Opening line to a joke? Well yes and no.
Let me at the outset say that I, too, was a smoker. I smoked a lot. I am now an advocate for an outright ban on smoking I hate it that much. So what turned this addict?
My ex bought one for me, I used it and over a 6 month period I had safely stopped and am now 3 years free. So what is my rant today? The proposition of regulation, new regulation of said e-cigs.
Some pressure groups fear that electronic cigarettes may “re-normalise” smoking, thereby undermining the smoking bans which have helped de-glamorise cigarettes – the British Medical Association (the UK’s trade body for doctors) cites this concern in calling for a ban on public vaping.
Are you taking the piss? The reason I was helped to stop was that this liquid had, eventually, no nicotine in it. I was weaned off it. If you smoke you know that it is the hit plus the inhalation that makes smoking so addictive and attractive to those who still smoke. The normalisation of a toxic product is not what e-cigs are about! It is about something as an alternative that can, and is, used on its own merit. Smoking kills, e-cigs do not.
There is legislation about labelling the contents as is, these electronic devices can, quickly, be brought under that legislation.
What is sinister, as many-a-smoker has said, including me once – the effect, the nett effect of all these people stopping smoking is that taxes will reduce. That tax intake falls in exactly the same ratio as each packet is not bought. Add to this the pharmaceutical companies losing billions and billions of dollars each year because people have become healthier because they have stopped the evil weed!
It does not take a genius to figure out who is behind this new regulation, especially while smoking is still legal in so many nations.
One set of concerns has to do with safety and standardisation. The UK body that oversees the regulation of medicines, the MHRA, says e-cigarettes currently available do not meet appropriate standards of “safety, quality and efficacy”. Anecdotal reports point to dangers caused by variations in product quality, including facial burns after a vaporiser exploded in a consumer’s mouth.
No, seriously, don’t giggle! One e-cig explodes in one persons mouth with dubious cause – “REGULATE!!” The death of millions of people through smoking related causes, perfectly legal!
Others point to the possibility that the red-glowing tips might prove enticing to children – New Jersey assemblywoman Connie Wagner has also voiced a common fear that children may enjoy the fruity flavours.
She claims these e-cigs will be a gateway to smoking the real thing!? Like no kid ever has just taken up smoking.
The whole thing is this. If you’re concerned with public health – great, in fact encourage e-cigs! They are far, far more harmless than the real thing – let actors smoke them! Pop stars!Because once that has happened we will see the demise to the abyss of smoking – I hope.
But it will have political connotations, it will mean having to find the taxes from elsewhere. Possibly by getting those nice rich folk to pay their fair share?
That is what is behind this new regulation proposal, not public health.