Sowing the seeds of hate

Well, the vapers are getting a real taste of antismoker hate this week. With one important difference.

The Puritans won’t ban smoking. Too much tax income involved and too many rich peoples’ pensions are locked into tobacco company shares.

Vaping has no such backroom protections. The Puritans can openly hate us smokers but they’ll never ban it because of the cashflow. Vaping doesn’t generate that cashflow.

So, we have the moves to ban flavours, very rapidly (not surprisingly) followed by moves to ban vaping altogether. Orange Don has tried to roll back on his ridiculous anti-vape stance but too late. Rolling back on it now is just going to get him tarred with the ‘You don’t care about the cheeeldren dying!’ hysteria. Which, incidentally, is coming from people who support abortion up to the moment of birth. Still, Don fell for that trap, let’s see if he can find a way out. I can’t.

Abortion is a separate argument. Personally I’d support it up to the point where they get elected to government but that’s possibly leaning towards the slightly extreme end of the spectrum. It seems to be all or nothing in the USA though. Some states you can have your photo taken with your newborn and then sell it for spare parts, other states you go to jail for a natural and unfortunate miscarriage. There seems to be no middle ground.

Anyway, back to smoking and vaping.

We’ve had pompous, self-important antismoking vapers since it started. Not all, I hasten to add, but a vocal minority, who delighted in siding with the Puritans against the smokers they left behind. We told them, one day they’ll come for you, but the ones breathing the Holy Steam never listened. I bet they still aren’t listening even as their Electrofags are snatched from their non-yellowed fingers.

It does wear off, by the way. The yellow finger stains, I mean. Change the way you hold your smokes and the stains from your habitual holding pattern will fade in time. Switch to vaping and they’ll vanish forever… until you are forced back to smoking by Orange Don’s Puritan Loonies.

The Puritans took full advantage of their new temporary vaper allies, letting them whip up more smoker-hate, until they realised the effect on their bottom line as vaping became more popular and tobacco taxes declined. So now they have turned on the vapers, and they have turned very hard indeed.

So hard, in fact, that they are trying to turn smokers into vaper-haters.

Yes. Really.

I inhale the smoke from a little bonfire in my face. You really want me to be scared of flavoured steam?

There can be absolutely no effect whatsoever from your nearby Electrofag while I’m actually burning leaves in my mouth. I’d get more effect from a kettle with a vanilla pod in it.

What this study actually says is that a third of smokers have experienced some poor bugger with a steam-stick thrust out into the same cold, inadequate shelter as the smokers. It does not equate to any kind of harm from that experience and it never will – because there can be no possible harm.

It’s fucking steam with a bit of flavour, a dash of nicotine and the chemical they use in asthma inhalers. Damn, if it does anything, it’ll do smokers good! It might even get a few interested smokers to try it for themselves. The price difference is a big pull here (that’s why I keep trying it, even though I haven’t found one to totally replace the real thing yet). That price difference is almost all tobacco tax, and that is why the alternative must be destroyed. Antismokers are losing money!

Get ready, vapers. The Puritans are turning smokers against you. It won’t be hard in many cases, remember how vocal your pompous bastards were in denouncing us? Petty revenge is petty, but you know it’s coming.

You are going to see smokers mysteriously diagnosed with ‘popcorn lung’ which, if it was real, should have been affecting smokers all along. You are going to see smoker cancer cases attributed to second hand vaping. Biologically impossible, but then look at the silly pictures on cigarette packets. You can’t get ‘meth mouth’ from tobacco, but here we are.

We already have ‘danger: contains nicotine’ warnings on packaged Electrofags that contain no nicotine. We do not have that warning on tomatoes or potatoes or the Pharmer’s nicotine patches and gum.

The aim is, of course, to split smokers and vapers further. There will still be the Holy Vapers who see their former compatriots as less than human. There will now be the Holy Smokers who at last have the chance to smack down the smug bastards – and to be honest, who can blame them?

Oh it’s going to work. It won’t take long.

If smokers and vapers were to come together as ‘nicotine consumers’ or similar, under a banner that covers us all, the Puritans would be screwed and they know it.

Will it happen?

Doesn’t look like it.

Has Trump blown it?

Donnie Trumpton has decided to ban all flavours for Electrofags.

Why? Well, six people have died and more have been hospitalised for using their vape devices (Electrofags) to inhale illegal drugs. Don the Trumper thinks this is solved by… banning the legal flavours.

No, Don-boy, what you intend will boost the sale of illegal drug-based vape jiuces and destroy the legal market. It will also boost the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths due to illegal vape liquids because the legal ones are no longer available. That is going to be used to beat you down, every single day. I have often wondered whether you are a genius or an idiot – this move puts you firmly in the ‘idiot’ box.

All the Democrats have to do now is oppose this, support the vapers, and in 2020 you are fucked.

It’s not just the vapers’ votes you have just lost. All their family, all their friends, were delighted to see them switch from smoking to vaping because, you see, in the real world we all know that vaping is at least 95% less risky than smoking. Now, all those family and friends have to watch their loved ones switch back to smoking and they all know that you are personally responsible.

Every time one of those ex-vaping smokers gets emphysema, they will blame you. Every time one of them gets lung cancer, they will blame you. Every time one of them so much as coughs, they will blame you. Don Trump, the Tobacco Pusher.

Look, Donnie, I live near Balmedie in Scotland where we haven’t liked you very much for decades anyway (you know why) but I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt as POTUS. So far you did pretty well, I thought, but it seems you have reverted to type. You don’t like it, nobody can have it.

You have no idea how deep this goes. Smokers who wish to try to quit were looking at vaping as a viable alternative. Let’s face it, the Pharmer crap doesn’t work even though it is mysteriously exempt from nicotine warnings on its nicotine products. Those smokers aren’t going to vote for you now.

And neither are their family and friends who hoped they’d quit smoking.

Donald, Don, Donny, Don-boy, Donnybubble (you don’t mind if I call you Donnybubble do you? Millions of vapers and their families are calling you a lot worse right now) you have fucked up big time.

You have just handed your opponents the nuclear button. ‘So the President is not interested in gun control but is going to ban mango flavoured steam’. Get out of that one.

You just have to hope the Democrats are as dim as you think they are, and my bet is, they ain’t all Alex Occaisonal-Cortex. They are going to latch on to this and they are going to swing millions of vaper votes their way.

Also, did you know that many Hollywood weirdoes also vape? Big names, Donny. Popular names. All inhaling harmless raspberry and coffee flavoured steam. Not oil-based illegal cannabis crap.

You, Don, the man who likes to shout ‘Fake news’, has just fallen into the trap laid by the fakest news of all. And your opponents will take it to the bridge. If they don’t, they must indeed be stupid.

I know you don’t like smoking and I’m betting you don’t like vaping either. So what changed?

Well, now the smoking and vaping voters don’t like you either.

Get that goodbye speech written. Ban the legal flavours on the pretence of stopping the illegal drugs and trust me, you’re done.

Greenland

I’ve never been there. It’s in the news a lot lately though.

It’s summer so there are glaciers on Greenland dropping icebergs into the sea, as they have done for a very, very long time. Suddenly it’s ‘a catastrophe’. What a pity it’s not actually a new phenomenon. If the Church of Climatology had a shred of credibility, if their claims were even remotely true, we’d still have the Titanic to sail around in.

Meanwhile the total tonnage of frozen water on Greenland has increased this year. No, I’m not going to bother finding the reference. If you want to pretend the world is warming when it’s rapidly cooling, you carry on. I’m not here to save you, I’m making preparations to save myself. You are free to believe whatever you like. Oh, and the obituary for the glacier on Iceland? That glacier was 700 years old. So, 700 years ago, there was no glacier there. Explain that in terms of SUVs, private jets and Elton John’s magic CO2-absorbing money.

Greenland was in the news with a bigger story this week. Coincidentally, CStM and I were in Denmark while the news broke that Donny Trumpton wasn’t joking – he really did want to buy Greenland from Denmark. Danish news responded with the story that since Greenland was discovered by the son of the man who discovered America, then according to inheritance rules, America belongs to Greenland’s founder. Greenland has therefore offered to buy America.

Donny was due to visit Denmark but has pulled out at the last minute. Why? Ostensibly because Denmark refuse to even consider selling him Greenland. Another possibility is that he realises the massive bollocks he’s made and knows he’ll get a poor – to put it mildly – reception.

I wondered if it was one of his ‘Art of the Deal’ games. ‘You won’t sell me Greenland? Then I’m not coming to visit until you do’. To which the Danes will respond with ‘Well fuck off then, fat boy’ and crack open another Carlsberg. Or maybe pour an Akvavit. They will not play that game. They have no intention of ever selling Greenland. Denmark is not a poor country – and no, it’s not socialist. It’s a kind of directed capitalism. You can set up any business you like, taxes are high but benefits are consequently plentiful. You never have to queue for bread. And there are tax breaks for all kinds of business related things.

These are Vikings, remember. They colonised Iceland and Greenland before anyone ‘discovered’ those places and there is some evidence they were the first Europeans to reach America. Oh, and they called it ‘Greenland’ because it was green. They had crops and cattle on there before most of it froze over. A little bit of history helps put the Church of Climatology in perspective, doesn’t it? That’s why they don’t like you looking at it.

You can’t just buy a country and its inhabitants. If you want it you have to invade and take over. And be ready for a lot of death and destruction and expense. Donny doesn’t seem to have considered for a moment that maybe Greenlanders don’t want to be Americans. Sure, he thinks it’s the greatest country on earth but there is a world outside the USA containing lots of other countries. The people in those countries mostly have them set out and organised the way they like them. They aren’t for sale.

The Trumper isn’t the first to try this. A previous American president – I am told it was probably Truman – tried to buy Greenland and had the same ‘*snort* no’ response. It’s not going to change.

There would be a definite military advantage to the USA if they owned Greenland. Between that and Alaska they could target almost all the northern hemisphere. Do we really want any country to have that kind of power? Sure, you might think of Trump as bumbling but basically benign, but twenty years from now, who will be in charge of all that strategic power? They could target all of Russia. Surely anyone can see that’s going to make Russia a bit edgy and start another arms race. Even though it’s militarily sensible from the USA military’s point of view, overall it is a very, very bad idea.

It is fortunate that Greenland is owned by the Danes. They don’t cave to outside pressure easily. They don’t give a flying fuck what the rest of the world thinks and they are not impressed by the posturing of either Trump or Putin. You don’t like it in Denmark? Leave. No hijab, no Halal, no Euros. They have kept their currency so they still have that option to walk away from the EU. There’s been no sign of them doing so, yet, but they have sensibly kept the option open.

If Donny Trumpton thinks he can worry the Danes by refusing to show up to some pomp and ceremony occasion, he really doesn’t understand those people at all. Denmark is a remarkably flat country, all the more remarkably flat to someone who grew up in Wales and now lives in Scotland. And yet I have never seen a golf course there. I don’t think Trump has anything they want. Not a thing. Not unless he can make a better Remoulade.

I love it there. I can buy whisky at lower prices than I can get it at the distilleries making it in Scotland – and I live a couple of hours’ drive from most of them. Cigarettes are half the price. Literally. And they don’t have the Doors of Shame (although I noted this week some supermarkets have started to install them, but the local shops don’t have them).

I have brought back a good supply of smokes. I didn’t bring whisky back – bringing whisky to north-east Scotland just seemed silly and anyway the price differential was enough to be amusing, not enough to be worth loading up. It’s really down to Scotland’s silly minimum pricing, which means I can get whisky cheaper in another country than I can in the distillery down the road.

Trumpy, no matter how good he thinks he is at manipulating deals, is not going to get Denmark to sell him Greenland. It is not going to happen. So will he refuse to let them buy Ford cars? Pffft. They prefer Volvos, for the most part. There aren’t all that many Ford drivers there.

Greenland is not going to be US State 52. He’d be better off shoring up Puerto Rico if he wants another state as his legacy.

_________

It has been a chaotic summer. CStM and I are just back from a week in Denmark where we visited her family and spent most of the time sitting around being all hygge and doing not much of anything. It was great. Even with Psycho Dog keeping us company and occasionally vanishing to shit on the neighbour’s drive. It was a long way back to the airport though…

We have had almost continuous visitors here since April. These visitors came from Wales and from Denmark (family, both sides) and all expected to be shown around a lot. On a map, Denmark is about the same size as Scotland but what the Danes never realise is that the uppiness and downiness of the Scottish landscape can at least double the driving distance shown on the map. Also, any Scottish long straight country roads always, without exception, lead to an unexpected and unsigned 90 degree bend at some point.

It’s been fun, I’ve seen things locally I hadn’t seen before and revisited some favourites but it has taken up a lot of time. Our week in Denmark was specifically intended to be a resting week (the highlight was CStM’s grandfather’s birthday). No tourism apart from a trip to the beach for a spectacular ice cream. We’re both all touristed out.

We even had a visit to the police station after one Scottish trip. There was a maniac driver who didn’t slow down for a roundabout, passed us, hit the chevron sign, rolled eight times and landed on the far side of the roundabout. He apparently survived but as we had front row seats and he was all on dashcam, we had to give a statement when we volunteered the footage. I’m not putting it online, that would just be sick. Last we heard he was alive, but only just.

Anyway, all of this has slowed down the work enormously. So there will be no more tourism until mid October when we will go to Wales to sit about doing bugger all for a week. Also no overnight visitors.

From tomorrow I have two books to finish work on for other authors, the Halloween Underdog Anthology (number 9) starting up in earnest and more of my own to write.

I also have to get the damn grass cut. And beat the grapevine into submission.

So, no more tourists this side of Christmas. And that’s final.

Fine weather brings them from under their rocks

Every summer it’s the same story. All through the shitty weather, the antismokers delight in watching smokers huddled outside pubs. The first day it’s actually pleasant to be out there and…

Note the ‘in this weather’ part. When an area is horrible to be in, smokers can have it. When it’s nice, smokers can just get lost so the Righteous Ones can enjoy themselves.

Doesn’t affect me personally, my pub visits dropped from weekly to monthly and now getting to less than once a year since the ban. Since I now have to drive to the nearest pub I can’t drink much (Scottish drink/drive limits mean one beer can put you over the limit) and I have to go outside to smoke, no matter the weather. There’s nothing left in there for me now, other than a very occasional meal.

I go to Local Shop, next to the pub, buy whisky and take it home. So I’m not troubling Jeremy or his army of pompous, self-important, smug filth. I have whisky and tobacco at home where I don’t have to put up with fake coughing and don’t have to share a space with people like Jeremy.

It does affect a lot of smokers though and more than that, it affects pubs.

I’m sure pub landlords will be delighted with Jeremy’s plan to ban those persistent smoking customers who just keep coming back in all weathers and spending their filthy smoker money, despite having it made clear to them they aren’t welcome inside. Now, thanks to Pompous Jeremy, they aren’t going to be welcome outside either, at least during the short British spells of pleasant weather. So why would they ever go back?

Yes, the regulars just keep on coming back, don’t they? Clear them all out so Jeremy can have a smoke free pub garden for a couple of weeks every summer. Next summer he’ll be sitting in an untended garden behind a closed-down pub – but it’ll be smoke free. Alcohol-free too. Bonus, eh, Jeremy?

At the time I took the screenshot (a few minutes before writing this) he had over 100 more retweets than likes. Also 14000 comments against 216 likes. On Twitter that’s called being ‘ratio’d’ which translates as ‘nobody likes you’.

A well deserved result for Jeremy Vine there, whoever he is.

Meanwhile, smokers, pray for rain so Jeremy and his ilk will fuck off back inside again and you can smoke in peace.

The Nicotine Worms

There has been a video circulating that looks like something Kenny Everett would have made as a parody of antismoking – or rather Antivaping, which is actually Antismoking, The Next Degeneration. It’s really, really bad. It’s like those old SF/horror B movies that were so bad they gained cult followings for being hilariously bad.

I have saved this still from the video because it has so much comic potential

They claim that vape pods are littering the whole planet, leaching out heavy metals (plus nicotiiiiiiine!) and getting worms addicted to both. So we can expect to see worms on street corners passing round illicit tobacco while bopping to Iron Maiden. I can see story potential in that image. I’ll consider an antismoking/antivaping parody short story collection if there are enough ideas out there and really, how can you be short of ideas now? There are more ideas than there are clowns in a car.

Do people randomly discard vape pods? I’ve never seen one on the ground and yes, I do enter civilisation (reluctantly) on occasion. I see cigarette butts but those biodegrade, despite the lunatic idea that they are immortal. You see them every day because there are new ones every day and that’s because smokers are forced outside. If they were immortal we’d be wading through them by now.

But vape pods? I bought one of those Juul things to try out. It’s okay but the EU have limited the nicotine in them to Consulate or More levels. So it won’t work. The best alternative I have tried is still the HNB IQOS device but you can’t use that when driving and it can be a bit of a pain when it runs out of charge. Oh I still use it, mainly when I run out and can’t be bothered tubing up some more ciggies, and it’s still pretty good, but it hasn’t taken me off the real thing so far.

Most vapers, certainly in the UK, use refillable tanks. They will only be discarding little plastic bottles and those will mostly be discarded at home, into the recycling (I do love to put empty Viking and Skjold packs, Danish cigarettes, into recycling in the hope it’ll scare the shit out of a dumb drone in the recycling plant).

No, I don’t care if they think they will get The Lumps from seeing the packs and subsequently shit themselves in a panic attack. Anyone stupid enough to believe the antismoking/antivaping nonsense deserves all they get. I am sick of trying to tell them the truth. No more. Die if you want to. Live in terror of a mythical monster if you want to. I don’t care any more.

Like the old saying goes, ‘First they came for the smokers, and I’m a smoker, and nobody (not even pubs) spoke out for me so don’t expect me to give a shit when they come for you.’

The same is true of the Church of Climatology. You want to believe that rubbish? Go ahead, believe it. Don’t make any preparations for the Grand Solar Minimum that has already started and boy, you think you have ten years? You don’t have five. You’re demanding action in the wrong direction and it’s already too late for you to change. Tough titties. I’m getting ready for the right thing and I am no longer interested in saving the world.

Truth be told, I never was. I was only ever interested in saving friends and family and me of course. I did try to warn the rest of them but they came back with sneers and insults until I thought ‘Why am I trying to help these morons?’ Oh I’ll still drop them a hint now and then but there’s no point getting too close to them. They’ll all be dead soon.

Nicotine is not addictive. Nicotine causes no harm at all. Nicotine, or rather the oxidised form, enhances brain function. These things are real. Science, what’s left of real science, has already proven them. Nicotine from burning or heated tobacco, or heated on a coil in a vapouriser, works this way. Nicotine absorbed through the skin does not. Patches and gum miss the point – if they were loaded with oxidised nicotine they might work but nobody is listening.

And I’m no longer telling them.

Nicotine delays or maybe even prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s. Antismokers seem to be largely already suffering these things.

Nicotine is not a bad thing. I will accept that smoking real burning leaf can lead to bad things but nicotine is not the cause of those bad things. Nicotine only became a ‘bad thing’ when vaping fired up. If nicotine kills, every doctor who has prescribed patches and gum is guilty of attempted murder. Take a moment to savour the idea of those trials. Imagine antismoking/antivaping trying to wheedle their way out of it now. I wish I could afford a lawyer for this.

Oh that oxidised form? It’s called niacin. Look up the history of pellagra to find out why it’s added to so many foods, and where it came from. Or search for comments by Rose in the history of this and other smoker blogs. Or, if you prefer, avoid all foods containing niacin (nicotinic acid) and die happy and in horrible agony. The game is yours. Make your choice. I really don’t care any more.

I have retired from science and from researching it. I still do rare consultancies when they show up but I do not work for tobacco companies because my specialisation means they have never asked me to. I will not work for antismoking research, and they are unlikely to ask.

As for vapers, most of them are good guys. Still they have a vocal born-again-nonsmoker group that means I will not support them. You support the fight against antismokers as well as antivapers or you will lose.They are the same enemy and they have been very clever in splitting us. You rail against antivapers and also against smokers? Half of your effort is directed at your own side.

If you will not see that, then…

First they came for the smokers. I was a smoker and they came for me first and nobody spoke out for me.

Then they came for the vapers. They added to the hate that was already on my shoulders so I will not speak out for them.

The game is on. Your move, vapers.

Hawaii at 100

Okay, I have finally finished with ‘Norman’s House’ and loaded it up. It has passed all the checks and the eBook version will spread soon. I’ll push it once the Amazon listings combine. Details are here.

The eighth Underdog Anthology is now open for submissions. Since we are not getting visited (parents again) until April 4th, I can set the closing date for submissions to March 25th, and I can be a few-days flexible on that. It’s the Spring (Beltane) anthology, details here.

Right, that’s the work stuff done. Now it’s time to get the popcorn, pour a good sized drink, sit back and marvel at the madness of the world.

I read recently of a man in India who plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. I have also noted that several American states now allow abortion up to the point of birth. Soon they will give new parents a one-year cooling off period, during which they can bring the child back for extermination if it keeps them awake or if they just change their minds. Oh I know, it sounds flippant, but I’m really not joking. There will be many counsellors on hand to help change their minds during that first year too.

It sounds horrifying but people will accept it because it’s all part of the plan. As is your child sueing you for bringing them into this world without their consent. Read Orwell’s 1984, if you haven’t already, and see what your children will be able to do to you in future. Heck, they can do it now.

This post isn’t about those things.

If I live to be 100 I am going to Hawaii. I won’t go before then but if I get that old I am definitely going. It’s quite a few years away yet and given that I have lived, and continue to live, a life that should, by all modern medical propaganda, have ended in 1985, it’s a long shot.

Still, as I said, I will not go there before I reach 100 because I won’t be able to buy any cigarettes there until I reach that age. I will definitely go there when I reach 100 because I’ll make a fortune. I’ll buy cigarettes and sell them individually to the 90-year-old senile delinquents on street corners. (tip of the heavy hat to Zaphod on Twitter for this one)

The idiots in charge of Hawaii are concerned about – a potentially strong backlash from tobacco companies.

They are not at all concerned about any kind of effect on existing smokers. Fuck ’em. Nor on any small retailers who rely heavily on the profits from cigarette sales. Fuck ’em too. The tobacco industry could write off the whole of Hawaii and their balance sheets won’t notice the difference. Hawaii’s corner shops will notice the difference very quickly and Hawaii’s smokers will, if they have any sense, be packing their bags right now.

Oh I know, smokers, eh? Who needs ’em? Wouldn’t the world have been so much better without the likes of Churchill or Einstein or Brunel? We could have been so much better off under the virulent-antismoker vegetarian Hitler. So all the smokers leave. You won’t miss them. You’ll have your new Righteous overlords looking after you and if you think it stops with smoking…. you really haven’t been paying attention.

If it goes through, and considering the current lunacy gripping the world I won’t be surprised if it does, I wil visit Hawaii in a little over 40 years. But not before.

I’d better start saving though. The way cigarette prices are going, that pack will cost me more than the flight to Hawaii by the time I get there.

Juul

I have a pile of boxes in the middle of the kitchen, another in the utility room, more in the upstairs rooms and the dangerous stuff (some of which needs to be incinerated) is in the garage. The result of the lab clearout. It’s going to take some time to go through it all and I have to find and test the magnetic stirrers two people have already expressed interest in… but that’s just the reason for the long gap between posts.

A few months back I bought a monster Electrofag called Aspire Pockex in a clearance sale. Huge battery, glass tank on top and it makes cumulo-nimbus clouds of vape. First time I tried it I had a coughing fit that brought tears to my eyes but, in its defence, afterwards my sinuses felt clearer than they have since I was twelve.

I don’t like it. Oh it does the job, it makes the steam, it clears the sinuses, but it also leaks like a bugger and now the battery is coated in vape juice so I’m scared to turn it on. No, this one is consigned to the ‘goodbye’ pile. I’m really glad I never tried to carry it in a pocket.

More recently I bought a Juul starter kit. Mostly because of the intense advertising campaign run by the anti-vapers. They really hate this one in particular and I had to find out why.

Well. It’s certainly easy to use. Reminds me of the early cigalikes with cartomisers, all you do is plug in a cartridge and puff on it. The difference is that it’s very light and the cartridge lasts for ages. It also has a clear tank so you can see how much is left.

Does it look like a USB stick? No. It looks like someone took the black monolith from ‘2001 – A Space Idiocy’ and put the Eye of Sauron in the top half. It looks pretty cool, and I can see why the AntiTobacco mob are pushing it so hard. Well, they are really trying to kill it but as with everything these idiots do, they are failing to the point where they could get a degree in it. Double fail with honours.

Charging involves plugging a tiny thing into a USB port and the Juul magnetically attaches to it. Also pretty cool – and easy. As gadgets go, this one has been well thought out. I like it, so thanks antismokers for bringing it to my attention.

Will it stop me smoking? Unlikely, in my case. The nearest was IQOS and I still use that in between proper burning baccy. They have brought out a new harder-tobacco flavour. I’ll give it a go, but getting me off the analogues is going to take a seriously impressive alternative.

Oh and I don’t care about IQOS or Electrofag upgrades and the fancy add-on toys. I just want something that will give me the feeling of a decent smoke. I don’t give a shit what colour it is.

Back to Juul. It’s nice, it’s easy, it has a disposable ‘smoking’ part so all of that is replaced with every cartridge change. No leaks, nothing to go wrong really. Simple and effective.

I can see why a lot of smokers might take to it. I can also see why a lot of young folk might go for this rather than real smoking – but apparently that’s a bad thing in the warped minds of tobacco control. Those kids should be smoking real tobacco! How else can we get our revenue and justify our existence?

I suspect Juul might have gone the way of the early cigalikes – which used a very similar model – if not for the concerted advertising put their way by the antimokers. It is, however, a big improvement on early Electrofags, not least in the provision of a clear tank so you know how much is left.

So far I have been using the ‘mint’ (pretty much ‘menthol’) cartridge that came with the starter kit. There is a ‘tobacco’ one, nobody else has ever got that right so we’ll see how that turns out.

Nicotine strength is limited in the EU but it really doesn’t matter. Nicotine is not addictive. That’s been proven. Smoking is about habit and enjoyment (something the Puritans will never understand) and replacing the burning leaf with something that covers the main points would do well.

Patches and gum will never do that.

So, will Juul or IQOS stop me paying massive amounts of baccy tax? Or will they just encourage me to grow more?

Time will tell. So far, I am planning the best place to hide next year’s crop.