This used to be titled, “what we have from most of Public Health is a refusal to communicate’, but happily since it was published most of the people who were refusing to engage have engaged in positive ways. However there are a few blow-hards who still refuse to see reason and common sense and to whom this piece still applies over a year since this post first went up.
I’m a part of a community of vapers, which was established long before I switched. Some of these folk who I now call friends have been fighting for my right to vape for more than five years now. The community that exists in the vaping world does sometimes resemble a very large, very diverse, very argumentative family; we don’t always agree with each other. We fall out. Certain topics will pit vaper against vaper in disputes that have left us not speaking to each other. There are a few things that will band us together despite our familial arguments though.
Trying to discredit vaping activists. Labelling us as shills for any part of the tobacco industry will just make us furious. In all honesty, why would the tobacco industry want vapers advocating for products that are in competition with their main product. They may be trickling into the e cigarette market now, but they’re coming in at the wrong end, with too little of the market share and no real insight into vapers or vaping in general. The very new switcher might want something that mimics a cigarette; most of us come to realise that for vaping to really work it has to become better than smoking and stop being anything remotely like a cigarette. Our counter to it is to call out the pharmaceutical links from those claiming that we are being paid. Not always either true or helpful, but the anger generated from accusations that our points of view have been paid for when we actually use our own resources for this fight isn’t trivial, and really should be understood. Calling us a cult won’t wash either. Too much of the anti-tobacco and anti-nicotine ideology looks like a cult from the objective side of the evidence base. Too much of the anti-nicotine stance is based on evidence that wouldn’t stand up against creationism, let alone fact based and objective science.
Trying to twist the pro-vaping argument. Let’s get the message clear.
- Vaping is SAFER than smoking. Unless your argument proves that smoking is safer than vaping, your argument is scaremongering and will produce net HARM as a result.
- By your logic smokers are already addicted to nicotine, so what if we keep using it. Vaping nicotine stops us from relapsing to smoking. The health benefits of continued use preventing relapse to smoking make all of your anti-nicotine arguments irrelevant to ex-smoking vapers.
- It is a product that was designed to replicate a consumer product. It was designed to be a consumer product. Regulating it as a medicine will make it into NRT. ONE in TEN smokers are succeeding with NRT. NRT is 90% ineffective.
- There is no evidence that nicotine is as addictive as tobacco when it is not administered alongside the minor alkaloids in tobacco. The addictive nature of nicotine separate from tobacco is a topic which requires more study before accurate conclusions may be drawn. All else at this point (including my own rambling on the subject) is conjecture. I call for more research.
- Your war against tobacco is now a crusade against nicotine. You want to eradicate all nicotine use from society. Prohibition has absolutely no lessons to teach you in this regard, and you’re certain that you’re correct in all your assumptions about nicotine and its role in the evils of society. Can you not see the red flags this throws up. Imagine if crusaders decided that chocolate was evil because of theobromine, and that it should be eradicated from society forthwith. Stop, step back, check all prejudice and regain some objectivity.
Refusing to engage with us. I would love to engage with public health in the hearty to and fro of twitter debate. I pride myself on staying objective and trying to keep my sense of humour. But those who disagree with my points of view have a distressing tendency to block all those who disagree with them. Science will obviously “flourish” where there is no debate. The points of view of those who refuse to engage with opposing viewpoints are always going to remain unchallenged. Cognitive dissonance is a good state when it is not immediately dismissed by turning off the opinions creating it. The best scientists look at everything with the attitude “I COULD BE WRONG.” That is where good science lives and breathes and generates better science.
The community of vapers isn’t going to give up, even if everything goes as badly for us as our worst nightmares, we won’t stop this fight. The problem is that we are actually right; the evidence backs up our arguments. History will judge you by the stance you take in this. That it judges against me is a risk I’m willing to take on the evidence. I could be wrong. Are you really so certain that you’re right?
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Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.