Nobody knows more than me that I am not a diplomat. It’s the reason I don’t write many op-eds on e-cigarettes anymore. There are many people in the vape community that are so much more qualified to deal with the anti-vaping organizations and loudmouths that are getting louder every day, that its usually best for me to stay quiet. But, sometimes I need to vent. This is one of them.

If you’ve been paying attention to the number of anti-vaping media stories have increased ten-fold in the past three or four months alone. With the FDA regulations quickly approaching it seems like the best analogy for what’s happening right now is what happens in the last week before a national election for the Presidency. All the money and all the people on both sides make one last push to get their message out. That is what it feels like today. Decisions will come soon, and it’s time for all of us to be on the record, diplomatically or not.

While you read this, keep in mind that I have already admitted to being politically incorrect, and I am seriously concerned that these are scary times and while e-cigarettes may be our epicenter, but it is far more reaching than that.

In any case…

Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health profession,  has this to say about e-cigarettes;

“…current data do not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern.”

And this:

“I wouldn’t worry at all if someone was smoking one of these by my kids,” Burstyn said. “From a pure health perspective, these are not as bad as a cigarette.”

Words like this are repeated over and over and over again, but it’s never enough to shut down the anti-vaping zealots. Why is that?

With 43 million cigarette smokers in the US alone, more than 300 million in China, 1.6 billion over the globe, electronic cigarettes are the first real product that has the chance to make a dent in these huge numbers of smokers, and save hundreds of billions of real money in healthcare over the next few decades. Any normal person would look at e-cigarettes are as a Godsend, but we all know that isn’t the case. There are so many people making so much noise over so much nonsense. It doesn’t make sense.

James Dunworth, of The Astray Blog, is reporting that in The Age National,  Australia is seriously considering a ban on tobacco cigarettes from 2015 onward, if current tests on e-cigarettes prove that “vapor is safer than tobacco smoke.” They aren’t saying “safe”, just “safer”. And they will encourage people to switch to e-cigarettes instead. There is no way in the world that any test, or any study, would ever come to the conclusion that vapor is NOT safer than tobacco smoke. If they are serious about this chances are Australia will have the largest concentration of Vapers in the world.

Personally, as died in the wool libertarian, I prize personal freedoms above everything else. As far as I’m concerned anyone old enough to make decisions for themselves should have the right to make decisions for themselves. As long as the outcome of those decisions do not have a negative impact on anyone else it’s none of our business what people do.

Spinfuel eMagazine Reviews The Innokin iTaste 134Want to smoke pot? Fine. Want to drive your car stoned? Not fine. Kill someone driving under the influence? No mercy. For me, it’s cut and dry. “Whatever floats your boat, as long as you don’t sink anyone else’s boat.” How anybody sees it any other way isn’t something I can even wrap my head around, though I do respect other people’s opinions, as long as those opinions doesn’t impact my life or my loved one’s lives.

Banning is Bad. Simple

Australia shouldn’t go banning tobacco cigarettes because adults should have the right to smoke if they want to. In the same vein, if Australia wants to withhold healthcare from people who are ill as a “direct” cause of smoking, then they can do that as well. Remember, as long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on others. Billions wasted on healthcare caused by people who choose to smoke is a negative impact on other people’s lives, so…

For those of us in the vape community however, this news from The Age National, at least makes more sense than most of the nitwits in this country, and the UK, who simply want to kill off the first real tool in the fight against tobacco cigarettes… because it ‘normalizes’ smoking. That mindset is ignorant, socialistic, and just plain old stupid. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who stands up and declares that e-cigarettes risk bringing back a lifestyle of enjoying “a smoke” (even though its just vapor) is someone that is ultimately causing more harm than good.

How the World has Changed

Last week I was watching an episode of Seinfeld, one from 1994. In it there is a dinner scene with the motley crew and someone at the table was smoking a cigarette. Not even super-fussy Jerry said a word about it. I am in no way indicating that I believe that people should have the right to smoke at the table while non-smokers are forced to smell the second-hand smoke, but what I am saying is that this “cowardice new world” is one in which everyone seems to have earned the right to force their will on whoever they choose. This new direction for society scares the hell out of me, and has long before I even knew electronic cigarettes existed.

The most intolerant people are people that are always screaming about what someone else is up to. Unless you’re doing exactly what they want you to, unless you’re thinking the way they think, they have no tolerance for it and they demand that you tolerate their intolerance. It’s some form of insanity that has possessed our world, an insanity that has gained support from the federal, state and local government officials who have sworn to uphold and protect the constitution of the United States, a document that places tolerance, respect, and personal rights at the highest level. And yet these bozos believe they are upholding these rights. It’s finally 1984, with doublespeak and personal invasion of privacy is something to be admired. It is sickening.

The Bottom Line is Simple

Electronic Cigarettes are safe when they are made to meet certain standards of quality. E-Liquids are safe when made under the same guidelines that food products are made; quality ingredients mixed and bottled under safe and sanitized conditions. We have the right to the pursuit of happiness. If that happiness includes vaping, or making and selling vaping supplies, then there is no other argument to be made. As far as I’m concerned, no one has the right to tell anyone else what he or she can and cannot do.

Now let’s be clear; I want more studies on exactly how safe e-cigarettes are. I want strict standards on batteries, and eLiquid ingredients. I don’t want every Tom, Dick or Harriet to be able to make eLiquids and sell them to the public without having the skill, knowledge, and wherewithal to do so. And I wouldn’t mind inspections on these places, like our tax dollars that are being spent on food inspectors. Bring them on, and make violating them expensive. This doesn’t fly in the fact of my libertarianism; it supports it. We’re not anti-government; we just want smart governance. Big difference.

I am very confident that the eLiquids I consume, from Mountain Oak Vapors, Ginger’s eJuice, Rocket Fuel Vapes, Potion Vape, Hurricane Vapor, Johnson Creek, and others, are mixed, bottled, packaged, and shipped in the highest possible standards. I am also confident that Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and flavor extracts cause no harm. I believe that nicotine is no more of concern than caffeine, and any responsible adult has the right to consume both however they like, and that anyone that disagrees with me better back it up by valid and unbiased science.

People like Michael Bloomberg are a clear and present danger to personal freedom. People that want to ban e-cigarettes because they normalize smoking are clearly delusional and shouldn’t be taken seriously. But most of all, if we, as Vapers, do not stand up and defend our rights they will be taken away from us.

In the end, this is about more than e-cigarettes, this is about freedom, it’s about our rights, and it’s about standing back from the edge of the cliff. A line must be drawn before it’s too late. We must turn back the clock on society, back to the time before radicals decided that things must be run their way. If we don’t, vaping will be the least of our worries.

Yes, support vaping. Vape everywhere you can. But, while you’re at it, remember that vaping is only a part of this new mindset sweeping the planet. There are bigger implications, and by defeating the anti-vaping crowd we make a stand against all the other invasions into our private lives.

John Manzione