When I first tried my little cigalike ecig, I turned into an occasional vaper, using that very inefficient ecig as a means to get round restrictions on smoking. I did that for three years, because it wasn’t good enough to stop me smoking, but it was good enough to keep me using it when I wasn’t allowed to smoke. The only thing that kept me persisting with it was the fact that I could use it where smoking was banned, and it kept my mind open to the possibility that if it worked as it ought to work, then there might be an ecig that would allow me to switch completely.
Six weeks ago I got a second generation device and started to use it. I have not smoked a cigarette since. There was a secret little stubborn smoker part of me that wanted ecigs to be too good to be true still, that wanted yet another excuse to stay a smoker. I did my research, and I was looking at it from the point of view of a smoker who didn’t want to quit. In my smoker’s mind, the things I had been told would help me ‘quit’ were pushed at me as a sop to the fact that I was a failure who chose to keep smoking despite the health risks because I was weak willed and stupid. And yet here I am, happily switched to a safer alternative to smoking using a product that didn’t pat me on the head and tell me to keep taking the tablets. Using a consumer product that was designed to understand my needs as a smoker, replicate them in the first place and then improve the experience. For me, vaping is better than smoking.
How did I go from casual user to vocal advocate. We are all products of our environments. I as a smoker did research enough in three days to assure me of the safety of the product and why I was being told to consider this a switch rather than a ‘quit’. Why regulating these consumer products as medicines would be totally counter productive. How trading standards consumer products regulations, CHP standards, and a good dollop of common sense would be the best approach to the long term regulatory standards. How vapers are the best informed and with the right vested interest to ensure that the products are safe. I have no financial links with any tobacco company. I have no financial links with any company manufacturing ecigarettes, mods or eliquids. I have no financial links with any pharmaceutical company. This is me as an individual, trying to put the message out to adult smokers that good quality ecigarettes (and yes, there are a few first gen products that apparently work well) work to replace smoking lit tobacco.
So why do we vapers seem to shout so loudly? Because public health is in general not listening. They don’t listen to reasonable balanced discussions like those that I put out on this blog. They don’t listen to impassioned pleading. They are still putting out the same dis proven arguments as they were three years ago, and don’t seem to be interested in a little objective education on the subject. Balanced and reasonable objections to this misinformation is ignored, and when a body of informed and intelligent people are ignored they tend to start to shout. When shouting doesn’t work, they tend to question the motives of the people that are spreading the misinformation. Especially when the misinformation is being given to the people who create legislation that then destroys the very thing that you’re trying to shout “this works” about.
Yesterday I posted this image to twitter. It originated in one of those “funny things I’ve seen on the internet” slideshows, and I can’t give credit to the original. I really wish I could, please contact me if this is your image. In satire; truth.
This is what we’re asking for. A genuine balanced look at all of the facts from a panel made up of appropriately qualified scientists on all sides of the debate with people like Clive Bates and Dave Dorn given a voice. If you disagree with their points of view the best way to shut them up would be to go out there and disprove their arguments. Please go out there and do genuine peer reviewed research that seeks to disprove the pro-vaping ‘lobby’ to add to the body of evidence, and don’t try to shoe-horn your results into fitting what you expected to find when you do that research. You’ll be called out if you do that, not as a result of rabid pro-vaping activists getting at you, but as a result of bad science. I have deliberately added no supporting links to the text of this post. I challenge you, the scientist, public health official, or expert in another related discipline to go and refute any pro-vaping argument in this blog in an objective debate with good evidence to back that argument up.
I am a layperson, an ex-smoker, a vaper. When I did my initial research I was cynical about vaping. I was a smoker clutching at straws, but I didn’t actually want vaping to be my answer. If I could do this research and come up with a balanced answer that the evidence was on the side of the vaper, why can’t public health do the same? I’m convinced that they don’t want the answers because they know they won’t like them.
The post I just wrote finishes above that line. I shall be adding this paragraph to every post on this blog. This is an appeal from me for you to stand with my vaping crowd and support us in staying off cigarettes. Please go and sign this legal challenge to EU law; it is not just another petition and we need YOUR help whether you vape or not. Thank you: http://www.efvi.eu/index.html#sign