Monday, 2 March 2015
eCigarettes - Why Is It Personal ?
I thought I would take a slightly different tack with my latest blog entry. With sad advent of the death of Leonard Nimoy a few days ago, I have seen some wildly inaccurate claims, ghoulish band-wagon jumping, and downright complete ignorance expressed on social media and even in some newspapers. Like many people, I was appalled at the behaviour of many in the Tobacco Control Industry who immediately jumped upon the man's unfortunate death to push their own agendas by highlighting the fact that he once smoked (which he gave up 30 years ago). However, this blog isn't about his sad passing away. As an avid Star Trek fan, I have known, watched and admired Nimoy's acting abilities from a very young age. He has been a part of my life for the majority of my time on this planet and I am saddened by his passing. People should now just leave his family in peace to grieve and just remember the man for what he was - a very talented actor, director and (from what I gather) artist.
Unfortunately, such outrageous comments have not only happened since Leonard Nimoy's death. There is a vast amount of ignorance around the subject of smoking (and vaping) amongst the general public, and the blame for that lies firmly on the shoulders of the Tobacco Control Industry.
Many people will know that I am very active in campaigning against the lies and misinformation against eCigarettes. Many of you will also know that I am one of the people leading the fight against the proposed ban on vaping in public enclosed spaces in Wales. It is no secret that I have been taking the fight to the Senedd by actively seeking out meetings with AMs to fight back against the misinformation that is constantly emerging against eCigarettes.
So, why is this fight so personal for me ?
A lot of people reading this blog will only ever have known me through this blog, my interactions on Twitter, or maybe even my occasional appearances on Vapour Trails TV. A small number of you may also know me in person. However, practically nobody knows the background to why I fight so hard for eCigarettes.
There is a simple one-word answer to why I fight for eCigarettes - CANCER !!
Over the last 10 years, I have seen 4 members of my extended family lose their fight against differing forms of Cancer. Even now, there are 3 members of my family in a current fight with different forms of Cancer - sadly for one of those family members the diagnosis is terminal.
The Tobacco Control Industry would immediately jump on this news and blame smoking. But the truth of the matter is that only 3 of the 7 people described above were smokers. This proves the case that Cancer can afflict anyone - smoker or not.
I personally have also had my health problems. I WAS a smoker and 5 years ago I suffered heart problems which Doctors attributed to smoking. Personally, I don't think they were correct as heart problems are also a genetic condition and I know there are many instances of it on the paternal side of my family. I probably inherited that condition. However, having almost been killed by my heart condition, I felt it wiser to quit smoking. After almost 3 years of Vaping, my GP tells me that I have the lungs of a non-smoker and that my health is as good as any non-smoker of my age, and even better than many others.
More so, I have removed the dangers of the apparent 600 carcinogens I was taking in whilst smoking, and replaced them with an alternative that contains none - eCigarettes. From what I understand from all the proper research that has been done on eCigarettes, I have also greatly reduced the chances of my contracting Cancer.
Quitting smoking is easier said than done. This is something that the Tobacco Control Industry can't get into their (rather thick) skulls. The gums, the sprays, the 'suicide' tablets (yes I am looking at you Champix) that are peddled by the Pharma industry are, quite frankly, complete shite. They do NOT help you quit. All those forms of NRT do is make you depressed or ill.
But where all the big money of Pharma failed, Hon Lik (the modern inventor of the eCigarette) succeeded. He actually invented an alternative to tobacco that WORKED - and Pharma just hate that. They hate that they have been found out and sales of their ineffectual 'quit-aids' are plummeting.
eCigarettes have been around for more than 10 years now and there is not a single death anywhere in the world that is attributable to them. Not one. There is ever growing research that has been performed that proves that eCigarettes are 99% SAFER. Despite what the Tobacco Control Industry will tell you, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 100% SAFE.
Yet the Tobacco Control Industry still pushes out lies and misinformation to try and discredit eCigarettes. I have heard many theories as why they take that stance. Some have said it is down to not researching the evidence properly, some say it is because they have their noses too firmly attached to the tax-payer funded trough, others say it is the influence of Pharma, yet others mutter murmerings of corruption. This blog is not going to examine any of those things.
There are two main reasons why I am prepared to go out and fight for eCigarettes:
Reason 1: I am Libertarian by nature. I do not feel it is the role of Government (or anyone else for that matter) to poke their noses into our private lives and dictate to us how we should live them. We are adults and we are perfectly capable of making informed decisions
Reason 2: eCigarettes enabled me to quit using lit tobacco and I now feel healthier than I have ever done for the vast majority of my adult life. My taste and smell returned overnight, my physical health improved and I now have bundles of energy. Most importantly, that 'early-morning cough' is gone. No longer does that particular 'foghorn' wake everyone up early in the morning.
I have regular 6-monthly health check-ups as a result of my heart condition. Every time I attend those health check-ups, a marked improvement on the previous check-up is observed. No sign whatsoever of any heart problems re-occurring are identified.
Therefore, I am NOT an anecdote, I am living proof that eCigarettes are not harming me. Research also consistently proves that vaping is NOT causing any harm to others around me.
I nearly died a few years ago, but eCigarettes have given me a new lease of life because they enabled to quit lit tobacco. Whilst nothing in life is certain, the improvement in my health over the past few years since I quit lit tobacco by switching to eCigarettes shows me that my children can expect to have me around for many more years to come.
I know all about death and illness. I have seen (and continue to see) far too much of it in my own family. But I also know that my survival odds have been significantly improved by my switch to eCigarettes.
AND THAT IS WHY I FIGHT
There is no political line to why I fight. I have no links to either Pharma or Tobacco industries. I have no hidden agenda (unlike many in Tobacco Control). I simply want to help others to quit lit-tobacco if that is what they want to do. eCigarettes are the safest and most effective way of quitting lit-tobacco.
I want to save lives in the same way as I saved my own. How many in Tobacco Control can claim that with a clear conscience ?