Bored Wales in militant pro-cancer, e-cigarette stance
Having got slaughtered in the UK general election, the devoid-of-any-brain-cells whatsoever Labour Party in Wales has come up with a totally brilliant plan to promote cancer, involving a ban on life-saving e-cigarettes
For want of anything useful to do, the Welsh Assembly is planning to ban e-cigarettes in public places. In the absence of any shred of scientific evidence that they are harmful, the proponents are falling back on two completely spurious arguments.
The first is that they are a ‘gateway’ product that will encourage people to take up tobacco. This is so totally daft it scarcely deserves comment.
What on earth would impel a non-smoker to take up vaping? If the Labour politician leading on this can produce a single person who fits this category he/she should be categorised as a rare and endangered species.
The plain fact is that over 2 million people in the UK have given up smoking by converting to e-cigarettes. The Government’s own tobacco guru has described it as, ‘the greatest public health breakthrough this century that will save 5 million lives in being today’. ASH is in favour of vaping as just about the most effective and permanent way to quit tobacco.
Unsurprisingly, the main "antis" are Big Pharma which is suffering because smokers are no longer buying their useless and expensive nicotine patches, and, of course, Big Tobacco (although they are beginning to take the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ option).
America is in the process of falsely classifying e-cigs as a tobacco product, driven, no doubt, by the prospect of losing tax revenue from falling tobacco sales and getting financial support from the industry (at the same time as it is increasingly legalising cannabis).
The second is that vaping will ‘re-normalise’ tobacco smoking, whatever that is supposed to mean. Roughly a fifth of the population are smokers, so tobacco has scarcely been ‘de-normalised’. The argument is so devoid of the slightest trace of logic as to lack any meaning whatsoever; not an unusual trait amongst bossy politicians.
Needless to say, the EU plans a ban next year, but they would, wouldn’t they!? After all, in the past five years they have produced 4,700 new regulations such as tackling global warming by reducing the power of vacuum cleaners.
Back in Wales, politicians might be better employed in sorting out the problems of their appalling NHS. Banning vaping won’t help. But politicians have an insatiable urge to ban things.
Because they can!
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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