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Monday
Sep022013

I won't invest in smoker phobic rants. I'm out.

Last week I received notification of a "letter handover and photo call" that will take place outside the European Parliament in Brussels tomorrow.

Organised by the Save E-cigs Campaign, it's designed to persuade MEPs to drop plans to over-regulate e-cigarettes via the Tobacco Products Directive.

Tomorrow's press conference will feature a short film entitled 'Smoke without fire: the story of the electronic cigarette'.

We're also promised a "major announcement ... that will have a significant impact on the voting intentions of MEPs on September 10th".

As I've said many times, Forest is firmly in the e-cig camp because we support consumer choice.

Last night however I received another email about tomorrow's event and frankly I'm pretty disgusted.

Judge for yourself:

More than 7 Million Lives at Risk if MEPs Regulate E-Cigarettes Out of Existence

Brussels, Belgium – Over the next few days, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) face a stark choice; to once again support big tobacco, an industry that kills 700,000 people across the EU every year, or to support e-cigarettes, a market-based, consumer-led public health revolution that has the potential to save millions of lives. If MEPs choose the former, and vote for the medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes, they will be condemning Europe’s seven million e-cigarette users to a premature death [my emphasis].

As MEPs prepare to vote on this important issue, several thousand former cigarette smokers from across the EU, their friends, and their families have signed an open letter to MEPs that states, “E-cigarettes for us have been a revelation. Since our friends and family members made the switch to e-cigarettes, it is now a pleasure to be around them. They are healthier, happier people, and we do not have to suffer indirectly as a result of them smoking" [my emphasis] ...

Throughout the EU, e-cigarettes provide a viable alternative to smoking cigarettes. They have enabled millions of people to leave smoking behind, either on a full or part-time basis. But what is often forgotten in this debate are the friends and family of smokers, who also benefit when a smoker switches to e-cigarettes. They are no longer putting their own health at risk through passive smoking and most importantly, they no longer have to worry about their friend or family member dying prematurely [my emphasis].

Strong stuff.

It's fashionable at the moment to jump on board the e-cig bandwagon and embrace anyone who supports the product - even those who have spent years advocating further restrictions against smokers.

I have always been suspicious of zealots and evangelical converts of all persuasions and the e-cig movement seems to be full of them.

Good luck tomorrow but I won't be investing in Save E-cigs' smoker phobic rants. I'm out.

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Reader Comments (25)

I agree with you Simon. I particularly object to their claims regarding passive smoking. On their website, they don't give out much information about themselves, just

"This campaign is supported by a variety of individuals and organisations representing e-cigarette users, their friends and families.''

I don't think they represent the views of the majority of ecig users. I've searched the UK Vapers forums and can find no posts containing their name. Perhaps someone out there has more information?

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 13:37 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

Strong stuff indeed and all credit due to you. But it is what many of us already knew or suspected - in essence an anti tobacco industry, albeit opposed by many in TC who see their gravy train threatened. The only real difference being the level of anti smoker rhetoric. For now at least. Frankly it doesn't matter who makes, sells and regulates e-cigs. Ultimately it doesn't bode well for those who believe in freedom of choice.

That said, in spirit, I fully support those who choose to vape, but it should be down to them get their own house in order and rein in some of their blatantly anti tobacco representatives. So much for calls for a united front....

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 15:36 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

I'm with you Simon. On E-cigs I'm flip flopping because on the one hand, there are "vapers" who like yourself, support smokers because they support consumer choice and the live and let live philosophy - and then there are the other type. They hate everything smoker or tobacco related because it reminds them of doing something they used to be ashamed of.

Until that sort realise we are in it together then first we go down and then they do but they'll find no support from tobacco consumers when the game plan moves to their court and it will. Stanton Glanz is already on the attack.

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 15:58 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Incidentally, I think you'll find that Smokerphobic is one word not two - like Homophobic and xenophobic ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 16:01 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Another example of feeding the crocodile in the hope it eats one last. These silly fools still haven't realised what they're up against, zealots for whom logic and compromise are alien concepts...

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 16:18 | Unregistered CommenterMactheKnife

I wouldn't expect anything else in the sense that the vapers have turned the propaganda and exaggeration against the Zealots. I don't blame them. However, the problem for vapers is that what they say does not actually solve their problem. Their problem is that the EU Zealots can say that, "We just want regulation for safety reasons".
It may be that the Zealots will give way on ecigs, after a fight, because their REALLY important objective concerns 'their next logical step' - the control of cigarette packets.

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 17:54 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

They asked me to promote their site - which I did. Then I read it and as a reply to their thanks,

"Thanks Liz this is awesome! & thanks for all the tweets as well :)

Would you be able to write a post for us, maybe about how your friends and family have benefitted from you switching to vaping?

our e-mail account is : campaign@saveecigs.com
would be cool if you could....
Thanks again -

saveecigs!"

I posted this -

Yes - I will but you might not like it! I want to point out that I'm of the generation that watched all the lies and deceit pumped out by Ant-Tobacco Industry. The figures on most of their "scientific studies" have been fudged. I, personally did not like your letter so much because it is very anti-smoking. Smoking has been made into a thing that it never was - why do you think my generation, and my children, have grown up healthier than the children now? We smoked around them all the time. I am a vaper, but if people want to smoke - that's fine by me. Smoking hazards have been made up to suit the anti smoking groups, keep the drug companies in business and make jobs for loads of people. It's a good way to frighten people into submitting to the most intrusive regulation. In your letter, you play on that fear. The fear is real - the danger is mostly an illusion. I understand you are doing it to save ecigs. My changing to vaping has made very little difference to my family actually - they accepted a long time ago that I was NEVER going to give up smoking. Haha.

The following day, I promoted No Thank EU. The uptake on that was much greater on my blog, twitter and facebook.

Link below

http://vapingpoint.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/no-thank-eu-smokers-and-vapers-please.html

Vapingpoint Blog
Life on an Alien Planet
Google+ vapingpointliz
Twitter @vapingpoint
You Tube www.youtube.com/vapingpoint

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 18:52 | Unregistered Commentervapingpoint

I'm with you too but using the antis rhetoric is common. Nothing worse than a ex-smoker :)

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 20:19 | Unregistered Commentered west

This is wher I am. I have read the statement from the many scientists who have tested and know that second hand smoke is harmless. One of the put it into context that is easy to understand. There is a scoring system for toxic and carcinogenic stuff because everything has bad thing in them but they are all different things so this score enable things to be compared. There is a magic number,3, an things with a score up to 3 are "safe" like chlorinated water is 1.25 and milk is 2.43 and I think we would all consider them safe. Well second hand cigarette smoke is 1.19. Yes safer than our tap water.
The people who wanted cigarettes banned told lies about data like this. Now they are doing it to e cigarettes. So please all vapers don't attack the smokers as they were just as hard done by as we are.

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 20:46 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Moger

This is a complicated subject, complicated, because, in my personal opinion, the electronic cigarette companies and vapers have made it complicated.
My hackles have always risen when the ecig has been in the same sentence as quitting. I know that in specific terms, if a person becomes a full time vaper, then they have stopped smoking. This however is not quite correct.
The original electronic cigarette was invented in China by a gentleman who did not want to stop his personal pleasure of nicotine, but wanted to obtain it in the same way as smoking a cigarette, but without using and burning tobacco.
Now I know that the puritans will try to ban, or at least despotically control anything they don't like or understand. I sincerely believe however, that had the ecig been promoted for what it truly is in the first place, generically, a safer way to smoke, then it would be a different scenario.
By promoting the ecig as a quitting machine has played right into the hands of the tobacco control industry.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 0:08 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Why can't we all just call ourselves recreational nicotine users.

we're all in the same boat here, problem is two factions seem to have the oars and they're paddling in different directions, the end result being, we'll get nowhere fast.

I categorize my position thus:

"Smoke, don't smoke, Choose to vape, choose not to. I really don't care, but, while you decide for yourself, show me that same courtesy"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 0:31 | Unregistered CommenterSam Munro

Good call, Simon. Many e-cig users, just like many drinkers, don’t realise that all the time they let the SHS stories go unchallenged (and indeed, as here, actively promote them), they actually weaken their own position to argue against further restrictions. Because if a few determined lobbyists can convince a gullible public and equally gullible politicians that essentially-harmless SHS (as so ably pointed out by David, above) is lethal, then it’ll be a piece of cake for them to “prove” the same about e-cig vapour, or indeed alcohol fumes (something which I think has already been mooted). All of it nonsense, of course, but they’ll use the exact same “methodology” and the exact same twisted, hysterical reporting and before you know it the terms “passive vaping” and “passive drinking” will be as commonplace as “passive smoking.” After all, if someone agrees that “passive smoking” is dangerous, then how can they expect to have their arguments heeded about “passive vaping?” Surely that would just be seen as sour grapes, wouldn’t it? It’s certainly how it’ll be presented, you can be sure of that. And the non-smoking, non-vaping public will swallow it all - hook, line and sinker.

Not that any of this bothers the neo-Puritans, of course. All the time they can keep all we little groups separate then there’s next to no chance of any resistance which is likely to prove much of a challenge. A photo-call outside the Brussels Parliament building? Oh, woopee-do! Just watch that little protest being actively ignored by the MSM.

The thing that would really worry the zealots in our midst would be for non-smokers like vapers and drinkers to rumble the complete con of SHS, and then put two and two together to see where they’re going next, and to start saying so. Sadly, the attitude of many e-cig users makes this – the most effective course of action – increasingly unlikely. I just hope that when they, too, are banished to the “naughty step” like smokers now are, they don’t expect any of us lot to save them a space underneath the umbrella!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 1:11 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

I wonder if Vaper organisations and Ecig Manufacturers were in contact with each other? I doubt it somehow, if the mirror image of tobacco company/consumer contact is anything to go by.
Every packet of cigs should have contained an insert pointing the way to a website which was determined to protect consumers, and not the tobacco companies themselves. This should have been going on for years. It is not too late, and has not been so for the last three years or so. Putting inserts into cig packs providing a link to a website is not 'promoting tobacco use'. 'Promoting' implies getting more customers. It does not mean providing information.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 2:33 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Simon, I agree with you. While it's understandable that the vapers might want to distinguish the differences between their choice and that of smokers when they approach legislation, they also should face up to a responsibility NOT to add support to the lies used against smokers. Stating that e-cigs are probably far healthier than smoking is reasonable: while not all smokers would agree, I believe most of us accept that smoking has health risks even if those risks are magnified by the media and the Antismokers.

However, once the vapers move into the area of attacking secondary smoke exposure they've stepped right into the Antis' circus of taking theoretical microscopic risks and positing them as real and significant. Once they've accepted those ground rules they've left their own position wide open to attack.

Who cares if an e-cig puts out only the same amount of formaldehyde as ordinary human breath? It's still formaldehyde, used to preserve dead corpses, and deadly to normal human beings, and no safe level of exposure has ever been proven! After all, if it was NOT poisoning our bodies, why would our bodies be trying to get rid of it as part of excretory respiration?

See how simple it is to vilify something once that *style* of vilification has been accepted?

I think VapingPoint Liz and a number of other high profile activist vapers realize this. It's sad that some still don't. I just pasted over on Liz's board: she's asked for thoughts about how vapers and smokers can work better together against a common enemy.

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 5:17 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

I agree too with the majority sentiment stated on this thread. Yes, I vape and enjoy it as well and, moreover, it's reduced my smoking by at least half and often as much as two-thirds (which I wanted). However, these people at Save E-cigs Campaign are indeed playing directly into the hands of the tobacco control as a result of the cheap and sycophantic tactics they are using. Furthermore, they are assisting the tobacco control industry to divide and rule. Bloody Crapacious Fools!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 8:54 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

It's a tricky one this. I've switched to e cigs for various reasons. The main one being cost. Defending e cigs forces vapers to say things that will offend smokers. I'm pretty sure the Antis know this which is why they have different arguments against smoking and vaping. With smoking it's SHS and passive smoking. With vaping it's nicotine addiction It's divide and rule.

Really it should be about freedom and civil liberties.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 9:44 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

Michaelhit the nail on the head. If it weren't for the smoking ban and the fraudulent passive smoking studies, the concept of passive vaping would not exist. These people don't realise they are digging there own grave. "There is no safe level....etc." Nobody talks about passive nail varnish remover inhalation. Well actually, I'm sure they do, but nobody listens.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 12:49 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

More on saveecigs.com. Their website was registered in Bergamo, Italy. Also

http://retailtimes.co.uk/save-e-cigs-campaign-urge-meps-regulate-e-cigarettes-open-letter/

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 12:50 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

Vapers could start by recognising that they are smokers too and stop trying to sanitise what they do compared to what we do. They should drop the silly name they've given themselves as well and make a statement that they are in it together with us. After all, we are all consumers and had they not been smokers first then they would not now want to smoke an e-cig.

I've used Ecigs, and defended them in the past but I won't in future. It's really cheating to say switching from natural organic tobacco to a man-made chemical alternative is quitting. It isn't. It's just smoking differently but who knows how those vaping fumes can harm. Studies are yet to be done.

I despise the way E cig firms like E-Lites are happy to denigrate smokers but then happy to reference smoking to sell their product. "Smoking reinvented" for example. E-Cigs - like the anti-smoker industry - is another parasitic industry on the back of the original industry and doing very well out of it.

MJM is right. All arguments used to bash smokers are coming their way. Perhaps we could begin by saying vapers are more selfish pathetic addicts who would betray anyone to ensure they get to keep sucking on their drug of choice. At least smokers are honest about enjoying smoking.

... and won't someone think of the planet?? After all, how many centuries will it take those non-biodegradble E-Cig cartridges to disappear from the face of the earth after being dumped in landfill?

See how easily it can be done?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 13:16 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

The only real regulation that needs to be done would cover just two areas:

(1) regulating the devices in about the same way they regulate flashlights and batteries etc: making sure they don't explode etc.
(1b) maybe regulating the materials in the same way they might regulate anything put regularly into the mouth in terms of dangerous materials -- similar to whatever passes for regulation with soda straws, dental retainers, pipe stems.

and

2) oversight of e-liquid manufacturers in the same way that beer or soda or alcohol manufacturers are regulated to see that claimed standards of alcohol or nicotine are met as per the labeling and that added adulterants/flavorings be generally safe in the quantities used and are disclosed (to whatever extent that Coca-Cola is required to disclose its "secret formula.")

In terms of health concerns it certainly wouldn't be a bad idea for honest longitudinal studies to be run with "heavy vapers" as subjects. There's no reason to believe that vaping should be harmful, but, since it *is* something that is in some aspects new, it should be watched. We know the proper vaporized glycol seems harmless for occasional exposure in dilution (e.g. from fog machines) but we've never seen what effects might occur from concentrated inhalations hundreds of times daily. While it's almost certainly safer, healthwise, than inhaling concentrated output from burning vegetation, it's still probably a good idea to be checking it as time goes on.

As for seconhand vaping... heh... if you read the studies by Schripp et al you quickly find that even in fairly small closed chambers they seem to have difficulty finding even nanograms to measure in the air! I think it's Schripp who eventually resorted to having concentrated puffs from a machine blown directly into little glass tubes in order to get measurable quantities. And quite aside from the absurd concentration there's the whole aspect of the fact that "secondhand vapor" ONLY exists AFTER it has been in the mouths/lungs of vapers and had a good bit of its content absorbed!

- MJM
P.S. As for the "Oh, but we don't want to BREATHE the vapor after it's been in someone else's lungs." crowd.... what the Q do you think is in the air you're breathing anytime you're in a room with other people exhaling all their gaseous bodily metabolic waste products with every breath?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 13:23 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

Jonathan

"If it weren't for the smoking ban and the fraudulent passive smoking studies, the concept of passive vaping would not exist."

I think you can remove the word "passive" before "vaping", and you would be just as correct.

Electronic cigarettes only really started to gain any traction when smokers were looking for something to mitigate the horrendous impacts of the ban on smoking in public places. There were no "vapers" then, and no-one was searching for another "quit smoking" aid.

I remember engaging in long heated discussions (on F2C) about them. Then, I was in favour - I do, indeed, use them - but now I believe that we have created something of a monster child that has turned against us. In my, sincere, view, the only hope for e-cigarettes now is for the Tobacco industry to take control.

So tough luck, "vapers". Walk a mile in our shoes!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 17:09 | Unregistered CommenterBrianB

The Tobacco Control Directive is not just about e-cigs. It contains many restrictions on tobacco and 'NCPs'.

Were it only possible for people who Vape and people who Smoke to join together to get the whole lot thrown out. Instead we get 'divide and conquer' yet again.

Perhaps, had the save our e-cigs campaigners dropped the anti SHS/pro TCI rhetoric and consolidated with the No Thank EU campaign, a way forward, to get a good deal for everyone, could have been found.

Unfortunately that hasn't happened. A real pity and a shame an opportunity to unite was missed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 20:27 | Unregistered Commenterwest2

I'm somewhat dismayed that everyone seems to be blowing this one statement from a single source into a generality associated with vapers in general.

I am in good contact with a number of very nice, friendly, active, supportive vapers out there. Yes, you had the early vape-sales-pushers spamming the message boards with one-sentence "I switched to vaping at LoversVapers.com and I don't cough up my lungs now." and now you've got some vaper-interests trying to pony up to the politicians by emphasizing how much better vaping is healthwise and "secondhandwise" than smoking, but the former has largely disappeared, and I think the latter is not widespread.

Listen to the podcast I did with one of the larger and more organized vaping groups a year or so ago at:

https://soundcloud.com/vp-live/an-interview-with-michael-j

and you'll see how well our communities can get along together. Actually, during that broadcast there were about 30 vapers in a chat window with me as well, and I don't think I saw a single antismoking comment!

It's good that the particular people responsible for the language in that document are being made aware of just how damaging such an approach is, but we shouldn't let it spill over to everyone else. Both communities have VERY valuable things to offer each other: e.g. we've got knowledge of and experience in dealing with the insanity, dirtiness, and power of the Antismokers, while vapers have more active organization, memberships, and financing from the small vaping concerns, as well as having, I believe, a younger crowd with a bit more energy than some of us long term Free Choice warriors have nowadays! LOL!

OK.... jes' sayin' mah piece... you may now return to your regularly scheduled cloud-production of whatever type you like!

:>
Michael

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 22:15 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

Hi BrianB,
I agree with you in part. The smoking ban is part of the reason for the uptake of ecigs - I have to be careful here as our work place has recently banned them, but we don't have cctv in our offices. However I think they would have caught on without the ban, but more slowly and more among older smokers worried about the cumulative effects. There is also the cost. I was spending £22 a week on Belgian GV. Now I spend in total, including batteries, mixing liquid and cartridges, about £5 a week. For someone spending £70 a week on cigs, that's a huge chunk of money saved.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 13:05 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

The problem is that the Save Ecigs campaign is run by a vendor who doesn't have the background to know anything of these issues. Don't blame the community advocates for this, it's not their work.

Cash injections from the trade are very welcome, but they need some kind of oversight from those with more background in advocacy not sales.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 0:23 | Unregistered CommenterChris Price

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