I was listening to a news item about the ‘new e-cigarettes’ (tobacco extract vapouriser). There was a debate (in the EU ?) as to whether these ‘items’ should be classified as : Legal, Regulated or ‘Medicinal use’ as an aid to help people stop smoking. I heard that they were deemed option #3 (medicinal only).. effectively prohibited from general sale ?
The following comments were made:
1) Vapourising was LESS harmful than smoking
2) There was a big reduction in ‘second-hand’ smoke (or vapour), if not totally zero
3) There was a concern that young people may see them as a gimmick & could lead to more smoking
4) The general idea was that they should be used only to wean current smokers off their tobacco addiction.
5) There was concern that current smokers may just change from smoking ‘regular’ cigarettes; to e-cigarettes.. BUT not want to give up tobacco/nicotine at all
A few of these points, were similar to the Cannabis SMOKING debate. A main reason that is used to maintain prohibition, being that there is enough harm from tobacco.. why add to it ? It has been known for a while that cannabis can also be ingested by vapourising it (also less harmful than smoking). BUT this is rarely, if ever mentioned. They wouldn’t want to weaken the stance..
This led me to wonder whether there is another ‘under-current’ going on here.. MAYBE the tobacco companies are feeling threatened by these alternatives to their smoking monopoly ?!
I’m not sure what the legal stance is, here in Aotearoa/NZ on these e-cigarettes.. BUT they recently passed the ‘psychoactive substances’ bill into law. Should these items be classified under this legislation (strictly regulated, only IF deemed ‘low-level risk’ of harm) OR just made legal.. because tobacco is ?
OR is this….. just another; Double-standard ????