We saw a public health body in the UK come in support of vaping and urged employers to give e-cigarette smokers more vaping breaks as well as a separate area where they can enjoy their vapes. At the same time, it’s a sad week for Alaska vapers as smoking and vaping are now banned in downtown’s Town Square Park. Check out details in this week’s vaping news roundup.

E-CIGARETTE SMOKERS NEED MORE BREAKS AT WORK AND SEPARATE ‘VAPING’ ROOMS, HEALTH WATCHDOG SAYS

Public Health England (PHE) is urging employers across the UK to designate vaping areas for e-cigarette smokers t avoid mixing with traditional tobacco smokers. PHE said that forcing vapers to vape outdoors undermine their ability to quit smoking. The government health body has also asked employers to give employees who vape extra breaks.

According to a PHE report from August 2015, e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than normal cigarettes, which contain higher nicotine levels, tar and other dangerous chemicals.

Vaping provides a generally lower blood nicotine level and takes longer to reach a desired level, requiring frequent interim top-ups. This difference should be taken into account, particularly when developing policies for workplaces.

PHE said in the guidelines for employers.

Check out further details on Newsweek.

e-cigarette smokers

Gabor Kovacs of ‘smoke no smoke’ smokes an e-cigarette that his shop sells at Camden in London June 9, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Smoking, vaping banned in Anchorage’s Town Square Park

The Anchorage Assembly this week approved the banning of smoking and vaping in downtown’s Town Square Park. This new law reversed vote held in June rejecting the ban. This came after Assembly members Tim Steele and Bill Starr changed their votes, leading to a 7-4 vote in favor of the ban.

Anyone found smoking tobacco or using e-cigarettes in the plaza will now get a $100 fine. Fortunately, the ban doesn’t extend to the Alaska Center Performing Arts property just to the west. The sponsor of the measure, Assembly member Dick Traini, said it was aimed at stopping people from smoking Spice and marijuana in the plaza, though Spice is a banned substance and it’s already illegal to smoke pot in public.

Some Assembly members including Patrick Flynn, who represents downtown, criticized the smoking ban. Flynn had earlier noted that smoking in the park did not necessarily indicate illegal activity.

People misbehaving in Town Square Park — yes, we need to take steps to eradicate that behavior. But I don’t think banning smoking is the way to do it.

Flynn said.

Read more on Alaska Dispatch News.