Reptilian sociologist Simon Fenton Chapman is holding forth in this week's issue of the British Medical Journal in a two-headed debate about e-cigarettes. Naturally, the prohibitionist is touting the benefits of prohibition under the following heading:
Should electronic cigarettes be as freely available as tobacco cigarettes? No
Consider that for a moment. Simple Simon thinks it's better to make real cigarettes more available than a non-tobacco, non-combustible product that is around 99 per cent safer. He says...
Many smokers want to access e-cigarettes to quit or reduce risk, and they should not be denied this opportunity.
This from a man who fought (successfully) to have e-cigarettes banned in Australia! Is Chapman having another senior moment or is he being disingenuous? As he goes onto show, it's the latter.
But the needs of often desperate smokers must not become the tail that wags the dog of tobacco control policy
Er, why not? Are smokers not the people that the anti-smoking lobby set out to help? What is the public health movement for if not to improve the health of smokers? As the war on e-cigarettes shows, whatever altruism existed in the anti-smoking lobby has long since past. Today, it is sheer puritanism, anti-capitalism and the narcissism of the likes of Simple Simon that wag the dog of tobacco control policy. Truly, as Dick Puddlecote likes to say, it has never been about health.
Meanwhile, public health seat-filler Martin McKee brings two bonkers ideas together to create the perfect neo-prohibitionist tweet...
If reading that has made you feel like you need a shower, scrub down with Jean-François Etter's sane and humane response to Chapman's bile: Should electronic cigarettes be as freely available as tobacco cigarettes? Yes