Prophet 451Prophet 451's Journal
Elected officials and anti-smoking advocates need to re-think their knee-jerk reaction and hostility to e-cigarettes and vaping. It seems like every day we hear a new attack yet these products are actually helping some people quit or cut back on the much more dangerous alternative of smoking tobacco. In May, a large study out of England that was published in the journal Addiction made worldwide news when they announced that smokers trying to quit were 60 percent more likely to succeed if they used electronic cigarettes than over-the-counter therapies such as nicotine patches or gum.
Despite these promising results, politicians are grilling e-cigarette companies. In a major New York Times piece last week, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia denounced manufacturers of flavored e-cigarettes, saying they should be ashamed of themselves and that they are whats wrong with this country. He claims that flavors like coconut, cherry, and peach are designed to hook young people.
While I understand the concern of marketing e-cigarettes to young people and nonsmokers, we cannot lose sight of the fact that these products are helping millions of people stop or cut back on smoking. Vaping is a safer delivery system for nicotine, and many people enjoy the flavor and find it pleasant thats why more and more people are turning to it. Do we really want to limit flavors if they are helping people move away from smoking? It is ironic that anti-smoking advocates, whose goal is to get people not to smoke, are attacking a practice that is succeeding in getting people not to smoke. Shouldnt we be applauding the fact that so many people are embracing this harm reduction practice?
I'm now just over three months from my last cigarette (50-a-day smoker for 25 years) with no cravings, no bad temper, just a couple of days of feeling like I should be doing something with my hands. E-cigs help people quit and the existing research says that the number of people who take up vaping without being smokers first barely exists.
I may have observed this before but the GOP have essentially created a new religion. Like Mormonism, it's a religion that's grown out of Christianity but is quite distinct from it. Unlike most religions, which get drawn into politics by events, this religion exists directly BECAUSE of politics, to confer divine approval onto fringe-right policies. It melds lip service to Jesus with a more-or-less complete repudiation of everything Jesus actually taught. It has it's own high priests (Limbaugh, Beck, etc), it's own devil figure (Obama), it's own articles of faith and it's own messianic figure (Reagan). While it claims to be Christian and has appropriated the Bible for it's own ends, it's actual teachings are a blend of Randian wealth worship, Nieztchian will-to-power, classist loathing of the poor as weak and Nazi-level nationalism.
I'm a Luciferian Satanist myself but I have read the Bible and I have a lot of time for that Jesus bloke. His teachings of compassion, love and tolerance inspired my grandmother (who raised me) to devote her entire life to caring for disabled and disturbed kids. But here's teh funny thing: You'd never have known she was a Christian unless you asked. She'd complain loud and long about the local council shrinking the budget for childcare and about the stipend she got for looking after them never being enough but I never once heard her complain that her faith wasn't getting preferential treatment. I know (from conversations we had toward the end of her life) she drew a lot of comfort and inspiration from her faith but she never tried to lord her faith over others.
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