Warning: You might just have to give me an inch of slack here, because I am going to tell this one how I see it, without pulling any punches!
For years now the government has banned so much as MENTIONING e-cigarettes as anything remotely like a smoke cessation method! We, the advocates of e-cigs, have been screaming until blue in the face that they needed to wake the hell up and smell the coffee here, E-Cigs present a HUGE opportunity to help save millions of people from death due to tobacco related illnesses. I had come to the conclusion that the government simply makes too much money from cancer to really want anyone in large numbers getting off the smokes.
Oh, sorry, did that shock you? The bit about governments making money from cancer? Sorry but it’s something I firmly believe to be true, and has been for many years. If you ever have a few months to read a book, go and look up The Politics Of Cancer (and sequel “Revisited) by Dr Samuel Epstein (check his impressive credentials), someone a close friend of mine once had the privilege of listening to in the flesh at a talk he did. Boy did that man know his stuff. I think he did a second book. Anyway, you don’t need to read the whole thing, just the introduction where Dr Epstein explains the inaliable link between cancer and treasury budgets! It got me thinking many years ago, and I have kept the idea in my head firmly ever since.
Imagine you are head of a government treasury, the purse manager for the government, if you will. Your job is to make that purse as fat as you possibly can, and reduce any ‘leaks’ as best you can too. So you have lets say 10 million people (just for arguments sake) working for 40 years of their life, flat out working and paying taxes, spending the money they earned (after being taxed on it) and then being taxed again to spend it on say food and beer and petrol, all taxed again. Those companies all pay tax on their profits, and then when they pay their employees, the whole merry go round starts all over again. YOU ARE SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR of course!!
But there is a problem. The problem comes after these people retire and stop working. It’s ok if they drop dead at work, as there is never any ‘draw-down’ on your ‘investment’ or your ‘cattle’. But assuming they keep living (pesky swines!) then YOU will end up forking out a whole load of cash on them as they move into old age. From free bus passes to disability benefit payments, from winter fuel tax allowance to housing allowance, damn these oldies even want help getting around sometimes, it’s a really expensive old game looking after your elderly generation.
So while you are miserable at the prospect of giving back a whole load of that money you milked out of these people for decades, along comes this neat little idea called CANCER. It’s responsible for 440 deaths every DAY in the UK alone. Every 4 MINUTES, someone dies of cancer.
Now then, imagine if someone came up with a cure for cancer. Can you imagine how SCARY that would be to you, the person who has to pay out to all these people who now may live until they are 80 or even 90?! Well now you get why Dr Epstein calls his book, “The Politics Of Cancer”. Cancer isn’t just a disease/illness, it’s a BUSINESS. And the real business in my opinion comes in avoiding a cure for it, and perpetuating cancer. It solves the problem of people living longer, simple as that.
(Click Here to see the book – you can just read the reviews underneath to see I am not making this stuff up!)
So, aside from that little trivial point, back to electronic cigarettes for a second! The ONLY way the government/NHS will begin prescribing these things as smoking cessation devices, is if they get HUGE backhanders from the industry to do so, but the e-cig industry isn’t owned by government-friendly (filthy) companies like GlaxoSmithKline and many other big pharma companies. Having said that, I noticed some while back how the big tobacco brands are getting into the E-Cig business, I predicted this in a post on my blog a few years ago now, it was so obviously going to happen as they had to “hedge” their bets in case this E-CIg thing “took off” and threatened to give people a LESS harmful choice than their filthy tobacco stuff!
So in light of the fact that tobacco firms are now involved in E-Cigs, it makes sense that NOW….. ONLY NOW……. Guvvermints are ready to start seriously considering their health benefits as part of a progressive health service, they couldn’t do it before, because these little independent companies who made E-Cigs in the past can’t be bought or bribed etc etc so easily as the big old firms governments of the world have been doing dirty business with for decades.
This was another prediction I have been making for a year or two now, that the NHS would one day use these as tools to help people get off tobacco, but not until there is a backdoor way to profit. Now the flood gates look ready to open. What does this mean for us e-cig users? Well I am not sure on that, but I have to say I am quite nervous. I don’t want my E-Cigs made by Philip Morris or Imperial Tobacco, you know, the people responsible for killing millions of people over the years, and if tobacco wasn’t harmful enough, adding chocolate, sugar, licorice, addictive substances to help keep people even more hooked than they were already.
I want my e-cigs made by companies where the staff are like me and you, normal folk, decent friendly people who wouldn’t dream of selling something they knew would kill people, like the fat cat billionaires pushing tobacco at third world countries kids now, since our kids are off limits these days! So my answer is, so long as these firms can continue to make E-Cigs, and governments don’t push them all out of business with deliberately punitive processes and costly regulations etc, then I am ok with it, as I will just choose my e-cigarette provider carefully!
(Here is a link to the BBC article which reports this ‘news’)