I haven’t been very well this last few weeks. This is a natural consequence of having a chronic illness. It can unexpectedly rear its head and stop you from doing all the things you normally would do. This includes simple things like being able to sit up and look at the screen in order to be able to write. In these situations my screen reader let me listen to your tweets and follow links to listen to the main news in our little corner of the world. It isn’t conducive to happiness.
Prof John Aston believes that I, alongside most of my vaping friends, am in the pay of what he refers to as the nicotine industry. I am also absolutely livid at being accused once again of being part of some sort of fake advocacy that has been bought and paid for. My opinions are my own and my integrity is not for sale. I have no idea what that the nicotine industry is supposed to be. It really does seem to be some crazy fantasy that there is a single homogenous industry out there based on nicotine. The tobacco industry is not redefining itself as the nicotine industry. Harm reduction products come in all shapes and sizes; the aim of these products is to replace smoking for those who want to. There is no conspiracy to addict a new generation to nicotine. On the other hand he believes that most of the e-cigarette manufacturers are “a man and his dog in the shed” and that the public should not be subjected to this. I’m sure that ECITA – http://www.ecita.org.uk/ – will have something to say about that. The arguments are absurdly contradictory.
He also believes me (by association) to be a bully boy. I am a 44-year-old disabled woman who lives alone (with the help of carers) and is owned by a parrot and a Jack Russell terrier. I am not and never have been a bully. I have been bullied and I actually find the accusation acutely distasteful, if not downright insulting. Problem is that if I get angry about it and retort I am adding fuel to his fire. I am angry but I refuse to play this man’s game.
The whole debate still boils down to the simple question, “is vaping safer than smoking?” And the answer is still an unequivocal yes. That’s the thing about this whole debate. The facts are on the side of the vaper. The more those who deny that vaping is safer than smoking debate by shouting down rational arguments with scaremongering, the worse they appear. It really is beginning to look as if we’re up against fanatics. The only way to win against fanaticism is to allow their arguments to proceed to the point at which they prove themselves absurd. We don’t need to answer back at this point. Our points have all been made and in the case of this blog the same points are being made over and over again with new proof and old proof and old posts rewritten as new posts; those who read my ramblings tend to be the ones who already agree. As much as I wish that my message was being read by people like Prof Ashton I know that it is not. Just in case though, if you’re reading Professor please read these posts, all of which were written long before I’d even heard your name;
I remember the playground bully tactics. One of the passive aggressive ways in which a child could get another child into trouble was to nip at them constantly; to niggle enough so that eventually they would react. It would be the reaction that was seen and punished, never the initial provocation. We must not be provoked into overreaction. Nod and smile and let them shout out nonsense. Never argue with a fool because the spectators can rarely tell the difference.
I’m sorry for the formatting in this post. I really can’t look at a screen to proof at the moment and so you get ugly long form links and text direct from my speech programme. I don’t know when the embuggerance will let up enough to let me back on line properly. The more I rest, hopefully the quicker it will be. If you haven’t already please go and sign http://www.efvi.eu