Juul – the Safer Way to Poison Yourself with Nicotine
Or so the makers of the latest e-cigarette gadget would have us believe. At least you can pronounce the name of this drug delivery device, sort of: Juul.
What a clever name, suggestive of the jewel in the crown no doubt. All right, Dr Symonds, that’s enough cynicism. What is Juul (however you pronounce it) all about?
Their website describes it as ‘The Satisfying Alternative To Cigarettes’.
Do you know what the best and most satisfying alternative to cigarettes is? That’s right! No nicotine in any shape or form!
The website informs us that ‘JUUL (sic) was designed with smokers in mind.’
I’ll bet it was. If all smokers, instead of inhaling cigarette smoke, took to Juuling, as they call it, the manufacturer would overtake even the Colombian drug barons – in terms of income, that is.
Anyway, what’s so special about Juul? The answer: ‘Unlike standard e-cigarettes, which use free-base nicotine, JUUL uses nicotine salts as found in the tobacco leaf.’ Wonderful! Now you can poison yourself by inhaling the fumes produced by heating nicotine salts as found in the tobacco leaf. And what is that supposed to do for you?
Well, if you’re a smoker who can’t or doesn’t want to quit, as an alternative to smoking cigarettes you can continue in the thrall of nicotine addiction by inhaling the fumes of heated nicotine salts. And voilà – you’ve quit smoking!
On a related matter, ASH (the UK charity Action on Smoking and Health) continues its crusade in favour of e-cigarettes in a whinging headline in ASH daily news of 30 April 2018: ‘Vapers receive same life insurance rates as cigarette smokers as insurers falsely believe it’s just as dangerous as the tobacco product’.
Let’s dissect this curious statement. First, e-cigarettes are a tobacco product in that the poison nicotine in the e-liquid is derived from tobacco. Then they say ‘insurers falsely believe…’ A belief is a psychological fact. I may say I believe God exists or that the earth is flat, but whether the object of such a belief is true is a matter for metaphysics or science, respectively.
What ASH seems to want is that vapers’ life-insurance premiums should have only 5% of the loading that is applied to smokers, because this is the oft-claimed – though unproven – degree to which e-cigarettes are dangerous if it is assumed that smoking ordinary cancer sticks is 100% dangerous.
Let me put my cards on the table: my sympathies are with the insurance companies. How can they be expected to fine-tune the premiums of vapers compared with smokers? The insurance companies have every right to load the premiums as they see fit of people who put poison into their lungs all day.
It gets worse. ASH goes on: ‘It means choosing to use the devices, rather than quitting entirely, can double the cost of life insurance.’
You would expect, would you not, that an organisation like ASH would know a thing or two about smoking. What they should consider, in my unhumble opinion, is why anyone in their right mind would ‘choose’ to use e-cigarettes at all, rather than quitting all nicotine-containing products entirely? They don’t seem to understand that the only reason vapers vape is the same that smokers smoke: it’s nothing to do with choice (other than of the first cigarette) but everything to do with addiction to the poison nicotine and their perceived inability to quit using this drug.
Unfortunately for nicotine addicts this can double the cost of life insurance. But the loading can be reduced simply by stopping the use of nicotine in any form.
So now, in addition to the myriad reasons for not smoking or vaping, we have, surely, the clinching argument: life insurance premiums will be cheaper.
The attitude of ASH and other well-meaning but misguided bodies is almost insulting to smokers and vapers. It’s as if they’re saying, ‘There, there, don’t worry you poor unfortunate person who can’t stop smoking. You can continue to be addicted in a safer way if you put the poison nicotine into your lungs with e-cigarettes instead! And we’ll fight your corner so that your life insurance premiums will only be loaded by 5%!’
How about ASH taking the one sensible action on health that would solve the smoking problem at a stroke? Campaign for the abolition of all tobacco products.
Text © Gabriel Symonds