billowing clouds of vapour out of vehicles during rush-hours...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: rubbish

          huge billowing clouds of vapour out of vehicles during rush-hours...

          Or not. Saw a bloke in a van the other day who exhaled with the windows nearly closed (driver's was open a couple of inches I think). The whole cab filled with a cloud and it was a good three or four seconds before his face was clearly visible again, during which time I assume he'd have been able to see about as much of the road ahead as I could of him. Fortunately the traffic, although moving, was slow.

          I've also seen vapers fumbling with the awkward, large things while driving. Haven't people been pulled over for eating bananas or drinking coffee while driving? It's somewhat similar.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: rubbish

            AC, existing laws cover this already WRT to driving without due care and attention etc.

            Easy solution for the users though: Turn fan to '1', crack a window open a quarter inch, exhale towards it and positive pressure forces it out the window.

            Problem solved!

            Steven R

            1. Vic

              Re: rubbish

              crack a window open a quarter inch, exhale towards it

              I saw a massive cloud come from a car in another lane the other day. Initially, I thought the head gasket must have let go spectacularly...

              Vic.

          2. PNGuinn
            IT Angle

            Re: rubbish

            "I've also seen vapers fumbling with the awkward, large things while driving."

            There are definitely laws about that ...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: rubbish

            Haven't people been pulled over for eating bananas or drinking coffee while driving? It's somewhat similar.

            Here in Queensland, in theory you could be. Even taking a swig of water out of a water bottle is technically "drink driving", just not "driving under the influence of alcohol".

            It is however, rarely enforced. The police usually have more pressing matters to attend to.

        2. moiety

          Re: rubbish

          "huge billowing clouds of vapour out of vehicles during rush-hours..."

          You're surrounded by vehicles pumping out exhaust fumes and you're worried about vaping?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Devil

            Re: rubbish

            You're surrounded by vehicles pumping out exhaust fumes and you're worried about vaping?

            Good point, we should ban the cars too! ;-)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: rubbish

              And don't forget the hydrogen powered cars, they expel vapour as well...

        3. John Lilburne

          Re: rubbish

          We should call them fuggers not vapers.

        4. Les Matthew

          Re: rubbish

          "clouds of vapour out of vehicles during rush-hours"

          Isn't that carbon monoxide?

        5. Gavin Chester

          Problem at big indoor events

          I've no problem with people vaping as such, where I have a minor issue is when its done indoors at busy event. The plume of smoke / vape appears and its a royal PITA to find them and see if its a e-cig (or whatever kind) or a real cig.

          We took the same route as many pubs, its another hassle for the staff to deal with, so easier to ask people to go outside, and be stopped allowing vaping indoors at our events (beer festivals). And on more than on occasion one slightly sozzled person has seen the "smoke", and then started to light up a real cig thinking its OK.

        6. patrick_bateman

          Re: rubbish

          Dam those people vaping in their cars.

          All I can smell is their sweet vapor and nor my DIESEL fumes.

      2. Rich 2

        Yuk

        The stuff makes me feel sick - my wife used one of these gut a short time and I had to vacate the area when she did.

        Better than fags but not exactly clean.

      3. Gerhard Mack

        "Then don't kiss me when I'm vaping because that it is the only way it will happen. (vapour dissipates immediately)"

        You only think it does because you are desensitized to the smell. The reality is that they are a huge improvement over regular cigarettes (less smell, doesn't seem to get into clothing as much, not as much effect on breath). Even at 10m It still stinks and it still causes me enough breathing troubles that I reach for my inhalator).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >Even at 10m It still stinks and it still causes me enough breathing troubles that I reach for my inhalator

          And breathe in some more PG - this time delivered under pressure to reach deeper into your lungs.

      4. Badvok
        Mushroom

        Invisible != Harmless

        Wrong, the vapour turns invisible but it doesn't dissipate/disappear, it lingers just as long as the harmful fumes from burnt tobacco linger.

        To me it is akin to walking near someone who has poured an entire bottle of aftershave over themselves, who really knows what harm all those aerosol compounds can cause, only time will tell.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Invisible != Harmless

          >Wrong, the vapour turns invisible but it doesn't dissipate/disappear, it lingers just as long as the harmful fumes from burnt tobacco linger.

          Nope - the particles are larger and heavier and fall quite quickly to the floor. The bulk of vape post coil is water - even before it's heated - eg when you leave the top off a bottle much of the content evaporates within a couple of days at room temperature..

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Oh just go ahead and be offended. Hell, I'm offended by your statement. Maybe you need to go sit in a quiet safe-space?

  3. msknight Silver badge

    This is going to be abused like hell for a few weeks, and then quietly withdrawn.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is going to be abused like hell for a few weeks, and then quietly withdrawn.

      I doubt it. This is in Wales, England's backward, public sector theme park. As an effective single party state this can only have happened with the approval of The Party, and its health service placepeople, so a more likely outcome is to see the red button spread like a rash over all those things The Party hates. So bubs clubs and bars will have a red button to tell you to have fruit smoothie, rather than a beer. McDonald's will be legally compelled to have a "put the burger down, step away from the burger slowly" button......et al

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Hmm That does strike a chord.

        I can remember as a kid on holiday when Wales was "dry" on Sunday.

        Meaning the tourists couldn't get a drink, but the ( grown up ) locals all seemed to be in a "club" where drinking was allowed.

  4. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    I think a second button that reads out a suitable riposte is called for.

    "He who smelt it dealt it".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah but whoever said the rhyme, did the crime.

      1. moiety

        By presenting your legal argument in rhyme form, are you not admitting liability?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Whoever denied it, supplied it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous? Really?

    I'd like to know how you can anonymously press a rather visible button in a specific location.

    Even if you add a randomised delay to playing the message it's going to be rather visible. Besides, that button looks like it's one drop of superglue away from being decommissioned.

    If you really want to address smoking related issues you would be better off starting with reserved smoking areas on train stations like their have in Germany. As train and bus stations are the last vestige of Public Transport where smoking is possible it has actually become simply impossible to get any clean air in their vicinity.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Anonymous? Really?

      If they wanted to be reasonable, they could just have a bus shelter in the car park for smokers. Most people would use it.

      If the alternative is to walk hundreds of yards, away the protection from wind of the building, people will just carry on smoking where they like.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Anonymous? Really?

        Like this?

      2. David Webb

        Re: Anonymous? Really?

        Can't smoke in a bus shelter, it's an area that is covered so is under the anti-smoking law. So having a bus shelter there means you have to stand outside it to have a puff. Most NHS areas now are totally smoke free, you're not allowed to smoke anywhere on the premises, even in the car park, you have to leave the site to have a smoke.

        The real reason they are going after vapers? It detracts from the fact that the Welsh are the UK's biggest binge drinkers (yes, even more than Scotland), so rather than tackle the issue of the Welsh being a nation of drunks (disclaimer to prevent "omfg, you racist" remarks : I'm Welsh) they put down vaping as a health hazard rather than focus on the real health issue in Wales, alcohol.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Anonymous? Really?

          the real health issue in Wales, alcohol

          So Sunday closing really worked as expected?

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Anonymous? Really?

          "Can't smoke in a bus shelter, it's an area that is covered so is under the anti-smoking law. So having a bus shelter there means you have to stand outside it to have a puff."

          Unless the Welsh have a different law to the English and Scots (entirely possible), the law defining an enclosed space is a permanent structure with a roof and at least three walls.

          "Most NHS areas now are totally smoke free, you're not allowed to smoke anywhere on the premises, even in the car park, you have to leave the site to have a smoke."

          A local hospital had signs up at the entrances to the grounds stating that the no smoking area extended 5 metres around the entrance. Some people decided to get together and have a "smoke-a-thon" on the pavement near the entrance. When some guy in a uniform came out and pointed to the sign, they quite rightly pointed out that they were in a public space, not on NHS property.. I'm not sure if the signs are still there.

    2. goldcd

      But do you make the vapers stand with the smokers?

      Make AA members buy their milk from pubs?

      1. Darryl

        Re: But do you make the vapers stand with the smokers?

        No, make AA members DRINK their milk in pubs. And their morning coffee

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: But do you make the vapers stand with the smokers?

        And what about RAC members?

  6. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    "trigger a PA message that reminds smokers that it is a smoke free site and asks them to extinguish their cigarette"

    Which I would ignore, were I vaping. I am not smoking, and have no cigarette (or anything else burning) to extinguish. Case closed.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      I would also ignore if I was smoking. Although I'd blow the smoke in the direction of the button presser.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Hooked up...

        to the sprinkler system?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hooked up...

          It would be more fun if it released the hounds.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Re: Vaping is harmless

    Steady on old chap. This is not known for certain. What is known is that it is very much less harmful than smoking. But it is probably naive to assume it is benign. For the record, I am a former smoker who has much to thank vaping for and is very pleased to be living in England.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Vaping is harmless

      No studies have shown that second hand vaping is at all harmful, so I think "harmless" is reasonable.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: second hand vaping

        Neither I nor the article stated that second hand vaping is harmless. The article simply said that vaping is harmless. Studies highlighted in a recent BBC Horizon programme suggest that this might not be the case.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: second hand vaping

          The Horizon program showed that there were particulates in the air (which isn't a shock, as they had a pair of cloud chasers dripping in there; literally the worst case scenario for generating vapour) but they very tellingly stopped short of stating that it was harmful.

          Because it's almost guaranteed not to be based on the known materials science, and there is no evidence that it is when it's tested for. That is to say, there is evidence of it's effects, and harm isn't evident in the research.

          VG and PG have a long, long history of animal inhalation testing going back over sixty years that shows zero notable negative effects that can be attributed to the vapourised liquids (they were chosen as the bases/bulk for a reason - the only side effect seemed to be the animals putting on some weight as they metabolised the vapour through their lungs), and in any other case, especially outdoors, even if there were a risk (from flavourings etc), it'd be so dilute that it'd be of no biological effect, as direct biological effect at levels that propose a risk to human health in users of the devices has yet to be proven in any meaningful way. The few good studies done on vaping in enclosed spaces (that is, actually using an enclosed space, with a vape device - not just using ecig residue on a petri dish) show much the same; the biological effect (never mind toxicological) just isn't there.

          It's also worth remembering that second hand smoke contains physical, solid particles that lodge in the lung, as a product of combustion, as happens with any smoke; the vapour from e-cigs is liquid based, which means it doesn't behave in the same way, and so doesn't have the same risk profiles (much lower, as it liquifies on contact rather than lodging in place and causing damage). Otherwise, you'd not want to spend too long in the shower or the bath, or out in the rain.

          There's a lot of very, very bad science out there at the moment surrounding e-cigs (the horizon program was lacking that, which surprised me - there's plenty of headline grabbing shite out there) and without being embedded in it or having a history in epidemiology or biological research, it's difficult to tell what's good and what's bad.

          The latest one is a study that shows a potential gateway effect from vaping to smoking. This, however, can be happily ignored as population level studies show that this just isn't happening - yet it still gets reported as a thing that's happening despite the overwhelming evidence that the exact opposite is happening.

          IE, it's not impossible that someone who vapes may go on to smoke if they like the sensation. However, actual data in the real world shows us that >98% of users are smokers, and that transferrance of smoking naive vapers to regular vaping is a tiny, tiny minority, and never smokers who vape, and then go on to smoke are like unicorns; rare and probably a bit 'special'.

          Just because it has 'research' pinned to it, doesn't mean it's actually good research. If you meta-analyse what colour people report the sky to be, chances are you can make it appear that a 'statistically significant proportion of subjects may believe the sky is red'.

          There's a lot of people calling the sky red lately in the public health world...

          On the subject of this button, I find it interesting that people are saying the NHS are skint, yet apparently the issue of smokers (or vapers) around hospitals is important enough to blow half a years wages for a nurse on. Because you just know this won't have cost £500 to install. It's the NHS after all...

          Steven R

          1. Nolveys Silver badge

            Re: second hand vaping

            Because you just know this won't have cost £500 to install. It's the NHS after all...

            The integrated fingerprint reader and internet connection bring the cost up, as does administration of the associated National Wanker Database.

            1. Bloakey1

              Re: second hand vaping

              "The integrated fingerprint reader and internet connection bring the cost up, as does administration of the associated National Wanker Database."

              God almighty. that brings in to mind Codds laws and the smallest discrete component of the data set.

      2. Ian 7

        Re: Vaping is harmless

        Lack of evidence isn't the same thing as evidence. What studies have been done; what were the methodologies; have they been peer reviewed? No studies HAD shown that lead in petrol or cigarette smoke or CFCs were harmful... until all of a sudden lots of studies showed that those things were all harmful!

        On the other hand, I strongly suspect that there isn't any harmful effect of second hand vaping too - I've just got no evidence to back that up!

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Vaping is harmless

        "harmless" is reasonable.

        Harmless, but irritating. A bit like farting, and I'd hope you'd have the good manners not to do that right beside me either.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Vaping is harmless

          Mostly harmless?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vaping is harmless

          Harmless, but irritating. A bit like farting, and I'd hope you'd have the good manners not to do that right beside me either.

          A bit like perfume or deodorant, too. Drives me mad that people feel it's ok to reek like that to hide their own stink, when there are perfectly fine products that prevent stinking in the first place.

        3. thondwe

          Re: Vaping is harmless

          Some of the "flavours" wind up my Asthma - so second hand vapours not good thank you very much...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Vaping is harmless

            As long as absolutely nothing else on the planet winds up your asthma. Or do you propose banning pets, cars, perfume, nuts....?

            A few different perfume scents (and those horrible men's body sprays) wind up my asthma, but that's my problem, so I keep my big yap shut about it.

          2. thondwe

            Re: Vaping is harmless

            To add this is in a shared office space... And yes I'd ban old dears with overly perfumes bonces!

      4. Triggerfish

        Re: Vaping is harmless @ disgustedoftunbridgewells

        Where's the long term studies?

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Vaping is harmless

      Current views appear that vaping is a lot less harmfull than smoking, but level of harm is currently not fully known, only that glycerin? may be an issue.

      So it seems better than smoking, but not as good as nothing at all.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Vaping is harmless

        @MJI. Personally, I'm worried about the construction of the heating element. There are some studies that show it can release nano-particles of metal into the vapour stream, and there are other studies which show the damage that these nano-particles can do to neuronal cells. Of course, the same can be said for internal combustion engine exhaust, and a dozen other environmental pollutants, but it's a game that only time will tell. I know they are far less harmful than tobacco, or at the very least equally harmful but in a different way. I don't smoke or vape. If I did vape, I'd be using one that has the element enclosed in a ceramic capsule.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Vaping is harmless

          Since it is a way of stopping tobacco dependancy and hopefully improving some peoples health. It is better than fags.

          But I expect it is not perfect, substances may be OK to eat, but breathing them?

          Also no smoking nor vaping here, waste of beer, wine and cider money!

  9. Ralph B

    Strange Sign

    The sign in the pic says "Press here if you see someone smoking outside this hospital". Outside? Isn't that, like, everywhere that is not inside the hospital? That can't be right, can it?

    Meanwhile:

    > Vaping is harmless

    Is it though? Are the ingredients of vaping fluids in any way regulated, standardised and/or officially quality controlled? Or do they actually just contain whatever shit some Chinese factory owner thinks might sell? Even if it were officially "harmless", shouldn't non-vapers have the right not to have to passively inhale the nicotine and other ingredients of the addicted? When I'm drinking a can of cola I don't occasionally exhale a cloud of the stuff and expect you to breath it in.

    But I'm a reasonable person. I have nothing against allowing vapers to pursue their habit outside, along with the smokers, away from busily frequented paths or entrances.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange Sign

      I have nothing against allowing vapers to pursue their habit outside, along with the smokers

      You realize that many vapers are ex-smokers, and that even though they did quit smoking you'd be forcing them to inhale harmful second-hand smoke? That's hardly reasonable at all, actually that's deliberately putting non-smokers in harm's way.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Strange Sign

        That's hardly reasonable at all, actually that's deliberately putting non-smokers in harm's way.

        And for no good reason. There have been a lot of studies recently into vaping, and none (that I have seen) have shown any potential harm from "second-hand vaping". In fact, none have shown any harm from first hand vaping, except when the device is used improperly*.

        * Basically continuing to heat the wick when dry, burning the wick and producing carcinogenic compounds. However, it takes very little knowledge of the device and very little skill to avoid this happening.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Strange Sign

      do they actually just contain whatever shit some Chinese factory owner thinks might sell

      Which is why I don't understand those who don't want them regulated at all. Some regulation is actually good. It stopped people bulking out bread flour with white Lead for a start!

      M.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Strange Sign

        I don't understand those who don't want them regulated at all.

        They should be regulated, but they already are. There are all sorts of regulations which require the manufacturers not to supply harmful products. What people are objecting to is the heavy-handed, innovation-stifling insanity of the TPD (itself a misnomer as e-cigs are not a tobacco product by any reasonable definition of the word).

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Strange Sign

          That doesn't make any sense. Lead carbonate is, and has always been, more expensive than flour. Gimme some evidence! Oh, and 'lead' isn't a proper noun.

          My understanding, from dimly recalled long-ago reading on the subject, is that Back In Ye Olden Times, white bread and flour was favoured by the aristocracy - "white" being equated with "pure". The peasantry were given the "dirty" wholemeal stuff. Which is ironic, of course, given what we now know about the relative health benefits of white flour vs. brown.

          Accordingly, it was relatively common for bakers to pad their flour with white lead compounds to increase its appeal. It wasn't (per the parent poster) done to save money.

        2. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Strange Sign

          Lead carbonate is, and has always been, more expensive than flour.

          You're probably right - it was the first thing that came to my mind. The principle stands though, in the absence of regulation all sorts of things were added to foodstuffs:

          Adulteration of Food. (see also link at the bottom of that page)

          Here's a Punch cartoon:

          The Use of Adulteration

          Oh, and 'lead' isn't a proper noun.

          Isn't it? Isn't Lead an element alongside Copper and Oxygen and Hydrogen and Neon and all the other things we usually capitalise? (Well, I usually capitalise, anyway)

          M.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Strange Sign

            There was a BBC program I think it was last week, about adulteration of food in Victorian times. IIRC they used to put various ingredients in white bread, eg. plaster of paris. Yum!

            By the way I am pretty sure element names don't have to be capitalised (Quick Google confirms this), unlike the chemical symbols themselves.

        3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Strange Sign

          "bulking out bread flour with white Lead" That doesn't make any sense. Lead carbonate is, and has always been, more expensive than flour.

          The main adulterants for white flour were alum (hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate) and chalk. Ground bone was sometimes added, too.

          If you didn't want to eat it, you could always pave the patio with slices.

        4. Alan Johnson

          Re: Strange Sign

          I think he probably meant alum which certainly was used to aduterate flour.

          Another common thing was to use copper salts to make pickled vegetables greener which definitely is not harmless.

        5. Mike Richards

          Re: Strange Sign

          Victorian era flour was much more likely to be bulked out with chalk or alum than lead. Lead chromate was sometimes used to add colour to adulterated mustard and high concentrations of lead were found in some cheap wines and cider to mask sour flavours from improper fermentation and storage.

          Some creepy details of just how widespread food adulteration was before regulations were put in place here:

          http://www.victorianlondon.org/publications4/strange-25.htm

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Strange Sign

        Nobody serious has suggested that though - if they did I'd be all for it.

        It seems any regulation seems to be designed to prevent the use of these life saving devices, rather than improving quality.

        ( I buy all my stuff manufactured by a large UK firm and it's consistently high quality )

        1. Alan Johnson

          Re: Strange Sign

          "It seems any regulation seems to be designed to prevent the use of these life saving devices, rather than improving quality."

          This is nonsense. They certainly are not life saving devices. At best they are devices with no impact on health but with the strong potential for causing harm.

          The purpose is to deliver an addictive pharmecutical to the user through the lungs. There are at least three potential risks, that there dangerous impurities, that the dose delivered is significantly higher than intended, that dangerous substances are generated by the vapourisation process (heating). The regulation that the register continues to rant against is very clearly aimed at controlling these hazards while allowing general use. It seems to me that the regulation is proportionate and sensible. It is reasonable to disagree with that opinion and with the detail of the regulation of E-cigarettes but unbalanced rants that compare regulation to the Nazis are not in any way reasonable. If there is going to be any error on the regulation of devices that supply addictive pharmecuticals with known hazardous effects into consumers lungs than I would prefer them to be on the cautious side.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strange Sign

            Alan Johnson, could you please point us to the studies that show nicotine has known hazardous effects? Or is addictive? I think you're confusing 'nicotine' with 'cigarettes'

            Nicotine is being found to have a beneficial effect on sufferers of ulcerative colitis, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, mild cognitive impairment, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

            Also, if you're so worried about nicotine, you'd better give up tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Strange Sign

              Nicotine is being found to have a beneficial effect on sufferers of ulcerative colitis, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, mild cognitive impairment, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

              Citation needed.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Strange Sign

                Citation needed.

                http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/05/26/hidden-benefits-of-nicotine-on-the-brain/

                I trust you'll have more than enough references in this article.

          2. Steven Raith

            Re: Strange Sign

            "This is nonsense. They certainly are not life saving devices. At best they are devices with no impact on health but with the strong potential for causing harm."

            As they are used almost exclusively by smokers and ex smokers, they are actually removing harm that was being caused.

            That is literally the exact opposite of what you propose.

            Staggering.

      4. goldcd

        Yep - I'm with you

        I think it's currently geared around treating the liquid as a foodstuff.

        i.e. main ingredients listed and then a miscellaneous 'flavourings'

        Would prefer if they actually listed what they were, as I would on my food as well.

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Grifter

      Re: Strange Sign

      >> shouldn't non-vapers have the right not to have to passively

      >> inhale the nicotine and other ingredients of the addicted?

      Shouldn't pedestrians have the right not to passively inhale the car fumes and other ingredients of the addicted (to driving)? I don't think the world works like that dude, if you are offended by something in public, you have to move away from it, you can't expect it to be moved away from you.

      And anyway, is nicotine where you draw the limit? Because the other 'ingredients' as you so quaintly put it, is nothing more than vegetable glycerine (safe), propylene glycol (safe), plus maybe some fragrance (and if you are upset by fragrance, maybe you should just plug your nose instead, the world is full of them, including obnoxious people who bathe in axe).

      >> When I'm drinking a can of cola I don't occasionally exhale

      >> a cloud of the stuff and expect you to breath it in.

      Don't you? What do you think a burp is? How can you be so oblivious.

    4. Steven Raith

      Re: Strange Sign

      Ralph, I've posted below about this, have a deek here (or CTRL+F "raith").

      Current research says that even finding actual, verifiable human health level risks in the users directly is tricky to prove when good quality devices are used properly with decent quality liquids, and in second hand exposure, it's basically just not there at all. Seriously, people have been trying to find 'the smoking gun' in e-cigs for years now, and they just can't do it.

      Formaldehyde? Broken methodology (too much power, not enough airflow, a user would never do it, it tastes awful)

      Popcorn lung? Correlation, not causation (that is, it was caused by inhalation of powdered diacetyl, not inhalation of vapourised diacetyl containing flavouring - and cigarettes contain 100 times that in e-cigs anyway, and no smoker has ever got popcorn lung from smoking alone - classic conflation for headlines).

      The best one was almost certainly Sarah Knaptons piece on cell damage caused by e-cig vapour. She clearly, despite being the Telegraphs science editor, only read the abstract (which was itself misleading) as it showed, IIRC

      Airway cells exposed to airextract : No sign of notable damage after eight weeks

      Airway cells exposed to e-cig vapour extract: Infrequent signs of mild damage to some cells after eight weeks.

      Which would make you think, ooh, maybe danger!

      Airway cells exposed to cig smoke extract - in the report, not mentioned in the abstract: All airway cells dead, all within 24hours. Every. Single. Time.

      There's a lot of atrocious science in the public health world, and lots of even worse reporting of the science in the press.

      But all of the methodologically sound research shows minimal harm to users, and basically fuck all harm to those around them other than perhaps mild annoyance, which is a different thing altogether.

      Steven R

      1. Ralph B

        @Steven Raith, Re: Strange Sign

        Steven, thanks for detailed reply. I'm happy to accept that all testing to date indicates that vaping is vastly safer than smoking for the user and most likely harmless to non-users.

        However, I would still want to see the production and supply of vaping fluids to be regulated, to ensure the continued safety of active and passive participants.

        At the moment, the clouds produced by the vaper are of unknown and unregulated content. Sure, market forces are likely to prefer the safer ingredients but hardly guarantee it. Then there is the possibility, or indeed likelihood, of vapers mixing their own ingredients.

        This continued uncertainty is reason enough to keep vapers away from non-vapers. It's not just mild annoyance. It's taken years and years to get the known risk of smokers out of the faces of non-smokers. You can hardly expect the unknown/uncertain risks of vapers to be welcomed back indoors with open arms (and lungs).

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: @Steven Raith, Strange Sign

          Ralph, almost every vape shop you see will supply liquids manufactured either in the US or UK, with batching numbers, that trace back to specific manufacturing runs, that have very clear lists of ingredients, all of them USP grade for the bases, and all of the flavourings should be food grade (and any that are found within the community to be a bit 'dodgy' are immediately pilloried) to guarantee at least a bare standard of safety, as most food grade flavourings are tested to ensure they dont break down to something unpleasant when heated up to around 250 deg, which when you throw in airflow over the atomiser, is similar to what you see in an e-cig.

          These are mostly made in clean rooms certified to various ISO standards, and the big white label manufacturers are seriously stepping up their game these days and going for higher and higher standards - because with these devices, safety sells.

          Obviously, a home mixer (significantly cheaper than pre-bought if you have a knack for it, and still significantly safer than smoking) will have their own standards; as long as they aren't selling them to uninformed participants, then it's no worse than someone growing their own vegetables, tobacco or weed, because that's their problem; and it's extremely unlikely they'll be using shoddy flavourings. I know half a dozen home mixers personally, and they are incredibly careful about what they use for exactly the reasons you state - they don't want to be inhaling obviously nasty shite, either!

          As for the second hand component, there is nothing that suggests that the exhaled part is likely to affect a bystander. If you're taking a dander down town, you are at significantly more risk from diesel fumes (and even ventilation/extraction from a kebab shop grill) than you are from e-cig vapour.

          We've seen this before with the diacetyl 'scare' a few years ago (and a solid year before the press found out about it) - when manufacturers were shown to still be using diacetyl (even though diacetyl in and of itself has never been shown to be harmful in vapourised form - just powdered - but that's something I covered in another post) were literally put out of business because no-one would buy from them.

          Any good vape shop will be very, very careful about it's supply chain. It's not a solved problem (you'll still see market stalls selling imported goods etc) but without any kind of regulation, the market has managed to keep on top of this surprisingly well, without intervention.

          And remember - lit tobacco is regulated.

          I'm all for some sensible regs, frankly (feel free to check my previous posts - most of my recent interjections have been on this subject), but just because something is regulated doesn't automatically make it safe, and the counter is also true. Evidence always trumps 'concerns' and we have plenty of it at this stage to make some pretty confident assertions that second hand vapour isn't anything to be remotely concerned about other than on a social etiquette level.

          Because yes, dude-bros in their snap backs and their mech mods blowing big clouds at the bus stop annoy me too....

          Steven R

          PS: If I'm missing a specific point you are arguing, just tell me or ask it directly in a reply - I've recently got a job 70 miles away that starts this Monday coming, so I'm running around like a loon trying to arrange things for that, after six months of being out of work and currently being utterly skint; hence I might miss some bits as I have 'bigger problems' to deal with - apologies :-0

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Vaping is harmless"

    - please cite the evidence of this. breathing in any random particles and chemicals that are then absorbed into your blood (and what random mix of toxins is in the vapour?) isn't what your lungs were designed for - and likely to lead to some different issues that someone who doesn't Vape wont get.

    1. Grifter

      Re: "Vaping is harmless"

      >> (and what random mix of toxins is in the vapour?)

      What the fuck is a toxin? Please define toxin. There are no random elements in vapour, it's a base of either vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol, or a mix of those two, plus nicotine for those who use that, and some flavouring.

      Toxin. How fucking lazy is that word.

      1. W4YBO

        Re: "Vaping is harmless"

        sola dosis facit venenum (The dose makes the poison) Paracelsus 1493-1541

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: "Vaping is harmless"

      Second hand vaping basically is. The study Dr Farsalinos cites isn't perfect, but it covers a large chunk of the bases that we as concerned individuals are worried about.

      http://www.ecigarette-research.org/research/index.php/whats-new/whatsnew-2015/226-sp

      Clive Bates, former executive director of ASH, has a pop at the sort of people who quote 'fine particulate matter' as a concern from e-cigs, mostly because none of the research they cite references e-cigs at all, so it doesn't do anything to actually further knowledge on the subject:

      http://www.clivebates.com/?p=2523

      Igor Burstyn has a peek at e-cig emissions, basically shrugs his shoulders and goes "Meh, fuck all here to worry about, really"

      http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-14-18

      "Current state of knowledge about chemistry of liquids and aerosols associated with electronic cigarettes indicates that there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces. However, the aerosol generated during vaping as a whole (contaminants plus declared ingredients) creates personal exposures that would justify surveillance of health among exposed persons in conjunction with investigation of means to keep any adverse health effects as low as reasonably achievable. Exposures of bystanders are likely to be orders of magnitude less, and thus pose no apparent concern."

      It's important to note that although it suggests monitoring - which is fine by me - 99% of users are ex smokers, who are/were getting orders of magnitude more harm from lit tobacco. As a second-party participant, basically the evidence we have says that you have nothing to worry about other than finding it a bit annoying. I'll grant you that the annoyance is relevant, but it's not worth legislating on by any standards.

      It'd be nice to see more research into this (and there is some more, but I'm too busy at the moment to go hunting for it), but as it stands there seems to be little to be worried about as an end user (especially if they are a smoker - your reducing your risk profile to a stupendous degree), and we can say with great confidence that there's very likely nothing a bystander need be concerned about due to dilution in the air.

      Hope that helps :-)

  11. Rich 11 Silver badge

    "Whatever you do, Dougal, don't press the red button."

    "I understand, Ted. Not the red button."

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Alien

      Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button?

      Ford Prefect: I wouldn't-

      Arthur Dent: Oh.

      Ford Prefect: What happened?

      Arthur Dent: A sign lit up, saying 'Please do not press this button again.'

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "most comfortable country on the planet"

    If you like rain, sheep and sullen people

  13. sequester

    After spending some quality morning time in a vaper-frequented meeting room, I have breathing issues for the rest of the day, sometimes well into the night. I would not call that harmless.

    1. Darryl

      After spending some quality time on a commuter train filled with people who wear scents, I have breathing issues for the rest of the day. Yet no-one is calling for perfume wearers to be banished to the far corner of the parking lot.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

      Never understood why MDMA and Cannabis are illegal rather than controlled and taxed.

      Banning as messed up Cannabis (high strength rather than well grown) and Extasy.

      I have known users of both and I found being in the company of dope smokers preferable to cigarette smokers.

      1. Vic

        Re: Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

        Never understood why MDMA and Cannabis are illegal rather than controlled and taxed.

        MDMA is illegal primarily because it came along at a time when governments wanted to ban all narcotics.

        The criminalisation of cannabis is much more interesting; there's a good write-up here. TL;DR: the Turks and Egyptians told tall tales about how dreadful it was, and it should be banned (coincidentally bringing the rest of the world into their historic Islamic beliefs on the matter), and the USA just wanted to ban everything, with WIlliam Randolph Hearst in particular likely to lose out financially if hemp pulp toook over from his wood pulp. And he ran newspapers...

        Vic.

    2. Vic

      Re: Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

      I'm not a MDMA user, but I don't understand why it's a class A drug

      The problem with MDMA and its ilk are that they are essentialy unknown substances; clinical trials have not occurred.

      That doesn't mean that they are dangerous - indeed, empirical evidence would suggest that they are fairly safe drugs. But the problem is that we don't actually know yet - and we won't until someone cuts through the political posturing and gets round to testing them objectively.

      Vic.

  15. Chris Miller

    Standing on the steps of Olympia for InfoSec, waiting for the rain to stop and allow a quick dash to the Overground, I noted vapers outnumbered smokers about 4:1. I have no concerns for my health, but some of the 'flavours' are truly noxious, cinnamon being the worst IMHO. But all of them are better than second hand smoke.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Interesting that one prominent bit of ongoing vaping research is comparing the lethality on cell cultures of the different flavours, in vaped mixes. A startling wide range of lethality but ALL of them kill cells. Does have the useful side effect of some flavours killing lung infections, another poison with medical uses!

      So far I've been lucky, the 1 vaper I know seems to use an inoffensive flavour, sadly that's no guarantee it's a safer one though.

      Vaping: almost certainly safer for smokers (but the research hasn't been done yet) but safer!=safe and the evidence is mounting it's at least an irritant, not something to do if you're not a quitting smoker.

      1. Steven Raith

        Paul, bear in mind that in a cell culture, bleach will kill cancer. But you won't see that being touted as a way to deal with cancer itself.

        There's plenty of studies on the effects of e-cig vapour on the human body, and almost all of it comes back with 'we can't find any real problem here, and certainly not when compared to cigarette smoke'. The Royal College of Physicians report "Nicotine Without Smoke" is one of the largest, and most authoratitive reports of it's kind on the subject of e-cigs, and they promote vaping as a smoking substitute with almost no reservations. The research has been done, and it's still ongoing as we speak.

        Flavouring is one of the few potential issues (from a risk to human health perspective, almost everything else in an e-cig is well known about), but even that is accounted for in the figures touted by RCP an PHE as 95% safer as one of their 'unknown unknowns' - but due to the fact that almost without exception, all vapers are ex-smokers, even if there were issues, compared to lit tobacco, it's barely worth worrying about.

        The real figure is likely closer to 99%, as discussed by Carl V Philips here:

        https://antithrlies.com/2016/05/25/saying-e-cigarettes-are-95-less-harmful-is-a-very-bad-idea-part-143-of-10000/

        Steven R

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "another poison with medical uses!"

        Yes, as someone posted up above, it's the dose that counts. Most so-called poisons are also medicines. After all, why else would paracetamol and Ibuprofen only be available in tiny, more expensive packs than the big jars we used to buy?

  16. Ian Woolley

    What should happen is that a soothing voice addresses the button presser: "It's ok, they're far away now. Everything will be fine."

  17. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Curious minds want to know

    Is the announcement in Welch?

    If so, how am I supposed to understand it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Midnight

    I still think they should have stuck with the original announcement.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVa4_2xXwGE

  19. Dick Emery

    All of this is a smoke screen

    (Or should that be vape screen?)

    The government(s) are looking for ways to tax it. If they can show some kind of unhealthy association then it gives them more leverage to impose a tax. I know it sounds tin foil hat(ish) but I suspect big tobacco is also leaning on big gov via the special handshake network.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: All of this is a smoke screen

      It seems to me that it's the pharmaceutical companies that are losing billions here. Nobody is taking them up on their useless patches, gums and sprays anymore because there's an actual workable, affordable alternative.

      Ever had those nicotine mint things? Christ they're awful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All of this is a smoke screen

        It seems to me that it's the pharmaceutical companies that are losing billions here. Nobody is taking them up on their useless patches, gums and sprays anymore because there's an actual workable, affordable alternative.

        Nicotine Replacement Therapies sold by the pharmafia are just pocket money. The real cash cows are COPD, cancer, and other smoking-related diseases. And you can bet they're sh*tting their pants at the prospect that their best customer base (graciously provided by Big Tobacco) might be shrinking due to vaping. Hence all the FUD thrown around by politicians and public health, who are both very close to the pharma lobby (and that's quite an understatement).

  20. Natalie Gritpants

    No need for a vegan button

    Just hit the vegan, they'll take a week to get upright so no risk of a confrontation.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: No need for a vegan button

      Good idea, they are annoying, the ones locally especially

  21. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Publicly owned open spaces in Wales now feature a Red Button...

    Sounds like the Brecon Beacons or Snowdonia National Park.

    (OK, maybe these aren't actually publicly-owned, but I don't know the names of any other Welsh open spaces.)

  22. RDW
    Alert

    Orlowski button

    Can we have an anonymous button in the Comments section that emails the author of the article to let them know them when they've (a) made a story that's mostly about smoking into one about vaping or (b) Godwined the discussion with a gratuitous Nazi reference?

  23. BazzF

    Not all vapers are cnunts

    Believe me, the cloud-chucking idiots annoy the hell out of the rest of us vapers as much as you.

    I have two things: 'Common sense' and 'good manners' so I vape anywhere, usually stealthily, to get my nic fix wherever I am. That's why I vape. Not interested in huge clouds to display..

    There have been quite a few studies now on 2nd hand vapour. I suggest google.

    The point is, it got me off the fags for the last 6 years and I'm not remotely interested in stopping any time soon.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Not all vapers are cnunts

      Good, I think vaping is an excellent way to get rid of cigarette smoking.

      If I do not notice them, why would it bother me?

      That said some go for huge clouds, or huge strange looking devices, like they are trying to draw attention to themselves.

  24. Andrew Jones 2

    Where is the master button?

    Are we going to get a button that we can press when we are irritated / annoyed / uncomfortable by people who feel the need to press buttons that tell other people that they are annoyed / irritated / uncomfortable?

    More importantly - I wonder how long it will be before some clever wizard figures out how to remotely change the mp3 file..... So someone presses the button because they see someone smoking, and instead of playing the pre-recorded announcement, it plays something like orgasm sounds leave the button presser rather red faced and unlikely to ever press one of those buttons again......

  25. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Steven Raith should write one or more articles about vaping on El Reg.

    Expect quality, see his comment history.

    Icon just because I am in a questionable mood.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Steven Raith should write one or more articles about vaping on El Reg.

      Steady on now...!

      Steven R

  26. moonrakin

    just remember that salried public employees are behind his garbage _ and that includes supposed charity ASH Wales who get 99.9% of their funding from your taxes.

    Dick Puddlecote has more.....

    HERE worth a read if you've commented here......

  27. EvadingGrid

    Coke

    Hospitals profit from selling the poisonous in vending machines. Are they going to ban aspartane, fructous syrup and MSG ~ or is this all fashion based rather than reasoned actions.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safe spaces for vapers needed

    What we need are designated safe spaces for vapers so they don't get triggered by smokers and discriminated against by the NVNS (non-vaping, non-smoking) majority.

    Hospitals are stressful places. It's wrong to force vulnerable vapers into withdrawal symptoms when we could provide a place for them to get their nicotine fix on the premises.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Safe spaces for vapers needed

      " It's wrong to force vulnerable vapers into withdrawal symptoms when we could provide a place for them to get their nicotine fix on the premises."

      Reminds me of the days when smoking in hospitals was allowed even for patients. A friend visited his elderly father who had terminal oral cancer. The old man complained that the hospital wouldn't let him smoke his pipe because of his illness. It did seem rather a misguided thing to do to him.

      Your life should end with whatever celebration you can still enjoy - as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Safe spaces for vapers needed

        The staff rest room was full of smokers at the hospital I worked at. Indeed, it wasn't normally necessary to light up at all, as the air was thick with it.

        Since they've fallen into line with the rest of our fascist state, many nurses have just retired, which has had a negative impact on patient mortality rates.

      2. Vic

        Re: Safe spaces for vapers needed

        Your life should end with whatever celebration you can still enjoy

        Some years ago, a mate of mone was on a terminal ward.

        The guys there decided it would be a laugh to modify their drugs charts - e.g. adding "Gin and Tonic". After all, what could they do to them?>

        The medical staff saw the funny side, and these chaps all got their bevvies. I've no idea who paid for it...

        VIc.

  29. Velv Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "Vaping is harmless"

    They claimed smoking cigarettes was good for you. Until they found out it wasn't.

    1. Steven Raith

      Yeah, things are a bit different now with immediate publication and publicity, and informed members of the public and academia who can tear into shit research and show it for what it is.

      Pubmed Commons, for example, allows comments. This is an excellent move. Now every time a hack links to this study, or has linked to it in the past, Clive Bates excellent critique of this paper is on show for all to see, for example.

      Academia is not 'open' as yet, but it's a damned site more open than it's ever been. It's much, much harder to hide bad research now.

      Steven R

  30. Rol Silver badge

    Good morning campers

    Bing, bing, bong

    "Due to the disgusting smells coming from the toilets, in a morning, we are closing the kebab shop until further notice"

    Bing, bing, bong

    "I would like to remind you all, that just because you are camping, it does not give you the right to go without washing or brushing your teeth"

    Bing, bing, bong

    "Our first aiders are refusing to assist anyone not wearing deodorant"

    Bong.....Bong......Bong....

    "Here at ITN, we have just received word of a riot in a Welsh campsite....

  31. Andy 97

    How long before someone replaces the message with?:

    "A sanctimonious person has felt is necessary to press a button to chastise you for smoking".

  32. Terry 6 Silver badge

    The thing about this argument ( and indeed the Brexit one) is that the actual arguments pro/anti seem to be formulated after people have made up their minds

    i.e. decided first and thought of some reasons afterwards.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overreactive responses like this button are kind of weird.

    Whenever a new product like this which has the potential to be dangerous, then users/the profiting companies should be taxed (emergency taxes?) to fund studies carried out by a university or respectable neutral third party. This can then be dropped to standard rates once established. That burden shouldn't really be on anyone else for as long as we have public healthcare. In private healthcare countries it should firmly establish only no harm to passers by, because no-one cares about the damage you do to yourself except your health insurance co.

    If it comes out to be dangerous to the user, but not, e.g passers by, then further research + tax to offset the additional NHS burdens and on you go.

    If its harmful to passersby/environment, maybe it should be banned based upon a somewhat impartial risk assessment.

    In this case though, with vaping, where its a clear improvement over a terrible alternative, why not ban smoking outright? Vapers can be confined to "smoking rooms" until risk to passers-by is firmly established (old style, not necessarily shelters as risk is now known to be very low, at least until its confirmed negligible with long term studies) and not worry about exposure to second hand smoke triggering old addictions which are orders of magnitude more harmful for everyone?

    People that just find the smell offensive, well, thats no place for any kind of regulation. Thats a cultural issue. If you want to die on that hill, I'm sure over decades it could be made to be publicly shunned - like farting as so many have compared it to.

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