Before I begin, in case you have very little experience with military and/or paramilitary terminology, the term “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over” is radio communication/phonetic alphabet speak for that handy little acronym portrayed in the photo above. It’s most often used to express bewilderment, confusion, and/or extreme disbelief. You know, like the visceral reactions we vapers experience when we hear about yet another organization of supposed “official authority” stating time and time again that smoking is the devil, and that one of the most successful saviors of smokers is actual worse than the devil. I’m aware that the previous statement is confusing and makes very little sense, but that’s actually what’s taking place all over the world. Kind of makes one want to pick up a radio to the world powers-that-be and repeat with fervor, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over?”
Let’s look at this logic (or complete lack thereof) in different terms: There are a number of government departments, charitable organizations, and well-intentioned laymen and women who like to inform others, for whom they feel at least partially responsible, that copulating with someone who has Herpes (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.) will almost certainly cause you to contract the virus yourself. This is a dangerous and unhealthy activity and should be avoided at all costs… Enter the condom or (God forbid) the crazy notion of keeping your pants on for a change, but for the purposes of this metaphor, we’ll concentrate on the condom. This amazing technological wonder can actually prevent you from contracting these horrible, sometimes deadly diseases, even though a slight risk is still present. And this is where our example deviates strongly from the subject of vaping vs. smoking… I have yet to see ANYONE suggest (assuming you are going to go ahead and copulate one way or the other) that one should not use the condom because there is a risk involved, and instead they ought to just have unprotected sex. Additionally, I don’t think anyone will be saying anything akin to this any time in the near or distant future. That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? So why are so many people shaking in their proverbial boots over the horrible threat of E-cigarettes.
I’ve put together a small list here of some of the actual statements, laws, and official positions that have been said or established against the E-cigarette industry. Remember… the metaphor in the above paragraph is, at this point in my writing, completed and closed. The following things really, actually happened in reality, right here on our beloved Earth:
- In March of 2008, the public health officials in Turkey (the sovereign nation, not the bird… even though some bird-brainery may or may not be involved here) banned E-cigarettes completely. They made it illegal to sell or import any vaping-related products anywhere in the country. Their reason? E-cigarettes are no safer than regular tobacco cigarettes and nicotine itself is “the most dangerous of the 4,800 chemicals in cigarettes.” Really? So, even though I’ve been vaping nicotine the whole time I’ve been writing this article… and surviving, I might add… nicotine is more dangerous than arsenic? That’s fascinating to me, because I was lead to believe the exact opposite. And there are 4,800 chemicals in cigarettes? Or is that 3,200? Or 500? Funny how that number keeps changing every time I see it. And another handy piece of information this “health official” might have benefited from knowing is that nicotine is hardly dangerous at all, as has been scientifically proven time and time again, and actually promotes health in a number of different ways. Shouldn’t a public health official devote at least a modicum of attention to those pesky little trivialities parading around under the banner of “Scientific Facts?” What’s really going on here? I don’t know, but I feel a strong, psychic suggestion from beyond the ether that Turkey’s top agricultural industry being tobacco-farming and exportation might have something to do with it.
- In January of 2009, Australia banned both the sale and the possession of E-cigarettes. The POSSESSION of E-cigs? So, it’s illegal to carry around a battery attached to a wire wrapped around a string housed in a plastic container? Hell, MacGyver couldn’t even make a bomb out of those things alone, by themselves. Their reason for this supreme dumbassery? Nicotine is poison! Unless, of course, it’s in tobacco or Nicorette (this last part was actually in their statement… I’m not adding it for dramatic effect). So why this depraved, shameless act of illogical ignominiousness? I don’t know for sure, but I couldn’t help but notice that Australia leads the world (with the exception of Norway) in most expensive packs of cigarettes. Lots of money to be made and thrown around recklessly… not necessarily for the tobacco companies, who I’m sure aren’t hurting at all for profits Down Under. I’m certain that the vast majority of that high, per-pack price tag goes into the Australian government’s coffers.
- In August of 2011, The FDA urged users of electronic cigarettes to switch from their successful smoking cessation products to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies. So, let me see if I heard this correctly. The Food and Drug Administration (whose entire existence is based on the precept that food and drugs (like nicotine, for example) should be kept safe, or at least as safe as possible, for public consumption) is telling people who have successfully transitioned from a deadly, dangerous habit to one much less deadly and far less dangerous to stop what they’re doing and to try something else that may not actually work for them at all, causing them to return to the deadly and dangerous habit that they had already escaped! This is like a hostage escaping from their captor and then being told that the car they used in order to escape wasn’t ecologically sound, so they need to go back to their captor and try again. Kind of sounds like maybe, just possibly, the FDA might not know what they’re talking about at all. In fact, it kind of sounds like the FDA is kinda, sorta just as dangerous if not more dangerous than that deadly habit which they claim is, in fact, super-duper-dangerous.
- In September of 2013, A spokeswoman for the FDA released a statement that can essentially be summed up thusly: “We (the FDA) don’t want the public to know that E-cigarettes aren’t nearly as dangerous as traditional, tobacco cigs.” For the love of Almighty God in Heaven, WHY!?!? It has been determined by sociological and economic projections by professional analysts, statisticians, and other people who go to bed before 10:00 PM, that the sale of E-cigarettes will most likely surpass the sale of tobacco products in the next ten years… or sooner. This, of course, would make the advent of electronic cigarettes the most successful, large-scale public health “intervention” since the discovery of Penicillin. Even the tobacco companies themselves are adjusting their business model to abandon their age-old products in favor of this new, harm-reduction technology. Why is there such a vehement hatred of something that is so blatantly and obviously a wonderful benefit to society? There are only a limited number of potential answers to this question: 1. Government officials aren’t intelligent enough to govern properly. 2. Government officials are opposed to E-cigarettes for some reason other than public health. 3. The government is actually a race of super-intelligent, conniving aliens in incognito as humans, bent on destroying humanity and taking over the world. 4. The government is the Devil himself and desires evil for the sake of evil. There really are no other possible answers to the aforementioned question.
I am endlessly irritated and undergo not a small amount of anxiety every day that these petty, greedy, self-serving motives of a handful of uber-wealthy ass holes could take away the very thing that got me off of cigarettes. The miraculous gift from God that returned to me my ability to breath, my sense of smell, my waking up every morning sans coughing fits, and my non-offensive presence and body odor. And being a life-long student of logic, both formal/mathematical and informal, I have trouble accepting that these horrifically illogical decisions and statements are coming from the very people who govern over us, supposedly protecting us from danger. I wonder if these ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots) are aware that if they do in fact get their way and successfully make E-cigarettes illegal, that the deaths of all those who will never be able to quit any other way are going to be on their hands. Is that worth the price of their pay-off? The small amount of earthly profit? I hope so because assuming there is a Heaven and Hell, as I believe, I expect Heaven will not be an option for these people.