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.

As most of you know, there’s some shenanigans happening in the US of A right now, what with seemingly endless talk of flavour bans and outright bans. Even so far as the lumbering oaf in the Oval Office getting involved (though, to be fair it’s more Azar than Trump).

We vapers knew, long before the Administration, what was going on, yet the various agencies involved were explicit. Which led to our friendly aircraft mechanic doing his usual complete misunderstanding of the evidence. This in turn led me to catch a tweet from Moira Gilchrist.

Seeing the replies, from vapers, was – to put none to fine a point on it – disappointing. It’s as though some – and let me be absolutely clear that it is some and not all – really don’t like IQOS or heat-not-burn.

Face it, heated tobacco has been around a while and will probably be around for a long time. But, mention that IQOS (or heat not burn generally) could be a viable option for smokers and all hell will break loose. As my twitter mentions will verify. Over the course of a few days I had vapers from all over telling me that it’s all a “big tobacco plot” (given the current US situation) of that IQOS is shit.

Well, they’re all valid opinions to which the various individuals are fully entitled to. The thing is, the whole tobacco harm reduction debate isn’t just centred on vaping. It includes a variety of products – like heat-not-burn, and snus. Both of which I use with varying regularity.

Many would then ask why? The answer is simple.

I enjoy them

There really is no other reason.

A selection of my current devices

The thing is, as has been shown previously, smokers enjoy smoking. It’s a fair bet to say that most vapers enjoyed smoking at some point. I did, and probably still would if I hadn’t found something else I enjoyed more. And that is the whole point, this whole debate isn’t about us vapers. It’s about the smoker. If a smoker wants to stop smoking using IQOS (or any other heat-not-burn product) fair play to them. Same for snus and vaping.

The whole point is that it is about choice. We know an awful lot about the effects of snus and vaping so, sure there’s still a lot of investigative work to be done for heat-not-burn. Early reviews suggest that – in terms of risk reduction – it’s nowhere near the level of ecigs and snus, but that’s the point. It is a reduced risk product. Not a risk-free product. Vaping isn’t entirely risk free. It is close, but nothing in this world is 100% safe. Don’t forget, as part of their remit, Public Health England will be reviewing the evidence as part of their next update.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the industry boffins were working hard at bringing that gap down further with the next generation.

So, I support a wide range of product availability for smokers to choose from – including cigarettes. If that makes me a pariah in the eyes of the evangelical vapers, so be it.

Facts don’t care about your feelings.

4 thoughts on “Here We Go Again

  1. though I have no problem with the idea of heat not burn as a harm reduction tool in principle I fear that given the tobacco industries habit of spiking tobacco to make it more addictive and keep users hook they may do the same with HNB products thus ensuring their customer base does not go away any time soon unlike vaping products where users can taper off the only addictive agent ‘nicotine’ and eventually even quit vaping if they so wish.

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    • Those that switch over to HnB are likely to be those that can’t, or won’t, use ecigs. As such, they are the ones that will be the least interested in tapering off their nicotine intake.

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    • I’ve been vaping since February 2013. I still use 24mg/ml liquid. I haven’t even tried to taper off my nicotine intake. I have no interest in doing so. If anyone WANTS to taper off the nicotine, fine; let them. But let’s not pretend that’s the “right” way to do it. Switching to vaping (or snus, or iQOS) so you can keep using as much nicotine as you damn well like is also perfectly fine.

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