Damien on… E-cigs – The “Yellow Peril” Strikes Again?
First, let us be clear on one VERY important point; e-cigs are NOT a “smoking cessation” device. They are not promoted as such by any legitimate manufacturer or organisation. They are an ALTERNATE DELIVERY SYSTEM for nicotine.
E-cigs first emerged half a century ago. But serious examples only came on-line a DECADE ago, largely thanks to developments in battery technology.
And THOSE examples came from CHINA. Indeed, we MOSTLY have that country to thank for ten years R&D and manufacture of them.
Which raises a VITAL QUESTION which – as far as this writer knows – has NOT yet been ADDRESSED. But more of that later.
One thing that IS certain is that the L&B departments (lies and bullsh*t) of governments all over the World have gone into overdrive on the subject. Despite e-cigs clearly being FAR safer (1000 times, according to some research) than traditional tobacco cigarettes, governments have claimed they are as dangerous – or laughably, even MORE dangerous.
Now you do not need a triple-digit IQ to see why. Many governments RELY HEAVILY on the EXTORTIONATE TAX (1,000%+) which they levy on smokers of standard cigarettes – to RUN their countries.
And even those with double-digit IQs can see that since governments are happy to rake in that revenue, they would be unlikely to look kindly on a substitute that would BYPASS their collection of it.
Furthermore, since most people now have international bank cards and computers, if governments put massive taxes on e-cig “juice” – everyone would simply order it from countries that did not. Buying cigarettes online without involving customs is impractical, due to their SIZE – but little bottles of juice are another matter.
The cost of checking EVERY item of incoming small-packet mail would be prohibitive – and the TIME it would take would cause the international mail system to COLLAPSE.
So let us LOOK at those governments. They have long claimed to constantly increase (WELL above the rate of inflation) tobacco tax, in the interests of “health and safety” – so with e-cigs manifestly being FAR SAFER, WHY are they prepared to make themselves look ridiculous by coming down so heavily AGAINST them?
Well, only those with SINGLE-digit IQs could fail to see that the ALTERNATIVES to taxing tobacco would make governments even MORE unpopular than most already are. Hit beleaguered motorists for yet MORE taxes? Raise VAT? Income tax?
The population would revolt.
How about getting their fat-cat friends and big corporations to pay some REAL tax, eh? (Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen).
So, it’s just about the revenue then – or IS it? Here comes that vital question I spoke of earlier…
Imagine THIS scenario. Tomorrow, all smokers – including Chinese ones – stop smoking tobacco and switch to e-cigs. What would happen?
Well, in China, about 50% of men – and 1% of women – smoke. But Chinese cigarettes only cost about a Pound (a buck sixty) a pack.
Thus in China, the loss of revenue from tobacco tax would EASILY be compensated for by (1) the HUGE SAVINGS in health-care, for those struck down by smoking-related diseases (2) the INCREASE IN JOBS, created by the manufacturing of e-cigs and juice and (3) the MAJOR BOOST in foreign trade from ALL OVER THE WORLD.
This last would be inevitable, given that while a number of Western tobacco giants have bought in HEAVILY to this new phenomenon – the Chinese are YEARS AHEAD of them.
While around the REST of the World, economies ALREADY reeling from the effects of the ’08/9 financial meltdown – caused by the Wall Street robber-barons, in concord with most of Congress – would be CRIPPLED.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? This thing has a SERIOUS POLITICAL dimension.
Major countries have ALWAYS been heavily invested in sabotaging each other’s economies in any way they can – without actually invoking WAR. And with China’s financial explosion having now begun to plateau, any measure which might create ANOTHER explosion there – would be MORE than welcome.
Now some might wonder whether the idiot governments around the World have THOUGHT of that. However, THIS writer is SURE of it – since it would EXPLAIN why they are prepared to look so absurd, by CONDEMNING and attempting to curtail e-cig use.
But I also believe that THIS time, they are doomed to FAILURE. Like King Canute, they cannot stem the inevitable. E-cigs WILL ultimately replace dirty, smelly, health-destroying, RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE tobacco-based cigarettes. And they WILL have to find alternative ways of raising revenue.
And tobacco companies will FALL – or at least, be forced to segue into the manufacture of e-cigs and juice.
It is not a question of IF – only WHEN.