Think of the children! (No, really – THINK!)

I was going to write about the Swedish antz group A Non Smoking Generation, and their ill-conceived plan to elicit 2,000 emails to bombard, bully and shame the actor Daniel Radcliffe into stopping smoking. Of course they say it’s all positive, and have even come up with a new piece of tobacco control industry Newspeak – they’re going to “Peer-pressure” him apparently. Which isn’t bullying, harassment, cyber-stalking, crass or liable to backfire in any way. Oh no.

But I thought I’d leave that subject, and the vaping mice farce (since it’s already been so comprehensively de-bunked & skewered by Tom Pruen, and by this guest post on The Redhead‘s blog, and by The Underdog.)

Instead I’m going to tell you a story. A true story. About a little vape shop in a small town in southern Sweden.

The shop is run by Pamela and Christian. They are one of the few bricks & mortar vape shops in Sweden. They are brave and intelligent people – they have just opened a new shop in their town despite the uncertain future of the Swedish vape industry. The ban on sales that was passed in 2013 after the Swedish Pharmaceutical Authority (I know!) took a vendor to court is still effectively in place, but vendors are permitted to trade while the case is heard in the appeal courts.

Pamela recently gave a talk at a London ecig trade summit, and both her and Christian were clearly delighted to meet Dr. Farsalinos and others who were present to discuss the science, the law, the trade – like I said they’re intelligent people. What they are definitely not are the kind of predatory bastards that the public health wibblers would have you believe are at the forefront of the vape industry, luring innocent children into a life of addled nicotine slavery.

So the story begins in their new shop.

A 16 year old lad came into the shop – and was instantly recognised. He’d been in the week before to purchase eliquid, and was refused because he had no ID to prove was over 18 (which, obviously, he’s not).

But the lad was accompanied by his father. Who proceeded to buy the eliquid for him. What we have here, Junior Health Minister Jane Ellison MP, is a case of proxy purchase. The kind of proxy purchase that you plan to outlaw, with the full support of ASH and other nannying fuckwits tobacco control and public health groups.

This is a case of a vape shop acting responsibly, a 16 year old acting responsibly (by asking his father to accompany him to the shop to make the purchase), and a father acting responsibly by recognising the difference between vaping and smoking lit tobacco, and by assisting him to choose the safer alternative. Indeed the father admitted as much:

“If he’s not allowed to vape then he’ll just smoke instead, as I have for nearly 25 years.”

In the same week, Pamela & Christian were visited by an irate parent who wanted to return an ecig that their son had ordered online using their credit card. Naturally, they refunded the purchase.

I wonder how long it took for that lad to get hold of a pack of smokes instead. His parents really ought to read this excellent article by Professor Lynn Kozlowski of the University of Buffalo. It oozes evidence-based pragmatism and common sense.