Tiberius Asks: “Will electronic cigarettes ever be socially acceptable?”
While those who have looked in detail at electronic cigarettes, vaping devices and tobacco cigarettes will be well aware they are very different, unfortunately at this moment in time they tend to come under the same train of thought for many people. As a consequence, the social acceptance of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices may not be as straightforward and simple as it should be. If they are really so different, how have they become so entwined?
It is not difficult to see where these initials seeds of thought were planted, who planted them and why. There are many companies, associations and governments around the world who have a vested interest in electronic cigarettes being classified as “tobacco products” and many have done their upmost to discuss these particular products as if they were one.
Different ingredients, different cost and different health implications
It would be wrong to suggest that all of the potential long-term health implications of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products have been thoroughly tested and clarified. However, it would also be very wrong to suggest that these products are anywhere near as harmful as their tobacco cigarette counterparts. This is fact, and even the most ardent critics recognise this, so why are they still being talked about in the same light?
We only need to look at the 4000+ toxins present in the average tobacco cigarette to totally differentiate electronic cigarettes and vaping products. Indeed perhaps one of the more startling facts often overlooked is that nobody has yet identified all of these 4000+ toxins let alone their individual health implications! This is before we even look at the major difference in price between tobacco products and their electronic cigarette/vaping counterparts.
Fighting a losing battle?
The politicians and those with a vested interest in making electronic cigarettes socially unacceptable may well be rubbing their hands in anticipation, may feel this is a job well done and their strategy has worked. However, over the last few months we have seen an array of polls in the US which confirm that the vast majority of people have no issue standing next to someone using an electronic cigarette or some other type of vaping device. So what do the politicians make of this data from on the ground?
As you do when the battle is moving away from you, politicians, regulators and those with a vested interest in damaging the electronic cigarette market ignore these facts and figures. Time and time again we have seen their arguments disseminated and shown for what they are, rumours, counter rumours and speculation. First of all we have the issue of “selling to minors” even though there are already laws preventing this, then we had low quality ingredients in low quality products, which is unavoidable without light touch regulation and then we had speculation about long-term health issues. Unfortunately, we have seen an array of misleading medical reports issued often casting a dark shadow across the industry.
Support continues to grow
Politicians, powerful corporate bodies and those with a vested interest in breaking the electronic cigarette market seem to have given up the ghost of late. As support continues to grow for electronic cigarettes it seems as though more and more politicians and corporate bodies are moving on to plan B, strict regulation and attempting to strangle the industry at a relatively early stage. So will they succeed?
In many ways the genie is out of the bottle, never to return, with the electronic cigarette industry now mainstream. The US market alone is expected to top $5 billion in 2015 and we can only guess what the rest of the world will be turning over by then. We have electronic cigarette companies floated on the New York Stock Exchange, we have multi-million dollar takeovers and acquisitions as the very axis and the very future of the industry continues to change.
Many of those who have been fighting the electronic cigarette industry are now looking to take their fight into a new phase, infiltrating the industry and working out from within. Tobacco cigarette companies and those retailing smoke cessation aids are now investing heavily in electronic cigarettes in what could become a no lose situation. If the industry continues to grow, they will see significant returns on their investment, if strict regulations are applied, then their existing products will continue to flourish. This is a no brainer!
Despite the fact that on the ground there is no doubt that electronic cigarettes are more socially acceptable than tobacco cigarette ever have been, the mass media is not necessary portraying this situation. Time after time we see polls suggesting that the general public has no issue with electronic cigarettes, see no threat from secondary smoking and indeed many are now embracing electronic cigarettes (and other vaping devices) as their gateway FROM tobacco cigarettes.
The truth is that while the mass media might suggest that electronic cigarettes are not socially acceptable, the general public is saying otherwise. Eventually pubs, clubs, restaurants and other public gathering places will need to accept this en masse otherwise those with more flexible policies will flourish amongst the growing electronic cigarette using population. The truth is that electronic cigarettes are socially acceptable, we just need to get the message out!
As a nom de plume goes Tiberius is just as good as any. But who is Tiberius, other than an e-cigarette insider with his (or her) finger on the pulse of every major event, and player, in the industry. Spinfuel will, on occasion, bring you the latest from Tiberius, whenever he (or she) has time to sneak away from the paranoid inner-circle of the hottest industry in the world. Thank you Tiberius, wherever you are. – Spinfuel Team