Northern Ireland England Wales Scotland

Last updated:

BBC bans e-cigarettes on all premises

The BBC has banned the use of e-cigarettes across all studios and offices, in line with BMA guidance.

BBCCorporation staff will no longer be able to use e-cigarettes at any of the BBC’s UK premises following a decision made this week.

A ban had already been in place at BBC offices in Salford, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland; the restrictions have now extended to the corporation’s New Broadcasting House HQ in London.

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘In line with advice from the BMA the BBC has introduced a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in [its] buildings.’

BMA board of science chair Baroness Sheila Hollins welcomed the BBC’s decision, saying that strong controls over e-cigarettes were needed to prevent the re-normalising of smoking in work and public places.

She said: ‘It is encouraging that the BBC has followed BMA advice and, like a number of large UK employers, has decided to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in all of its offices and studios around the country.

‘Stronger controls are needed on where e-cigarettes can be used in order to protect others from being exposed to cigarette vapours, to ensure their use does not undermine existing restrictions on smoke-free public places and workplaces, and to guarantee that the use of e-cigarettes does not undermine the success of conventional tobacco-control measures by reinforcing the normalcy of smoking behaviour.’

'Stepping stones'

ecigaretteBaroness Hollins added that policies restricting e-cigarettes could potentially play an important role in deterring users from taking up tobacco smoking. 

She said: ‘E-cigarettes were first branded as an effective way to help people quit, but the sad reality is that they are also attracting a new generation of addicts. 

‘Emerging research suggests that electronic cigarettes act as stepping stones towards smoking tobacco, with e-cigarette advertising and branding purposefully targeting young people in the same, aggressive way that tobacco companies used in the 1950s and 60s. 

‘Therefore it is essential that we maintain a consistent approach in portraying a negative image of smoking and extend the smoking ban in enclosed public places to include e-cigarettes.’

Doctors and medical students at last month’s BMA annual representative meeting agreed e-cigarettes should be banned in public places. They warned the devices could act as ‘entry portals’ to nicotine addiction.

 Read the BMA's guidance on e-cigarettes