Southern Railways, which runs services across London and the South, including the Gatwick Express, has chosen to ban e-cigarette use on their trains, and stations from July 26th.
Following in the footsteps of TFL, and services in the Govia franchise including ThamesLink and Great Northern, Southern’s management has decided to ban e-cigarettes citing passenger comfort.
Southern manages 156 stations in London, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent, and the firm says passengers make an average of 446,500 journeys per day on its trains.
Cross Country trains is one of the few services that allow e-cigarettes to be used on their trains, however a spokesman for the company said yesterday: "They are allowed at the moment but we are reviewing our policy."
This decision comes at a time where many businesses have had to clarify or create their own e-cigarette policy, including many shopping centres and work places across the UK, with a number of work places deciding that vaping, in contradiction to this decision, helps staff and management make up on the lost time from smoking breaks.
However, as we featured on Gamucci news yesterday, the government in Wales is to take this decision out of the hands of private companies and instead subject e-cigarettes to a blanket ban on vaping in public places. The Welsh government has decided to introduce some of the most stringent regulations on e-cigarettes, going against a recent decision by the Scottish government, which was both welcomed by anti-tobacco campaingers, and deemed a “careful balancing act”.
The Scottish Government’s e-cigarettes bill will restrict young people’s access to electronic cigarettes while maintaining access for smokers seeking help to switch from tobacco use.
Ash Scotland said it believed that e-cigarettes were less damaging to health than traditional cigarettes - but warned that they were not without risk.
The bill, which was tabled with the Scottish Parliament today, is to ban sales of e-cigarettes to under-18s. It would also make it an offence for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for a minor. This decision has been welcomed by the e-cigarette industry. Gamucci and all responsible sellers’ already self-regulate sales, and only sell to people over the age of 18.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, said: “The right regulatory framework for e-cigarettes will require a careful balancing act – seeking to maximise the potential to help people quit tobacco use, while frustrating the commercial interest in recruiting a new generation into nicotine addiction.”
She added: “The urgent priority is to reduce the enormous harm caused by tobacco use. We believe that e-cigarettes will prove to be much less harmful than smoking – so for a smoker to switch from tobacco to electronic cigarettes will bring significant health benefits and we welcome the Scottish Government’s attempts not to over-regulate and stifle the e-cigarette market.”