Obligations

An interesting blog post dropped into my inbox this week that got me thinking. This particular post came in response to a mini Twitter thread (which I have seen, and somewhat agree with). I’m not going to link to either as I’d prefer this post to stand alone rather than be seen as a response to either, although it half is a response.

As noted in the blog post, the upshot of the mini-thread was thus:

“hey, you paid grandee types, please stop telling us, ordinary people who made a choice in our lives to quit smoking via vaping, that we have some obligation to get out there and spread the word, tell our stories, and push back against those other paid grandees who are attacking vaping.”

As the author of said blog post noted, it is a notion worth exploring.

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The Principle of Pleasure

This is one of those topics that you just know. One of those that you yourself understand, but find it somewhat tricky to put into some semblance of coherent speech. We all, to varying degrees, know what pleasure is. We all know what we enjoy, and we can all express; to an extent, why we enjoy something.

This is also one of those posts that’s taken far too long to write.

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Feel the Heat, not the Burn

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the news is awash with an announcement from Philip Morris saying that their Heat-not-Burn product iQOS is coming to the UK. London specifically – for the moment at least.

Well, so what you might be asking, why has a new product launch attracted so much press? The answer to that is two-fold. One, it’s a new product from a tobacco company. We all know how much folks are beginning to despise the tobacco industry – particularly those in tobacco control and public health. Two, it sits in the middle-ish of the “risk-profile” (if such a thing is to be believed) with combustibles at the top, abstinence at the bottom, NRT, e-cigarettes, and snus all feature.

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Finding our Way

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading a Q&A between my friend Fergus Mason and David Goerlitz. Having seen the documentary film A Billion Lives, and having heard David on Smoke Free Radio with Dimitris last year, there wasn’t much in that interview that I wasn’t already aware of.

Still, it was worth a read if only to remind myself of just how the tobacco control industry is more about control then it is about reducing smoking, and it can quite easily be summed up in one line:

Nobody took tobacco seriously. Nobody did anything about it, the government didn’t put them out of business.

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Let’s Talk About Youth

Thanks to Sarah Jakes, a short two-page document from ASH Scotland found its way into my twitter timeline. As you can probably tell from the title of this post, it’s all about youth and e-cigs. I had a read. I had another read. I had a third read. They also have a short blog post on the subject. I read that too. Then I read it again.

There isn’t really much to the document in itself, page one is primarily background stuff, while page two gets to the heart of the matter. Or at least tries to. It is a masterclass in fence-sitting. (more…)

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Discretion is the Better Part of Valour

I’ve been mulling this over in my head ever since the first vaping bans were imposed by businesses such as Wetherspoons. I kept thinking to myself why? Was it down to simply banning something that “looks like smoking” – after all there is a comprehensive policy in place across the UK in that smoking is not allowed/prohibited/banned in work places, public places (bars/pubs/clubs/public buildings etc), smoking is now prohibited in cars with kids in (not that it’s being enforced – after all, the police have far better things to do). There’s even calls for smoking bans (inclusive of e-cigarettes) in parks – the US, and New York in particular are fond of their smoke-free parks, completely ignoring the fumes from the multitude of internal combustion engines. (more…)