Vaping Harm Reduction

Posted 13th May 2019 by Dave Cross
Raindrops splatter the windows of the London School of Humbug and Topical Mendacity as Professor Martin McCain-Ovenchips leans back in his chair bellowing: “Vaping is for idiots”. Knocking over a coffee, he thrust a graph across the desk. “See, hundreds of thousands of hundreds of idiots!”

My hard-hitting exposé looking at the dangers posed by electronic cigarettes was getting off to a fantastic start – I was certain that this would produce a brilliant fact-free article, generating loads of clicks online. You won’t believe some of the answers I got, nobody will. That’s because (like a lot of the stuff you read about vaping) I made most of them up.

Martin insisted I went to meet the US Sturgeon General before he would say anything else. “You need to get some truths directly from the fish’s mouth,” he said. Dr Jerome Anchovy has been trailblazing the use of facts and evidence since being appointed to office, and is widely regarded as being the very best Dr Jerome Anchovy since 1871. As POTV has a massive budget, I hotfooted it across the Atlantic to find out more.

“The thing is,” explained Jerome, “many people fail to understand the full danger posed by vaping. So did I until the parent of a 6yr-old child explained it to me. Vaping is compulsory during every lesson, apparently. She noticed that her son began exhibiting symptoms like getting taller and catching colds now and then. All doctors know that parents never fib or exaggerate their child’s ailments.”

“Is this what we want? A world of giants? Who knows when they’d stop growing because of eliquid? How could we ever begin to feed all of them? Just imagine what would happen when their heads explode in space.”

It was a very convincing argument.

“And then there’s the gateway to drug use; children catching colds means that they use more Tylenol. Sure, increased use means bigger profits for pharmaceutical companies, but that’s not the point at the moment because it destroys my point.”

I left Anchovy repeatedly shouting “Epidemic!” out of a window and caught a taxi to California to speak to Professor Stanton Grope about his latest research. Many so-called journalists ignore Grope’s work for some reason, so I was determined to reproduce his comments uncritically and without any balancing opinion.

Despite being unable to stop looking at my upper torso, Grope showed how he had analysed data using a technique he invented himself: “I call it ‘The Fibonacci Analysis’. It involves placing a picture of the golden ratio over a chart I drew in MS Paint.”

“The great thing about the golden ratio is that we can squish it from the sides if it doesn’t fit properly. As you can see from the resulting graph, this proves beyond doubt that the e-vaping causes lung epidemics and adverts targeted at youths.”

“Many of your public health people in Englandshire don’t understand how to do science properly. We pioneer the best academic grant applications here in Los Angeles; we know that you start by taking a word like ‘Particulates’ and then make a great pictogram or something. The final step is to find some data from somewhere and mess about until you can prove that your original idea was correct.”

Grope has been so successful with his research that he was given $20-million by the Food and Drug Administration to make up lots more of it. His work also underpins the latest information drive being coordinated by The Campaign for Free Children and The Truthish Initiative.

Concerned about the growth in people vaping, a poster has been produced to explain the simple facts of how smoking is far better for a bunch of organisations than so-called ‘tobacco harm reduction’.

Grope waved goodbye as I sped off in another cab back to Professor McCain-Ovenchips’ office. He was mopping up more coffee and muttering about the mug being an “outlier”.

“Public Health England, the NHS, the Cochrane reviews, the Royal College of Physicians, The Royal College of GPs – none of them understand,” Martin sadly expounded. “If we continue to promote vaping there will be no smokers left and I’ll only have Brexit to tweet about.”

Plus, according to the respected academic, social media hasn’t been easy for Martin or his small group of friends. Simon Coolguy is reported to have received debate invitation threats when he began posting his vape-related opinions. “It’s unfair to challenge one of us to a rational conversation in a public forum,” McCain-Ovenchips cried.

Such problems also led to drastic actions by another pro-smoking advocate - David Boredom has blocked all 321 million monthly Twitter users so that he can read his own opinions in peace.

“We are being targeted,” Martin continued. “The Faculty of Public Health’s Professor John Ashton was made to feel absolutely awful after he called vapers onanists and c****. That’s not right. That’s not right at all.”

As Martin failed to convince UK health bodies to adopt the American poster campaign, he is currently urging them to put in place a traffic light system on absolutely everything.

Proposed Traffic Light System

  • Green – things tobacco controllers and public health experts like Martin like, such as wine, whiskey, rich meals, and budget increases
  • Amber – everything normal people do, eat, drink or enjoy
  • Red – Vaping (because it’s worse than hard drugs)

“Some might say there’s a level of hypocrisy to this but that’s because of a failure to understand our self-importance. If I eat an unhealthy meal it doesn’t have the same impact on me as it would an ordinary person. I could vape if I wanted to and everything would be fine, but if you put an electronic cigarette in the hand of a child it would cause A&E departments to overflow with blood. It would be like a scene from a horror movie.”

“Vaping technology has confused everybody. When people smoked they knew it was bad and they knew we told the truth about it being bad – but what’s the point in us if nobody smokes anymore? Has anyone considered this?”

“It’s so important that you tell your readers they should ditch the dangerous vaping. If they carry on we’ll begin to see massive reductions in our departmental finances and then the likes of the London School of Humbug and Topical Mendacity might have to lay us off.”

As I finish this piece off I’m struck by what I’ve learnt and how much we haven’t considered the feelings and wallets of those endangered by our reckless push to consume nicotine in a demonstrably safer manner. Maybe it’s time for us all to act responsibly and take up smoking again.

 

Resources:

  • ASH UK: Fact sheets on vaping, nicotine and related matters [link]
  • Cancer Research UK: Position statement on vaping [link]
  • Public Health England: Vaping in England report [link]
  • Cochrane UK: Conclusions about the effects of electronic cigarettes [link]
  • The Royal College of Physicians: Nicotine without smoke [link]
  • The Royal College of GPs: Position statements [link]
  • House of Commons Science and Technology Committee: E-cigarettes [link]
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health: Delivering the vision of a ‘Smokefree Generation’ [link]
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping: State of the Vaping Nation [link]

With apologies to ATHRA for destroying their brilliant Aussie Vape Day poster - https://athra.org.au/blog/2019/05/08/switching-to-vaping-in-5-easy-steps/

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker