I know I was supposed to write about Tardigrades this month but something has pissed me off enough for me to push them back a month and talk about something else.
I read a BBC article that they are introducing a ban on E cigarettes in public places in Wales and the rest of the UK will soon follow suit. Despite most health officials agreeing that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking it is increasingly being subjected to unreasonable public scrutiny.
Everyone from medical research charities to education officials are all jumping on the vape hate hype train.
Worse than hitler.
I guess I can kinda see where they are coming from. Vaping is a new technology and although all the research has indicated that it is no where near as damaging to the human body as traditional smoking, the long term health effects are unknown. So concern here may be justified, but lets step back and get a little bit of context here.
Oxford street in London is more than three times over the EU legal limit for air pollution levels due to motor traffic, surely the fact that the UKs largest citys air is poisonous is a bigger concern than vaping?
In the same week the vaping ban in Wales was announced it was revealed that the working figure of 30,000 people per year that die due to respiratory problems caused by motor vehicle pollution may be grossly understated because they do not factor in the lethal effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The real death toll could be much higher, could you imagine if vaping killed well over 30,000 people a year? the industry would be shut down faster than Stannis Baratheons father of the year status.
Its not just respiratory problems that we have to worry about either, a study looking at the effects of air pollution on children’s cognitive development published their paper in PLoS Medicine. The study found that children in Barcelona attending schools where air pollution is heavier did less well over time in memory and attention tests than their peers elsewhere. So there is good evidence to suggest that motor vehicles in cities are damaging the quality of thinking for future generations – that’s a big price to pay for a fast commute.
The whole issue is worryingly familiar to the theory that the fall of Rome was caused by mass lead poisoning that lead to a sharp cognitive decline in the ruling classes (everyone’s IQ dropped).
I know you cant really compare vaping to motor cars as people rely on cars to get to work .But lets just quickly look at the human cost of motor transport here in the UK.
Cars kill over 2,000 people per year directly in crashes – that figure is actually pretty low considering we have a population of over 65,000 000 people but it is still a tragic waste of life.
Well over 30,000 people die every year due to air pollution
Motor traffic produces lots of CO2 and therefore causing rapid catastrophic climate change and ocean acidification to the point that we are now entering a mass extinction event.
Lets face it cars look cool, are fun to tear around in and make our day to day lives possible. But if you really think about them they are kinda shit.
A bit like this guy.
So if vaping becomes marginalised by the health community – so should cars.
I don’t see the motor industry letting this happen any time soon though.
I have had people suggest I should go full on Bane/Darth Vader and rock one of these as I ride to work to filter out the pollution.
Sad thing is that these masks do fuck all apart from make you look like a dickhead. The harmful particulates are termed as PM2.5s which means they are too small for the mask to stop and still allow the harmful particulates in.
Dont get me wrong – im not saying we should ban cars completely – we need them to function in modern society, however urgent action to reduce air pollution is required. Safer cycling infrastructure along with hybrid vehicles seems to be the best way to drop air pollution in cities. You would think Boris would be on top of this issue as he is a known cyclist.
0 fucks given.