WRITING: Why don't you dare to debate, Non Smoking Generation?

COMMENT. The other day (23/3/2023) the Non Smoking Generation sat in the TV4 news morning and complained about young people in schools using disposable weapons. Of course it is not good. It is downright devastating and I think we can all agree that young people should not use these products.

But one thought strikes me: why is there space in the media for only one side? Why is NSG allowed to sit and talk completely unchallenged on national TV?

"Want our children to keep going"

The non-smoking generation, which in the beginning had a laudable goal of getting people to stop smoking, has shifted a bit and in its rhetoric has become very much like a radical organisation on one side of this debate. Already initially, a lie comes up. "Firstly, it is because there is an industry that wants our children to use these products" Direct quote from Helen Stjerna, Secretary General of the NSG.

Let's pause for a moment right there. Ok, I can't account for the purpose to a factory owner who has his factory in a country that I haven't even set foot in, BUT do you, Helen Stjerna, honestly believe that those of us who are serious about harm minimisation and have several years behind us in the e-cigarette business, that my goal is to sell as much as possible to puppies who aren't even adult enough to buy energy drinks by grocery store standards? 

Does Pfizer sell tramadol?

No, definitely not. However, there are unscrupulous individuals who privately import e-cigarettes to sell them at any cost, regardless of who the buyer is or even the age of the buyer, but here is a statement that may shock you. THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT PART OF THE INDUSTRY. A bit like the guy who deals tramadol to anyone is not part of the pharmaceutical industry. Or is it perhaps Pfizer, Astra, et al who are to blame for pill abuse?

Are BMW, SAAB, Volvo and all the other car giants responsible for all car deaths? This statement is unreasonable. Inappropriate procedure and behaviour IS a fact.

Not allowed to advertise

I look further and it only takes a few more seconds in the clip before the next claim is made out of thin air and that is that the products are marketed to minors. I don't really know what everyone else's situation is, but I'm pretty sure there aren't a lot of stickers and posters in the window, and in my shop you have to be 18 years old to even enter the shop.

I am not allowed to advertise nicotine products in an intrusive way, there are laws and rules for this and municipalities MUST ensure that this is followed. Those of us who actually follow these rules welcome controls on products, space and advertising.

Calling for a ban on flavours

There is also a mention of regret that a flavour ban was not passed. Ok, so you want to get people to stop smoking by removing things that are proven to make people stop smoking. On what planet is that logic sustainable? It's worth noting that Helen herself emphasises that the BELIEVE that it is because of "those lovely flavours" and that the tobacco industry has "promoted" these products as less dangerous.

Wait a minute. Last time I checked, neither Vaporesso, Smok, Dovpoo, Voopoo, Oxva and others are owned by the tobacco industry. Neither is Dinner Lady, IVG, or for that matter, Dr. Koyuki owned by the tobacco industry... or maybe there's a secret in the doctor's lab that we don't know about? Mysterious as hell, isn't it?

What does Helen Stjerna "know"?

I don't know if Helen has read the British NHS research on e-cigarettes versus regular cigarettes, where it was found that sucking on a vape was enormously healthier than sucking on burning paper and leaves. (I think it seems pretty obvious when you know what a vejp contains, but I could be wrong again. Such things can happen)

She also says immediately afterwards, in response to the question of whether it is less dangerous, "I know.
we do not"

Cherry picking galore

She keeps coming back to "but it's a lot of flavours and nicotine" ... Yes? We adult users know this. That is WHY we threw away the stink stick in favour of something that can calm the nicotine ghost AND taste good. I can only refer to the video that was released in the era of the flavour ban where many older people, including yours truly, pointed out that without the flavours, we would probably have cost society a lot more in due course with healthcare costs, lost working hours and so on. But no.

It's all along the lines of "anything that doesn't agree with us is not true". I think the expression is called cherrypicking. If you are not familiar with the term, here is a wikipedia link and it feels pretty much like what NSG is doing at this point.
Cherry Picking according to Wikipedia

Smoke-free - not nicotine-free

Now, Helen, I want you to show me exactly WHERE you can find a promotion to young people in Sweden from a serious company in the e-cig industry. I apologise for not holding my breath, because apparently you need oxygen to live.

About here, I have lost any kind of respect I had for NSG representatives. I should add that it was not great to begin with, but anyway. I am smoke-free even if I am not nicotine-free. I give up on this clip now. All this hesitation, and side-stepping of questions to convey misinformation, just makes me feel resigned.

'Flat earth' warning

It's almost a flat-earther warning as it's the same feeling I get when listening to phrases containing outright errors, sighs and hesitations.

Unfortunately, the programme hosts also do not have enough information to ask questions that are outside the realm of opinion and belief, but this is somewhat understandable as their job is not to be investigative, but more of an interviewer.

Unbiased research exists

Helen. With all due respect, I say this to you: If you don't want to be equated with tinfoil hats and conspiracy theorists, you need to do some reading. You know. I can even give you tips on people you can contact to actually find out what's going on. Even I'm prepared to have a discussion with you even though I only have research results in pdf files (Yes, Helen, there is independent and unbiased research on e-cigarettes, their harm, their harm minimisation and also full tables of contents for the products) but if you want to discuss, or hey, maybe even overcome the cowardice and dare to debate, may I suggest you talk to the following people:

Victor Bryn-Jensen, President of BELC
Karl-Åke Johansson Spokesperson for the User Association NNA Sweden
Stefan Mathisson, Editor of the online magazine Vejpkollen
Linus Gustafsson. AKA Dr Koyuki, long-time e-juice manufacturer

One-sided debate

And of course, this harangue would not be complete without a small parallel. Once upon a time, there was a country where only one side was heard. People were divided into Us and Them, and only presented a revised side of the story that portrayed "them" as a threat, a danger.
There are reasons why a debate has two sides.

Mathias Norman
The grumpy, vejping soon-to-be 50-year-old man who is currently sucking on the
a good watermelon juice with nicotine.

2 Comments on “KRÖNIKA: Varför vågar ni inte debattera, Non Smoking Generation?

  1. Allways follow the money, says an old wise saying.
    It would be interesting if NSG could openly report where their money comes from. We know that all anti-smoking organisations, including NSG, receive money from the pharmaceutical industry, which directly loses billions of dollars because vejp works better than the pharmaceutical industry's preparations (see Cochrane report).
    We also know that the campaign that is now sweeping the world is funded by Bloomberg who is actively bribing his way to protect the cigarette market. Wonder how many millions NSG received?

  2. NSG does not rely on research they just believe a lot feels like their information source is Facebook because what is written there is always true. It is really terrible that such people get such space in the media who are so incompetent in the area. But surely they get money from somewhere so to be able to exist they say whatever. I myself run a vejp shop and what Mathias says is the reality of the problems is black imports of disposable e-cigs sold to even younger people. Established vejp stores are not the problem we are very strict on laws, rules, approved products and who we sell to. As an extra addition to what Mathias writes and a small greeting to NSG, there are solutions to problems called cooperation and information between vejp store, County Council and Municipality.

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