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.