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THE WEEKLY TIRADE

By Scotty Kowall

There is a war going on right now and it is not the wars that cable news likes to report on, not those wars on religion, women or gays. It is a war on all segments of the population including all religions, women and gays. It is a war on electronic cigarettes. It is a fact that e-cigarettes are less dangerous to everyone, those using them and those nearby. Yet there is a war to prevent them from replacing cigarettes those filthy cancer causing smelly bits of rolled up leaves and chemicals that once burned, drift through the air and cause cancer to defenseless men, women and children through no fault of their own. According to the National Cancer Institute, "Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia," plus other health problems and "Secondhand smoke causes disease and premature death in nonsmoking adults and children."
For the record, I am a former smoker. I use to smoke more than a pack a day. Years ago I made the decision to quit cigarettes. Every time I felt the urge for a cigarette I substituted a cigarette with pistachio nuts. Today I no longer smoke cigarettes or eat pistachios. As a nonsmoker I find secondhand smoke annoying but also realize as a smoker I never knew how bad the smoke smells to nonsmokers. I also understand how hard it is to quit cigarettes. Not everybody has my willpower to end their own dependence on tobacco. E-cigarettes although not perfect, work on vapor and propylene glycol not smoke. There may be some dangerous side effects but nothing as bad as the cigarette tar that covers peoples' lungs like the sludge on a car's dirty oil filter. If I was a smoker I would switch to e-cigarettes. It just makes sense.
Today there is a war against e-cigarettes by big tobacco companies and their allies in government who want people to keep smoking cigarettes instead of switching to e-cigarettes. Nothing would hurt tobacco companies more than e-cigarettes, no advertising campaign showing sick people, giant warnings on packages, nothing compared to the e-cigarette. Cigarettes are a billion dollar business about to go up in a burst of vapor and big tobacco is going to do everything they can to stay relevant, including using their hand paid political contributions to your local and federal government representatives. They will tell you all kinds of reasons why e-cigarettes are bad, like they are targeting kids. Just because they offer candy cane, bubblegum and watermelon flavors doesn't mean they are targeting kids. Okay maybe they can cut back on some of the flavors. But if those people were really worried about the health of children they would see that there would be NO secondhand smoke for a child to breathe if everyone switched over to e-cigarettes. One reason government wants people to smoke cigarettes and not e-cigarettes is government makes mucho money in taxes off of cigarette sales. Right now they don't make diddly squat on e-cigarettes however your government is working hard to find a reason to tax e-cigarettes so they can keep getting your money. In fact not only shouldn't they tax e-cigarettes, they should give a tax deduction for people to switch over to e-cigarettes. One of the biggest expenses in health care is the vast numbers of people who have cigarette related illnesses in the later years of their life. If the Congress and the president really wanted to cut future health care costs they would ban taxes on e-cigarettes and promote people to switch from smoking cigarettes to a less expensive and possibly a healthier alternative, the e-cigarette. Don't expect that to happen any time soon, those big tobacco campaign contributions will keep Congress in their pocket. And not just Congress, local politicians around the country are working hard for big tobacco. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in one of his last acts signed a bill to regulate the use of e-cigarettes by prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in all areas where smoking is prohibited. That means instead of allowing vaping, people will continue to smoke and stand outside nonsmoking areas like buildings, smoking while their second hand smoke will cause cancer to anyone who walks by, including children. That is just plain dumb. Secondhand smoke causes cancer yet Mr.Bloomberg doesn`t seem to care or worse has a financial reason to keep America smoking. I for one would rather have someone sitting near me in a restaurant vaping instead of walking by them and inhaling their smoke when I exit the building.
This is an issue everyone should be able to agree on. Libertarians who believe people have a right to do pretty much anything, Tea Party members who are against taxation, liberals and conservatives who talk about trying to bring down health costs, all those who claim to be for family values. What is better for a family than stopping the secondhand smoke to children, including unborn children who get health risks while still a fetus? Surely this is something both President Obama and Senator Ted Cruz could agree on. It shouldn't matter whether Democrat or Republican, Christian or Jew, gay or straight. There may be some health risks with e-cigarettes but we know there are serious health risks with smoking. Switching to e-cigarettes is a no-brainer unfortunately so are the people in government.
Smoking paper rolled cigarettes goes back to the 17th century. We have come a long way since then. We no longer travel by horse and wagon. We don't light our homes by candles. We don't 'send paper letters, we e-mail or text and we shouldn't get our nicotine through smoking. It is 2014 a time when people should vape. As a nonsmoker I ask all smokers to do us all a favor and for your New Year's resolution switch from smoking to vaping. Get with the times man. While you’re at it vote for those politicians regardless of party affiliation that are for vaping and not for those in favor of regulating and taxing e-cigarettes. I have no financial interest in any e-cigarette company I am just f-ing tired of breathing secondhand smoke. It is time for people to revolt with their pitchforks and e-torches...

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