SMOKERS who live in public housing could face a smoking ban in their own homes and urged to vape instead, under new plans being considered in the UK.
Following a recent report which revealed smoking is twice as common and “highly concentrated” in council-owned properties and estates, tenants of new housing blocks may be forced to stop smoking cigarettes under new proposals, it has been revealed.
Politicians have suggested smokers be handed vaping kits by housing associations if the idea comes into force to help ease tenant's withdrawal symptoms and manage their nicotine addiction .
Two All Party Parliamentary Groups and anti-smoking charity Ash believe the new measures could save lives and have asked housing associations to look at bringing in the ban to any new housing properties that become available.
Ash’s Hazel Cheeseman said: “We are not saying all new developments should be [smoke-free] but it’s something that housing associations should look at.
“Their housing for nurses and doctors is already smoke-free, as is housing for students.
"Moving house is a great time to change your behaviour so you smoke outside or, better still, quit altogether.”
The report, co-authored by the APPG on Healthy Homes and Buildings and the APPG on Smoking and Health, points out that smoking indoors is especially harmful to children and calls for “action closer to where people live”.
Co-author Lee Sugden, of housing association Salix Homes, said: “[Smoking] is disproportionately harming the communities we house and we should ask ourselves what we are doing about it.”
The news comes as MPs have called for vaping to be allowed in the workplace across Britain – with the UK's Houses of Parliament leading the way as a vape-friendly zone, it has been revealed.
In a drive to make e-cigarettes more acceptable at places of work and given separate rules to smoking, a group of politicians have called for new policies to be drawn up to help address common “misunderstandings” about the practice.
Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPGV) agreed designated vaping areas inside offices should be considered along with employers allowing e-cigarette use in all outside areas unless there is a legitimate safety or professional reason not to, according to UK news agency Press Association.
There should also be guidelines for the “reasonable vaping etiquette expected from vapers”.