Friday, 6 April 2018
I have been holding my tongue over the last few days, though the temptation to lash out and say a few choice words has actually been overwhelming. I have watched as vapers have attacked other vapers, watched smoking advocates attack harm reduction advocates and vice-versa, then watched everyone attacking everyone over the new sugar tax. Now today, I have seen some people going ballistic over seeing an advert for Heat Not Burn at a Vape convention.
It seems that everybody is getting hot under the collar with everyone else over the past few days merely for a slight difference of opinion. It has to stop. At the very time when the Tobacco Control squealing has become ever louder and more and more desperate (because they can see they are losing the battle and have run out of arguments), it seems that everyone else is determined to self-destruct and engage in an orgy of name-calling, faux-outrage or silly (misplaced ?) words.
I am, and have been for some considerable time, a vaping advocate. I've done my bit online and I have also done the rounds of meeting with health officials and many, many politicians - all in the name of protecting my right to vape. I like to think I have been fairly successful in my efforts.
However, I am also proudly Libertarian. That means that I believe that everybody can enjoy the freedom to speak as they like (free speech) and live life the way they want to live their lives. Free from persecution and free from the pronouncements of interfering busybodies like Tobacco Control and/or Public Health.
If you enjoy smoking and want to continue smoking, that's fine by me. Enjoy your smoke with my blessing. I will not chastise you for your choice and neither will I shun you for your choice. Hell, if I like you, I will even sit with you and chat while you enjoy your choice.
The same goes for those who choose to enjoy harm reduction, whatever their reasons for doing so.
If snus is your choice, then go for it. I've tried it once, but didn't like it. But if it is helping you switch away from smoking, then it is working for you and I applaud you for it.
Neither have I tried Heat Not Burn. Some good friends of mine have tried it and they actually liked it. The jury is still out as to how much harm reduction you actually get from HnB, but that it is still harm reduction is without doubt.
But it is made by Big Tobacco they cry!!
So what ? Some ecigs are made by Big Tobacco too, but I don't see any fuss being made over that. If you don't want to use a product made by Big Tobacco, then don't. That is your right. But do not chastise other people who actually LIKE Big Tobacco's products (we were all Big Tobacco customers at one time). It is STILL harm reduction. Why should Big Tobacco not embrace harm reduction if they so choose ? They are a business. Businesses exist to make money. If they choose to make money by embracing harm reduction, then that is their choice and I applaud them for it.
Same goes for the Sugar Tax. If a company has reduced the sugar in their product and consequently their product now tastes like shit-on-a-stick (like Ribena, Irn-Bru and Lucozade), then you are free to NOT purchase their products any more. There are plenty of companies out there that have chosen to ignore the sugar tax - Coca Cola and Pepsi are the two biggest names to stick two fingers up at the Nannies. So you have plenty of choices where you can go to get your sugar rush.
Don't be like the permanently offended masses you find on Twitter. Those offendatrons will always find something to bitch and moan about. Be smart. Be an advocate of freedom of choice.
I'll be honest. I actually thought all vapers and smokers WERE advocates of freedom of choice. I was wrong on that. Events of the past few days have proved that to me.
I will not go there. I am a Libertarian. I believe in freedom of choice. Live your life the way you want to live it. That is fine by me. I may not like your choice, but I will fight with every fibre in my body to ensure that you have that choice.