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The insidious re-normalisation of smoking

31 July 2014

6:21 PM

31 July 2014

6:21 PM

The NHS has long since been smoke free, banning smoking on-site for patients and staff alike back when I was a nursing student. Of course this is ignored pretty much universally by patients and visitors, and every time you enter a major hospital it is usually through a cloud of tobacco smoke whilst the poor nurses must change out of their uniform and leave the hospital site in their rest break. It was with great surprise then, whilst sipping my morning coffee recently and trying to recover from the hacking smokers cough acquired entering the building, that I noticed a patient nearby sat merrily smoking away.

I was incredulous. Outraged. I stared open mouthed, and, being British, said absolutely nothing. Fortunately, I realised before I could release an almighty tut that she wasn’t smoking at all. She was doing something entirely different; she was ‘vaping’. Being a longish-term ex-smoker this phenomenon had largely passed me by until now. Vaping & e-Cigarettes offer a cigarette-like experience of inhaling nicotine without tobacco smoke and all the known disease-causing tobacco constituents. It is considered by some as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco, but did not meet the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on tobacco harm reduction; with very clear statements on the lack of evidence of long-term safety, lack of reliable evidence of short-term safety, and concerns over toxic constituents. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will soon be regulating licensed products that may serve to improve their availability, acceptability and popularity. This will also allow them to be marketed as a smoking cessation aid.


Debate continues over whether this is an entry or exit drug to smoking, and it may yet have a place in the arsenal of medications for helping smokers quit. But, being tobacco-free, they are not subject to the same controls and legislation. This makes me very sceptical indeed. As I have begun to pay attention, I cannot help but notice that the branding is typical of the ‘golden age’ of cigarette smoking, and I wonder how long it will be until we have slogans such as ‘happiness is a vaporiser called (insert brand name here — might I suggest Majestic as an excellent potential brand name)’. The flavours available are vast. With options such as fruit, chocolate, absinthe and ‘cinnamagic’, they seem designed to appeal specifically to our young. It is easy to see why. Big tobacco is in decline in the western world, and both old tobacco companies and e-cigarette start-ups are hungry for profit.

The years of denial of tobacco’s dangers should remind us quite how little concern can be shown for public health by companies and cartels that want to sell you totally unnecessary and addictive products. There is a stealth, re-normalisation of smoking underway and an insidious attempt to grow a new market by targeting the young and naive. So, my advice is to treat any individuals or organisations who claim that these products are harm-free as you would a regular cannabis user who cites research about the health benefits of THC while ignoring all the really bad associations with the drug, like psychosis, paranoia, depression, and even cancer. Give them a nod, a smile and a big fat dose of scepticism, or ‘sceptimagic’ maybe?

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Show comments
  • Steven Jones

    Quit smoking…do vaping.

  • John Cliff

    I was addicted to rolled cigarettes, especially kretek cigarettes made in Indonesia that I bought online at
    I really enjoyed it taste and I still can not move to the filtered ones. But most importantly, I always smoke alone without anyone else around me.

  • Sean L

    So there’s no actual evidence of physical harm caused by vaping but you wish to ban it anyway. Clearly the primal gustatory and narcotic need that such a device answers persists, therefore by any rational standard vaping ought to be defended as a healthy alternative. That’s if you’re arguing about health rather than about politics with “health” as a pretext.

  • jamesdelingpole

    Why is this in the Spectator?

  • dado_trunking

    We love the fact that a packet will set you back £8 nowadays.
    That clarifies things.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Does the goat smoke then lad?

  • Raddiy

    Another holier than thou interfering busybody.

    Please list all your vices, so we can condemn your life choices.

    I expect you drink dangerous alcohol.

    I expect you consume unhealthy food.

    I expect you burn hydrocarbons in your car, damaging our common atmosphere and poisoning our environment.

    I expect you have health issues caused by lifestyle choices.

    Just get on with your nursing, and whatever lifestyle you chose to live, and keep your bl**dy nose out of other peoples lives.

    Their choice is to smoke or to use smoking alternatives that do not interfere with anything other than the sensibilities of busybodies like you. They know the risks, and the simple fact is they are probably keeping you in a job, as their smoking taxes are billions in excess of their demands on public services. To cut to the quick if medical professionals were any sort of example to follow, there would be far fewer of them who are seriously overweight bouncing around the NHS preaching to the rest of us.

    • Zillatron

      You forgot one of the most common vices: Coffee!

      It contains caffeine, a neurotoxic alcaloid like the dangerous nicotine that increases the heart rate and blood preasure. Larger doses of this poison will lead to

      – cold sweat

      – dizziness

      – nausea

      – vomiting

      – diarrhea

      – seizures

      – DEATH

      Carcinogens have been found in every sample!

      Of course it’s highly adictive. Can you start your day without a fix?

      And BigCoffee companies like Starbucks is trying to lure children into early addiction with all those fancy flavors.
      They also add them to hide the bitter taste of pure coffee.

  • JonathanBagley

    If you got a hacking smokers cough from walking through a cloud of smoke (was it really an actual cloud?), then you need to see a doctor. It’s likely you’ve something wrong with your lungs which is nothing to do with tobacco smoke. As for the rest of the article, you are ignorant beyond belief. Thank God you are a nurse and not a doctor.

    • Nkaplan

      What’s depressing is that many doctors seem to think the same way…

      • Zillatron

        Well, many of them bother to check the science themselves and simply rely on what the so-called “experts” tell them. Just like all those “copy & waste” journalists.

  • serialluncher

    “With options such as fruit, chocolate, absinthe and ‘cinnamagic’, they seem designed to appeal specifically to our young. ”

    Never forget to “think of the children”. Of course kids are crying out for absinthe flavour donchaknow? And adults don’t like chocolate do they?

    • Zillatron

      Flavoured comdoms and vodka are only targeting children, too.
      And Starbuck is just trying to lure “The Children” into a life of caffeine addicition with all those flavourings they offer.
      BAN THEM!
      To “Protect The Children” of course.

      I hate ritualistic rhetorical child abuse …

  • Nkaplan

    “It is considered by some as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco, but did not meet the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on tobacco harm reduction; with very clear statements on the lack of evidence of long-term safety, lack of reliable evidence of short-term safety, and concerns over toxic constituents.”

    How is one expected to produce evidence of long-term safety of something before there has been any long term use of it? This requirement is ridiculous – there is no theoretical reason to suppose e-cigarettes are dangerous. In the absence of a good scientific reason to think there is a danger there can be no requirement to prove that they are safe because such a requirement becomes an incredibly broad test which would be impossible ever to satisfy. This ludicrous test is a version of the misconceived precautionary principle under which it is assumed that in the absence of evidence that something is safe it ought to be treated as if it is unsafe.

    This hopelessly misconceived principle would have prevented almost every major social, medical, scientific and technological development since the stone age. One should only treat something as unsafe if there is evidence that it is so – not assume (without reason) that it is and act accordingly. The faulty logic behind the principle is the notion that there is no cost to inaction – but there is a huge opportunity to cost to such inaction which is not accounted for.

    Furthermore when will the medical profession learn that their job is to resolve the medical problems of those who come to them for treatment – not to whine that the public as a whole is too unhealthy and propose measures to interfere in their lives to ‘correct’ for this.

    Why are you people are so puritanically concerned that people might get a little pleasure out of something which is a bit like smoking a cigarette?

  • Freebornbriton

    Passive smoking……never proven, used by the “Tobacco Taliban” to make life just that little bit more miserable. But then, puritans have been doing this since Adam was a lad.

  • Davidh

    “…trying to recover from the hacking smokers cough acquired entering the building,…”

    I do believe you made that up, Mr Vates.

  • JoeDM

    All smoking is a foul habbit.

  • Toby Guise
  • swatnan

    We could end well up with ‘Hookah Dens’ rather like the Opium Dens of de Quincy.
    Ban these sleasy e-fags, and tax the tobacco industry out of existance.

    • Alex Creel

      Nah, tax the ecigs as heavily if not more than we do tobacco. Just think, all that tax revenue without the cancer treatment at the end – deficit?what deficit? If the ‘enjoyment’ they provide is as good as commentors above would have me believe they’re sure to pay a small fortune for them….or perhaps they’ll find them easy to give up?

  • WillyTheFish

    Given the author’s utter ignorance over the facts concerning cannabis I think I’ll pass on the anti-vaping hysteria.

  • Roger Hudson

    The NHS has long been smoke free ..?
    No, as any visit to some NHS mental health wards will show.

  • Rossspeak

    Why don’t we have signs in all NHS premises stating ” no vaping, no carrying any liquids containing alcohol, and anyone over 15 stone is not permitted on these premises” – and, while we are about it ” don’t bother us if you have any sort of heatlh problem that is self induced”.
    That should about cover it.

    • right_writes

      Yes bloody customers…

      How on earth are we s’posed to run a health service with all these sick people under our feet?

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Quite right, do you know some people actually believe the NHS is there for sick people as opposed to providing sinecures for Labour’s client state. Ridiculous.

  • flagcraker member

    If nicotine is so harmful why can I buy it in gum and patches off a supermarket shelf (often placed at child eye-level) along with biscuits and soap powder?

    • JonathanBagley

      And it’s approved for use by 12 year olds.

    • Zillatron

      Well, obviously they must be rather benign, since they are approved by the MHRA.
      And the Pharmafia has invested quite bunch to get this approval.
      Just follow the filthy lucre …

      • Spazmelda Whee

        Liked, mostly because of the phrase “filthy lucre”.

  • monty61

    Get lost. Bugger off now, do you hear. What business is it of yours anyway?

  • Smithersjones2013

    Much as the advertising for these Vap sticks is amongst the crassest there is this new craze has one benefit. It should keep the health fascists occupied and exercised for at least the next decade meaning that they won’t be trying to browbeat and bully people over other health matters.

  • Michael Peel

    The demonisation of vaping is an absolute nonsense. It is by far and away the best solution for people wanting to stop smoking and, as such, should be encouraged for those that wish to try.

    The antis are certainly getting their knickers in a twist over this and showing just how pathetic they are.

    • ButcombeMan

      The best solution is just to stop.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Yes, mother.

  • James Mitchinson

    I do appreciate that the Spectator publishes well-written articles of all perspectives and political persuasions but this incoherent, ill-mannered, and narrow-minded rant belongs on the Guardian website, not here.

  • The Manchesterist

    ‘both old tobacco companies and e-cigarette start-ups are hungry for profit.’ How terrible.

  • dodderer1

    Another applicant for Witchfinder General – no knowledge,no research,no idea required

  • Damaris Tighe

    Mind your own business.

    • HookesLaw

      Without regulation thats what the person vapping needs to do.
      No regulation is not carte blanche to do what you want at the expense of everyone else. That sort of attitude is what breeds regulation.

      • Colonel Mustard

        No, what is breeding regulation is the thousands of vested interest non-jobs, mainly funded by taxpayers, in the quangoland and fake charity rackets here and in Brussels.

  • JonBW

    Yes, but some of us enjoy smoking.

    Let us smoke as informed adults in dedicated spaces away from non-smokers, and we’ll happily carry on propping up the NHS through tobacco duty and our reduced demand for healthcare.

    And you can avoid the negligible health risks of sharing our space (though I’m afraid that the vehicle exhaust fumes will get to you anyway).

  • The Wiganer

    If you drink too much water you can get ill and possibly even die. Think of the children who, seeing me drinking a glass of water, will undoubtedly start to drink it by the bucket. People are suffering everyday from hyponatremia. Ban it, now!

    argumentum ad absurdum.

  • Rosie

    “Debate continues over whether this is an entry or exit drug to smoking” You may well continue to debate, but the positive evidence is piling up in favor of vaping; gets people off Lit Tobacco.

  • The Wiganer

    So vaping MUST be a medication? Can it not just be something that some people enjoy, for which there is no proof that it is any more harmful than the thousands of other things we eat, drink and inhale.

  • Frank Heaven

    Frankly amazed to read a viewpoint like this on a generally anti ‘nanny state’ website.

    Also, having spent a lot of time visiting an ill friend recently in hospital, with all the streses that entails, I can fully understand why people smoke outside hospital. Leave the poor sods be.

    • Alex Creel

      Just to clarify – the only ‘stress’ that smoking relieves is the stress of not having had nicotine for 15 minutes +. The stress relief felt by a smoker outside a hospital lasts only as long as it takes for your body to fully process the nicotine. Then that stress returns and will continue until the next ciggie, brings to mind a hamster in a wheel….

  • Shlomo

    Of course this is ignored pretty much universally by patients and
    visitors, and every time you enter a major hospital it is usually
    through a cloud of tobacco smoke whilst the poor nurses must change out
    of their uniform and leave the hospital site in their rest break.

    Take the placement of the [mostly] pathetic ‘accommodation’ generously allocated to smokers at NHS sites up with the management. Most smokers just fancy a puff somewhere relatively dry and comfortable…and situated reasonably close to an exit somewhere or other. Is this too much to ask given that smokers (and let’s not forget drinkers, sugar/salt consumers etc.) comfortably pay more to the Exchequer than they receive? I don’t think it is.

    There are two further points to make: 1) presumably, you enter NHS sites via a car park. Well, I’m no epidemiologist, but I’m willing to wager that the accumulation of petrol and diesel fumes has a more noxious effect on one’s health; and 2) Isn’t the placement of huddles of puffing smokers just outside the entrance to some NHS buildings *part* of the denormalisation strategy? I’m fairly certain that personal choice and individual freedom are never considerations when NHS management decide when, where and if smokers can smoke.

  • FergusReturns

    “being tobacco-free, they are not subject to the same controls and legislation.”

    That’s exactly equivalent to saying “Being alcohol-free, tea is not subject to the same controls and legislation as vodka.” In other words it’s simultaneously perfectly correct, utterly irrelevant and f**king stupid.

    • Lorenzo

      Yay! A mere upvote for FergusReturns isn’t enough to show my appreciation for this one.

  • Dan West

    What do the facts say about the ‘renormalisation’ of smoking? A phrase that instantly deems any tobacco smoker abnormal, by the way. The facts say, the sales of tobacco and cigarettes are falling at a rate not seen in Europe and the U.S. ever before . Millions of Smokers of 30 , 40, 50 years plus , smokers with numerous quit attempts via pharma products under their belt are quitting lit tobacco overnight. Smoking tobacco is being hastened to it’s end by e-cigarettes, it is a tide that will not turn. The only thing they normalize is not smoking tobacco . This constant insistance that they are renormalizing tobacco smoking is quite simply bollocks. Every bit of evidence shows this. Smokers have been treated appalingly for years, they finally get an effective way out of tobacco and get even more histrionic bullshit thrown at them as vapers. Vapers are harming no-one, except maybe control freaks egos and fake scientists and social engineers who have for decades had their noses in the anti smoking industry trough. Tobacco is so yesterday.

    • Colonel Mustard

      That’s the crux. Whatever will all these lucratively paid control freaks do when there are no cigarettes? The focus on vaping is just a feathering of nose-poking rent-seekers nests. All the vested interest “charity” groups which make good money out of their crusades must extend the parameters of their disapproval. None of them are ever going to say “Job done”, close down the office and go to the job centre.

      There are hundreds of them. The bastards.

      • right_writes

        Yes excellent point…

        On a slightly different angle…

        If we were to simplify our tax system from 15,000 pages down to one or two….

        What would we do with all of those people that have been making a living off of the backs of rich and poor alike?

        Accountants, civil servants, tax lawyers, the list goes on.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Brilliant because we all know the “bastards” will find something else to demonise and hopefully ban. Doubtless, chewing gum will be discovered to be a major cause of heart disease and its users threatened with social condemnation and if the Lanour party has its way, prison.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The sharks are circling a few things now. Meat, alcohol, sugar, Thomas the Tank Engine, the adult internet. They have learned that no matter how outrageously intrusive and draconian their utterly barmy ideas, a few scare stories, some dodgy statistics and careful timing with news stories and pre-announcement announcements can work wonders in conning the gullible mass into surrendering yet more liberty to them. And the insult that follows injury is that it is invariably our taxes that pay them to push us around.

          The tactics are always the same and most of it comes from the left. We have governments that are so useless, incompetent and corrupt in governing the great affairs of the nation that instead they prefer to push their way into our homes (sometimes literally) and seek to regulate the trivial minutiae of our lives.

          It is like a room full of idiots with not enough to do to occupy them dreaming up new things to ban or regulate. My reaction to these “initiatives”, inevitable, relentless, tediously same old same, is always “Now what?” and/or “FFS What next?”. I would be a happy man if we had a parliament with fifty MP’s in it, all male, all over the age of 50, and all of them incredibly lazy. And no Brussels of course.

          But Britain’s new, expensive and totally unproductive “industry” is taxpayer funded meddling and histrionics. Nice work if you can get it. Mostly women or feminised men involved too.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Agreed. It is remarkable, or is it?, that it never occurs to these people to do something productive and generate a little prosperity. That would do more for the general well being of the country, particularly the poor, than any of their petty minded, self-important interference. It is of course impossible for such people to make this leap because they are so infused with self-righteousness and an inalienable sense of their own unique ability to regulate the lives of other people properly. I think the words of that ‘high priestess’ of sanctimony, puritan boorishness and hypocrisy, sum up this attitude perfectly: “we do it because it is the right thing to do”.

            • Donafugata

              Absolutely spot on.

              The self-righteousness of the left stems from their belief that they are morally correct and therefore couldn’t possibly be wrong.

              Why would someone like YC allow ordinary people the folly of choice when she knows that anything that gives pleasure has to be bad for ones health and therefore immoral.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            By the way, I love that definition of Puritanism by H L Mencken who surely had the Labour Party in mind: “people who live their lives terrified that somebody, somewhere might be happy”.

    • Conway

      You could say nanny is having a fit of the vapours 🙂

    • ScaryBiscuits

      ‘Renormalisation’ is a word only used by militant lefties, trying to redefine humanity. Perhaps that nurse should get back to nursing.

  • Lady Beki Jane

    Does using sweetner renormalise eating sugar? Does Tofu normalise meat products? Does caffeine free diet cola normalise energy drink? You gave up smoking your way, They gave up smoking theirs. If they aren’t inhaling smoke, then they aren’t smoking any more than someone puffing on one of those horrible white plastic quit aid things is smoking.

    There is such a thing as Nicotine free vaping. It’s just a different way of enjoying the best of the old bad habit, while removing the worst. A little tolerance and live and let live goes a very long way in life. Just because you don’t like the way it looks, it doesn’t follow that it’s bad.

    • HookesLaw

      How is a caffine free drink an energy drink. With this e-ciggy you still get the nicotine. What I don’t know is if the ‘smoke’ is noxious. I understand it is not ‘smoke’ at all.
      What I wonder is is there something else dangerous in all the stuff that gets sucked in.

      • Lady Beki Jane

        You didn’t read my comment at all, did you.

        If you’d like the actual science abut what’s in an ecigarette, then have a look at some research:

        • HookesLaw

          I did read, I did not think your comparison was valid. There is no caffeine in a caffeine free drink. There is nicotine in these e-ciggies. From what I read you are also inhaling propylene glycol amongst other things. Good luck with that, so long as its not being blown back at me.

          Basically without any legislation then if a place or a person objects to a thing its down to the user to put it away of go somewhere else. Its called politeness and respect. No one has an inalienable right to vap or do anything in my face. Its only legislation that allows someone to do something in my face without me being able to object.

          • The Wiganer

            Nicotine is not the carcinogen in tobacco so your counter argument is weak.
            I’ve seen plenty of people ‘vaping’ and none of them has done it in my face. Have you considered not shoving your face into other people’s personal space?

            • HookesLaw

              And just because you do not mind something where there is no legislation that does not mean others do not mind.
              The lack of legislation does not mean a free for all – its free for alls that require legislation.
              Even without say smoking legislation that does not mean that someone ought to be able to sit next to me and smoke without asking permission. If say a pub landlord were to grant permission then it would be up to me to go somewhere else.
              People decry the nanny state etc but then go on to ignore the quid pro quo – namely that people should be polite and respectful and thus negate the need for regulation.
              Instead all we get is arrogance from people like you

              • The Wiganer

                Arrogance is thinking something should be banned just because you don’t like it. Etiquette is not law, nor should it be.

          • FergusReturns

            “From what I read you are also inhaling propylene glycol amongst other things.”

            Yes. So are asthmatics and anyone who’s ever breathed in a hospital. Propylene glycol is used as a propellant in asthma inhalers and an air cleaner in hospitals.

            “There is nicotine in these e-ciggies.”

            Yes, but that’s OK. According to the MHRA “Nicotine is a very safe drug”.

            • HookesLaw

              Stuff yourself full of nicotine then, I thinkI think I will pass. Although my point was in the comparison with caffine free drinks being called an energy drink.

              • Lady Beki Jane

                Banning vaping because it looks like smoking is as nonsensical as banning a caffeine free diet cola because it resembles an energy drink. My point is that this is not logical. If you are pointing out that my comparison is illogical you are proving my point without understanding what I was trying to say. I was stating very clearly that the logic is flawed. Are you arguing that the logic in both cases is sound?

          • Shlomo

            Its only legislation that allows someone to do something in my face without me being able to object.

            All hail the State!

            • HookesLaw

              No on the contrary. If there is no legislation then its all down to each of us to respect the other.
              I was not infavour of the complete ban of smoking in pubs, even though it suited me. it was think up to landlords. I was rnot to go to smoky pubs.

              • JonathanBagley

                Well after reading your previous posts, I am now seeing you in a different light. Thank you.

          • Lady Beki Jane

            There is such a thing as zero nicotine eliquid; my comparison is valid. You can’t tell if someone is vaping with nicotine by looking at it. PG has been studied since the 1940s, and you’ve inhaled it often. Air fresheners are probably less healthy to be near. As for nicotine, it is as harmful as caffeine when not set fire to and inhaled. It has also never been found to cause either addiction or withdrawal when used to treat disease separate from the other “minor” alkaloids in tobacco. But that’s just scientific studies. Dismissed as worthless in the article.

            Note that I am not saying that they are safe. Nothing is safe. There is nothing in life that involves a zero risk probability. I am saying that they are safer than smoking, 95-99% safer. That makes them as dodgy as eating chips or driving a car for fun.

            In the study I linked it says: “Exposures of bystanders are likely to be orders of
            magnitude less, and thus pose no apparent concern”

          • right_writes

            Why are lefties such ‘effin’ puritans Hookey?

            Unless (of course) you are busy poisoning the air with your inhumane nonsense and rhetoric.

      • FergusReturns

        “What I wonder is is there something else dangerous in all the stuff that gets sucked in.”

        No. You’d know that if you’d bothered to do any research before mouthing off.

  • guyherbert

    It would be utterly terrible if people were allowed to please themselves whether they took risks for pleasure?

    One phrase in the article sums up its assumptions and makes me shiver: “our young”. The language of the ant colony.

    • First L

      Why not let your child snort asbestos then?

      • FergusReturns

        Because, unlike nicotine or propylene glycol, asbestos is harmful.

        • First L

          Sure. Breathing in a banned chemical pesticide because of its harmful effects on mammals can’t do you any harm at all.

          • Lady Beki Jane

            So the FDA is absolutely in error when they said there are no significant safety concerns with respect to long-term/recreational nicotine use. More specifically, the Agency recently published a Notice of Findings in the Federal Register indicating that the long-term use of the nicotine-containing NRT products was safe and does not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence.

          • FergusReturns

            Nicotine is not a “banned chemical pesticide”, you idiot. It’s a naturally occurring alkaloid found in all members of the nightshade family – including aubergines, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. Oh, and tobacco.

        • ButcombeMan

          Nicotine is toxic, it is addictive. It has no redeeming feature.

          • Rosie

            You do have evidence of the addictive nature of nicotine?

            • ButcombeMan

              Of course. It is unchallengeable. You are either stupid or trollling but I will humour you. Google (nicotine + addiction) you will find enough to satisy anyone but a fool.

              • Rosie

                Study that shows nicotine is very addictive, not nicotine in tobacco smoke, please, thank you? Stupid, fool and troll, no answer for me then.

          • Rosie

            “Study finds nicotine safe, helps in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s”

            Tampa Bay Times

            – “”It seems very safe even in nonsmokers,” he said. “In our studies we find it actually reduces blood pressure chronically. And there were no addiction or withdrawal problems, and nobody started smoking cigarettes. The risk of addiction to nicotine alone is virtually nil.””


          • Fergus Pickering

            Except that it gives pleasure. Brrrr!

          • robbydot

            It’s redeeming feature is that some people like it.

  • Rosie

    “The insidious re-normalisation of smoking” – NO. The lady in the hospital has normalized Vaping, wonderful, well done girl.

  • Dominic Allkins

    Are you a shill for the pharmaceutical industry?

    Firstly, if someone finds using an e-cig helpful in giving up tobacco smoking then frankly what is the problem?

    If they want to use an e-cig while also smoking tobacco – same question.

    If they just want to use e-cigs for their pleasure completely unrelated to smoking – same question.

    People are choosing to spend their own money which they have earned on a product they would like to use and enjoy. Whether it is a necessary product is neither here nor there.

    How they choose to spend their money is their choice and frankly none of your business.

    Unless of course you’re a paid shill for Big-Pharma who are trying as hard as they can to protect their margins as they watch people try an alternative to their staggeringly ineffective smoking cessation aids.

    Declaration of interest: I’m an ex-smoker (20 a day for 20 years) who defends absolutely the right and freedom for people to smoke (tobacco or cannabis is fine), vape or in fact whatever they want to do with their own money.

    • clavdivs

      Could also be a shill for the tobacco industry, I don’t think they’re too happy about e-cigs either.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    How long until health nazis invent the concept of second-hand vaping? This is bansturbation. Leave the poor buggers alone, fascist.

    • Zillatron

      I already read some excrement about of 3rd hand vaping …

    • HookesLaw

      If the outpourings are shown to be harmless – if – then its down to common politeness to ask permission first. Whatever it is that spouts out is spouted out in my face. What I object to is someone ‘vapping’ without asking if I mind.

      • Bones

        “Move away from the kettle”. I repeat, “Move away from the kettle”.

      • Jimmy R

        I object to the outpourings of hot air by control freak bullies, especially when they are directed in my face without first asking if I mind. People do a lot of things in my presence which I do not always particularly like but I see no reason to infringe on their freedom to do such things and am not arrogant enough to assume I should have the right to order them to cease just to suit me.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Quite right, but run that attitude past, for example, Yvette Cooper the high priestess of bossiness and I wonder what reaction you would get.

      • Donafugata

        You have nothing to worry about, with an attitude such as yours it is doubtful that anyone would want to be that close to you.

    • Smithersjones2013

      How long before they claim its destroying the ozone layer?

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Kindly refrain from giving Ed Miliband even more stupid ideas.

  • Fergus Pickering

    What is a ‘necessary’ product? Is coffee necessary? Is gin necessary? O reason not the need, old fruit. Not all smokers die of it. Perhaps they ought to, eh?.