Nanny state's deadly bigotry over e-cigarettes
Despite the obesity crisis, call someone "fat" in your workplace and you risk a disciplinary hearing. But it's been open season on the lifestyle choice to smoke for years. Now, the hysteria extends to e-cigarettes, even though they help people quit and save lives
Few members of modern society face greater opprobrium than the humble smoker. Non-smokers and the state of course love the enormous tax subsidy they get from their "deviant" fellow citiziens.
But in these sensitive times, it often seems that the real issue here is the opportunity to engage in some politically correct and socially acceptable bigotry against innocent people making an adult decision to engage in what everyone knows is a lifestyle choice which carries certain health risks.
So does eating burgers, fries and donuts all day long. But in spite of the deadly obesity crisis engulfing Britain and other Western democracies, call someone "fat" in your workplace, and you risk a formal disciplinary hearing.
Now, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, we have reached new heights of hysteria.
E-cigarettes, the BBC reports, are to be banned from the grounds of Scottish hospitals.
"These products are currently not regulated and there are concerns over potential safety issues with the products. In addition e-cigarettes mimic the habit and look of smoking and therefore provide negative role modelling for young people," the BBC quoted a spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as saying.
For crying out loud, doctors routinely recommend that cigarette smokers take up e-cigarettes as a way of quitting the habit.
Professor John Britton, head of the tobacco advisory group for the Royal College of Physicians has said:
"If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It's a massive potential public health prize."
So there we have it. This obsessive bigotry against smokers has now extended to banning safe alternatives that would save millions of lives just because it looks as though people are smoking real cigarettes, which they aren't.
Somewhere in there, there's a statement about the society in which we now live. And it's not one that covers us in glory.
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