Here at PlayPennies we've been discussing e-Cigarettes and how we feel about them. Surprisingly, opinion on e-cigs is highly divided.
The topic came up during one of our many office chats earlier today - you wouldn’t believe the variety of topics we cover in between scouring the country for the best deals for parents - but suffice it to say opinion was divided on e-cigs.
I wouldn’t mind a jot if somebody sat next to my kids and I in a park or cafe and pulled out an e-cigarette. Why?
Because first up, it’s none of my business whether someone smokes an e-cigarette or a blade of grass in public. Sure, I’ll have something to say about it if they’re breaking the law or emitting noxious fumes in the direction of me or my kids - and that’s one of Luschka’s bones of contention; she’s concerned about what kind of chemicals might be in those contraptions, and whether passive vapouring is just the future of passive smoking. Me, I’m more concerned about the number of youths I seem to see openly smoking cannabis in public places. That’s worth getting irate about, I’d say, given that a recent study concluded that near daily cannabis use in adolescence doubles the risks of cognitive impairment and psychoses in adulthood. Save your wrath for weed, not e-cigarettes.
Secondly, I wouldn’t mind if my kids spotted someone smoking an ecigarette and asked me what they were doing - I’d positively welcome the opportunity to talk to my children about the extraordinary and expensive lengths people have to go to to break an addiction to smoking. Anything that helps my kids view smoking as something best avoided is a good thing, in my book.
And finally, kudos to anyone who is so committed to their effort to give up smoking that they’re prepared to try using e-cigarettes in public places. That takes some guts. No-one’s saying it’s the best way or even an effective approach to quitting smoking, but to start complaining about people’s efforts to do something that is ultimately in the interests of public health, strikes me as a bit mean-spirited.
We should positively acknowledge any effort someone makes to impact public health for the better - not ostracise them for doing whatever it takes to find a way to kick the habit.
This whole discussion began when one of our team sat in a coffee shop with her children and someone next to them was sucking on an e-cig. I don't have a problem with e-cigarettes on their own, and agree with much of what Heidi says: good on them for quitting, well done for taking the step, etc etc. It's not like smoking is a taboo subject or anything, but I do have two problems with e-cigarettes:
One, you wouldn't be allowed to smoke in the coffee shop. Why can you 'vape' your e-cigarette? I don't like it. I don't like the visual and I don't want my children exposed to it. I wouldn't sit with them in the company of anyone smoking a real cigarette, why would I be okay with them sitting next to someone vaping?
Two, someone sitting vaping something that smells and tastes like strawberries, or mint, or whatever other flavour, to me seems quite appealing. And I'm not an impressionable youth whose friends are all doing it. Next thing we'll have a generation of vapers, all addicted to strawberry puff, or whatever it's called. And on top of that, I hate the number of vapers who talk openly about how cool it is! Basically grooming smokers of the future in a legal way. (And as of November, it'll be advertised on TV too, I feel like we've stepped back 30 years!)
If you're vaping to quit, good on you, but don't do it around my children. Like most parents, I die a little on the inside when my kids deliver commentary on people who pass us by, but I don't mind at all when they let out a long, loud 'ewwwwww! that's stinky!' when we walk past or behind someone smoking. As an ex-smoker myself, I hope they feel that way forever, and aren't offered a 'tasty' way into smoking.
I'm quite happy with smoking in all it's forms being forever socially unacceptable.
Over to you: what do you think about e-cigs, especially in relation to today's ruling that e-cigarettes can be advertised on TV?