Is there a war brewing between those who vape nicotine and those who get it from tobacco?
Answer by Steve Peach:
On a personal level, there's always been plenty of friction between ex-smokers and their unenlightened fellows who haven't quit yet – the most annoying anti-smoker is the recently converted ex-smoker. After they get over the initial enthusiasm, or even trip up and relapse to smoking a few times, they tend to be a bit more thoughtful and considerate when "helping" their fellows.The same sort of scenario plays out all the time when people join vaping activist, hobbyist and support groups online. It's sometimes difficult to preserve that "vaping saved my life" enthusiasm once they become aware of the entrenched battles that are still being fought just to preserve their ability to even discover vaping in the first place. Of course plenty of people just take their successful exit from tobacco addiction for granted and drop out of the scene with their own needs taken care of. But those who stick with it discover the worst adversary isn't big tobacco (not that they aren't up to their own nefarious plots) but all the folks who were supposedly looking out for their welfare when they were smokers – government, pharma and especially the tobacco control (movement) industry.Smoker's Rights groups never enjoyed widespread public credibility, since smoking is universally condemned as society's Worst, Evil, Ever, it followed that smokers don't actually deserve any rights and the organizations must just be "astroturfing" for faceless, evil, corporate, Big Tobacco. But now newly-minted vaping activists find themselves on the receiving end of traditional tobacco control weapons – baffling regulation, arbitrary public use bans, well funded disinformation campaigns… And eventually it occurs to a few to wonder if maybe the great war on tobacco was similarly (corrupt) misguided.But your average smoker doesn't actually advocate for their own right to smoke, they've been indoctrinated just like everyone else. The best they're hoping for is just to be left alone to pay their sin tax and die in peace. There really isn't such a thing as a pro-smoking popular movement. Which may explain why tobacco control seems to be having such a hard time understanding – they're so geared up to fight "marketing" from "the industry" that they can't even process consumer advocates or personal testimonials.So yeah, there are a lot of skirmishes going on, but a war between smokers and vapers doesn't seem likely. Ironically, the irrational attacks on vaping may have done more to retroactively legitimize the smokers rights position – if it's not about health, then is it really about control? or money? or morality? If anti-smoking crusaders are unimpressed by my personal rescue from the health effects of tobacco addiction, what is it they are really trying to accomplish?