Cleaning House – A Roundup Post

I do try to post fairly regularly in order to rid my addled brain of the flotsam that inevitably ends up in there. There has been a lot going on the last few days what with CDPH being completely useless. Expensively useless at that. Taking over from CDPH, the CDC are trying to do their own bit with a Twitter campaign.

How many times do we have to tell you folks, when trying to belittle ecigs on Twitter be prepared for one hell of a fight. Let me see, we had the SF “curbit”. Fail. CDPH and “stillblowingsmoke”. Big fail. Now we have “Tipstakeover”. EPIC FAIL.

However, much and more has transpired this week which I’ve seen, digested and will now dissect. Sit back, relax and vape on…

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) put an article up on Gil Ross putting the PH institutions to shame with some very scathing remarks:

How did our nation’s public health come to this sad state
How did our nation’s public health come to this sad state

I fear that for many who oppose e-cigs, the motivation is simple: greed.

Let that sink in for just a moment. Dr Ross is clearly stating that the actions being taken by the various parties in the US (the FDA, CDC, Public Health & Tobacco Control) has put in black and white exactly what we already know.  Those against e-cigs are motivated by greed.  It has never been, nor will it ever be about the health of the public.  The public that those agencies are sworn to serve.  Instead, whilst they beat their war drums on e-cigs, and more specifically Nicotine, they play right into the hands of the industry that they are trying to fight – the Tobacco Industry.  Ironic isn’t it?

New York, New Yoorrk!

Sorry, just had to go a little Sinatra there, don’t judge.  The headline of New York Man Earns Traffic Ticket for Vaping Behind the Wheel caught my attention for obvious reasons. Our friends in NYC are pretty harsh when it comes to vaping (they approved an ordinance banning vaping pretty much everywhere except in private residences and “some” outdoor locations), but to actually get ticketed for vaping whilst driving? C’mon folks, that’s a little bit daft don’t ya think?

Apparently, using an ecig whilst driving equates to “using other portable electronic devices” under a certain law (Article 33, Section 1225-D to be precise). What makes this one even crazier, is there is no law against smoking whilst driving. Yet another example of the insane campaign against vaping as a whole. Brief sojourn here, on my lovely annoying drive home I wound up stuck behind a police car (freaking BMW no less). I’m currently using a DNA40 and a KangerTech Sub Tank (awesome kit by the way), sitting at a set of traffic lights that are the usual shade of Mount Doom Red as they always are when I get close, I take a hearty toot on my vape and chuck out a reasonable sized cloud. Dumb ass me hadn’t opened the window so I couldn’t actually see for a moment.

Of course, vapor clears pretty quickly (thankfully) but neither copper so much as twitched. Small disclaimer, I do normally have the window open but I had just been stuck behind a public transport bus belching bigger clouds than me with my DNA40. I’d rather not have that much acrid diesel smoke blowing in my window thank you very much.

Back on track now, it seems that this particular case is yet to be heard and I hope that the Judge on the case is wiser than those in Public Health as it could set a very nasty precedent for our US brethren.

Back to CA

It’s been done, time and time again but a recent editorial has pointed out, quite succinctly:

Big Tobacco is misleading, at best
Big Tobacco is misleading, at best

The brilliant Gregory Conley from the AVA is quoted in this piece, saying:

Just like the tobacco industry years before, the [CDPH] is cherry-picking studies and hoping no one calls them on it

Basically, CDPH wants you to keep smoking playing straight into the hands of the Tobacco Industry.  What about the health of the public hmmmm?

The Spectator

Almost there, one more after this.  It seems that the “war on tobacco” isn’t just about tobacco (well we knew that already) but yet another army joins the fight; on the wrong side of course.  I am of course referring to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and their latest campaign.

Terrible propaganda at its finest
Terrible propaganda at its finest

Of course, we all know the risks of smoking but we did it anyway.  We know that vaping is inherently safer albeit long-term risks are unknown, although I’d argue that there is enough evidence to extrapolate likely scenarios.  The CDC are basically saying that if you smoke you going to get ill, and if you vape you’ll get ill too.  Yet another agency determined to combat the “threat” of e-cigarettes.  As a former smoker, the message I get from this is that e-cigs as dangerous as cigarettes so you’d best quit the way we want you to.  Truly disgraceful.

But of course, this is Public Health at the helm isn’t it? Cue another seemingly pointless Twitter Campaign! #CDCTips and #Tipstakeover were the hashtags they chose. *shakes head* seriously people, if you are going to try this stuff at least be prepared.  Both hashtags were decimated with stories, research links, facts and figures all about the safety and efficacy of e-cigs.  That brings the tag-jack count up to five. #curbit, #stillblowingsmoke, #skatevapefree (this was a small one) and now #CDCTips and #Tipstakeover.

They’ll never learn.  The thing is, these campaigns are costing them a lot of $$$, money that could have easily been appropriated in helping develop e-cigs into the safe and proven devices they want them to be instead of making them seem like devil-spawn.  More fool them, and lots of pity for the US taxpayer.

Homeward Bound

Last but not least, wrapping this post up with mention from the UK.  Wales to be specific. No jokes please.

It seems Wales has a little problem with students using e-cigs.  Not that I believe that for one moment, so let’s have a quick look at how they’ve reached this conclusion shall we?

Nearly a fifth!
Nearly a fifth!

A fifth of secondary schools? Wow! Hit those panic buttons folks, we’ve got some trouble here! But wait a cotton-picking minute…

31% of secondary schools?

So only a small number of schools actually responded to the survey. Huh.  Look, I know that my math is bad (it’s freaking terrible in fact) but those numbers just don’t tally. In 2008/09 there were 223 secondary and 1478 primary schools. If my math is right, 31% is less than 70 secondary and 192 primary schools took part in the survey. Seems to be a rather small survey base doesn’t it.  They go on to say:

Some 72% secondary schools and 34% of primary schools that responded already have an e-cigarette policy or intend to develop one.

So a large proportion of secondary schools already have a policy in place regarding e-cigs. Fine and dandy, those under 18 shouldn’t be using them anyway unless they already smoke (which I also disagree with).

Given the conflicting messages around e-cigarettes, some schools commented that they would like clear guidance from local authorities and the Welsh Government on what approach they should take.

Clear guidance is what they would like. From who do you reckon?

Elen de Lacy, Chief Executive of ASH Wales Cymru said: “Schools have been provided with guidance for e-cigarette policies and we would encourage them to develop their own to provide clarity.”

Ah yes, ASH Wales Cymru.  To be fair to them, they have been pretty open in their support of e-cigs.

“We know that young people in Wales are experimenting with e-cigarettes. Fortunately surveys show regular use is low.

“We are pleased that age of sale restrictions on e-cigarettes are on their way and will be voted on in Parliament before the General Election.

“In order to make e-cigarettes less attractive to non-smoking young people, we believe that marketing and advertising should also be restricted.”

Experimentation, keyword there folks.  They are well aware that kids do like to experiment. It’s all part of this thing called growing up.  Age restrictive sale, I think we can all agree on that. But the marketing and advertising. I personally don’t want to see that restricted.  If e-cigs are going to help people to switch to a better alternative to cigarettes, people need to know about them.  Sure, monitor the advertising so that companies don’t do #stoopid things, but don’t restrict it.

Undermining the smoking ban
Undermining the smoking ban

Ah but of course, Mr Drakeford had to get his worthless two penneth in didn’t he?  This is a man who fervently believes e-cigs are devil spawn and should be treated as such.

There’s a word for that.