The new London fog

I don't want to terrify the reading public but, I would be a hideous person if I didn't alert the citizens of our region about a new health threat.

Now, this is something so bloodcurdling that you might want to draw the curtains and assume some sort of protective stance whilst reading this piece.

Are you ready for the latest risk to humanity as we know it? Are you bracing yourselves for the worst news to come along since Agent Orange made its debut? Are you sick of my bloviating in order to take up space? OK then, here goes....

The substance in question would be...hang on to something sturdy...WATER VAPOR. Yes, you read that right so there is no need to see an eye doctor.

The particular form in question would be that which is emitted from a little something called electronic cigarettes.

I'm certain you've seen news items relating to the whole e-cig craze and if not, I shall impart a brief summary.

E-cigs are basically a non tar, non smoke nicotine delivery system. They are utilized by those who want to give up smoking, (much like using nicotine patches, gum, etc.). The difference is that one actually inhales the fake smoke, aka water vapor, rather than sporting a patch on the arm or chomping on bitter tasting nic-gum.

Well, evidently, this has caused a firestorm of controversy in some areas of these fine United States. For the purposes of this public service announcement, we shall concentrate on the loons of New York and how some are reacting to the lethal water vapor contained within the e-cig.

First of all, I do understand that nicotine is a totally addictive property. I get that when one is puffing on said fake cig, he, or she, is still delivering nicotine to the system. However, the same individual, hence forth known as ECE, (E-Cig Enthusiast), is also taking in water vapor, rather than ingesting the above-mentioned toxic chemicals found in regular cigarettes. Therefore, ECE is also EXHALING fog, rather than SUPPOSED killer second-hand smoke. (Don't even get me started on my views about the second hand craze. Plus, I've already written about it and, as you know, I never like to repeat myself. Yes, sarcasm was intended.)

I'm not as dumb as many think as I do totally comprehend the fact that nicotine is addictive. The same could be said about caffeine and carbohydrates, to name two. This column isn't really about that, it's about the insanity surrounding the “dangers” of killer clouds.

Since these items became popular, big tobacco has been pushing for regulations galore. Gee, I wonder why?? Well, here's why...THEY WORK. For most smokers, the thrill comes along with actually holding the cigarette. Slowly, yet methodically, moving it to the lips, inhaling deeply, throwing the head back and exhaling in sheer ecstasy are also perks for the dedicated smoker.

The e-cig allows all of the above without the harmful chemicals entering the system. Again, I know that nicotine is still being delivered but nicotine isn't the cancer-causing element in tobacco products.

Well, some fine citizens and politicians in New York have decided that the risk is simply too high when it comes to allowing these to be used in public venues so, they've banned them from such areas. One reason is due to those oh so wonderful children and the harm it might bring them. I mean, we can't have simulated smoking in public because all, under the age of eighteen, could be deeply psychologically damaged. Not only, they'd, more than likely, knock off a liquor store in order to afford an e-cig of their very own. We must protect those little angels at all costs. Others were actually greatly concerned that the exhaled water vapors might cause issues. That last part is so dumb. I refuse to comment further, don't faint.

So, if it gives the appearance of danger, we must protect the public at large, or small. In that case, I recommend banning fake beer, water pistols, removable tattoos, vegetarian burgers and anything that looks like the real deal.

There is finally something out there that really aids in smoking cessation and some over-the-top, zealous, crazed creatures are putting the screws to the whole scenario. It figures that this would happen in our land of the free.

You may have ascertained that I'm fairly livid about this. I am so flabbergasted that I can barely contain my ire.

Some say, (the famous some), that the e-cig is a gateway to smoking. Leaving that aside, (since I loathe the whole gateway scapegoat), I believe we should concentrate on those who are hooked on real tobacco and not those who might, just might, test out an e-cig and then move on to Cuban Cigars, or some such nonsense.

I know that this will catch on here in our fine state of over-regulation. Soon we won't be able to partake in an activity that is less dangerous than standing on a city street and taking in exhaust from buses, taxis, etc.

Anyone who thinks that second-hand water vapor is leading to high death rates best reconsider that trip to London. Also, as you have gathered, this whole sheltering of children to the point of absurdity is wreaking havoc on the rest of us.

Whew, I think I'm done. I'm certain that many a reader will side with the goofballs in higher power. Just remember, when they want to ban something that you love, even if it's a danger to only yourselves, you might reconsider.

I'm off to stroll in and out of local stores while puffing on an e-cig, sporting a plastic sidearm and guzzling an alcohol-free beer. Hide the children.