Vaping is better than smoking, everybody says so. Well, all the people who aren’t shovelling stacks of pharmaceutical dollars into their bank accounts or licking cold lampposts. Public Health England (PHE) believes it so. Then the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) called it. Ninety-five percent safer, top docs said, at least ninety-five bloomin’ percent. Then The Cochrane Review rubber-stamped the PHE and the RCP reports.
Yes, vaping is better than smoking. Vaping is better than lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and strokes. It’s better than asthma, premature and underweight babies. It’s better than diabetes, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Vaping is better than colon, cervix, liver, stomach and pancreatic cancer – in fact all of the secondary cancers that accompany the primary smoking-related cancer.
Vaping is better than having clothes that stink, halitosis, yellow fingers and gum disease. It’s better than the need to stand outside your back door in the rain or live in rooms full of overflowing ashtrays. Vaping is better than sucking down acrid smoke because vaping means rediscovering flavour, delicate sweet flavour.
Vaping is the freedom offered by a motorbike when motorways have become gridlocked. It’s a group that writes and plays its own music in a world full of company conveyor-belt boy and girl bands. It’s an underdog scoring the 89th minute winner in the FA Cup final. It’s catching the perfect wave, not dropping a stitch, landing a catch, holding the pose and completing the crossword.
Smoking is the sweary TV chef who cries, the weird TV chef in a cottage with few friends, the TV chef by the sea who charges too much for fried fish and the (frankly bizarre) TV chef who makes food out of concrete and Lemsip. Smoking is all of those ridiculous people – vaping is Mary Berry. Sweet, loveable Mary Berry.
Vaping is getting a brilliant exam grade although you didn’t bother revising. It’s giving up on relationships and then literally bumping into a soul mate on the bus. It’s getting an email from the National Lottery letting you know you’re a winner.
Because you are a winner. You won the second you made the decision to switch away from smoking. You won seconds, then minutes – and then hours. Life began stretching out in front of you once more.
It carries risks, but risks that are almost 1/100th of those posed by the old habit. It poses greater harm to a healthy bank balance more than anything else due to vaping’s “gotta collect ‘em all” nature. It reduces harm. If smoking is a bloody mixed martial arts scrap, vaping is a bedroom pillow fight at a teenage girl’s sleepover. It’s an electric-powered bicycle versus a Penny Farthing.
The biggest problem facing current smokers is that they believe the lies spouted by pharmaceutical company shills. They believe those lies and ignore the simple truth that vaping is better than smoking. Vaping is healthier than smoking: we say it, experts say it, and the PHE/RCP/Cochrane reports say it.