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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My letter to Chris Davies - please write too....

 
Dear Chris,

I have smoked for 50 years. The more repressive smokers' situations became the more determined I was never to stop smoking. You could call me one of those un-co-operative stubborn smokers. In August 2011 I bought an electronic cigarette to use because I was going somewhere I could not smoke. By October 2011, I had switched completely to vaping only. I found I preferred vaping to smoking. It was quite a miraculous event in my life. I think electronic cigarettes are amazing inventions. They have changed many lives in an equally miraculous way.

They work as they are NOW. (they are regulated quite well in the UK already as a consumer product, so saying they are unregulated is not true.) If the EU meddle in what, currently, I would call the greatest way to turn people away from smoking cigarettes, they will be short-sighted and foolish indeed.

I have only vaped for 20 or so months, but there are some vapers going into their 9th year of vaping. I have not heard of any negative health conditions stemming from vaping, though we need another decade to be sure. It is better, in that time, to offer smokers a way to lessen physical harm, by using something that is definitely less harmful short term and probably less harmful long term.

I very much doubt any young person who started vaping would ever switch to smoking a real cigarette as the experience would be, in comparison, quite awful. I would think smoking is the gateway to vaping and not the other way around. I think, as the laws are now, and with plain packaging immanent, young people will try smoking as a cool and dangerous poke in the eye to authority and collect and swap the mind violating images as a swagger.

In this circumstance, having electronic cigarettes as they are currently sold, as a consumer product, would save lives.

Electronic cigarettes are not sold as a quit smoking program. They are for reducing harm so that smokers may still enjoy the ambiance, the comradie and the joy of smoking, without inhaling poisons. They are a substitute for smoking. The flavouring is offered to enrich the taste and not to allure the young to try vaping.

I have found that the saying "Nicotine is what addicts people to smoking" to be questionable, and I believe that is even being investigated scientifically. Nicotine is as addictive as coffee - and as harmful. There is something in the burning tobacco leaf that makes the addiction - not the nicotine. Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco in any way and should not even fall under The Tobacco Control Directive.

As for the selling of electronic cigarettes - they are a consumer product, not a medical device. They have been an amazing invention for those smokers crushed between persecution and repressive legislation. And they should be treated as a product like any other. They should be avaliable to be sold anywhere.

If you need any information, there have been many scientific studies done now on vaping and electronic cigarettes by vapers  themselves who are policing their own practices, please don't hesitate to converse with me - or others who are far more knowledgeable.

There is a lot of mis-information and scaremongering coming from those who might be fearful of vaping being the new smoking, or those having vested interests in producing the mostly useless NRT Therapies or even cigarettes!

Electronic cigarettes, so far, have been a grass roots thing, controlled by no giant corporations, either drug, tobacco, or Governmental. It would be a sad, sad thing, that they get interfered with for whatever motive, fear, greed or control, to make them useless, instead of the best Harm Reduction tool available - for smokers.

Yours Sincerely,

Liz

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