In late November the world’s first dedicated airport vaping zone was opened in the international departure lounge of London Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
UK e-cigarette maker Gamucci is responsible for the 30-square-meter space, which is open 5:00 AM until 10:30 PM each day to those aged 18+.
Passengers can purchase a variety of Gamucci electronic cigarette products in the area, which is located among many duty free stores. Gamucci is the fastest growing e-cig brand in the UK with products available in more than 55 countries.
A positive move?
Though at first glance an airport area where e-cig users can go to vape while they are waiting on a flight might appear to be a positive move, we thought e-cigs were supposed to be legal for use pretty much anywhere?
While the vaping zone will solve some problems for vapers stuck in the airport, we wonder if it is really necessary to confine them to one small zone. Free from tar and tobacco, why are they banned from use in the rest of the airport? Echoes of the way smokers have been treated for years.
International sales of US$2bn (UK and the USA the world’s largest markets) e-cigs are booming, prompted in part by restrictions on smoking. The inhalation of nicotine-laced vapor is seen as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
But in recent months, the growing number of users has caused a lot of conflict over whether e-cigs should be allowed in public places. Governments are currently struggling to work out the best way to regulate them.
Tobacco and drugs company lobbyists are weighing in, fearful of the impact on their own products – tobacco, and smoking cessation drugs, patches and gums.
As users of ‘true’ vaporizers we may think this debate is none of our business, but laws are being proposed, restrictions coming into place and powerful interests are flexing their muscles.
Starbucks for vapers
Meanwhile, the Henley Vaporium has become New York’s first ever e-cigarette bar, picking up on a trend that has already hit the West Coast.
With its dozens of flavored airs from bubble gum to cherry, watermelon and Ben & Jerry’s-style cuteness (Jamaican Me Crazy), owner Talia Eisenberg told The Week that she hoped the Henley would become the ‘Starbucks for vapers’.
Set among the art galleries and boutiques on the border of SoHo and NoLita, the Henley’s Vapologists provide custom e-liquids for experienced vapers and give repentant smokers a crash course in how e-cigs work.
They also provide advice for those interested in going deeper into the world of mods and more powerful e-cig devices.
The bar’s aim of promoting a healthy lifestyle extends to the refreshments on offer: no alcohol, but plenty of healthy vegetarian food.