Guess who's fed up of the "evangelical, born again" taunts that are flung about from certain quarters
First up, and before we get into the meat, a précis of "my story". I never, ever wanted to pack in smoking. The propaganda got me to give it a go once, in the eighties, and I managed a week before I went back to being happy. I didn't want to do that, but I felt forced into it. Worthy of note.
When Ecigs came into my life - purely accidentally, as a mate came into my studio using one, and I tried and liked it, and saw a way to "smoke" indoors without getting into bother - it wasn';t because I was seeking to "be free of cigarettes". I didn't want to "be free of cigarettes" . As it turned out, I ended up switching entirely to ecigs because - and this is vitally important - I liked them (and still do like them) more than I liked smoking.
That seems to be a hard concept for some folks to grasp. It's pretty much like changing your brand of, say, breakfast cereal. If you don't like the new one, you'll go back to the old one. If you find one you like better, you'll stick with it. If the new one happens to be "better for you" than the old one, then that's a bit of a bonus. If it's also cheaper, then get the flags out - it's a pure win!
But do you go evangelising your new cereal to all and sundry, telling everyone they ought to drop their beetawix in the bin and go for the shreddopops because <insert whatever reasons you're being evangelical for>? Do you hell as like.
You may mention that you've found a new cereal and it's really nice, but you don't keep going on and one and on about it.
Well, I'm the same with ecigs. Bottom line, I like them, I prefer them to smoking, they're cheaper for me, and I suspect they may not be as risky as we're told fags are. And please note that "as we're told fags are", because, given that I've found out just how much Tobacco Control is prepared to lie, I will never, ever take anything they say at face value ever again.
Do I go out to convert folks? No. If you follow me on Twitter, or if we're friends on Facebook, then you'll note I rarely, if ever, join in on the vaperversary stuff that happens. You switched. Good for you. I've got mates who are dual users. Do I berate them for not being fully switched? No, and not just because I want to keep them as mates, but also because, frankly, what they do with ecigs, fags, motorbikes, melons or strangely shaped candles is entirely their business, and none of mine. It's just a bit of a crying shame that other folks - OK, Tobacco Control - can't take the same attitude.
Does that mean I fight the tobacco companies' corner? No, it doesn't. I owe them nothing, I have no loyalty to them. But I do rail against what I see as being unreasonable behaviour when it comes to governments and - you guessed it - Tobacco Control - constantly discriminating against them. So the whole plain packs nonsense is just that - nonsense. Sin taxes are, in my mind, despicable - they're not a tax on the companies (and neither is that levy ASH is so keen on) - they're designed to force people to conform to a blueprint that nannies want. And that's just wrong.
When I'm doing what I do with the NNA, or when I'm called on to speak with legislaters, I know that what are probably quite libertarian principles are less likely to achieve what we want than other tactics. So, sometimes I'm going to come across as maybe a bit born again. As in "this is why what you're proposing is going to be bad for public health".
So, yes, I do get fed up with certain folks constantly chucking this "Evangelist anti-smoker vaper advocate" line. On the whole, we're not. We're trying to get the best deal possible for vapers and vaping. Unpaid (in the UK).
In fact it costs me to do what I do.
So I get to say this.
If you don't like it, either STFU or, in delicate terms, go forth and multiply (that's the polite phrase for "FUCK OFF").