Wednesday 13 July 2022

Vaping is creating a whole new generation of nicotine addicts

 Am I missing something? At the weekend I was at a music festival in Rochester and whereas 20 years ago, the air would have been thick with the smell of tobacco and slightly more exotic and illegal herbal cigarettes, it seemed not a minute went by without getting a whiff of some sort of fragrant odour from a vape. Vapes are marketed as a replacement for cigarettes, having zero tar an are meant to be less carcinogenic (I have not researched the science so I don't know). If they are successful in this, then one has to say they are a good thing, however they do not cure nicotine addictions, they simply replace cigarettes with another source of nicotine. I've never tried one, so I have no idea if you get the same nicotine hit, but again I have to assume you do. I have two issues with vaping. The first is that whilst the idea of replacing cigarettes with a less harmful source of nicotine is a good idea, what if it gets a whole new generation of kids addicted to nicotine? It seems to me likely that when kids see their mates vaping they think it's the trendy thing to do.

The second thing that bugs me is that they don't simply replace nicotine, they have all sorts of fancy flavours and exciting packaging. They are actively marketed in such a way as to make the product as desireable as possible. I really think that if the makers and sellers of vapes were doing it as part of a programme to wean the nation off tobacco, they would not have the flash packaging, succulent smells and trendy designs. 

Given that Vapes are basically a delivery system for an addictive substance that is not good for your health, I'd like to see the whole thing properly regulated. I'd like to see the packaging to reflect cigarette packaging and I'd like to see the tasty flavours banned. If people need vapes to get over a cigarette habit, they will happily puff away on something flavourless which looks like Grandads pipe or something equally unsexy. 

The truth is that purveyors of dodgy products always come up with arguments to help them flog their dodgy wares. It always seems to take decades before any sort of legislation is enacted to mitigate the harm, usually decades to late for many victims who've died or had their health ruined. You simply can't rely on the industry to regulate itself. The tobacco giants demostrated this. The bottom line is that anyone who vapes is addicted to nicotine and they have not broken the habit. As someone who has lived with cancer for 11 years, I know what it is like to have the sword of Damoclese hanging over you. Avoiding substances such as nicotine is a good way to lessen the chances of finding yourself in such a situation. 

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