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I had a win at work today. In fact we all had a win!  Acceptance and recognition of e-cigs as being normal use devices in care homes.

While on my days off I had a message from my manager saying she'd had to do risk assessments for those residents that use electronic cigarettes and that she could have done with my help. I told her that I would look through them when I get back at the weekend. However, I decided to create one for her to look at and asked admin to send me a blank. 

I quickly realised that I needed help in the wording, as I did not want to “scare” those reading it. Due to being on the vape scene for nearly 5 years I have obviously absorbed a lot of good information and bad information but did not want this to go the wrong way. 

I also realised that this had the potential to go out to other homes within the company so it needed to be spot on. 

Therefore, I dropped a message to Matt of Vapourtrails TV who advised me that his VTTV colleague Rhydian does this for a living. Perfect! 

I waited, what seemed like an age, for admin to email me, they had computer problems apparently. Anyway, as soon as I got it, Rhydian got it. 

Rhydian couldn’t have been more helpful and with what seemed like a few minutes sent me back a filled out risk assessment for me to read. 

It was exactly what was needed and is very positively written. On return to work, I posted a hard copy into the Home Managers office and left a copy for my floor manager. 

The upshot is that this is now in our home policy, procedures and residents and staff members are to follow it. I have also been given the title of “E-cigarette Champion” for the home; anyone requiring information or training etc need to come to me. A position I very much welcome, as I have cringed at the things I have seen in the home regards this subject. I now have the power to correct any misuse or remove the items. 

My next step is to roll the same assessment to other homes in the company. I also intend to set up some sort of e-cig presentation (when/if I get the time) and probably a monthly maintenance class for those that use them. 

My thanks go to Rhydian and the VTTV team. 

By Andrew Bell of Northview Lodge, Castledown, Sunderland