With late spring and early summer being festival season, a lot of people will travel to a handful of very large fields and enjoy a weekend filled with music, art and excitement, with Glastonbury Festival being the biggest in Britain.
However, whilst there is typically some form of Glasto controversy each year, this year is one that is of particular interest to a vape supplier as disposable vapes have been added to their “what not to bring” list.
Whilst not on their prohibited items list, it is something they have placed on the same level as knives, and this has naturally created some rather passionate debate about whether this is a proportionate response or whether it could potentially do more harm than good.
The Case For Glastonbury
In the interest of fairness, it is important to see this decision not in the context of the frenetic discourse surrounding disposable vapes that has been discussed at length elsewhere, but instead in the context of the environmental spirit which Glastonbury tries to embody.
Disposable vapes are not banned because of anything to do with vapes but because they are disposable, and in the spirit of Love Worthy Farm, Leave No Trace, they are treated the same as disposable wipes, body glitter that is not biodegradable and anything made of glass that could shatter.
Regular vapes are not banned, and this could be the greatest incentive to transition to a more permanent alternative to vape bars.
The Case Against
The issue with banning disposable vapes is not necessarily based on the litter side which Glastonbury cites as its main reason, but instead about how this contributes to wrongful public perceptions that vaping is more harmful than it is.
After all, regular cigarettes are not banned but disposable vapes are, and that unfortunately sends an exceptionally powerful message to the 15 per cent of adult smokers that believe the objectively false and ridiculous statement that vaping is more harmful than smoking.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that someone who uses disposable vapes to quit would have their vape confiscated and then either buy or get given cigarettes by a friend or other festival goer and undo months, if not years of work quitting.
It is not as if cigarette ends are not major polluters either, and it is far harder to keep them with you and not spread ash everywhere as you smoke compared to holding on to a vape bar and putting it in your bag when you are done.
In practice, vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco smoking, and it is essential to keep those facts in mind and how effective vaping is as a smoking cessation aid. They are nowhere near as harmful as cigarettes even if they should be limited to people who previously smoked.
It retains the highly addictive nicotine but gets rid of the tar and the thousands of deadly carcinogenic compounds that shorten people’s lives and contribute to lung cancer. This aspect must be made clear and be at the forefront of any policy decisions relating to vapes.