In Delaware, which I’m sure is a great place to be from, there’s a great deal of irritation over the fact that vape shops are not, as it stands, excluded from a new clean air law regulating indoor spaces. From the USA Today story we have this:
Their customers need to be able to try the product before buying it, and the legislation as now written would make it illegal to do so, they said. Without an amendment exempting them from a revised Clean Indoor Air Act, owners say Internet outfits that sell devices for cheaper prices will cannibalize shops and lounges, which have grown exponentially in the last year.
Kind of a cramp in the operation of such shops, for obvious reasons, but more of what we should expect as vaping is desperately being cast as “smoking” despite the blatant physical and chemical difference.
Moving a little further along with this particular trend of banning vaping everywhere, or in any place smoking has been typically banned, is the assumption that perhaps the problem here isn’t with the health concern about vaping at all. After all, in the UK there are experts encouraging it as a way to quit smoking. In other words, it isn’t seen as “the same” thing at all. Of course, I don’t believe anyone in the states, even the legislators fomenting these absurd laws, think that smoking and vaping are interchangeable. Not in any “material” or “health” sense. Far from it. What is working here, and this could be just me, is the very serious nature of what it “appears” to be. Quitting smoking was pushed along the lines of the old anti-vice super-ego injunctions that have deep roots in the U.S., initially and persistently more about personally gratifying yourself openly than it ever was about health. Happened to work out, of course, that there were eventually health concerns, real ones, attached to this. But, now, these same agents of guilt have to point to anything that replaces smoking with something more effective and less detrimental and call those things equally as awful. There are no rational justifications for this.
Instead, the nagging feedback from the children in charge seems to point a solid, stern, panicky recapitulation of the now vanished paternalist state right back in our faces. If we do anything, no matter how safe or sane or more advanced, it is bewildering and dangerous, and we should be forced to understand this in order to rid ourselves of this exhibition, this expression of enjoyment in public. How rude!