Having been a smoker for the last 35+ years, I had only had the briefest of dalliances with the idea of giving up. Until the beginning of last year when a colleague brought an e-cigarette into the office and I was utterly fascinated.
My first thought was not of my health but of the amount of money this device could potentially save me as I do have a nasty tendency of chainsmoking when sitting in front of the PC at home. I bought a trial cigalike as they’re sometimes called and within a matter of weeks, my real cigarette consumption had gone from 20 a day to 2 a week.
A period of heavy stress towards the end of last year meant that I ended up forsaking the electronic device for the real thing for a period of time but earlier this year gave e-cigarettes another try and am gradually cutting down my consumption of the real thing again.
Now, of course, the nanny state has stepped in again and vaping has been banned in the workplace. I would have thought that employers would have been delighted that their smokers were no longer taking multiple cigarette breaks and coming in from outside smelling of stale cigarette smoke but no – we have to ensure that nobody, but nobody, could possibly glamorise smoking by sitting at their desk and blowing out clouds of harmless vapour. Yes, I said “harmless vapour”. Anyone who has read anything about e-cigarettes will know there is a raging debate about the potential harmful effects of this vapour and indeed the contents of the eliquid used in these devices. There are forums which have hugely long debates about both subjects. From a purely personal point of view (and I’ve made some of the eliquids myself) I’m pretty certain that ecigs are, basically, harmless.
Yes OK they contain nicotine. Yes OK nicotine is addictive. To some people. Just as sugar, chocolate and other substances which aren’t particularly good for you are addictive. When is the government going to start banning the sale of sugar, chocolate and high fat foods, together with foods so heavy in preservatives that they’re practically poisonous? Are they going to ban these substances from being used or consumed in public places as it glamorises being unhealthy? Nope. I didn’t think so.
What’s next? Banning people from consuming fast food in public? Banning overweight people from eating in public? Banning anyone who doesn’t look like the perfect picture of health from drinking fizzy drinks in public? To me, that’s on a par with banning ecigarettes from the workplace. If all these people in authority are so concerned about the health of the general public, let’s tackle some things that are a genuine risk to health instead of a perceived “we’re not so sure so we’ll ban it anyway” risk.