E-cigarettes - “One of the Greatest Inventions Ever”

Are e-cigarettes one of the greatest inventions?

One journalist, Patrick West for Spiked, recently wrote a piece declaring that e-cigarettes are “one of the greatest inventions ever”

He opens his story by addressing the anti-vaping arguments and condemning what he describes as modern society’s “ban happy culture”.

“E-cigarettes don’t ‘normalise’ or glamorise smoking in the way cigarette-shaped candy sweets of yore did,” he says, “They normalise only e-cigarettes themselves. They normalise ‘smoking’ as much as Quorn normalises eating meat for vegetarians (I used Quorn when I went meat-free in 1996 and I’m still a pesceterian-vegetarian). Over two million people in the UK now use electronic cigarettes, a figure that has tripled in two years.”

“You are 60 per cent more likely to give up cigarettes by using e-cigarettes than you are by using the next best nicotine substitute or willpower alone. Far from being an ‘entry’ device for tobacco use, there is abundant testimony for them being an ‘exit’ device.” We have also written about the vaping gateway myth in a recent blog post, read it here.

The Miracle Cure

West then describes his personal experience with traditional cigarettes, and then how his life changed after he discovered vaping: “I took up smoking as 17-year-old in 1991, in the way most teenagers do: unthinkingly, seeking to fit in with the cool kids, with that sense of invincibility and lack of foresight you have at that age. Although I sporadically tried to give up in the years that followed, all attempts to quit my 20-a-day habit ended in failure (the only achievement was downgrading from Marlboro Red to Silk Cut Blue).”

“In 2012, someone I had befriended on social media sent me an electronic cigarette, and on 11 December that year I had my first puff on it. That same day I had my last real cigarette. Ever. These days, I even have nightmares about smoking, from which I awake, as if in a bad film, relieved to find it was just a dream…E-cigs are possibly one of the greatest inventions of all time, in that they are that all-too-rare thing: a real miracle cure, literally an overnight solution. And I’m not alone in thinking this, as replies to a query I put up on Twitter last week will now demonstrate.”

E-cigarette Success Stories

The article ends with some testimony that West had amassed on social media, from former smokers (many of whom had been addicted to decades) who kicked cigarettes with the help of vaping. Here’s a small sample (all of these are real Twitter accounts if you’d like to look them up):

@gonloopys: 28year smoking habit. Had 1st ecig jan 2013. I know I will never smoke again.@Todrick: 1.5 Pack/day smoker for 22 years, stopped overnight with eCigs. been 2.5 years now.
@olddragons: smoked a pack a day for 40 years, never wanted to stop smoking. 3.5 years now without a cigarette
@VapeCrusaderOk: smoked pack a day for 30 years. Got an #ecig and simply forgot about smoking nasty cigarettes. #ecigs are better!
@MandieMW: 30 days ago I got a starter kit and after 20 years I finally gave up smoking.
@Reptile_keeper_: Finally quit 16/12/13 after years of trying and failing with everything pharma had to offer

West gives special mention to India Knight, the hugely respected Sunday Times columnist who says: “I’ve not had a cigarette for six months and before that I smoked 40 a day”.

Advocates and defenders of vaping are making themselves heard. The American Heart Association, the biggest US heart-health advocacy group, said that vaping is worth a try: Aruni Bhatnagar, lead writer of the policy statement from the Dallas-based non-profit group and a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville in Kentucky said: “If people cannot quit at all and have tried everything in the field, we would not discourage them.”

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