Simon Kelner is not only the former editor-in-chief of The Independent. He is also a cancer survivor. He knows firsthand that smoking is a deadly habit and if you can’t find a way to kick the habit, you could end up in a fight for your life. This week, Kelner decided to speak out about electronic cigarettes in his weekly column. He passionately defended vaping and his undeniable logic is impossible to argue with. Ecigs are “a hell of a lot better than cancer,” he stated.
Although he has never used electronic cigarettes, Kelner did manage to stop smoking. He walked away from cigarettes after receiving the cancer diagnosis and though he is occasionally tempted when he sees smoking glamorized in movies, he has never smoked a cigarette again.
While critics argue that there isn’t enough long-term research to confidently encourage ecig use, Kelner disagrees. “I know it will be some years before it will be clear whether e-cigs have health risks themselves, but, even before the scientific evidence is available, I don’t believe anyone will argue against the contention that they are better for you than a pack of red Marlboros.”
When skeptics argue against electronic cigarettes, they seem to always fall back on the argument that e-cigs are attracting teens to nicotine. Many reason that if teens are vaping now, they will end up as smokers later. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case when you really analyze the people that use ecigs. “E-cigarettes are attractive for those who want to leave smoking behind, or at least recognize their addiction and want to do something about it. But are they attractive to the casual pleasure-seeker? I very much doubt it,” he said.
As for kids that use e-cigs, Kelner said it is actually better than the alternative. While you never want your kid to use any nicotine product, vaping is certainly the lesser evil when compared to tobacco cigarettes. “History has shown that if kids wanted to smoke, they’d smoke, and if they are now choosing a safer alternative, we shouldn’t be upset by that,” he said.
To assume that ecigs act as a gateway to tobacco use is also to assume that they carry the same allure. Why do people start smoking when they know that it can cause cancer and a host of other health problems? Perhaps the appeal is the danger itself. On the other hand, ecigs don’t deliver the same health risks so they might not offer the same temptation. “E-cigarettes, which contain nicotine but not tobacco, just don’t deliver the same illicit thrill,” said Kelner.
There are around two million people using electronic cigarettes in Britain and Kelner believes that most of those people were smokers before they ever started vaping. He explains that it just doesn’t make sense that ecigs would be popular among the nonsmoking crowd.
All things considered, Kelner claims that ecigs are better than cancer. As a cancer survivor, he doesn’t make the statement lightly and he really understands the weight of his claim. He lived the nightmare, he survived, and now he is voicing his support for ecigs so the tobacco-free devices will spare someone else from the same fate.
Do you think Kelner’s statement will make a difference in the ecig argument?