Cotton Candy to Blue Raspberry
Let’s start with the headline: ‘Vaping – it is a risk-free option?’ An option for what? For a way of taking nicotine into your body? You don’t need options for this purpose because you don’t need to use nicotine in any shape or form, and if you do you’re asking for trouble.
That aside, we have a description of ‘vapes’ or c-cigarettes:
They are brightly coloured, easy-to-use and come in flavours from cotton candy to blue raspberry – disposable vapes are surging in popularity. They’re also a major part of the government’s plan in England to get the remaining six million smokers to quit by 2030. (Emphasis in original.)
One of the problems with disposable vapes is exemplified by a certain Izzy Esposito, 18, from Borehamwood, who started vaping last summer when all her friends tried it out, and now vapes at all hours of the day:
I can just sit in bed and vape and be on Facetime to my friends at the same time. It’s always in my hand, so you just do it all the time. It got to the point where I was getting through two vapes a week with 3,500 puffs in each.
This means she takes 1,000 puffs of a nicotine-laced aerosol each day, which explains why the vape device is always in her hand.
But why would anyone in their right mind want to engage in this abnormal and potentially harmful behaviour at all? The answer is that she’s clearly not in her right mind because she’s in thrall to nicotine addiction and thus finds herself in the unfortunate position of being unable to stop vaping, or so she believes. Furthermore, ‘Izzy recently had to cut down after her gums started bleeding and she got sores in her mouth and on her lips.’
The BBC continues:
Disposable vapes are the latest trend in vaping. They are cheaper than a pack of cigarettes and can be used straight from the packet. Once finished, they’re thrown away. Izzy is attracted by the colours and the flavours, and the fact she can buy one to match her outfit on a night out. She used to smoke occasionally at weekends, but she finds vaping a lot more convenient.
Note ‘Once finished, they’re thrown away.’ That doesn’t do the environment any good.
Now we get to the nub of the problem:
E-cigarettes have helped many thousands of people stop smoking by removing the dangerous and toxic tobacco smoke from their habit, giving a huge health boost. But the e-cigarette vapour which is inhaled can still contain small amounts of chemicals, including nicotine, which could carry risks of their own. Scientists just haven’t worked out what they are yet.
It’s misleading to say e-cigarettes have helped people to stop smoking. What e-cigarettes have done for some smokers is that they’ve enabled them to change one way of putting nicotine into their bodies for another. And it’s careless writing to say e-cigarettes give ‘a huge health boost’. This wrongly implies e-cigarettes have health-giving properties when the best one can say about them is that they appear to be less dangerous than smoking ordinary cancer sticks. And it’s a pity that ‘Scientists haven’t worked out what [the risks of e-cigarettes] are yet.’
And when scientists have worked out what the risks of e-cigarettes are, what then? Will c-cigarettes be banned forthwith? Or will they continue to be sold but with mandatory health warnings, similar to those we currently see on cigarette packs, perhaps saying things like vaping can cause mouth ulcers, heart disease, and lung cancer?
The underlying problem is that smoking is regarded as here to stay, or as if it’s a normal human activity with certain benefits and risks, such as riding bicycles which some people do and others don’t. This means that when smokers have been poisoning themselves by inhaling cigarettes fumes daily for years, or more likely, decades, and when they get fed up with it or have a health scare, then they seek help and, often with great difficulty, manage to become non-smokers again, if they do. And if they don’t, they might end up with the second-best option of continuing their nicotine addiction with e-cigarettes.
The strategy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes is a testament to the failure of government policy to prevent people starting to smoke in the first place. And the reason this happens is because of the ubiquitous availability and largely unrestricted sale of cigarettes in every corner shop or supermarket. This is a scandalous, indeed, insane situation.
Cigarettes should and must be banned.
Text © Gabriel Symonds