Examining the pressures to restrict e-cigarettes
in order to protect the smoking economy
- a Guest Post by Steve K -
Following e-cigarette news at Steve K's Vaping World, I see a lot of e-cigarette related news articles. By far, the most prevalent of those articles are ones that seem biased against the great potential of electronic cigarettes. Millions of people have stopped using deadly cigarettes already on their own. In many cases these are people who have attempted to quit using the "approved" methods multiple times with little success.
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death worldwide. Scores of smokers spontaneously quitting should be greeted as the best thing since the concept of germ theory. Yet, there tends to be nothing but push back from anti-smoking groups. There's no evidence e-cigarettes are effective for quitting, these groups claim.
Instead, these groups who are supposed to help people effectively plug their ears while screaming LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU whenever we say that we choose a lower harm method to address our smoking habits and no longer ingest toxic cigarette smoke. It's like we don't even exist as far as these folks are concerned.
We're like some sort of inconvenient appendage dangling off some stat sheet somewhere. We're like the hanging chad of tobacco prevention.
If it were just that simple, that might not be so bad. But, if you look deeper it's a lot worse than that. Some lip service is paid to the idea that e-cigarettes might not be as safe as breathing pure mountain air, but it's never in relation to the smokers, the people already using e-cigarettes, or those who could benefit.
Rather, the attention is turned toward the imagined potential vaping has to corrupt the youth or attract non-smokers to the dark side. If existing smokers get any mention it's that we should go back to the tried and true methods. Who cares if they're incredibly ineffective, or are responsible for hundreds of suicides.
It's not like the Chantix suicides are a new development, the drug has been controversial for years. So prohibitionists are effectively saying you might as well take your chances. Why would these groups essentially just throw smokers to the lions like that?
Because you're already dead.
It's clear from the tone most communications and news articles take when quoting prohibitionists. We as smokers are a lost cause - in the eyes of prohibitionists, we are still smokers no matter how our health has improved. That's why the discussion always falls to preventing new people, particularly youth from taking up the smoking habit.
And why are we already dead? Because the abysmal success rate of traditional therapies. Let's ignore the fact tht one of them could actually kill you for the moment. With a single-digit success rate, odds are pretty good that most smokers are going to be lifers.
Why waste precious grant money on the zombie-folk when they can save the other, clean people of the world. Besides the stupid smokers did it to themselves, right? Despite the massive denormalization campaigns, the smokers still smoked. Therefore, they must be defective and not worth saving.
And that denormalization concept is at the heart of why prohibitionists are so against e-cigarettes. According to them, e-cigarettes threaten that very model by allowing smokers, of all people, to enjoy their habit without paying the ultimate price for it. That just can't be allowed.
If the need to denormalize is lessened, what happens to all the grant money flowing into these groups? In some ways it reminds me of the record companies clinging to the old business model when Napster and others came around back in the 90s. It was clear some things were going to change, but the recording industry tried to stuff the genie back in the bottle and it almost killed them.
Some may say I'm being cynical claiming this is all about grant money. That's probably true to a degree. This is a multi-faceted thing: some groups are without a doubt in my mind in it for the money, but others have simply drunk the Kool-Aid and think theirs is the only way. I'm not sure which one is more prevalent, but either way the results are the same.
What are your thoughts? Have we been written off? Is it about pure dogma, or is it all about the money? Let's hear your comments.
Steve K is the Chief Vaper of Steve K's Vaping World, the e-Cigarette Information Supersite. The site features e-cigarette news commentary, articles, product reviews, and the occasional rant. You can also follow Steve on Twitter, Facebook and Google + as well.