To be fair, I’m not your average anything. I have multiple – often conflicting – views on a wide range of subjects, most of which will never end up on this blog. When I switched to vaping almost two years ago (June 11th 2014 in case anyone is interested), I had absolutely zero interest in all the nuances of vaping. At all.
I joined some Farcefook groups, engaged with like-minded folks – gamers, geeks, IT people, doctors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bloggers, and folk that do weird things on Twitter – people from all walks of life. Different ages – mostly older than me at the time, though there were a few that were younger. The community was, and still is as wide and as varied as the devices folk choose to use.
I’ve been to VapeFest, Vaper Expo (twice), Vape Jam 2, E-Cigarette Expo, E-Cigarette Summit and next week I’m off to the Global Forum on Nicotine. Like one of my good vaping friends I’m not particularly fond of huge crowds, but by the same token the folks at each of the events I have attended have been, in a word – brilliant, so it does make it a little easier.
Since starting vaping, my overall attitude towards vaping has changed. Going from “this is my way to quit smoking” to “ya know, I actually rather like this” via “what the fuck are they doing?” and “bullshit”. I’ve noticed just how fucking stupid some in tobacco control and public health are. I’ve come to understand that the “war on smoking” isn’t a war on smoking at all, it’s a puritanical crusade which was never really about health, nor is there a modicum of common-bloody-sense about it.
There are a multitude of things that I’ve seen surrounding the vaping debate – ridiculous policy ideas, completely missing the point of what vaping is, frenemies, ridiculous science, and of course blatant lying.
I started this blog as a means of venting my spleen, as Lorien suggested it is cathartic – I’ve picked on several key figures in tobacco control for no reason other than the fact it is actually fun to poke fun (if I didn’t I’d probably pull what is left of my hair out) at how inane (or should that be insane) some tobacco controllers are.
Is there such a thing as an “average vaper” I ask myself. Well no there isn’t. Just like there isn’t an “average smoker” or even an “average Joe” (unless you count the Working Joe, but let’s not go there ‘cos frankly they are creepy with their glowing eyes and stuff). There is far too much variety in devices, liquids and even ways to vape (and I’ll even add there’s a wide variety of bits and pieces for smokers) for anyone to be “average” – it just doesn’t fit into any particular hole.
The thing that really irks me, is how many of our
benign asshat representatives just don’t get how varied this community and industry is. From asking a generic “how many cigarettes in the past 30 days” and “have you used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days” – both of which are completely fucking meaningless as they give absolutely zero clue on usage patterns at all, to statements such as “only 9% of vapers will be affected” (really ASH? Fuck you.), or “e-cigarettes should only be used for cessation” – no, just no. Jesus wept, do these people, with all their supposed “intelligence” really have no clue?
Look, vaping – like smoking – is thoroughly enjoyable for many, many people. Smoking is normal (so stuff that in your pipe Duckford and fucking smoke it) – what is abnormal are the politicians, public health puritans and tobacco control freakazoids doing their damndest to completely ostracize a segment of society for no real reason other than “we don’t like it” – that is, when you get right into it, what it boils down to. I mean, change “smoker” or “vaper” for a religious group, or an ethnic minority group. Would their actions be “approved” then? I fucking doubt it.
I still know a number of smokers, not one of them has answered that they want to quit smoking, and when I reply “bra-fucking-vo” they look at me like I’ve lost my marbles – which to be fair, I probably have – but it’s absolutely right. Smoke, vape, use snus, do nothing – I don’t give a damn.
Oh and for those that want to try the tobacco control playbook on sugar, or anything else you can dream up. You are no better, so why don’t you run along and leave us alone.