It has been reported that a new survey out of New Zealand found that one third of smokers said they would quit if electronic cigarettes were available.
This is not news to most of us but it does underscore the fact that in a place like Canada, where nicotine ecigs are difficult to find, bureaucratic impediments are resulting in unneeded smoking related deaths.
The survey allowed smokers to actually try ecig brands and 83% reported that they liked them as much as their own brand.
It was also found that if cigarettes went to $24 a pack that half of smokers said they would quit and at $40 a pack three quarters would. The professor running the survey concluded `Given widespread intention to quit if the price increases, a range of policies and products is needed to assist smokers make their intentions come true.’’
Sounds a little more like coercion than assistance.
Contrary to the beliefs of the anti-smoking groups, smokers (nicotine users) do get a substantial benefit from nicotine. Their intentions are not so much to quit as to lose the health costs of their habit. Smokers who respond to the rising price will be better off in regards to health but otherwise their life enjoyment might suffer.
What the abstentionists fail to get is that while quitting looks good on paper there is a loss involved. Why do they think anyone ever goes back after quitting? As hard as it may be to quantify there appears to be something there worth returning to.
And re the rising price, I suspect tobacco black marketers are hoping that comes about.
The overall idea of carrot and stick – making ecigs available and pushing up the cost of cigarettes sounds like a nice pro-health push and it would end up with a healthier nicotine using population. But what about smokers who want to smoke?
Tobacco harm reduction and harm reduction in general is not about coercion. Its not about forcing anyone to change their behavior. Its about providing alternatives for those who want them.