Two vape shops have opened in hospitals in the West Midlands, and they're not even the slightest bit clandestine or underground. The vaping materials are changing hands in plain sight, there are signs up advertising their availability, and everyone is OK with it.
It's being done with the approval of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust, which has granted Ecigwizard – why do vape shops all have such terrible names? – permission to start selling its flavours and tubes and units and cherry-flavour anal suppositories and whatever to hospital patients and their grudging visitors. Freely. Over the counter. In front of other people, like it's normal.
It is of course part of the latest crackdown on fiery cigarettes and the dangers of passive smoke-smoking, with the trust starting to fine people for burning tobacco products on its grounds; but permitting vaping if it's done outside, so the reception area isn't stunk out with cinnamon, chocolate, mint substitute or whatever flavour of liquid is currently fashionable to be seen huffing out of a brown plastic crack pipe in the West Mids.
Trust director Dr David Carruthers said: "The Trust’s Board, and our clinical leaders, are united in the view that smoking kills. Given that simple truth, we can no longer support smoking on our sites, even in shelters or cars. Every alternative is available and we ask visitors and patients to work with us to enforce these changes." [Ecigwizard via Guardian]