In September I turn seventy. You might think I'm over the hill, finished, kaput. But I am actually physically well, despite fifty years of smoking, and a pretty sedentary lifestyle too.
How long am I going to live? I don't know. Ten, twenty years if I'm lucky. I come from a long lived family. Smoking was one of the great joys of my life. I was never going to stop, unless I had to because my body was too collapsed to continue or I died, making smoking rather difficult in such circumstances.
In 2009, our family converged from all over the world for a big celebration in a large Victorian House on the Isle of Wight. I had just heard of electronic cigarettes and I bought one because we couldn't smoke in the house. It was a cigalike with a cartridge. It was foul. I threw it away.
Three years ago this month, I bought myself a little electronic cigarette from JACVapour in Edinburgh (my nearest shop in those days) because, again, I was going away where I couldn't smoke. The little black e cig was really good. It had a cartomiser instead of a faffy cartridge. The battery and cartomiser actually lasted and the whole setup was easy to use and felt and looked "good". Furthermore, it was SATISFYING!
Within a few weeks, I had completely switched to vaping. In my mind that seemed miraculous. It completely changed my life. I found something I liked BETTER than smoking.
So what is my worth now that I'm old and finished? Well, it's what I have in my memories that is important. I want to share my knowledge with younger vapers. The knowledge is not about devices, mods, latest trends, manners, atomisers, TFT or BFT, or any of that.
My knowledge is about what I have seen happening around me in the world. As a young person, you will not know, because you have grown up during the "new" time.
You might not believe it, but not so long ago, LGBT (this is a Government site) was illegal! People went to prison because of their sexual preferences. Of course people were still lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual - but hidden, concealed,clandestine - subversive.
Girls who fell pregnant were considered disgraceful and their babies were taken away so that families didn't have to deal with the shame. It was hidden, concealed, clandestine - subversive. Being pregnant without being married produced legally termed "bastards".
Pornography was illegal and banned. Women needed to be chased and pure, wear little white gloves and hats and stay at home to cook, clean and look after the children. "Nice" girls never got drunk, or slept around. There were no birth control pills. How nice girls ACTUALLY behaved was hidden, concealed, clandestine - subversive.
Most people smoked cigarettes - even priest, nuns, judges, doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians scientists, psychiatrists, policemen, soldiers, Mums, Dads - you think it, they did it - everywhere. It was something people did for pleasure. Or to calm themselves. Or to control their weight. During the era of the smoking epidemic (when everyone did it because it was fashionable) cigarette tobacco was tampered with by manufacturers to make it more addictive and taste better. Thousands of chemicals were added to cigarettes, making smoking more harmful. Smoking was hard to stop. Everyone knew that. It also harmed you if you overdid it. Everyone knew that too. So after World War Two, the wisdom of the crowds knew stopping was good and smoking was bad - not BAD EVIL, but "silly".
There was no war on drugs. There WERE drugs and alcohol. People had trouble with both.There were no "designer" drugs or genetically engineered marijuana. There was no genetically engineered tobacco. There was no genetically engineered anything - that was science fiction.
There was no litigation mentality - suing someone because it was their fault you fell/broke your arm, whatever. The blame culture hadn't begun. There was no lawyer industry - only rich people could afford one.
The Government was expected to provide services in exchange for our income taxes. Museums, libraries, historical places and churches were free to all. There was no "public health preaching" or health Charity industries. A charity collected money from the people to do good works, and were not subsidised by Governments. Charities did lobby parliament - but were not supported by the Government to do so.
Hospitals provided care for sick people without blame. Patients were sick people - not expenses to the state, targets or statistics. There was no "elf and safety" - no European Union legislation and far less Government legislation than we have now. Every aspect of life was free-er. Except when it came to sex. But that functioned actively in the background - hidden, concealed, clandestine - subversively.
Sex is now free-er, but many other aspects of life have become complex and tightly controlled.
One of the greatest accelerators of our progress to now, has been the use of science, data and statistics to prove, or dis-prove things about society. Computers can rustle up a lot of figures in the wink of an eye, that once took years and months to produce. There are millions of "scientists" working today, whereas in the past, scientists were few and the work laborious.
In the new scientific age the Government, to prove itself, creates data and statistics, and controls its workers by making them fill in forms and work to targets. Nursing, teaching and policing has been completely transformed by this.
Somehow, people live under huge stress to conform, to be politically correct (a new expression) and they are manipulated to do this by scientific evidence in this new scientific age.
What young people might not understand, is that science has changed from what it was - a tool for discovering information without ideology - to science funded by and promoting ideologies, social engineering and legitimising "nudges" - another word for Government interference in our lives.
Tobacco Control is a new modern industry - a business employing many people who sustain it because it guarantees their jobs. Unable to destroy Big Tobacco, the enemy of the people, they have used science to promote the dream of a world without smokers. Smoker genocide targets ordinary behaviour to make it abnormal. Smokers are individual people. Some of the science Tobacco Control have produced is very suspect - the numbers of people dying from smoking for instance. And the idea that people get lung cancer from second hand smoke.
We see the abuse of science to promote anti vaping fervour. We, as vapers can see it happening before our very eyes! This is easy to do in a society already hardened to allow the persecution of smokers without personal thought, but as a result of the science presented by the prohibitionists, even though they, ordinary people, personally, have nothing against smokers or smoking.
I will not quote any figures put out by the anti-smoking industry for they are perverted by fundamentalism, profit and corrupt collusion with the pharmaceutical industry (also a new modern industry). The more I see how it is working with vaping, the more I realise how smokers have been alienated in a modern world where facilities to smoke comfortably would be easy to have, where pubs and the economy could revive, where happiness could return, where drunkeness and drug taking might reduce if there was a compromise in the smoking ban. I believe there are many more smokers than we are told. Smoking has become disgraceful, hidden, concealed, clandestine - subversive.
Our biggest problem is Tobacco Control. As a vaper, I will not regurgitate any of their words. I am appalled that we are trying to negotiate with them without exposing them instead. They have drained pleasure from society, taxed, twisted and restrained our vitality for living, all under the mantra of trying to save our lives. Smoking was a simple pleasure, without causing violence or danger. No one was admitted to hospital for smoking a whole pack of 20 in a day or being beaten up by a violent smoker under the influence of tobacco.
The biggest change I have seen in my life is withering legislation, taxation, financial greed and prohibition, prohibition, prohibition. I have heard it said "If alcohol/sugar/smoking was invented today, it would never have been allowed!" THAT is a thought that shows how twisted our thinking has become. People do not need to be allowed by an external force to eat, drink or smoke. We are individual people who should be able to choose what we do. We should be free to do that openly in our new enlightened age. We should not have to be hidden, concealed, clandestine or subversive.
Our new scientific, secular age is riddled with fundamentalist ideology pinned in place by "evidence". The new industries of Tobacco Control, Public Health, European Union, Litigation, and Pharmaceuticals are supping at our happiness, making us miserable, guilt ridden and compliant.
Do not believe everything you are told - even if it is supposedly proved by science.
Smoking does not kill everyone - I'm still here. And most of my smoking friends are too. Whatever happens, I intend to go on vaping till the day I die. It would be tragic if I had to do it hidden, concealed, clandestinely and subversively.
That would be a real shame
Quote - Dave Dorn "Vape on, vape hard and don't let the buggers grind you down"