Today, this cancer spread to Wales...
Wales could be the first part of the UK to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places.Ministers say they are responding to concern that the devices - which can contain nicotine - normalise smoking and undermine the smoking ban.
Who is the victim from indoor vaping? No one. The Welsh government does not claim that there is the remotest health risk from e-cigarette vapour and all the evidence indicates that no risk exists. Campaigners therefore rely on the claim that vaping 'normalises' smoking and 'undermines the smoking ban'.
These are peculiar claims. Vaping cannot 'normalise' smoking because it is not smoking. It can only normalise vaping which is, in public health terms, the enemy of smoking. Nor can it 'undermine the smoking ban' because, assuming that those who campaigned for the smoking ban were sincere, the smoking ban was only intended to 'protect' bar workers from secondhand smoke. Since e-cigarettes do not create secondhand smoke, their use cannot undermine or subvert this effort.
Nevertheless, these are the justifications given. Perhaps the campaigners think that banning vaping in pubs will 'send out the right message'. But actions have consequences. They do not intend only to send out a message, but to establish a new crime and therefore create new criminals. If vaping is banned in pubs and clubs in Wales, as they hope, it will undoubtedly lead to people being punished for failing to obey. Proprietors will be fined, arrested and possibly imprisoned for allowing people to vape on their premises. Vapers will, at the least, be fined.
But why? Is it illegal to 'normalise' smoking? Is it illegal to 'undermine the smoking ban'? If this law is enacted, the answer to both questions will effectively be yes because, without a victim, these are the grounds upon which the state will criminalise vapers. Although they are harming no one, vapers will be prosecuted for offending the sensibilities of the public health lobby. Their crime will be to implicitly disagree with the direction in which the state wishes society to move. The government will have decided that smoking and anything that looks like smoking is not 'normal' and must therefore be illegal in public places. Vapers do not 'send out the right message' and so they must be punished by law.
This is the product of a fascist mindset (I'm afraid there is no other word for it). Persecuting innocent people to shore up the public health fantasy that smoking has been denormalised is beyond the pale in a free society. Even if e-cigarettes did undermine the smoking ban and normalised smoking - which, to repeat, they patently don't - it would not justify treating vapers as collateral damage. The fact that politicians are even contemplating creating this victimless crime demonstrates the extent to which 'public health' ideology has corrupted their understanding of what the law is intended to do.