Yes… I shamelessly used a picture of a gorgeous woman vaping an E-cigarette (which I found on Vape Vixens @ Facebook… if you really want me to take it down I will, but come on!) to draw you into reading this article. Sue me… but it works. Anyways… back to the matter at hand, which is a very serious matter to say the least. The European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has received official word from the dark spirits of over-involvement and government intrusion that the E-cigarette industry is to, in the words of Emperor Palpatine (of Star Wars fame), “Join us or die.” (Actually, I believe it was Vader who said that to Palpatine… but I digress)
I suppose it’s actually quite inevitable that this wondrous invention that has helped most of us to leave behind our deadly habits of smoking in favor of a healthier, equally enjoyable habit, was always going to get shot down by either the tobacco industry or the pharmaceutical industry. On this particular occasion, the Enemy (capitalized on purpose) has taken the form of the incredibly wealthy and powerful pharmaceutical community. They are attempting to get E-cigarettes in the EU (European Union, for all of my Yankee readers) regulated as a medicinal device which, if passed, will make E-cigs and E-liquids only available through certified pharmacies… just like Oxycontin, Percocet, Loritab, Morphine, etc. Because obviously, a nicotinated (is that a word? It is now!) juice that helps people wean off a deadly habit, needs the same level of regulation as controlled substance opiates.
Trying to label nicotine as “medicinal” is roughly the same as labelling caffeine as “medicinal.” As most vapers know, nicotine by itself is not necessarily dangerous to the average person, and even for those with high blood pressure, small doses of nicotine (such as, oh, I don’t know… 8mg, 10mg, 12mg, etc.) is also fairly harmless. We can buy nicotine already, over the counter in the form of gum and/or lozenges, and/or actual analog cigarettes. They aren’t located only in certified pharmacies. They can be found behind the counter at most food stores and gas stations. And the only reason they’re behind the counter is because the clerk needs to see photo ID before selling these products… not because they’re “medicinal.”
So, why are E-cigarettes so different? Why are these long-standing, corrupted-with-pure-unadulterated-greed institutions threatened by this new, rising industry enough to lobby to have it regulated out of existence? Why is any business threatened by a new and popular competitor? I don’t actually blame the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies for doing this… I blame the politicians who are allowing themselves to be swayed by the luxurious offerings of private conglomerates actively attempting to buy legislation! Shame on them for abandoning principles of honesty and reason just so they can buy another house in the South of France! But hey! These are politicians and this is nothing new.
What really bothers me is how and why do we (as members of the United States) and they (as members of the European Union) keep allowing these things to take place? We all have access to enough information via the rise of the World Wide Web and other information technologies to be fully capable of self-educating ourselves past the spin doctoring of these archaic political institutions. Have we really become so lazy that we not only swallow disinformation fed to us by crafty marketing-minded lobbyists and spin doctors, but we also tend to swallow whatever the first bit of information about any given subject makes its way to our ears? It makes me want to try an experiment… I think I’ll write a series of reports about how drinking acai berry juice actually kills you because it converts to arsenic in your small intestine. That should be good for a wide-spread health panic. I bet if I put it out there enough, we’ll start seeing legislation to ban acai berries. And wouldn’t it be interesting if you then found out that I work for a company that produces antioxidant supplements in capsule form? Hmmm…