Monday, 27 May 2013

France Admits It's Never Been About Health

Online news site The Local can usually be relied on for some superb off-the-wall articles about bizarre behaviour by people in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and France. You know, like Danish farmers marrying donkeys or Swedes setting up a church to worship lettuce, that sort of thing.

This, however, is apparently a serious story about bizarre behaviour by the French government.
The French government could be set to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and at work because of health precautions, it emerged on Monday. The ban threat comes as the nicotine-filled ‘vaporisers’ experience a boom in sales in France.
"Health precautions"? They are hugely safer than the cigarettes the French government has been nagging everyone to give up for years!
France’s Minister for Health, Marisol Touraine, could be ready to introduce a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in certain public places, once she receives an expert report on Tuesday into the health effects of the smokeless devices. 
Despite what is thought to be a largely positive report, commissioned in March and carried out by pulmonologist Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg, sources for French radio RTL claim that Touraine is planning a bill to outlaw e-cigarettes in public.
Now, one has to wonder why the need to ban e-cigs in public. If the French government has fears about their safety to users, the ban should be on their sale, shouldn't it? There has never - except in the minds of the most hysterical hypochondriacs and pathetic tobacco control scaremongers - been any suggestion that they could be harmful to passers-by.

Don't those pharma tentacles get everywhere these days? It's never been about health, merely secret corporate hand-shaking.


Jean Granville said...

E-cigs don't smell, right? So I don't see how they will ban them at the office. If you smoke a cigarette in your office, the whole floor will be noticed in two minutes, but with an e-cig, you should be OK. In the worst case, lock yourself in the toilets, which is less than OK but better than having to walk a kilometer.

By the way, I'm wondering whether you can use an e-cig without triggering the smoke detector in the plane's lavatory, for instance.

Roly Gate said...

There are two types of smoke detector: air obstruction or ionising particle. The type used in a house is usually the cheaper, first type. You can blow ecig vapor directly into most of these with no effect. In planes they use the second, more expensive type; these are triggered by anything in the air, including ecig vapor.

You need to 'stealth vape': use a refill that produces less vapor; hold it in for longer; exhale it through a paper towel. Forget about using an APV with an RBA and 100% VG liquid - you will cause a major disaster alert :)

junican41 said...

What we are observing is the natural consequence of logical silliness. It is similar to permitting the possession of guns for the purpose of committing suicide but forbidding their possession for the purpose of killing others. Thus, according to this weird logic, the mere fact that such a law exists will prevent murder.
If ecigs could harm others by their emissions, then they would harm the user vastly more. Therefore, ecigs must, logically, be prohibited entirely. But tobacco is still entirely legal!
It is in the interest of everyone who enjoys 'drugs' like chocolate to militate against EVERY prohibition which comes out of 'The Government'. That is a key idea. People can make their own 'prohibitions' for themselves and for their children. They can accept advice or not as they wish.
PUBLIC HEALTH ought ONLY be concerned with things which affect EVERYONE, such as clean water and sewage and atomic energy radiation. That is, those things which individuals cannot change or decide for themselves. The way things are going, persons will not be permitted to venture outside their homes without wearing a mask.
There is a stench of corruption. Principally, at the moment, it is being emitted by the EU and the WHO, but it is also being emitted by our own Health Dept. There is a terrible stink!
The problem is that WE have not yet correctly worked out what level of FORCE (by way of laws) will stop Zealots from killing us all.

nisakiman said...

So what happens when you run the hot tap in the loo? Surely any steam will then set off the alarm, no?

This is a question I've asked a few times, and had different answers every time. Some seem to think that vapour from an e-cig won't trigger the alarm, others that it will, but I've yet to hear from anyone who has actually tested the theory.

JonathanBagley said...

Thanks for that info Roly. I've been wondering about smoke detectors. Jean is right. I've got an office of my own, so no problem, but there are plenty of deserted stairwells. A ban would be pointless.

Churchmouse said...

I did read or hear that it was because people with visible e-cigarettes 'do not set a very good example' to the general public.

Churchmouse said...

Here's a related French it-was-never-about-health item from several days ago.

RMC news announced that the Socialists were going to postpone July's hike in tobacco tax to October. The panel on the station's talk show after that newscast said unanimously, 'It was never about health! If it were, they'd have pushed this through straightaway as a deterrent.' (There were more non-smokers than smokers on the show that morning as well as another panellist who enjoys e-cigarettes.)

Strangely, an hour later, the next news brief said that the government had said the earlier announcement was in error and that the tax would indeed come into effect in July. The newsreader read the rationale from the announcement, 'This is because smoking is highly dangerous to health.'


Back on topic. The e-cigarette ban in public places has been a near-daily subject in French media this month. Unfortunately, online polls show that most people think they should be banned in public for various reasons (average votes are 52% for ban, 42% against and 6% 'don't know'). Apparently, you can buy disposable e-cigs nearly everywhere and they're quite popular, especially for those going out to eat or drink. However, some e-cigarette users have been told by other restaurant/bar patrons, 'Your vapour stinks'. (Some people will never be happy.)

The government also wants to table a law whereby tobacconists would be required to sell e-cigarettes. One woman rang in to RMC to say, 'I have a tobacco shop and already sell them. Most of us do, so why a law?'

Buck Moody said...

I've used an e-cig on a plane and it didn't trigger any alarm. I started discreetly in the loo, without anyone being the wiser. Then, as the complementary wine kept flowing, I got bolder and vaped in my seat, blowing out of my nose. As I was by the window, nobody noticed.