LBack in April, smoking was banned in all hospital grounds across Scotland. However, the ban did not extend to the use of electronic cigarettes. Instead, each individual health board was allowed to make its own decision on whether or not vaping would be permitted.Now, the biggest health board in Scotland has decided to grant permission for people to vape in certain areas of NHS hospital grounds. The health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, is now the second to make such concessions. NHS Lothian was the first, having decided at the time of the cigarette-smoking ban to allow people to use them.Why has NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde changed its mind?It would appear they have heeded advice released by Public Health England, as well as the results of their own research. Public Health England has indicated e-cigarettes can be very useful when it comes to finding an easier way to stop smoking.Furthermore, the NHS GGC discovered nearly one-third of smokers in that area of Scotland are going to use e-cigs to help them try and stop smoking altogether. Therefore, by allowing people in that health board to use e-cigarettes on hospital grounds, the NHS GGC is helping support them in their attempts to quit. And who knows, they might also encourage other people to quit as well.E-cigarettes can help people quit smokingPlenty of people know this already. If you’re using e-cigs to help you quit smoking tobacco, you’ll know they can help make the process a lot easier than it would otherwise be.According to the research done by NHS GGC, some 18% of people in the area who had already given up smoking had done so with the aid of electronic cigarettes.Could this lead to more of the Scottish health boards taking the same action?It remains to be seen whether this will be the case. Of the 13 health boards in Scotland, only one originally decided to allow e-cigarettes to be used in certain areas. Even with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde joining them, this still leaves 11 that do not currently allow them to be used.Interestingly enough, Health Scotland has also recommended the use of electronic cigarettes when someone wants to try and quit smoking. The guidance they recently released said this quite clearly.This is not the first piece of news concerning the approach to e-cigs in public places to hit the headlines in recent times. In Wales, the Government originally decided to ban vaping in all public places. However, this has now changed to places where children may be found. Even with this change, many are still unhappy at being banned from vaping in public.So it now seems as if vaping is becoming more acceptable again, thanks to moves by certain health authorities in Scotland. Could we one day see vaping being allowed across all NHS properties in the country, albeit in selected areas? In the NHS GGC area at least, clear signage will be used to indicate areas where people are allowed to vape. There is a reasonable chance some people might end up switching from smoking to vaping, particularly if they see other people doing it.In the end, a U-turn on vaping in hospital grounds across Scotland could turn out to be a positive thing. Making it more visible and supporting it as a way to stop smoking can surely only help the NHS in the end. We suspect over time there will indeed be more NHS areas that will accept vaping as a healthier alternative.