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…)

Intriguing Questions

I know. I’ve been terribly shoddy at posting recently. Fact of the matter is, work has been a royal pain and has subsequently kept me from doing what I do. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Anyway, on to the point of this post. Following on from a previous post and various discussions on VapourTrails.tv and of course twitter, the ol’ grey matter started churning away.

See, the thing is one of the key arguments against vaping is all about the dreaded, super-evil Nick O’Teen. There are also some parties that would like to see vapour products used only for cessation – which, by the way, they can stuff where the sun shineth not – so when I combined those two “arguments” in my head, I asked myself what is wrong here?

As part of an ongoing “experiment” (if you will), I asked you my dear, loyal readers and followers in the world of Twitter to complete a short survey. From this I immediately learned a few things. One is, I can’t design a survey to save my life. Two – using multiple choice isn’t always the best way to go. Three – designing surveys to be impartial is hard. But even with the flaws present in the survey, and I’ll get to those in a minute, the vaping community responded enthusiastically. At last count this short survey received 384 responses, so a big thank you to all who took part! (more…)