Opportunity Knocks

You may remember that earlier this week a whole host of bantha poo-doo hit the fan, covered quite succinctly by the wonderful VapeMeStoopid on her blog.  This all kicked off with the announcement that the Welsh Assembly were intending to impose a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in public places (bars, clubs, and so forth) and to bundle them into the same restrictions for use as combustible cigarettes.

The Beeb, being the impartial organisation that they are ran this news everywhere. Local stations, 5 Live and of course splashed over their news website. ITV picked it up too but with a little more sanity than the industrious Beeb.

There was one station that was seemingly absent, or I just didn’t realise if it was on there or not. Radio 2. I do a lot of station hopping on my to and from work but rarely have the radio on in the office as my choices can, and often have annoyed my co-workers. The day after the massive fallout, Radio 2 decided to discuss the Welsh proposal on the Jeremy Vine show. As with most of the previous days shenanigans there was the typical “ban it because it’s horrible” type caller and there were far too many of them that were saying pretty much the same thing. There was also the very pro-vaping caller.

Having had three teeth out on Monday, I was having trouble speaking so I couldn’t call in sadly. But, other options remained open such as SMS, Twitter and Facebook. I found Mr Vines twitter account and sent a few tweets his way, I also posted the following on the Radio 2 Facebook page:


It didn’t get a mention on the show sadly as similar posts to BBC Devon and BBC Cornwall had the previous day, instead it sparked a lively discussion on the page.


Most of the early responses to my post were pretty encouraging, had a pretty snarky one with the comment of “Try air, it’s way underrated” and another mentioning willpower. Of course. Even so, as sarcastic as the willpower comment was, I decided on playing the cheeky chappy and praised him for it. Didn’t hear from him again.


Of course, I had been waiting for someone to come up with the “you’re still an addict” type comment and I wasn’t disappointed, think my sarcasm went straight over her head, but several people enjoyed it and it still gets likes even now.


Other folk were interested in how I felt after quitting, so I felt compelled to respond:

Did I worry about my health? Not really, not until a significant life event caused my smoking to increase (300 smokes over 2 days)

Did I switch to improve my health? No, I had no idea what benefits to my health would be, I knew that vaping was less harmful, I do enjoy more energy and my breathing has definitely improved, but that wasn’t the reason for switching.

I’m interested in *all* aspects of research related to vaping, although I have to say what I have seen so far (from both the naysayers and the pro-vapers) there is little evidence to suggest any long term problems – unless I was idiotic to over-use any device I had

Would I go back to smokes? As most public places (in England) haven’t banned vaping, probably not – the ban would determine my choice of where to go – if they decided to “extend” the ban (as Wales are looking to be able to do) to parks, and other “open spaces” – that would probably drive me back towards considering combustibles again – or I’d just become a hermit wink emoticon

Over the top? Maybe a little, but I wasn’t going to hold back after all this was a golden opportunity to engage with those who were listening to the debate regardless of which side they were on.


Now I don’t want to pick on this guy too much, after all I suspect he’d seen some of my earlier sarcasm and wanted to match it, but someone else beat me to it typically so I had to change tack slightly.  That didn’t mean I was going to be any less sarcastic though:


Sometimes my particular flavour of sarcasm really doesn’t translate all that well into written form, unless I’m dropping smileys all throughout the text which completely detracts from the point.


There were still plenty of folk chiming in with the “well done” or “spot on” type responses, one of them gave me the opportunity to make clear just how far the Bill would likely go with the provisions in place to extend the smoke free areas to certain places outdoors. You know, just like the lunatics over in Ontario have done with Bill 45.

Then we come to the last two comments on my post:

So one of them is saying there’ll still be nicotine addicts trying to quit with something else, I’m guessing that she didn’t read any of the information at all in the thread. Still, can’t fix stoopid. Horse to water kind of thing.

The second one seems a little too well versed in the negatives to be just a passer-by in the thread. Reading through some of the other posts is both hilarious and thoroughly disconcerting all at the same time. As one of the more popular radio stations in the UK with a very wide and varied audience profile there’s bound to be a lot of folk that will argue until they are blue in the face.  I took the opportunities presented, maybe a little too sarcastically at times, but I believe I made my points from a personal perspective. I may go back to the thread and reply to Mr Smyth, if I do I’ll update this post.

When opportunity knocks, open the damn door.


I decided to go back and respond to Mr Smyth, only to find another Smyth (coincidence?) had replied:


Normally I’d be slightly irritated with a response like that, but in all honesty his response isn’t exactly a surprise anymore. Especially when you consider the comments left on any vaping related article by the incredibly anti-smoking. Of course, given that I had already decided to respond to the first Smyth, I couldn’t let the second one go either. Time to put the hammer down a little and show that I do actually know what I’m talking about.