Vaping has come on a long way since it became popular, around the year 2008. Devices have been upgraded considerably, and the options for the vaper are now vast. To a vaper who has been enjoying their favourite juices for a period of time, the changes that have come about are fascinating. And, to the current vaper, enjoying that juice is the norm, in much the same way smoking is.
However, no matter how much we may try and dig up the history of vaping and explain that it is evolving at a rapid rate, the hard truth is that vaping is extremely young.
The anti-smoking brigade are hell bent on trying to have vaping tied in with smoking, and, because vaping is young, they’re succeeding considerably. Every vaper can spot the signs – vaping is being banned in establishments and indoor areas, left, right and centre. It’s ridiculous, and unfortunate, that vapers are being made to huddle outside, under tarpaulin, and breathe in the very chemicals they decided to quit.
The tactics used by the anti-smoking groups work flawlessly, because the general public are misinformed about what vaping actually is. Some people dread breathing in the clouds because they wrongly believe that they are getting a dose of nicotine – a substance that is absorbed by the vaper in micro-seconds. And, even if nicotine was able to travel around in cloud, there is no direct evidence to suggest that the chemical is bad for us – in fact, some studies are suggesting that it may help with dementia and Parkinson’s. These studies are kept under wraps by the groups that have only one agenda – to bind e cigarettes, vaping and e liquid with smoking and have both outlawed.
Nearly all major companies have stamped down their own restrictive policies on vaping, from train companies to airlines. Some airlines have even erected signs for “no vaping”, in the same way the “no smoking” signs are commonplace. The continuous attempts to bind vaping to smoking seem to never cease, making the acceptance of electronic cigarettes in the public mind a difficult one to achieve.
Governments are no better. It’s beyond comprehension how they actively banned smoking in public places, and yet, our MP’s are free to smoke in the bar at the Houses Of Parliament. The European Union is no better – or, if anything, much worse. They have attacked smokers for years, with countless legislation, and yet, they have designated smoking areas in their private bars. If there ever was a case of “do what I say, not what I do”, then this is surely a winner.
Smoking has been kicked and punched around the ring so hard, and for so long, that it is now deemed a dirty habit even by smokers themselves. Perhaps, rightly so. But now the powers-that-be have had their way, they need to move onto something else, something new.
But, why attack vaping?
The simple reason is finance. They know that the majority of vapers are ex smokers and cigarettes carry vast amounts of tax. When you do the maths, the results are truly astonishing.
In 2016, a BBC article claimed that there were an estimated three million electronic cigarette users in the UK alone. By now, that figure will have escalated, but we’ll stick with it. At the 2017 election budget, cigarettes were limited to packets of twenty, and would be made to cost a minimum of £8. Now, assume that the three million e-cig users are ex-smokers that would have smoked twenty a day. The total cost, per smoker, is £8 multiplied by 365 days – £2,920 a year. Multiplied by three million – £8,760,000,000.
Nearly nine billion pounds. A rough idea of just how much money the government is losing. A staggering figure, and a figure that will continue to climb.
And so, vaping is being hit hard. It’s almost as if the government are desperate to get vapers back on the analogues, and start raking that tax back – despite the fact that smoking-related illnesses cost the NHS a fortune.
The EU have pushed out their own Tobacco Products Directive (TDP), which has blatantly thrown electronic cigarette use into a regulation that should be dealing entirely with tobacco. Yet another sly means of brainwashing the public into thinking that vaping and smoking are the same thing.
The regulations set forth by the TDP are – fortunately – flexible, and Britain has only accepted the minutest of demands. But, even so, they are formed to make the industry more difficult. Why? Again, we can only assume it boils down to money, and governments are desperate to get their hands back on the tax they are losing from ex-smokers.
In America, the FDA are pussy-footing about, never really giving any clean cut guide. And, likewise, the World Health Organisation are continuing to take a complicated stance – sticking by the, now boring, claim that there hasn’t been enough long-term research on long-term effects, despite the fact that countless studies have proven that vaping is overwhelmingly safer than smoking.
The media is a mixed bag. Occasionally, we hear about a study, suggesting that vaping is healthier than tobacco. But, these stories are soon swept under the carpet and replaced by sensational articles on exploding cigarettes and the injuries incurred – very rarely mentioning that some of the devices are unregulated mods.
Despite all these hurdles, placed by giant and powerful groups and organisations, the electronic cigarette industry, and vaping, is continuing to go from strength to strength. Regulating the size of the bottles, and the nicotine content, hasn’t forced anybody away from vaping and back on to cigarettes. Nor has it deterred newcomers to the trend. It’s as if the more something is attacked and bullied, the more it is supported. Vaping is accelerating day by day, whereas smoking is decreasing. Vape shops are springing up almost everywhere, and commercials are becoming ever more popular. Brand names, from hardware to juices, are gaining ground and becoming a staple in vaping conversations.
Again, vaping is a young trend. It may have moved a long way, in a short time, but we have to accept that it is still in its infancy and there are bound to be more hurdles along the way. For now, we know that governments don’t like losing money, and nor do the tobacco giants – and vaping is making this happen. Eventually, the wound will become too big to heal, and vaping will become an accepted norm. Everything takes time, and our healthy alternative to smoking is no exception. People tend to believe what they are told, until they realise that they may have been lied to.
Anti-vaping groups are gradually being hit harder by medical reports in favour of vaping. The WHO are wobbling around over the issue like sitting ducks. The European Union and its TPD regulations have done nothing concrete to deter the vaper from their favourite flavours, and the FDA know they are up against the wall.
As for the powers-that-be, don’t forget that they come and go. New politicians may well be vapers themselves. New people makes for new opinions. Rules are wavered and new trends are accepted.
For now, we just have to sit back and watch how the whole thing pans out. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Expect more hurdles. Expect more attacks. But, ultimately, expect the truth to prevail.
The future for vaping is bright – with some cloud!