A counterblast to vapers

A while back I went for a walk down Lambton Quay, Wellington’s ‘golden mile’ of retail shopping. It was swathed in stale cigarette smoke and the noxious sick-sweet smell of ‘vapers’. You know, the idiots who get their nicotine through ‘e-cigarettes’ and blow out vast clouds of sugary steam for others to choke on along the way.

Buildings on Lambton Quay.

There’s been talk of making central Wellington a total smoke-free zone. Can’t come soon enough as far as I am concerned. In fact, let’s make it a large smoke-free zone. And vape-free. Everywhere between Ward and Levin, if I had my way.

I don’t understand ‘vaping’ in this age where smoke-free is meant to be a virtue. Allegedly it lets nicotine junkies indulge in their addiction without burning tobacco and inhaling its carcinogenic by-products, still less inflicting the same on everybody around them. Does that make vaping safe? I doubt it. What vapers are actually doing is inhaling nicotine on a carrier of water and propylene glycol, to which is added flavours – typically ‘caramel’, which, as I understand it, uses the same artificial sweetener as commercial popcorn. The issue is the temperature to which the various contents are heated, for which the medical consequences of some are technically unproven but potentially very nasty and have, according to my reading, been implicated in alzheimers.

None of which is my problem, as I have never smoked, ever, and certainly don’t ‘vape’. But I still gag on the efflux of others doing it, even in the street. Literally. I can feel that fake sugar (the ‘caramel’ flavour) catching in my throat from 15 metres downwind of a vaper. Gak!

Vaping is apparently illegal in Thailand, and a good thing too. I hope other nations follow.

My take? Well, if people want to ruin their health and future, that’s their call. But please find somewhere else to do it. Upwind. On another continent, maybe. Better still, on another planet.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018

10 thoughts on “A counterblast to vapers

  1. Are people permitted to vape in the enclosed spaces of stores in your country? Perhaps I am misreading your post. However from my reading of it, it seems that individuals are allowed to vape in shops. Here in the UK smoking (including vaping) is outlawed in shops, pubs, stations and all other (indoor) public places. I am not a smoker but (like you) believe people should be free to smoke/vape provided that they don’t inflict their noxious habit on me. I was delighted when smoking was banned in public places here. Kevin

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  2. I also think vaping in public should be banned here in the US also. As someone with a tracheotomy, I can taste all kinds of smoke, and vape tastes just as bad. Yet they claim it’s healthier than smoking. Crazy world.

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    1. Yes, I can’t see how vaping can be healthier – it still has nicotine in it along with a pile of other chemicals. And there’s the thoughtlessness of all these things – as you say, everybody around also has to experience it, whether they want to or not. I knew somebody here, years ago who pointed out that, well, he didn’t spit in people’s faces, so why were they basically spitting in his by smoking around him? Too true!


  3. Here in Canada, smoking and vaping are restricted to private spaces (homes & cars) and the great outdoors away from the urban scene (where there are distance restrictions from doorways, bus stops, etc). Even some park areas are no smoking zones. These rules are set by municipalities, I believe. It will be interesting to see what happens when marijuana becomes legal later this year. The logical thing, it seems to me, is to apply exactly the same laws to pot smoking as tobacco smoking and vaping. But right now all levels of government are working out the details. I personally find that skunk smell of pot much more noticeable than vape fumes. The world is just getting more interesting, I suppose.


  4. Tobacco, a disgusting, noxious weed. How many people know that nicotine is an insecticide? If there were ever a better example of vested interests keeping alive the use of an addictive, harmful substance, I don’t know what it might be.


    1. Couldn’t agree more! Personally I’ve never smoked. What always intrigues me was talk, way back when, of the cigarette companies putting some secret ingredient into their products to make people use more of them, as if the tobacco wasn’t the problem. From what I read it’s one of the most addictive substances known.

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