I will never understand these people who claim they want to support me to give up smoking. By encouraging me not to vape, they are encouraging me back to the cigarettes. These are my only two choices, by the way, and no admonition to “grow a backbone” will change that. I either vape or I smoke. Right now I vape. More than corruption, more than greed, more than corporate machinations we’re fighting entrenched opinions, people so blinkered they can’t see the decent balanced reasonable arguments for their own bias.
“ A man convinced against his will, is of his own opinion still,”
That quote has been around since at least the 17th century, it’s so old that its original attribution seems to have been long lost. In all of history there are none so intransigent as those who refuse to accept that they might be wrong. It is simply bad science not to revise an opinion when presented with evidence that refutes your original position. Studies can be disagreed with as much as you like, point out errors in methodology, attack the weakest point of the argument. But accept when you’re wrong.
Ash Scotland released a report which is surprisingly positive and not overly biased in it’s findings. I’m happy to say that they have done as I hope other bodies do, and given the risk versus benefit as we see it now. The way it’s phrased could still sound too hard a cautionary note from the harm reduction point of view, but I say that only because the negative points are liable to be cherry picked from it and used as sound-bites or highlighted text bullet boxes in upcoming news articles. I tip my hat to them, they’ve proved themselves to be good scientists.
Then the news bites generated off the back of that report start appearing, and e cigarettes suddenly become a negative impact on cessation statistics:
Which leads to headlines like this from the BBC. Edited to add: Which leads to tweets from twits like this:
This is so misleading as to appear malicious. NHS smoking services “quit attempts” may have fallen, but the numbers of smokers has declined. The number of smokers has gone down a lot because people have switched to e cigarettes, which according to ASH Scotland’s own report, aren’t all that bad. People who are vaping are not smoking. If I don’t set fire to tobacco leaves and breathe in the smoke, then I’m not smoking, nor am I generating second hand smoke.
I’m one of the people who lives in Scotland and chose to stop smoking without using NHS quit smoking services. I stopped smoking by switching to a personal vapouriser. Using NHS cessation services I have relapsed at two months, Six months, two years and five years (and that isn’t all of my quit attempts) over the last 20 years. This time I have no cravings at all and no side effects, and I’m far more confident I’ll never want to smoke again as long as I can carry on vaping. Oh and I’ve reduced my nicotine level significantly. Nice to meet you. Please do get in contact if you’d like to meet some anecdotal evidence.
Then we have the expected hyped negative overreaction to the EU “mythbuster” on e cigarettes, they named the file “Tobacco mythbuster” (at the time I downloaded it) which says it all really. The whole of this document is, in my opinion, utter rubbish. I’ve refuted every point many times over now. This just underlines the fact that the EU still doesn’t really understand the impact of their own legislation on the people most affected by it.
I’m absolutely gobsmacked by this next one. If a vaper brought out an argument this specious (and actually it isn’t that plausible) in favour of vaping, we’d be taken out and collectively lynched. But this man gets paid for this drivel. This is the actual finding of the study – not a negative point cherry picked out, I promise. On my honour.
when young adult smokers saw someone using an e-cigarette it made them want to smoke as much as if they saw someone smoking a cigarette.
Yes, you read that right. When a SMOKER saw someone using an e cigarette, they wanted to smoke. You know I don’t want some of these people convinced that vaping works. There will be too many downsides to having them on my side in this fight. Can you imagine what it would be like? Tobacco would be banned so fast you couldn’t say “civil liberties.” We’d have no choice – and that would be worse than the position we’re in now.
Perhaps they have done us an unwitting favour though; I’ve said before that we value something more when we fight for it. Perhaps by making us fight, they’ve made us vapers the same sort of minority against The Man that we were when we were smoking. With apologies to the good guys in smoking cessation services, can you imagine what the crusade for e cigarettes would be like were it run by the zealots? Let them stew in their own juices, the Vogons and him. We must never lower ourselves to that level.
“Never argue with a fool, the onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Mark Twain.
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