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Stop already with the ludicrous witch hunt over vaping

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
A customer testing flavors at OKC Vapes.
Fertile Ground Compost Service

NORMAN, Okla. – I don’t smoke. I don’t vape. I’m no fan of inhaling anything other than air, except for maybe the occasional helium huff. 

Nevertheless, I know people who smoke, who vape, and who have made the switch to vaping. I also see the plight of the millions of smokers who are unable to severe their ties to combustible tobacco. 

It’s sad, because they know the path they’re on, where it leads to, but they just can’t break free. The stench, the cost, the health problems, smokers are very aware of their lot. 

Which is why the ridiculous, dehumanizing, federally-subsidized shaming campaigns do no good whatsoever. They just make smokers feel like crap for being unable to quit. 

Contrary to what these inveterate scolds may believe, smokers are painfully aware of what they’ve gotten themselves into. And usually on the heels of those mindless, Puritanical television commercials that depicts a decrepit old man hooked up to an iron lung is the obligatory chiding about smokers not using a nicotine patch or some other lame cig substitute as a viable way to quit. The 42 million smokers in the United States are subjected to this, constantly.

So, in the midst of this campaign of fear and shame, vaping moonwalks in. A new, “cool” way to smoke, except for the fact that…there is no smoke. 

There is no combustion going on whatsoever. Through water vapor, the nicotine connoisseur imbibes their stimulant in the safest way possible, and in style! 

Smokers are stampeding to the local vape shop to see what the craze is all about, and they’re finding that they can finally tell the cigarette companies to go to hell as they toss their stinking poison in the garbage forever and buy an endlessly customizable, and endlessly “cool”, vape gadget. A normal person would look at vaping and think, “Great! A real solution to smoking! The anti-smoking crowd must be ecstatic!” 

That person would be wrong. The Tobacco Prohibitionists, along with public health officials, have had a reaction similar to that of a cat when encountering a cucumber, equally as rational, and have opposed vaping at every turn. 

It’s just as grim as you’d expect. They say things like, “it’s just as bad as tobacco!” 

Yeah, tell that to former smokers who now vape, jerk. And now, in a perverse distortion of reality, the Puritanical tight-asses behind the tobacco shaming campaigns are joining with Big Tobacco in their objection to vaping. Satan, somewhere, is smiling. 

The irrational hatred of vaping by the same morons that seek to banish combustible tobacco from the face of God’s Creation seems to stem more from “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy,” Mencken’s accurate definition of Puritanism. They’re not smoking, but they look like they’re smoking! And they’re enjoying it! 

Nothing infuriates the tobacco prohibitionist crowd more than that. Consuming nicotine shouldn’t be enjoyable, in their eyes. 

It should be a hassle, and uncool in the extreme. It’s the same crowd that agitated for the $5-a-pack tax in New York, which generated a massive black market in “loosies”, cigarettes sold individually and illegally and which led to Eric Garner’s choke death by NYPD cops policing that ridiculous experiment in social-engineering-by-decree. 

In the perfect, sterile, Hell on Earth of the Neo-Puritan prigs, no one would smoke, no one would drink, and no one would get high (among an endless list of other prohibited activities). It would be all sunshine, rainbows, and self-flagellation. It reminds me of a quote from Albert Jay Nock, writing on the type of civilization most likely to tolerate Prohibition:

“The ideals and instruments of Puritanism are simply unworthy of a free people, and, being unworthy, are soon found intolerable. Its hatreds, fanaticisms, inaccessibility to ideas; its inflamed and cancerous interest in the personal conduct of others; its hysterical disregard of personal rights; its pure faith in force, and above all, its tyrannical imposition of its own Kultur: these characterize and animate a civilization that the general experience of mankind at once condemns as impossible, and as hateful as it is impossible.”

“An inflamed and cancerous interest in the personal conduct of others.” I know of one or two public officials this could describe. We are fortunate enough to not live in their Puritanical fantasy, but that won’t stop them from attempting to implement it. 

And so, a message for those too blinded by their Prohibitionist fantasy to see the solution to the problem of combustible tobacco that is right in front of their noses: get the hell out of the way of the vaping revolution and let it solve the problem that you’ve failed to solve. Variations on “Laissez Faire!”, and “From my cold, dead hands!” 

Vaping doesn’t need “regulation”, which means it doesn’t need some cabal of Washington bureaucrats dividing up the vaping market to favored cronies. Big Tobacco has their own E-cigs, and I have it on very good authority that they suck. Royally. 

No one would buy that crap unless they had to, which is probably the idea behind the regulatory push. Let the vaping industry breathe the free air of the free market, so more former smokers might be able to also breathe the free air again.  

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About the Author

Shane Smith

Shane Smith is an accountant and freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in economics from... read more

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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