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  • Daniel Sillett

Vapes: Why Britain’s health is going up in smoke

BY DANIEL SILLETT


Picture the scene. You’re walking along the seafront at one of Britain’s glorious coastlines – let’s say Porthcurno Bay in Cornwall. A group of rowdy teens walks by. You get a waft of strawberry shortcake and you frantically swivel round like an owl to pursue the scent, which is surely coming from an ice cream parlour… Wrong. It’s a pathetic cloud of smoke coming from one of those blasted teens’ Elf bars.


This is becoming commonplace in Britain. 16% of 11–17-year-olds vape in the UK, which might sound like a small number. But when you consider that most people in this age bracket haven’t even done their GCSEs, it becomes quite alarming.


What’s more, demonstrated by the story above, vapes are a pain in the neck. I don’t appreciate having to wade through a mythical mist of chemicals on my way to the shops. I lament how, from afar, they fool my tastebuds into producing unnecessary drool. And I hate it when vapers think that ‘no smoking’ rules inside public places don’t apply to them. They do. So go away.


Regardless of the hatred I hold for these things, the biggest red flag about a vape is it fills someone’s lungs with a gazillion particles that nobody knows anything about. Except we do know something about them. Because many vapers have woken up one day to find that their lungs have collapsed, they can’t breathe, and so they die a horrible death.


So far, then, the Elf bar isn’t holding up too well. Their users end up dead. Everybody else is constantly in Peppa Pig land, where the hills are made of cake and the rivers are raspberry ripple. And let’s not forget that blokes who puff out blueberry smoke also puff out small D energy (insert gender discrimination terms and conditions here).


The government, however, clearly has other ideas. This is because, in what they proclaim to be a world first ‘swap to stop’ scheme, the UK government will give free vapes to smokers to encourage them to stop smoking. This will cost the government around £3 million.


As far as I can see, aside from a measly taskforce consisting of Mabel from next door, nobody is there to enforce this. In other words, the headline should read: ‘UK government gives out free vapes to smokers. Period.’ That doesn’t sound so good. What a waste of 3 million precious British pounds.


There are so many things wrong with this policy I could write my dissertation on it.


Firstly, it will not work. In fact, it’s so pointless that I could end the article here. But, to completely convince you, I shall plough on.


What Elf bar was the Health Minister who dreamed up this policy smoking? This is like putting someone with coronary heart disease in the London marathon. Why? Well, yes, you’ll stop people eating roads – which let’s be frank, is what inhaling cigarette tar amounts to. But, instead, they’ll be swallowing the contents of Frankenstein’s potion cabinet.


It’s all about getting a smoke-free Britain. But, as is too often the case, this is a Poundland solution to a Harrods problem. Yes, we might get a cigarette-free Britain by 2030, but blimey heck it won’t be smoke-free. Vapes produce more smoke than a steam locomotive from the 19th-century. And what’s the point when vapes are just as, if not more, harmful than cigarettes?


Another reason this is wrong is because the next generation of humans will probably be born with two heads, one eye and a pig’s snout. Why? Well, women are a major target of this scheme because of the harm to babies when pregnant mothers smoke cigarettes. But who says vapes won’t make it all worse? They said thalidomide was good, but then we had an effective genocide on our hands.


Despite all of that, do you know what really grates on me about this scheme? Hold on, I lie. Everything about this scheme infuriates me. But do you know what really takes the biscuit? It’s the fact we’re encouraging kids to buy dangerous items by selling them as if they’re a bag of Haribo.


I’ve never been into a vape shop, for reasons that I hope are obvious. But that’s irrelevant. Just look around at anyone (in other words, everyone) who vapes – especially Elf bars. You can get vapes in any colour under the sun and with more flavours than even Willy Wonka could dream up. They look fun. They look harmless.


But they’re not. They’re dangerous, extremely harmful and downright pathetic. If you’re that crass that you need to suck on a stick to keep quiet, then you should never have thrown out your dummy.


So, what have we learnt? Well, the Health Department has gone up in smoke. Our next generation will have lungs that look and taste like raspberries. And our already thin-on-the-ground NHS will sink like the Titanic under the pressure of treating a pandemic of self-imposed destruction. All of that, and it’s costing us all a neat £3 million.


Here’s my slogan of final plea to you strawberry smokers. Ditch the dummies. Get a life. Save Britain.


Image: Unsplash/Rubén Bagüés

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