I feel the need to brain dump. Do forgive!
There's all kinds of stuff floating about at the moment, and some of it is making me feel uneasy. Uneasy, because, for six years, at least, I have been fighting for the freedom to vape as one sees fit. In last Monday's VTTV show, I made a statement. It went like this:
"I don't care what you vape, how you vape, or why you vape, you're a vaper. I don't care what resistance your coil is, how big your cloud is, or what device you use, you're a vaper". I stand by that, but I think I may need to add a little so folks properly get it.
Ecigs are, for me, an alternative to smoking. They are not for "quitting" with - that is NRT or the execrable varenicline or champix as we know it in the UK. Neither are they "smoking" per se - given that smoking involves combustion, and, if we are to believe what we're told, now claims the early demise of 2 out of every 3 users (up from the 1 in two of last year's Tobacco Control Propaganda).
No, they are neither of those things. They are a third thing, with multiple descriptions:
1. They CAN be a quit device - if they have received a medicinal marketing authorisation, and are prescribed/recommended by stop smoking "experts" because the folks who have properly ASKED for help have asked to go down that route. IN other words, NRT. And if used as NRT, quite probably just as effective (/sarcasm). BUT, they should not be given out free of charge.
2. They ARE an alternative way to "smoke" - if that's how you see it. And plenty of folks do - I meet vapers every day who will tell you they "smoke" an ecig. They see themselves as smokers, they even go out to the smoking sheds and hang with their smoking mates, they just enjoy ecigs more and accept the "smoker" stigma - because they're just happy that way. The Pleasure Principle in action. In Public Health terms, though, they're NOT smokers.
3. They ARE an alternative to smoking. This is THE most important and accurate (in my mind) descriptor. Buckle up - here we go:
For aeons, human beings have utilised plant-derived substances to make their daily grind more pleasurable - in the South Americas, thay may be the leaves of the Coca plant, which are chewed as a stimulant (and refined by western cultures into cocaine, or Colombian Marching Powder). Unsurprisingly, the cultures that do this are somewhat shocked that it's illegal over here in the "civilized" world. For them it's part of their day. And then there's coffee. Folks worldwide drink the stuff, same as with tea. In fact both plant derived substances have massive businesses built around them. Some folks even chase civets around to pick their poop up for particularly pungent coffee making beans. Does any given a hoot?
We imported tobacco use into our culture(s) centuries ago. The thing is, we only invented cigarettes well under 150 years ago. Prior to that, that didn't exist. Now, I don't know why there's so much opposition to people smoking cigarettes - my take on it is simple, really. If you're in full possession of the facts on the risks and benefits and choose to do something, then that's your business. Nobody else's. So I'm good with it.
However, as I've often said before, if there's a less risky way to do something, and you fancy having a go at it, then that, also, is fine by me. That, then, would be the alternative to smoking.
And people have to got to acknowledge some truths about it.
1: People who have never smoked are going to have a go. Some will continue, some won't.
2: Very, very few will ever, following having had a go, move to smoking lit tobacco. Indeed, vaping could (and probably should) substitute for smoking entirely. That is to say that, if every person over the age of <put an arbitrary number in here, you might as well, because age restrictions are bullshit and easy to bypass> years were to take up vaping, there'd still be a public health gain - even Simon Chapman implicitly acknowledges that. There'd be a gain (again , you have to buy into the TC propaganda) because ecigs are highly unlikely to carry more than 1% of the risk of smoking - and the risks they do carry are not health risks per se, so we could wave bye-bye to lung cancer, COPD, cancer of the pancreas and so on and so on and so forth (remember the TC propaganda I mentioned? Insert your own beliefs here). Oh - add house fires to that. Just don't buy a Samsung Galaxy phone.
3: There'll still be a select (and, hopefully, rapidly diminishing) group of prohibitionist "refrain from everything because we say so" so-called "Public Health" grandees that will fight ecigs every step of the way. They'll much prefer that ecigs are seen in a medicinal light, who will not accept that, as an alternative to smoking, ecigs could, indeed, achieve what their pathetic real-life trolling of smokers has singularly failed to do. And that is so annoying for them, because it shows them up for what they are. Interfering busybodies so concerned with controlling other people that their own weight balloons and their empathy disappears.
So, to sum up, before you get bored.
1: ecigs are not, have never been and should never be a medicine. They cure nothing.
2: ecigs ARE an alternative to smoking that should be available to everyone, on their own terms.
3: ecigs ARE NOT a tool for public health types to use to control us, the citizens of the world.
Too libertarian? You've seen nothing yet.