There has been a call for public places that permit vaping to be extended. At the moment, it is not permissible to vape on most train station platforms, but the government, under pressure from a number of health professionals, and no doubt the e-cigarette lobby, is reviewing this restriction. The suggestion is that vaping encourages people to give up smoking traditional cigarettes, which has obvious public health benefits and, as such, should be more widely encouraged. Currently, any health risks associated with vaping are largely unknown, although it is widely considered to be a less harmful activity than smoking.
And me? Where do I stand on vaping? I find almost every aspect of it irritating. The idea; the paraphernalia; the smoke. The smoke most of all. As a bystander, I find passive vaping far more annoying than ever I did passive smoking.
The World Health Organisation’s official terminology for passive vaping is Second Hand Aerosol (SHA). Whilst acknowledging that few studies of passive vaping have been undertaken, the general consensus of WHO opinion is that any increased concentration of toxicants into the atmosphere from vaping is detrimental to health and the environment.
My personal gripe with vaping has little to do with any health concerns. It is more about the element of surprise. Walk into a cloud of cigarette smoke and you know what to expect: stale-lung, last-breath saloon. Walk into a cloud of vape smoke and there is no knowing what awaits you: sweet candy crush; coffee-shop barista; syrupy cough mixture; fruity summer meadow. I loathe them all. Loathe their artifice. Loathe their bottled chemical reproduction of the natural world.
Vaping makes me nostalgic for the simple honesty of traditional cigarette smoke. And I loathe that too.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree feels like an unfairly marginalised candlestick maker.