When I was a little girl, my mum smoked. In fact, all her friends smoked. Her work colleagues smoked. Pretty much all of the adults in my life smoked. It seemed that wherever I went, people would be smoking cigarettes.

Life Before The Smoking Ban

Back then, of course, that was completely normal. It was perfectly normal to walk into a family friendly pub for your Sunday lunch and be hit by a wall of smoke. Looking back, when I was a child, it was all I knew so I didn’t think much of it, other than it wasn’t particularly nice.

Retrospectively, if I were to go back in time and walk into those pubs along side a 10 year old me, I would walk straight back out again. I couldn’t imagine sitting down with the family and actually paying for a lovely roast dinner only for it to be ruined by cigarette fumes.

The Smoking Ban

I was 15 when the smoking ban in England came into effect on 1 July 2007. Is it just me, or does it feel a bit crazy that England has now had the smoking ban enforced for 10 years?

Up until 2007, it was legal to smoke in enclosed spaces in England. Although, to be fair to many big companies across the UK, quite a few voluntarily banned smoking from the premises before it was made into a legal requirement. Good old Whetherspoons was the first major chain to completely ban indoor smoking. Yes – no more smokey lunches!

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Vape Cafes and Shops

These days, we can eat anywhere we want or travel on any public transport we like without anyone lighting up next to us. How great is that? Of course, people still smoke, however, it’s great to see statistics like those from Cancer Research UK that show the significant decrease in tobacco products being used.

I wonder if that’s related to the rise in the popularity of vapes?

Vape shops like Vape Ayr are popping up online and on high streets and there are even special vape cafes and diners dotted around where you can eat and use you vape at the same time, without offending others.

Vaping has definitely become that stop gap between smoking and giving up for life. I know people who decided one day that they needed and most importantly, they wanted, to kick the habit. Most of them got themselves a vape to help them quit and many of them have never looked back.

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Obviously there are some compelling features to vaping instead of smoking. One of them being you can still vape in some places where traditional cigarettes are banned. The other is instead of the taste of tobacco, you can now opt for a huge variety of flavours.

Swaptober

When I was younger, I remember sitting with a friend thinking how much we would just wish our mums would stop smoking. I remember she was terrified her mum was going to get cancer and become really ill; that’s a lot of unnecessary weight on your shoulders when you’re young. For that reason, I personally think that vapes are a great thing in our society. If they bridge the gap between smoking and not smoking, surely that can only be seen as a good thing.

So whether you’re all about Stotober and quitting smoking for good or Swaptober and swapping from cigarettes to a vape to help you cut down, there’s loads of guidance and help available to you both online and from your GP.