But the health officials are shameless about saying, in effect, “e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are no safer than regular cigarettes,” even though that’s utterly false (and dooms millions to die) by any normal English-usage standards and can only be excused if taken to mean “e-cigarettes may have the same obscure random cancer dangers as the ambient ‘toxins’ some people worry about from breathing near plastic or any other paranoid hypothetical, and smokeless tobacco may present about 1% of the cancer risk regular cigarettes do, and since that means neither can technically be said to be perfectly safe with certainty, they are ‘equivalent’ in risk to tobacco smoke. QED.” (All of this sophistry is of course driven by hatred of the tobacco companies and thus considered morally excusable.)
What can you do when language has lost all meaning? And the easy skeptical response of saying, “Those officials’ conclusions are based on science, not like Mormonism! Yay!” simply doesn’t address the rather nuanced problem. All you can do is work as an anti-junk-science crusader day after day and hope the world catches on eventually.
Just to demonstrate how clueless I am, when I first heard this news I thought an e-cigarette was one of those weird, online-only items that people exchange via Facebook, a la Farmville.
Something tells me that my father, had he lived, would have still preferred his nine dollar-a-pack box of Marlboros.
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