This is how I feel about drugs, including nicotine/tobacco. I think we need to focus more on harm reduction for this reason. Stop telling occasional smokers that they should just quit. They know the risks, stop shaming them into lying to their doctors and dentists.
When you read studies about occasional smoking, much like marijuana smoking, they do not have much information on the risks. Some studies have found equal risk from occasional smoking as regular smoking but these studies often include light, daily smokers in the cohort. Other studies, have found less risk than regular smoking, more risk than never smoking. Usually, the study ends by saying that occasional smoking is not a safe alternative to regular smoking and that people should just quit. To me, this is seeing tobacco use in black and white and ignoring the human aspect. That for some people, the pleasure of smoking, is worth the risk.
Prohibition doesn’t work. We saw that with alcohol. We have seen this with the war on drugs. Instead of banning vaping automatically, research the risks. People like using nicotine. Figure out a safer way for people to use it.
By Johann Hari
The United Nations says the drug war’s rationale is to build “a drug-free world — we can do it!” U.S. government officials agree, stressing that “there is no such thing as recreational drug use.” So this isn’t a war to stop addiction, like that in my family, or teenage drug use. It is a war to stop drug use among all humans, everywhere. All these prohibited chemicals need to be rounded up and removed from the earth. That is what we are fighting for.
I began to see this goal differently after I learned the story of the drunk elephants, the stoned water buffalo, and the grieving mongoose. They were all taught to me by a remarkable scientist in Los Angeles named Professor Ronald K. Siegel.
***The tropical storm in Hawaii had reduced the mongoose’s home to a mess of mud, and lying there, amid…
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