Electronic Cigarettes – The Inconvenient Truth

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Latest Gadgets

Electronic Cigarettes and Their Future

We all know only too well that smoking tobacco is bad for us, there is only one probable outcome.The majority of smokers will shorten their lifespan and are more likely to develop cancer than their non-smoking counterparts. There has been a lot of press recently about the alleged dangers of electronic cigarettes and potential safety concerns. The tobacco industry is very wealthy and very powerful, with friends in government around the world.

The Government continually tells us that it has our best interests at heart, while simultaneously raising vast tax revenue from a product that it knows will kill us. Apart from Alcohol, it is difficult to think of another product that is as harmful and yet still legal.

It seems bizarre to me that 130,000 people hurt themselves at work each year, and less than 200 die, but the Governments response is extensive health and safety legislation and the costly requirement of the creation of a risk assessment for every task required to complete a job, but 100,000 people die a year from smoking in the UK and the response is to make them stand outside to do it. In 2011/12, the Governments tax revenue from tobacco was £12.1 Billion. Whichever way you slice it, that’s a lot of money that would have to be found from somewhere else if smoking was banned. The conclusion we can perhaps draw from this is that our Politicians will only protect us from ourselves if it can afford to. Or maybe if it can’t afford not to. We will protect you unless we earn lots of money from it, in which event we won’t.

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Electronic Cigarettes and Their Growing Popularity

This brings us on to Electronic Cigarettes and their growing popularity. There is a fast growing anti e-cig lobby, who cite claims that e-cigarettes are dangerous, and should be regulated. There is only one reason for regulation, and that is taxation and profit for Pharmaceutical giants who would surely move in on what would become a very lucrative market for them. It seems to me that most of the anti electronic cigarette commentary is being generated by the smoking cessation industry rather than by tobacco companies. Perhaps the cigarette companies know that the government will look after them, while the patch and gum manufacturers don’t carry as much clout.

One potential flaw with the regulation of electronic cigarettes is that all the ingredients necessary to make e-liquid at home are readily available on the high street. These ingredients all have legitimate uses, so taxing them individually would unfairly penalize non smokers who use the ingredients for other purposes. If the Government can’t control the supply of e-liquid then it is highly unlikely that they will just leave the electronic cigarette industry to its own devices and walk away. It would be the Governments main reason to ban electronic cigarettes and vaporizers if it can’t find a way to tax them.

So where does all this leave us? What is in store for electronic cigarettes in the months and years to come? Will they become mainstream smoking devices or be banned by law and consigned to the annals of history? Time will tell. One thing is for certain, it won’t be health considerations that ultimately decide their fate but finance, taxation and business. From the Governments point of view, once you have bought a vaporizer, you don’t need to buy regulated e-liquid to refill it, you can make your own, or, within a short period of time there will be black market sources readily available. This means that the Government would lack any control over the use of vaporizers and e-cigarettes, and we all know that they don’t like that. Especially when the devices are responsible for eating into £12.1 Billion a year of tax revenue.

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