If somebody invented a pill which could cure a disease that kills five million people a year globally, 100,000 of them the medical powers that be in this state, would certainly support it, pay for it, maybe make it compulsory. Five million people a surely wouldn’t stand in its way.
A constant flow of information from across the world is demonstrating that cigarettes are robbing the customers — and cancer wards of their future patients of tobacco firms of today. In Britain alone two million use these devices. In study after study, electronic cigarettes are being found by scientists to work at helping individuals stop, to reveal no signals of enticing nonsmokers into tobacco use and to be considerably safer than their opponents that are noxious.
So what in heaven’s name explains the reality that Dame Sally Davies, the government’s chief medical officer, when asked by the New Scientist in March what was the largest health challenge we face in Britain, named three things, one of which was the ecigarette? That is as you want abstinence like criticising contraception.
The NHS is assured that these devices are less dangerous than cigarettes. This amount was supported by the government to me in a parliamentary reply. It is the pitch in smoke not the nicotine — a material that’s all about as dangerous as caffein.
Vaping is known by us (as it is understood) works better than every other way of giving up smoking. A forthcoming study by Professor Robert West of University College London finds that 60 per cent more successful were proven by electronic cigarettes as a way of going or stopping than nicotine patches, gums. By a country mile, free enterprise apparatus are outstripping the well-being consequences of apparatus that are medicinally controlled. And for many vested interests that’s the issue.
We are aware that the majority of folks use electronic cigarettes give up smoking or to cut down. Three large surveys, the latest of which, ran by Ash, the anti smoking group, was published this week have supported this: two thirds of users in the survey were smokers and one third were ex-smokers. That means in the few years since the products appeared, thousands and a huge number of individuals have used them cut down or to give up.
We are aware that electronic cigarettes aren’t proving to be a gateway into tobacco. In the largest world-wide survey, 0.4 per cent of vapers were nonsmokers and not one of them went on to smoke. In Britain, 20 per cent of 15-year olds are regular smokers: they’re largely those who attempt vaping even in the youthful the technology not into it. (it And makes snogging flavor better.) Yet what’s the primary legislative answer to electronic cigarettes in the UK for the government? To prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to kids.
Do the maths. If electronic cigarettes are 1,000 times less dangerous than cigarettes, then for every child who goes to vaping from smoking, there would have be a thousand going the other way before there’s internet damage. If anything, the ratio is the other way round: in one American study, nine out of ten school-age vapers had started as smokers.
The businesses that make electronic cigarettes — which are mainly modest startup businesses, the technology having come from China — aren’t permitted to assert they are able to save your own life. Imagine what they could sell if they could. Their adverts attempt to suggest that vaping is trendy, which feeds the puritan feeling that somebody might be enjoying themselves.
This argument that vaping is going to ‘renormalise’ smoking is the one and, as Ash is currently saying, it’s certainly nonsense. With that gone, what arguments are left to warrant regulating the marketing, merchandise strength and public use of the life saving technology to the stage of deterring it?
Some medics likely only hate the idea that a close-miraculous cure for a large cause of death came from the private sector and not from the nanny state. The folks are doing so for — gasp! — Gain, not since they would like to save lives.
In a number of dialogues I’ve had with senior medics, they promptly raised the terrible fact the tobacco industry has lately started making electronic cigarettes to apture the market share. For them this was a clinching argument against the technology.
No, I answered, that’s the greatest news of all. The reality that the tobacco industry will be competing against tobacco is very good news. It is attempting to escape from selling smoke before it goes the manner of Kodak film and demonstrates that large tobacco may read the writing on the wall. The amount of individuals smoking is dropping rapidly. Imperial Tobacco recorded a 16 per cent fall in UK sales this past year. One US investment brokerage reckons smoking will not be larger than vaping by 2023. The tobacco industry is panicking.
This means you’ve won, I tell medics. Forget your prohibitions on smoking in cars with kids in, or banning brands on packets. These were never going to make more than a bare difference anyhow. The smoke is going the manner of the crinoline as well as the top hat, if we support the option that is safer, cleaner. Following is a lifesaving technology on a huge scale that wants no backing. Are you really certain that you — swearers of the Hippocratic oath — need to be the last folks standing in its way, when the gains can be seen by everybody?
The resistance to vaping has had an unlucky effect already. By insisting on including electronic cigarettes in the tobacco products directive of the EU, the adversaries have left them unregulated till the directive comes into force by 2017. And then over-controlled, pushing costs up and reducing alternative after 2017. So unless the UK government makes its own intervention that is helpful, for the following two-and-a-half years there’s little to prevent rogue operators importing adulterated or fake vaping fluids from some criminal. In addition to the fight over regulation, hurts the small men and as so frequently, helps the large men.
Incidentally, where is the left in all this? Smoking is concentrated in lower socioeconomic groups. How can we get electronic cigarettes into the hands of the poor fast? Electronic cigarettes (followed by lower ‘running’ prices) means their take up by poorer people’s high upfront prices has not been faster. Why is all the hard work being done by libertarians?
The next time you hear somebody say they worry about the possible dangers of electronic cigarettes, remind them of Voltaire’s dictum — do not let the best be the enemy of the great.