Recently, Wales has proposed a ban on e-cigarettes, in a move they claim is in response to concerns they normalize smoking, and undermine the smoking band. This is, of course, complete nonsense, as e-cigarettes are designed to help smokers quit.
E-cigarettes count as a nicotine replacement product, meaning they are designed to help people quit smoking. Also, e-cigarettes are a lot safer than real cigarettes, containing less of the toxic chemicals associated with real cigarettes. With that in mind, why on Earth would the Welsh government want to ban people from smoking e-cigs out in public?
Call me crazy, but I don’t think the smoking ban has even worked. While, I definitely haven’t seen people smoking in pubs or restaurants, I still see people smoking outside in town, with both smokers and non-smokers of all ages passing by. If the whole point of the smoking ban was to stop people from doing that, then they’ve obviously failed anyway.
I think I might be able to guess the reason why they’re banning e-cigarettes – it’s all about money. As the public is becoming more aware of the dangers of smoking, tobacco has ultimately become less fashionable, while sales of e-cigarettes are at an all-time high. The tobacco industry is obviously threatened by this, and in order to survive, it has the politicians come to their aid. It’s possible that the tobacco lobby has managed to bribe a few Welsh ministers somehow. It’s also important to remember that tobacco is taxed by the government, while e-cigarettes are taxed significantly less than regular cigarettes, with only 20% VAT charged on an e-cigarette (compared to 75% of the price of a pack of cigarettes going to taxes).
Whether or not this is the case is actually irrelevant, because the e-cig ban won’t work. I say this because people always find ways around the law, especially if its a stupid law that only serves to make it harder for smokers to quit, while securing the profits that they’re just leeching from the tobacco industry.
The question is, when it finally does become apparent that the e-cigarette ban doesn’t work, will the Welsh government listen to reason, or will they continue their trend of listening only to their nationalistic pride about being in the forefront of things?
Seriously, Wales wants to be at the forefront of improving health, but are they actually doing anything good? The answer, this time, is no.