Tuesday 15 March 2016

See How They Run

Bravo to Vapers in Power who have written an open letter to the vacant Pembrokeshire Council wooden tops who think outdoor smoking and vaping bans are a spiffing idea.

From the ViP blog:
Are you aware that there is no evidence that e-cigarette vapour has any harmful effect on bystanders, whether inside or out?  Also that there is no credible evidence that vaping normalises smoking: in fact the evidence points in the opposite direction. You may have seen the Public Health England expert independent review² which estimates vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking and says ecigs have potential to help people to stop smoking. The authors regret that nearly half of the adult population don’t realise that ecigs are safer than tobacco cigarettes, a misconception which the Little Haven beach ban does nothing to dispel. 
There is no scientific justification for this and it will harm public health. 
Our Welsh members have expressed concern that this will harm much needed tourism in the area. Many of our members also feel it’s disgraceful for smoking to be banned on a beach or open space; this measure is similarly without scientific backing.
Of course it isn't, we're talking about tobacco control initiatives here, they're never about science and always sod all to do with health too. This beach ban in Wales is perfect proof of that.

It's nearly a week since this petty, vindictive, pointless and clawless 'voluntary' ban was put in place but apart from ViP's open letter there's been pitiful silence about it since, most notably from ASH Wales - you know, the self-professed friend of the vaper in the province - who as I pointed out on Thursday were more interested in praising Pembrokeshire's overt fascism instead.
[Jamie Matthews, Deputy Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said:] “We fully welcome the smoke free beach pilot in Pembrokeshire to protect our young people from the harmful effects of tobacco.”
Note use of the word "fully" in that context. Not a cautious welcome 'but why the fuck are e-cigs that we support included?'. Nope, "fully" welcome.

In other words, you can quit smoking using e-cigs if you like - and have a good chance of being successful - but the state-funded fake charity shitsacks at ASH Wales are still very happy to bully you and 'denormalise' you anyway.
They were very coy about condemning it when asked afterwards too.

Not us, Guv, it was them guys over there. We did our best, we really did. Yeah, pull the other one.

Even a direct invitation to condemn something which is utterly absurd to anyone who 'claims' - and ASH Wales' position as a supporter of vaping is exactly that, just a claim - to be a friend to vapers and e-cigs came up woefully short. A full five days after they'd conflated smoking with vaping in the eyes of the public - on a major and widely-read news platform - they came up with this pathetically limp sophistry which will have been seen by precious few people ... something I'm sure they were well aware of.

"Do not support" is a bit different from condemning, isn't it? And if they didn't support the ban on vaping why on Earth did they say they "fully" welcomed the ban when the press came asking for a quote? All the ASH franchises are primarily political lobbyists so know the value of language; if they said they "fully" welcomed the ban - thereby, I repeat, conflating smoking with vaping in the minds of the public - they meant it. Either that or the person entrusted to talk to the press is incompetent and should be handed their P45. You decide.

But then again, they are also very happy to have their logo appended to the message that seeing vaping is equally dangerous to kids as the vapid idea that seeing smoking is dangerous.

Of course, it's not difficult to work out why ASH Wales are determined to sit on the fence and are happy to see their logo proudly displayed on a disgraceful beach ban policy. On the one hand telling vapers how they're right onside and happy to engage, while on the other "fully" welcoming bans which are counterproductive and acting in a manner which is a disgusting slap in the face to the vaping advocates who have held faith in them.

You just have to look at their funding.

Voluntary donations from the public total a whopping 2.6% of the £610k they were handed last year. The Welsh government accounted for £135k of that, a full quarter of their revenue, 78% of which - in turn - is state-funded in some form or another. With the Welsh government currently polishing off a Health Bill which has painted e-cigs as a danger to kids everywhere, it's not wise to tell the truth bite the hand that feeds, now is it?

So the question now is what ASH Wales are going to do tomorrow. You see, the Welsh government - who hand ASH Wales £135k every year - are passing a law tomorrow which will ban the use of e-cigs just about everywhere, despite no credible evidence that vaping causes any harm to anyone, and plenty of evidence that it is beneficial to 'public health'.

So looks like ASH Wales will have to show us what they really think about e-cigs, eh? Will they publicly condemn the Welsh government for an appalling law which goes against everything fair, equitable and evidence-based towards vaping? Of course they won't, they'll throw vapers to the wolves and think nothing of it.

Just watch which way the rats run tomorrow when forced off that fence.

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