The mood music surrounding vaping has changed over the years. Once upon a time vaping was like an independent, free, underground club scene. We danced to our own beats and stayed up way past bedtime. We were the cutting edge of harm reduction; we were so cool it hurt. We were the Marc Bolan to the establishmentâ€™s anti-smoking beribboned, roadside sycamore tree. It would only be so long until they tried to end us.
The Tobacco Products Directive is slowly beginning to become a day-to-day reality for a number of people in the UK. Across the channel, other vapers are discovering that 2017 is not quite what 2014 promised. The Czech republic is driving through a series of measures that includes bans and restrictions. The Prague Monitor points out that the benefit is that everything will be more expensive: â€œThe binding directive is advantageous because it will bar suspiciously cheap and low-quality products from China, where there is no guarantee, from entering the marketâ€. Yes, like a twist on the Marks & Spencer slogan: itâ€™s not just cheap â€“ itâ€™s suspiciously cheap!
The Labour Party in Wales tried to force through measures to ban vapers from doing something relatively harmless to others anywhere they could be seen. Like we were all sucking on a portable breast in public, puritanical health experts and politicians wanted to lock us away in special toilets. Well, maybe not toilets. Maybe a restructured dungeon in Harlech castle. Or something.
To what extent is it our fault that people began to try to shut us away and take away our toys? Were we too young and beautiful, did we make Martin McKee gaze into his mirror and gently weep? Were we simply shining too brightly?
Or was it the people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to go around vaping in supermarkets? Standing next to the meat counter, asking for *half a pound of brisket, and exhaling a menthol cherry cloud? *(For those still struggling with imperial-metric measures, half a pound equals 0.76 litres)
Does vaping etiquette even matter any longer? For a while it was one of the great debating points on ecig forums – but since the advent of the â€œWe get it, you vape Bro!â€ memes itâ€™s like we are as cool as Piers Morgan at an Under-18s disco.
So, as we look to the future, if vaping poses 95% less risk than that delivered by cigarette smoking, then the danger posed by second-hand vape is less than the chance of, err, Piers Morgan (again, itâ€™s an open goal) being liked by anybody. But, even if we escape a clampdown on public places we still have venues to contend with. Individual places still restrict vaping for no other reason than it looks like smoking. Vaping will be banned in areas surrounding Japan 2020:â€œThe Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is considering measures against passive smoking for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization agreed in 2010 to realize â€˜tobacco-free Gamesâ€™.â€
So, maybe a better question than where do you do it is where will you still be able to vape yours?