There are no children in my house. I make my own ejuice. I have made Caramel, Creme caramel, Murray mint and custard flavoured ejuices. These flavours are obviously designed for me to add to my juice to entice these non-existent children who I never see and who never see me vaping or smell what I’m breathing out. I must be the witch from the fairy tale, but instead of a gingerbread cottage I have clouds of flavoured exhaled vapour wafting on the breeze. Clouds of exhaled vapour which contain less nicotine than a bag of crisps, or a tomato, or a portion of cauliflower, which must be oh so very addictive. These non existent kids must be sniffing and following the trail back to my door where I welcome them with loud cackles. Please note that this is satire; I am joking.
If these flavours were designed to market ecigs to children, then I as an adult vaper would obviously have no interest in adding them to my own home made juices. I add these flavours to my juice because the flavours in ejuice are an important part of what keeps me using the personal vaporiser rather than going back to smoking tobacco. If I stick to the same flavour day in and day out, I stop tasting it and vaping becomes less rewarding to me compared with lighting up a fag. Having said that, the flavour of my ejuice is so pleasant to me that the idea of lighting a fag is repugnant, and disgusting. When my female best friend smokes near me it stinks and is generally foul, but I support her right to smoke because that’s her choice and I have no right to dictate to her.
And here’s the positive gateway effect. Kids will be kids. But if they try an ecig, which is less likely to addict them to nicotine than smoking a cigarette would be, and then someone hands then a fag, the taste of the fag would be so foul compared with the ecigarette that they would be unlikely to try it again. I don’t believe that the majority of anecdotes about children being seen using e-cigs involve e-cigs containing nicotine. I have no evidence to support this, but the availability of non-nicotine “e-shisha” vape pens would suggest to me that this is what’s being seen, and the ‘smoke cloud bad’ mentality is kicking in. Just because it’s giving off vapour, doesn’t mean that it contains nicotine. There are arguments for banning flavoured non nicotine containing e-shisha sales to under 18s. If that shuts tobacco control up about my flavours in my ejuice, then I’ll support it. I fully support the ban on nicotine containing e-cigarette products to under 18s. Clive Bates has written extensively in a rational and balanced way on the whole ‘gateway effect‘ and his arguments make sense to me. I’m afraid I’m too angry at the misinformation to be entirely rational at this point.
Where I fall out with public health is that they would deny me, and thousands of smokers like I used to be, a huge part of the mechanism of what makes vaping more effective than smoking, out of a misguided attempt to protect children. It’s like banning all airbags from cars because children might be hurt by one. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The flavours in ejuice are there because it makes these products more effective for adult smokers to use to switch from smoking burnt tobacco.
There is another argument here, as sugar becomes the new demon ‘drug’ being chased out of our lives. Are diet drinks a ‘gateway’ to sugar drinks? Does the consumption of sugar-laden orange juice lead to consuming vast amounts of evil-BIG SUGAR-fizzy drinks? Should we therefore ban all flavours in liquids which contain sugar, and limit them only to sugar-free drinks? Should sugar be put under medical regulations, and products that contain over [arbitrary limit] only be available on prescription to ‘addicts’?
It’s nonsense, all of it. Please stop dictating my consumer choices. I’m a rational adult. An angry rational adult.
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