Yet again, we see ecig supporting anti-tobacco folks losing perspective - and it won't help.
Apparently there have been calls - with, it says 'ere, support from "the public" to "voluntarily ban" (no idea - you work it out - it's either a ban or it isn't) smoking from children's playgrounds, zoos, theme parks and so on. As discussions appear about it on Twitter, the motives behind the call become more and more clear.
It's about "denormalisation", it seems.
Now, lest you know not what that means, when Tobacco Controllers use the term, what they really mean is "stigmatisation". Part of their playbook is to "make smoking seem less normal". They do this by making it very difficult for a smoker to light up anywhere where they're going to be seen. Well, that's their aim. In the same breath, however, they speak their support for indoor smoking bans, and forcing smokers out into whatever the weather throws down that day in order to enjoy a few drags.
In effect, then, and certainly in cities (you know, places with dense populations (no jokes at the back there)), they throw folks out from adult places where kiddies aren't allowed (or welcomed, in my own case) into the streets where kiddies are passing by all the time, thereby making it seem very normal (as it indeed is) to see crowds of folks stood together creating a nice blue fug and enjoying each other's company. It's otherwise known as shooting yourself in the foot, something TC does very well and very often.
Because it was never about protecting the health of the staff in adult venues (a fair of percentage of whom smoked anyway).
But now, of course, they don't just want to throw folks out. They want to, basically, prevent the cheeeeldrenz from ever seeing anyone smoke at all. Because that, to them "normalises" something that has always been normal. And, you see, their definition of "normal" changes to suit their agenda. They'll move stats around in order to change it, at the drop of a hat, depending on what they're talking about. And then, if it's politically correct, they'll say "that's not normal". Or, depending on the agenda, "that's perfectly normal". I could give an example here, but I'm not going to. Let's just say that when it comes to inclusivity, if they don't like what you are or do, or, more importantly, if they can't derive some advantage from supporting you, you are to be included out!
And it's that notion of supporting stuff that's causing me to become a tad agitated. An otherwise seemingly sensible director of Public Health who has very loudly professed and confessed his support for ecigs also supports this anti-smoker notion. His idea (well, probably not his, but it's one he espouses) is that putting these bans (voluntary or otherwise) in place will force people onto ecigs. There are two major errors in this thinking.
First, anyone who thinks they won't go after a public vaping ban once they've got the smoker numbers down is living in cloud cuckoo land. Of course they will - what used to be anti-tobacco is rapidly moving towards anti-nicotine, largely fuelled, in this humble writer's opinion, by the Pharmaceutical Companies having realised that it's an effective palliative (if not a cure) for a number of debilitating afflictions. And they want the patents on the remedies.
The second is thinking that smokers will respond to this pressure in the way he - and other tobacco controlllers - thinks they will. And, of course, they won't. For many years, the smoking prevalence in the UK was stuck at around the 20% mark. Yes, it edged downwards, but, until ecigs came along, resolutely refused to drop below it. Now, roughly five years after ecigs hit mainstream, we're at 16.8% prevalence. Anyone, ANYONE, who refuses to see the root cause of this drop is either, again, deluded, or is an inveterate liar.
In other words, all the sticks they used to beat smokers with failed miserably. The major success came because of the carrot that ecigs represent. The Pleasure Principle kicked in and lo and behold, what TC had been trying for and failing at suddenly happens.
What "they" need is patience. Promote and support ecigs unconditionally, and the industry will continue to come up with more and more pleasurable and effective devices and liquids, so much so that the vast majority of folks will so much prefer them to smoking that smoking will simply be forgotten in a generation or three. Organically. By choice. Without any sticks.
It's not exactly hard to understand, is it?