The more I find out the more I’m coming to the conclusion that e-cigs are a game changer. As it was the situation was that the anti-smokers and ‘health professionals’, or ‘useful idiots’ as they are sometimes called, kept calling for further controlling legislation on smoking to which nanny government happily agreed, while it was also happy to have the excuse that ‘it’s for your own good’ to keep raising the taxes on cigarettes and tobacco. Meanwhile their buddies in Big Pharma were happy to screw large profits from smokers with expensive NRT and, this being a corporatist society, government was happy to open up the tax coffers to them via the NHS. It was all very comfortable and tidy and to the profit of governments and the drug companies. Smokers of course were being screwed, but such filthy creatures of course don’t matter. Other tax payers were also being screwed (consider how much NHS NRT costs) but so what, that’s what they’re there for.
Then e-cigs arrive on the scene being produced by lots of small companies. These companies are all in competition with each other and, as a result, prices of e-cigs are steadily tumbling. But they’re also in competition with conventional NRT and Big Pharma doesn’t like that at all. It therefore goes to its buddies in government and does what big companies always do in our corporatist society: calls for more legislation, more rules, more red tape. You see, big companies can afford to employ people to deal with all that crap and the more of it there is the more the little guy gets squeezed out; the easier it is to kill truly capitalist competition. However, I rather suspect that with the arrival of the £1 e-cig they haven’t moved fast enough. The cat is out of the bag, the game has changed.
One upshot of all this is that we’ll clearly see just how much of the rules, regulations and taxes that have been loaded on smoking are really ‘for your own good’ – are really about concern for the health of smokers. If activists from the likes of ASH are pushing for them to be banned then that will show you that it’s not the negative health aspects of smoking they hate, but simply smokers and smoking. It will also demonstrate that like most people running such organizations they’re righteous pricks who are addicted to bansturbating. If government pushes for them to be banned it’s then all about the money: they’re seeing revenue streams being threatened, they’re under pressure from their Big Pharma buddies and the kick-backs and jobs for the boys might dry up etc. What weare seeing is an attempt to legislate e-cigs out of existence and, if that doesn’t work, I’ve no doubt that government will find some excuse to load them with massive taxes. Doubtless there will be studies along the lines of the second-hand smoke farrago clearly demonstrating that e-cigs are dangerous.