E Cigarettes are an “Object of Coercion” state pro-choice group
David Atherton was immensely likable, and I found myself agreeing with everything he had to say.
However, I find his organisation’s position on the electronic cigarette astounding.
Smoker’s Against Electronic Cigarettes
David told me that he personally had no problem with the electronic cigarette, but that Freedom to Choose opposed their usage.
Freedom to Choose later clarified their position, writing:
“They [the electronic cigarette] are a product of coercion, who would use them anywhere you could smoke? our policy is detailed on the website.”
E Cigarettes A Product of Coercion?
I must admit I do not fully understand this statement. I have requested a clarification (but have not yet received one) and searched for their policy, but not yet found it.
I can only imagine that they see it as an instrument (of anti-smoking groups? the government?) to persuade people to accept the smoking ban.
Of course, if everybody used them, Freedom to Choose might lose support for the ban to be revoked. But that is different from arguing they are a deliberate act of coercion!
Opposing the right to choose an alternative to smoking seems strange indeed given Freedom to Choose’s name.
Indeed, as David Atherton said in the interview:
“I think it is a personal choice, isn’t it?…I am really not here to dictate to people how they should live their lives.”
Which should be his organisation’s position – because for a group called Freedom to Choose to oppose the choice of using electronic cigarettes is a contradiction in terms.
Who would use them anywhere you could smoke?
Thirty thousand e-cigarette forum users, for a start!
There are a huge number of dedicated e-smokers who would prefer to use their electronic cigarette to using a real cigarette.
And with no tar, no toxins, no odour and costing a fraction of what traditional cigarettes do, that’s no surprise!
One could be forgiven for asking who would use cigarettes when you could use an electronic cigarette!
For all the anti-smoking movement’s exaggeration, there is little denying that cigarettes are dangerous, expensive and odorous.
Electronic cigarettes, which offer the nicotine without the combustion and toxins that make cigarettes dangerous, are the perfect alternative.
Perhaps a useful comparison is Communist Russia after the second world war. They felt threatened most not by capitalist America – their ideology predicted that capitalism would lead to its own demise – but by Britain, a country which combined socialism and capitalism in one system.
For the same reason, both the anti-smoking movement and Freedom to Choose appear to feel threatened by the electronic cigarette, a device which keeps the pleasure of smoking while removing its disadvantages.
It’s perhaps ironic that this position came clear after Paul Bergen wrote on our website calling for unity, writing:
“If they are not already, vapers and smokers must stay united as individuals who happen to enjoy nicotine without it implying anything about them as people.”
For the first time, tens of thousands of people, stunned by the hypocrisy of a movement which, in return for massive funds, promotes nicotine cessation aids but attacks the electronic cigarettes which contain the same ingredients, are openly discussing the lies of the anti-smoking movement.
That’s why Freedom to Choose should abandon their Luddite position and openly engage with the e-smoking community.