There was a time when we valued private property rights. As long as it was legal, what consenting adults did was no-one else's business. That's how it used to be. Now we have busybodies from Government, councils and Quangos sticking their noses in where it's not wanted.
We know that vaping in enclosed spaces is legal. We know that e-cigarettes are not harmful to bystanders. Councils should know this, although judging by its entry in last year's 'Vaping Policies in UK Councils' report, Calderdale likes to exist in blissful ignorance. It is one of those councils that sends vapers into designated smoking areas, even though it reviewed its vaping policy in September 2017 as a result of the Government's Tobacco Control Plan. Councillors are not going to be given the opportunity to discuss this policy either. But they will be discussing vaping next Monday.
Councillors will be debating a motion to ban the use of e-cigarettes in taxis and private hire vehicles. So if a passenger and the driver are happy with one of them vaping during a journey, the council will intervene and ban them from doing it. Quite how the council is going to enforce the ban in unclear. Aren't councils too cash strapped these days to employ more jobsworths? Or will the council put the vaping snooper contract out for tender and pay commission on every taxi driver they persecute? Your guess is as good as mine.
Bradford Council already has a ban in place, and Leeds is considering one. If Yorkshire is an accurate snapshot of the rest of the country, expect more councillors interfering where it is not needed.
According to The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, "council officers say they’ve seen people ‘vaping’ in taxis and say the appearance of it is “not considered to be acceptable.”" Who the hell made council officers the arbiters of what is acceptable in a private vehicle? The article also reports the council as saying that "the vapour emitted from the e-cigarettes may trigger smoke alarms; the vapour may also affect those around who suffer with health issues for example, sensitive asthma."
How many taxis have smoke alarms? I've never seen one before and nothing comes up on a Google search, but leaving that to one side, water vapour can't trigger a smoke alarm. It's like saying that a kettle can. Utterly ridiculous.
If someone suffers from sensitive asthma, ask the driver not to vape. It's not smoke. It's vapour. It doesn't cling to the upholstery. Although considering anything could trigger an attack in a sensitive asthmatic, it does make you wonder what else the council is considering banning next.
None of the reasons for the ban are justified. It's just council officers displaying their prejudices. And if Calderdale Council is like many councils in the country, councillors will agree to officers' demands.
If you want to tell the council leader what you think, here are his contact details.