Bloody Meddling Association

Let’s face it, there’s a whole world of industries out there that run quite happily on its own without interference from any kind of trade union, and even if they had a union they still don’t have a huge amount of power or influence. With some exceptions, most notably the British Medical Association.

You will of course remember that the Bloody Meddling Association held their Annual Representatives Meeting recently spread over the course of four and a half days, seriously how many times do you think someone said “any other business” only to have some cockweasel cough irritatingly with a “yes, there is just one more thing”.. Of course that’s a major exaggeration, as the entire ARM was scheduled with quite a lot of the schedule being specified as “if we have time”.

Contained in that awful agenda document were several mentions on e-cigarettes and the “concerns” of some of the areas in relation to vapour products. Sadly, the BMA have made their overall position pretty clear, the biggest worry is that this is effectively a trade union and not an official medical authority of any kind. But their “expert” advice is a highly sought after commodity, which of course leads to utter insanity.

Construction industry clamps down on vaping

This is the latest headline that doesn’t say much, other than construction companies are “clamping down” on vaping. The sad thing about this article is all in the text.

Contractors Willmott Dixon and Skanska, plant hire group Hewden and machinery manufacturer JCB are among construction industry companies that have adopted policies that consider e-cigarettes to be no different from tobacco rolled in paper.

Adopted policies that consider e-cigarettes to be no different from tobacco, isn’t that just lovely? Basically, if you work for either of those contractors and you vape, you are now being classed as a smoker and have to behave just like them, which means going outside (with the smokers) to vape. No vaping in company vehicles, no vaping in your small, pokey office that only you occupy and so on.

Similar restrictions apply on many large construction sites, with some contractors banning smoking altogether, and others providing designated smoking areas and/or shelters. Site workers have become quite used to these rules – which are usually reinforced during inductions for new starters or visitors – and it is rare now to see the old stereotype of the builder with a fag hanging out of his mouth.

To be honest, I don’t ever remember the “stereotype” builder with a smoke hanging out of his mouth, but the simple fact is the majority of construction sites enforce strict anti-smoker anti-smoking rules and mostly, if there is a smoking shelter, it isn’t located on the site itself it’s usually located by the site offices away from where the “real work” happens so that the site foreman can have a smoke break whenever he damn well pleases.

The industry is just starting to get to grips with the issue, and companies are beginning to formulate policies that cover e-cigarette smoking – or “vaping” as it is known. For many organisations this means simply including e-cigarettes in their existing smoking policies.

A spokesperson for Crossrail, said that “e-cigarettes are treated in the same way as normal cigarettes, and the same restrictions apply” on all its sites; while JCB said: “E-cigarettes are treated in the same way as tobacco products: they cannot be used in offices or on the shop floor; they can be used in the designated smoking areas.”

It’s a worrying trend to see, even the Oil & Gas platforms ban vaping but still allow smoking. Where are these folks getting such sage advice from?

“The BMA has provided guidance on the use of e-cigarettes at work, and Skanska’s policy follows that expert guidance. While e-cigarettes may help existing smokers to give up, there is still the potential for health risks to the individual using them and to those in close proximity. Therefore, all restrictions and conditions that apply to smoking tobacco products also apply to the use of e-cigarettes.”

So, because there is a “potential” for health risks to the individual and to bystanders (which are next to non-existent based on current research) means that e-cigarettes are automatically classed as tobacco products by the British Meddling Association. Well bra-f*cking-vo. There’s plenty of support in favour of vaping now, and it’s growing. Maybe that is why the BMA are sounding like a very old broken record now.

As well as its concerns about the content of the vapour produced by e-cigarettes, the BMA – like the Welsh government – is also worried that e-cigarettes may “reinforce the normalcy of smoking behaviour”.

This is getting ridiculous now, “reinforce the normalcy of smoking behaviour”? Have they never seen the surveys conducted by ASH, Cancer Research UK or the recent Health & Social Care Information Centre data ? In each case, wherever vaping is prevalent, smoking is less prevalent. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that smoking is in decline, aided in part by vaping and they still cling to the outmoded belief that vaping is “re-normalising” smoking. That goes for the idiots in the Welsh Government that believe the same rubbish. Both have been thoroughly hoodwinked by the WHO and other extreme antis’.

Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) ideally wants smokers to quit all forms of nicotine use, but acknowledges that many smokers find e-cigarettes helpful and more attractive than licensed nicotine reduction solutions like patches and inhalers. “There is evidence that they can be effective in helping smokers quit and little evidence that they are being used by ‘never smokers’,” the organisation says.

It adds: “In the absence of evidence of significant harm to bystanders, ASH does not support the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in smoke-free laws which would completely prohibit their use in enclosed public places.”

Every once in a while ASH surprise me with public confirmation of support, albeit lukewarm at times, for vaping and their exclusion from any smoke-free legislation or rules. Once upon a time, ASH were the go-to for anything related to smoking (and for a while vaping as they were once openly hostile), now the go-to seems to be a bunch of union representatives with far more power than sense.

ASH aren’t the only ones against including vaping into workplace smoke-free rules, the Health & Safety Executive also suggests that if vaping is to be restricted, it should at least be sensible.

This is something that is also recommended be the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). “HSE’s advice is that an employer needs to consider e-cigarettes in the wider context of risk in the workplace,” it says. “If an employer decides to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace but allow for vaping breaks or provide areas where employees can use e-cigarettes, the employer needs to ensure that those who use e-cigarettes are not put at risk of harm from second-hand tobacco smoke.”

I fail to see why the BMA, with all its supposed “expert” members continually give such piss-poor “guidance” that is in direct contrast to the actual evidence. I guess the loons really are in charge of the asylum now.

  • Graham Gords Onezerozeroone En

    I look forward to a class action after I visit a site that’s followed the bma bulls…. Advice. Health and safety IS taken extremely seriously in industry and they class shs as a serious risk despite the evidence, that being the case, I will kick up a fuss about it and be happy to cite the bma’s professional misconduct as the direct cause of my ire.

    Bastards.

    Gords.

    • Not the only one!

      It seems the BMA is doing the politicians work for them by “advising” bans to companies.

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