Thursday, September 15, 2011


The announcement by the Govt's bully unit that it will take the jackboot off E-cigs is news to be welcomed but also greeted with concern by those of us who enjoy a traditional smoke.

It's a sensible harm reduction move for those who don't want to quit the cultural act of smoking but do want to give up natural tobacco. However, my problem is a cynical fear that E-cigs will be used as a further "divide and conquer" weapon in the war on big Tobacco and its consumers who don't want to switch over to any form of NRT.

I'm also a little ill at ease that the Govt is backing one private industry supplier of nicotine over another. It feels dirty.

E-cigs made widely and cheaply available and pushed as "a responsible alternative" to smoking are bound to be effective in forcing tobacco smokers further down into a minority. And then what next?

I know there are vapers out there standing firmly in our defence but there are also some who do see themselves as superior to tobacco smokers because they have taken that "responsible" harm reduction option while "selfish" smokers still stick to the "dirty, filthy habit" that they have wriggled free of.

I agree with DP that there is little point in making E-cigs "acceptable" if there is no where they can be "acceptably" used in public. Used indoors could lead to smokers being welcomed back inside too and I'd hope that decisions taken on where E-cigs can be used will also include where tobacco products can be used.

The trouble is, of course, both products won't be treated equally and neither will the respective companies' consumers. Destruction of the tobacco industry is continuing, and loons are still trying to impose outdoor bans if others fail.

If the Govt encourages greater public respect and tolerance for vapers while continuing the denormalisation and exclusion of smokers, well, I'm sure I for one would feel even more marginalised. The news today from the Bully Unit has certainly made me feel a step more stigmatised.