I just spent the better part of four hours reading about current anti-smoking/anti-vaping legislation and proposals around the world, concentrating mostly on the USA and the EU, where the battle hits closest to home for myself and my fellow vapers. Juxtaposing all of the current legislative attempts against the many tried and failed attempts of the past really only points to one conclusion concerning this issue: The addition of more cigarette taxes does not effectively cut down on the number of active smokers, warnings are as good as a humorous punchline to smokers, and the more restrictions and regulations that are put in place, the more smokers will dig their heels in and rebel against compulsory interference in their lives.
With this in mind, and knowing that the tighter you (government) clench your fists around smokers, the harder they’re going to fight back, it just seems kind of unnecessarily cruel to continually increase the price of cigarettes during hard economic times especially. Smokers will, by and large, continue to smoke the same amount of cigarettes per day, and the rest of the expenses in their lives will go unpaid because of it. Obviously, there is something to be said for personal responsibility, which is incumbent on all of us to recognize and implement in our own lives, smoker or non-smoker. However, with other options available for smokers that can both cure them of their dependency on tobacco cigarettes, save them massive amounts of money, and not challenge them to sink their talons into their beloved nicotine dependency for fear of loosing it, why continue to take this failed, confrontational approach. (I’m assuming, for the purposes of argument, that the increased taxes on cigarettes are actually about public health and not about lining politicians’ pockets.)
These other options, of course, are electronic cigarettes… and the advent of this life-saving technology is being threatened by the same people who should welcome them with open arms. Why? Because it’s not the way they wanted it to go down. They wanted to stuff chaos and pandemonium back into Pandora’s Box (or jar, depending on your attention to mythological accuracy). Unfortunately, and I only say this because it’s true, Bogart can’t un-exist. Neither can John McClane. John Travolta sill makes smoking look like an art form. Even if their characters no longer smoke, we still watch their old movies, and they still looked cool when they smoked. Sherlock Holmes profile with a full-bent pipe in his mouth is iconic. The image of Albert Einstein smoking a pipe is synonymous with intellectualism and contemplation. So what do we do now that the image is forever burnt into our brains? Well, someone had a stroke of genius (ala Einstein) and invented a method of creating a harmless (or at least mostly harmless) vapor with an electrical current that could emulsify nicotine molecules and deliver the smoking experience without all of the health risks. Pure brilliance!
The problem? The ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots) didn’t want to end smoking this way. They didn’t plan for an alternative option like this. So, instead of adjusting their goals and their resources to incorporate one of the biggest advances in health since the discovery of Penicillin, they are sticking to their guns and making vain attempts to kill this magnificent contribution to public health. This is not only illogical, it’s socially irresponsible and downright dangerous to the very lives of millions of people. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that they would do this… unless, you take into account that monkey-on-the-back of all upper-level government personnel: Greed. The American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Mayo Clinic, and so many other “respected” health authorities are heavily invested in therapies such as Nicorette, Chantix, Wellbutrin, etc. Well, in answer to this I can only think of one thing; Oops, you made a mistake. So why not man-up to your error, fix yourself, realign your purposes to incorporate new technologies that are not going to be disinvented, and move on in a positive manner? Hell, with this technology available as a method for drug delivery to a person, even your pharmaceutical companies, into which you have invested all of your time and money, can now take advantage of personal vaporizers for drug delivery to those who otherwise would have a difficult or impossible time taking them. (And no, by this last statement I’m NOT suggesting that the pharmaceutical companies retain sole ownership and control over electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers, any more than they own and control empty syringes.)
The real, REAL problem? Government has had it’s chance to squash the smoking epidemic, and it has failed. But now that these organizations have been formed around the issue of tobacco, and have become their own, self-sufficient organism of sorts, they will not (much like the stubbornness of their nemeses; the smokers) release their grip on their anti-smoking battle ax. Unfortunately, there’s too much money in ANTZ business for them to admit any error. Instead, they will keep fighting. This is why in the wake of governmental failure, and overall collapse in many cases, private industry has taken over the business of helping to save the lives of millions of smokers, and is beginning to succeed more than the wildest dreams of ANTZ companies. In fact, it has been noted by many professionals that there has never been a single advancement as beneficial to the physical health of humanity and the fight against cancer and deadly disease as this, the advent of the electronic cigarette.