bekivapes

My journey into vaping


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The EU and the TPD have already got the decision on e-cigarettes wrong

In a piece in the Newcastle Journal, Jonathan Arnott, Ukip MEP for the North East says that “If we get the decision on e-cigarettes wrong it could cost many lives.” Which is very true. I have only one issue with this statement. The fact is that The EU and the TPD have already got the decision on e-cigarettes wrong.

Back in May last year, vapers  and our allies were banging on about the TPD and the harm it would do to vaping and Tobacco Harm Reduction. We were told that we were spouting nonsense. We were accused of being shills, astroturf, fake advocates paid to spout an opinion. We were shouted down and article 20 of the TPD was passed into EU law to be acted on by member states by 2016. A lot of us are still incredibly angry about this. We weren’t listened to. The process appeared to be suspect. Doors had been shut in our faces and a horrendous outcome was the result. Many of us became disheartened. A few of us stuck a single finger up at the sheer idiocy of the decision made and began to stockpile supplies against TPD-Day. I wrote heartfelt blogs on how this would affect us. In general it felt as if no one was listening.

Now we can see how the TPD is being implemented in places like Denmark. [Editing here to give you a link to the facts there.]  I’m horrified to tell you that it’s worse than even I could see. The way it’s being implemented really is a defacto ban on absolutely everything we vapers currently use. And yet there seems to be little that ordinary vapers can do about it. Our personal stories are dismissed as anecdotes. Our MPs pat us on the head with canned responses about how the ‘forthcoming regulation will improve the situation’. The press scaremongers over every last little imagined danger with blazing headlines, and the grassroots of vaping activists are still being dismissed as shills and trolls. We watch as our harm reduction products are vilified and banned.

If any of them tell me that I’m producing their ‘scream test’ reaction here I am actually liable to lose my temper. I’m talking about the ability of tobacco harm reduction to save lives. Snus was banned so long ago that I have never even had the chance to try it. That might have let me switch away from lit tobacco years ago. Now the actual fallout of the TPD is that e-cigarettes look set to go the same way. Can you not understand why I’m starting to sound desperate; my pleas are falling on deaf ears. Why? Because the Anti Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots have an abstinence only program which will not allow me to make the best choice for me. My best choice is to continue using nicotine in a way that reduces the potential for harm. My worst choice is to try and stop nicotine use altogether; my quality of life goes down the toilet.

All of us involved in tobacco control need to keep that prize in mind as we redouble efforts to make up for 50 years of ignoring the simple truth that smoking kills — and nicotine does not.

Derek Yach

The TPD, as it stands, will signal the end of the e-cigarette in the UK and Europe. Everyone involved in tobacco control needs to stand up and fight with us now to ensure that this doesn’t happen. We need to work together to see that sensible and proportional legislation is put in place which works to support harm reduction, not eliminate it.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.


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Herding cats and knitting fog; in support of the NNA

As I’ve said before, we vapers are a diverse bunch. In general you won’t find much that unites us other than vaping itself. We’re the original dysfunctional family and we fight amongst ourselves over the slightest thing. We have leaders amongst us who have been tipped into that role because they happened to be standing up when stuff happened that had to be reacted to. They didn’t ask for the role, or the responsibility and they certainly didn’t ask for the expense or the barrage of criticism that flies at them from all sides.

In the past events were organised. People put effort into making sure that we, the ordinary vaper, would be seen. They came up against apathy. It resembled cat herding on a grand scale. We did not want to get off our collective arses and stand up if it required effort. I include myself in this by the way – I wish I had done and could do more. So a few ordinary vapers stuck their heads over the parapet, and formed an organisation which has just been granted Charitable Status in the UK. This is composed of some of the ordinary vapers who were willing to stand up and some allies of vaping. These folk are now fighting to be recognised as a voice for vapers in the UK.

If they had enough money behind them, then they could raise the roof on behalf of vapers in the UK. Until today not one vaper had donated to them. NOT ONE. I’m ashamed of myself that I never even thought to drop the price of a bottle of juice their way when I had treated myself to shiny things that I won’t be able to buy in 2017 barring miracles. They are fighting for me. Today two of the NNA are travelling, at their own expense, to meet with people to argue the case for vaping. Again. Quietly and determinedly and without fanfare. So my new campaign that will appear below every post of this blog is in support of the NNA.

I am a proud supporter of the NNA. They got off their backsides and did something. If you can’t do the same, then please consider dropping a small monthly amount to these ordinary vapers. They really do work for you and the task they have set themselves is thankless. Like knitting vapour clouds.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. The Paypal donate button can be found on the right of the page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.


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Bigotry and bad advice

Over the last few weeks we’ve heard how dietary advice to avoid saturated fat has been proven wrong. Dietary advice that has been forced on me as a disabled person in ever increasing peer pressure over the last 30 years. I am not in complete control of my purchases; I must rely on others in many cases to purchase things on my behalf. Decisions are constantly taken from me and the opinions of others forced on me because people “care” and want to make sure that I eat in a way that they consider is good for me.

When I’ve been fitter, during periods of my life when the worst of my chronic symptoms were in remission, and I could eat in the way that suited my body – generally against the standard advice – I’ve been thinner and less hungry. I’m really angry about this because dieting and my weight has dogged my medical experience for years. I’ve been accused of lying when I’ve followed a weight loss plan to the letter and still gained weight, and been told that my constant nagging gnawing hunger on the approved weight loss programmes were all in my head. YEARS of dieting misery. I mean MISERY as my quality of life was sacrificed to the gods of public health experiments.

Now I hear that hospitals all over Scotland have banned vaping on hospital grounds. I’m a wheelchair user and I know how difficult it is to get nursing staff to push me in the wheelchair to get me outside in order to smoke even before we were banished to the street a quarter of a mile from the entrance, “because it’s bad for you, love. You really shouldn’t be smoking.” Now I’m sure I’ll hear that same reason for not pushing me out for a vape. I rely on the good will of others in order to have my choices respected and that goodwill is in short supply when my sane and sensible choices run counter to government propaganda.

So my hospital stays are now going to be as miserable for me as a vaper as they were when I was a smoker. Well done guys!

I don’t trust the propaganda any more. I don’t consider that these idiots who knee-jerk about every last aspect of my life have the first clue about any aspect of my health. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired and having my already difficult life made impossible by idiots. My reaction to all of it is a single finger salute and an injunction to stick their collective heads where sunlight can’t reach.


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M.O.V.E & support for the TW legal challenge.

I’m poorly ill again and haven’t been fit to post, but I wanted to draw attention to two very worthwhile things that need support from vapers and allies. First is the M.O.V.E campaign organised by EFVI Spain. Read all about it here on Vapers.org.uk and please sign up for the Thunderclap.

Secondly (but no less important) is the Totally Wicked challenge to the vaping part of the TPD. As it stands the TPD basically wipes out everything we currently use as vapers. Yes, it does. No, your dripper/atty/mod is not compliant. Seriously, you WILL be affected. Support TW.