I received an email the other day from a company requesting a sponsored page.

I get quite a few of them and my immediate reaction is to bin them.  This is a little portal for my ramblings and is not some kind of fucking advertising hoarding.

The mail though was from an e-cigarette company and pointed specifically to one of my previous little rants, so at least they had the decency to read the site.  They reckoned they could write something in my style [hah! I’d like to see them try] that would highlight  a "very sensitive yet very important topic" in relation to vaping.

My curiosity was piqued [as they say] so I wrote back.  Tell us more, says I but warning that I don't take any old crap.  Seeing as I have never allowed anyone to sponsor a post, that's a fairly accurate warning.

They sent back a sample of their work.  Five things to know about electronic cigarettes.


The very first paragraph –

Smoking, a proven dangerous activity, can harm different organs of the body. While the effects of smoking on lungs aren’t unknown, it isn’t just the lungs that we are talking about. Interestingly, an alarming 40 million claim to be smokers in the U.S. However, nearly 70 percent of them report that they want to quit, and a little more than 42 percent say they’ve tried to quit during the past year.

What the fuck?  They wander through the "proven" dangers of smoking and switch to people quitting mid sentence?  And citing that tired uninteresting old Anti figure of 70% didn't exactly fill me full of confidence.  However, I persevered –

Studies have suggested that even young smokers may take to actual smoking due to smoking these electronic ones. Once they turn off age, they may want to try the actual thing instead of smoking the electronic one. So while a chain smoker who uses an e-cigarette to wean off the smoking habit is a safe option, but not for a young teenager who has not even tried the real thing yet.

"Studies have suggested……"  Another flaming red flag.  I will ignore their grammatical and spelling mistakes and say that I had to take a breather at this stage [and light my pipe].  This is an e-cigarette company for fucks sake and they trot out that tired [and debunked] gateway theory.  Now maybe this company's new report is going to show they have found a way to stop the "gateway effect" but the fact that they even mentioned it was enough for me to click instantly on the Reply button.

I was polite.  It took an enormous amount of self control, but I was polite.

I told them as politely as I could that the 70% figure is a load of horseshit.  It is a figure dreamed up in some opinion poll many years ago and is utterly fucking meaningless.

I then told them as politely as I could that the "gateway effect" is a wet dream conjured up by some highly paid stooges of Big Pharma and not only has it been thoroughly debunked but is completely illogical anyway.  Kids are going to experiment with e-cigs and cigarettes, just as they experiment with fire and home-made explosives but that doesn't mean they are going to become arsonists or terrorists. 

E-cigarettes, or vaping devices, or Nicotine delivery devices or whatever the fuck you want to call them are a shiny new toy for the kids [if they decide to use them].  They will more than likely become status symbols, and kids will queue to buy new versions just as they have been conned into buying the latest mobile phone just because it's new.  The important thing will be to be seen with the latest fancy doodad and the fact they use it is irrelevant.  Are they really going to be seen with a drab old cigarette that costs them a fortune relatively speaking?

Needless to say I declined their offer of a post.

They weren't paying enough anyway.


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A gateway to this site — 13 Comments

  1. I'm actually surprised they offered up a sample of their writing considering that it appeared to be written by a half-assed cut and paste artist. It pretty much guaranteed a refusal on your part.

    Congratulations on your (alleged) self control on your refusal though. Nicely done.

    • All these requests promise "to write in the style of the blog" which is strange.  Does anyone else have thoughts like mine?  One of these days I'll ask for a precise sample and not just something they have done for someone else!

  2. I have an ongoing battle with vapers (who I in fact support, despite their constantly throwing me under the bus) because of their approach to e-cig advocacy. They ALWAYS churn out the TC propaganda. They cannot help themselves. Even vapers who I know are comfortable with smokers, and are pro-choice do it.

    You may have caught a bit of it on Twatter last night, GD, with your observation about forks. Even this lady, for whom I have a lot of time and respect, was trying to separate 'second-hand smoke' from 'second-hand vape', as if the one was dangerous and the other wasn't. WTF?

    There's definitely a mindset that takes over when people swap to vaping. All those terrible things said about smoking suddenly don't apply to them. They aren't untermenschen any more, and they seem desperate to distance themselves from anything to do with smoking so they can be once again accepted by polite society. Which is why they have tantrums when anti-smoking laws are applied to vaping. "But we're not like those disgusting smokers!" they cry, "we're different! We've drunk the kool-aid, and we're one of you, really!"

    I'm losing patience…

    • Well, I'm happy to say that I am not one of the people you describe. A former smoker (roll ups, no filters) for 46 years, now a vaper of 3 years. I have seen first hand, how folk tend to become rabid anti smokers not long after quitting themselves, when my own brother quit years ago, suddenly he had the interior of his car plastered in no smoking signs and started telling the guys off at work for smoking within 100 feet of him. He has no idea of how silly he made himself look.

      Perhaps my attitude hasn't changed because the only thing I care about is that my e-cig gives much the same satisfaction and throat hit that smoking used to. I don't give two fucks for what 'polite' society thinks of me, its all bollocks and when they pay for my tobacco or e-cig then they can dictate how or when I use it. Until then they can all go fuck themselves.

      All this shit that is spreading in the media regarding smoking and vaping alike, in my experience is not reflective of the public in general. When I smoked I never had one instance of hand waving, faux coughing or the like, and now I vape even in the supermarket and no one bats an eyelid.

    • There's definitely a mindset that takes over when people swap to vaping.”

      That’s because they’ve given up smoking, however much they pretend that actually they’ve simply “switched,” and that that's somehow different.  It’s the same mindset that takes over once someone gives up without switching to vaping, as Ripper – a rare example of a tolerant vaper/ex-smoker – points out re his own brother.  The more I see of it, the more I agree with you Nika, that in the vast majority of instances, they can’t help it.  No matter how they all bat on about “not becoming one of those awful ex-smoker types,” sooner or later they always do become precisely that.  It’s one of the best reasons I know for not giving up.  The idea of hearing my own voice parroting some of those hackneyed old ex-smoker phrases sends a very real shiver down my spine.  I’ve long said that the best advert for carrying on smoking real cigarettes is anti-smokers themselves.  And the irony of it is that they have absolutely no idea.  They still seem to think that they are right-on, down-with-the-kids, trendy types, when in fact they are seen by pretty much everyone (including the kids that they are supposedly “down with”) as overweight, middle-aged fuddy-duddies with precisely the same capacity to embarrass as the would-be cool Dad dancing at the school disco.  No wonder youth smoking is on the rise!

  3. Yes, jumping on the anti-smoking bandwagon again. 

    "Smoking, a proven dangerous activity, can harm different organs of the body." 

    Really? Evidence please. And not just surveys showing correlation which as everyone should know, does not imply causation. 

  4. Grands (if you don't mind me referring to you as such),

    Would you like to move to England chuck?

    Once we have disentangled ourselves fully from the 'EU' nightmare … We can then resume eg. smoking (possibly as a national sport at the next Olympics). We can drink beer until it comes out of our ears (possibly as another sport). We can string up any politician that still thinks The EU is great. The possibilities here are now endless.

    According to The Beeb, real estate will tank as our economy collapses so cheap houses for all (including Irish pensioners). Yes … You really have a once in a life time opportunity to be English. Buy in now or be a big fat non-event after the boom. 

    There are those that try to 'talk down' the housing market and try to convince you that England is not somewhere that aliens would want to settle. Rubbish, we subject aliens to the same disrespect that we have for every other idiot that has ever landed upon these shores for the last 4000 years.. Aliens should just be thankful that they are not English politicians.

    Given a choice between another Politician and a grumpy Irish pensioner then I'm fairly sure that our newly independent state will be more than happy to do a three for one swap. Ireland gets three of our Politicians (broke now that they are no longer paid from Brussels) for every individual that can be proven, by referendum, to be 'top bloke'.

    Sounds like a deal to me. Get out of your armchair and join the revolution. 

    • Believe it or believe it not [I don't care] but I am actually entitled to a British passport, as my mother had one.

      The thought had crossed my mind.  You drive on the correct side of the road and speak English reasonably well [but not as well as us].  Your house prices are generally lower than ours so there would be no problem there.  I would more than likely have to teach the local hostelry how to pull a pint of stout [assuming there are any hostelries left?] but that's no problem.  Best of all – no EU.  I'd miss the Grandkids though.  Just a little bit.

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