It’s All Broken

Things got broke

You know, just once I’d like something to work. I spent a lot of time planning the migration of this site from wordpress.com to self-hosted. I mean, a lot. Many days and nights of head scratching (splinters included), poking around under the hood, figuring out why this or that didn’t behave.

Then came the testing. Would it actually work? Well, all the dry-runs and simulations counted for diddly squat. I still ended up with broken images.

Damn.

Moving Home

Moving Home

After almost two years of this blog laying dormant in the digital world – gathering lots, and lots of dust and, of course, draining my bank balance – I figured it was time it was moved.

Don’t get me wrong, where this humble site was hosted (wordpress.com if you wanted to know) was absolutely fine. I had no complaints about the hosting. It’s just that, with times getting tougher (for everyone), I couldn’t justify the cost any longer.

So, I upped my digital sticks and self-hosted. After all, I couldn’t let this blog be deleted now.

Could I?

And because it has been so long, everything in the backend has changed so there’s going to be broken links and other funny business for a while. Plus, getting used to the new-fangled post editor.

Yay.

Image credit: Photo by SHVETS production

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I know it has been pretty quiet on this blog for *checks posts* the last year (give or take a month) but, quite frankly, I’ve been too busy to post anything. This is despite a list of topics I had in mind to cover.

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to devote much, if any, time to posting on here for the foreseeable future. Due to this lack of time to do anything on here, or conduct my own research into the topics I wanted to cover I began questioning whether or not to continue posting at all.

I look back at the few years of posts and I can clearly see how my journey evolved from being utterly pro-vaping-only – as misguided as that was – to discovering the true tobacco harm reduction argument along with all the lies and utter bollocks from ‘tobacco control’. Along the way I did pick up a number of loyal readers and made a number of friends. Even managed to encourage a few to become more active and vocal.

The vaping community, such as it was when I became a part of it back in 2014 was a vibrant place and I’m glad to have been a, relatively small, part of it. Fast forward a mere six years and it is completely different. Whether it is due to the divisive politics of the day or something else entirely, it is now a completely different place. Few of the folk that were there when I started are now gone – for various reasons.

So now, I am faced with a choice. Keep this blog open in the hopes that, at some point in the future, I can find both the time and the motivation to post something which people will read and either disagree with or spread far and wide. I have to say that, over the years seeing my scribblings being read in far flung places and being discussed in a variety of places was, indeed, satisfying. But, I never wanted the attention. I simply posted my thoughts and, in some cases, layman analysis of some particular dubious “science”.

I often found that diving into the more contentious topics – such as heat-not-burn as the prime example – led to more and more division. That’s totally fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I may make fun of you for holding a contrary opinion, but I don’t go out of my way to be downright unpleasant.

So, back to my choice. For much of the same reasoning that I left the New Nicotine Alliance – piss-poor life/work balance (i.e. I didn’t have a life) – these pages won’t be updated after today.

I’m not done with the tobacco harm reduction debate, I just won’t be visible.

It’s been fun.

We need help, but not yours

Well, these are crazy times no? Practically every country worldwide has some kind of lockdown, either voluntary or enforced. Extreme authoritarian measures are rife (I’m looking at you Hungary) with police completely misinterpreting the law (I’m looking at you UK).

All the while, intensive care unit beds (ICU) are being filled at a rapid pace. Unlike previous pandemics, COVID-19 is a bastard. A right, real bastard. It is highly contagious for one and, if the various statistics are to be believed, a real killer – though I suspect that, in some countries, COVID-19 is simply being attributed as the cause of some deaths – just as smoking is attributed to cancer related deaths.

Continue reading “We need help, but not yours”

Long Read: The “Evils” of Nicotine, JUUL and the Youth ‘Epidemic’

Settle down folks, this is going to be a long one.

I’ve recently had a few thoughts in my head about nicotine. The supposed “devil drug” that is “more addictive than heroin” (according to ASH Scotland from 2013, and debunked here – I know, debunked before ASH came up with that ‘FactSheet’; that’s just how inept they are), and how, in light of the US debacle, there are now circulating rumours of a nicotine cap.

Well, the EU has a nicotine cap of 20mg/ml and, for all intents and purposes, it’s dire.

Continue reading “Long Read: The “Evils” of Nicotine, JUUL and the Youth ‘Epidemic’”

Heated Discussions

As mentioned previously, I’ve found another study to have a look at. This time, it isn’t about vaping (shock!). Instead, it’s about that divisive product – Heat-not-burn.

Considering that whenever heat-not-burn gets mentioned by a vaper (such as myself) on social media the response is, sadly, predictable. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog (notably here, and here) heat-not-burn products are essential to give smokers (and the odd vaper) the widest array of choices possible. Let the market do what it does best.

Continue reading “Heated Discussions”

Predisposed Outcomes

Another day, another study. Two actually. Though the first I was planning to cover is a meta analysis (which will have to wait), while the second is a vaping mouse study. As most of you will no doubt be aware, conducting experiments on mice is an age-old way of identifying possible links to humans.

However, in a large number of cases, the results identified in mice do not necessarily translate well across species to us homo-sapiens. Unfortunately, the fallout from this study is going to be the usual moral panic.

Continue reading “Predisposed Outcomes”

Awareness Failure

When bad sciences gets worse.

It’s been a while since I had a good look at some junk science. I kind of missed doing it. So, what better way to get back to it then with this steaming pile of festering dingo kidneys?

This study sought to assess: 1) pervasiveness of vaping or electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, 2) General understanding of information on vaping or e-cigarette use, 3) Prevalence and respondent awareness of smoking/vaping prevention programs, and 4) Awareness of the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.

Kanyadan et al 2019

Oh boy.

Continue reading “Awareness Failure”

Here We Go Again

There’s always something, isn’t there? Last year, back in March, there was a “bit of a kerfuffle” in the vaping community which led to a lot of name calling and general unpleasantness.

So much so that this post was needed. As was this one.

Sadly, nothing seems to have changed as it has all kicked off, once again. The only saving grace is that it doesn’t appear to have been as widespread. Yet.

Continue reading “Here We Go Again”

Interesting Times

The only people who benefit from it are professional prohibitionists who get government grants to lobby against freedom.

When Theresa May became Prime Minister it was thought that the downward spiral of anti-lifestyle policies wouldn’t accelerate. Fast forward three years and we now have this:

Smoking must be stamped out in the UK within 11 years, according to timeline set out in ambitious new Government plan

Daily Mail headline July 8th 2019

The release of this plan was delayed, for various reasons, but is now published as Mrs May’s lasting “legacy”.

Continue reading “Interesting Times”