Tuesday, 13 May 2014

I Do Not Smoke!

Let us begin with a simple statement. The term 'smoking', by definition, means setting light to tobacco and breathing in the smoke. It is that simple. If I have no lit tobacco, I cannot possibly be smoking. So I am, by definition, a non-smoker. Does anyone disagree with that statement?

It appears that there are a few who cannot make this simple distinction. For their benefit, I shall make an even simpler statement; “A non-smoker is someone who does not smoke!” A non-smoker may drink alcohol, but is still a non-smoker. A non-smoker may drink coffee, but is still a non-smoker. A non-smoker who dines on pate de fois gras is still a non-smoker. A non-smoker may have the worst social manners in the world, but is still a non-smoker. Remember that a non-smoker is a person who does not smoke. So I am a non-smoker.

So, may I ask, why is it that, if I choose to inhale nicotine from an electronic device, I am suddenly seen by some as a smoker? I readily admit to being a nicotine user, although I disagree with those who call me a nicotine addict, since I dispute their view that a liking for something of which they disapprove is to be considered an addiction. But I am not a smoker, for I don't use lit tobacco. So I am a non-smoker.

As a non-smoker, I can legally not smoke just about anywhere. I can legally not smoke at home, I can legally not smoke in my car, I can legally not smoke in any public place. Compare this with smokers, who can not smoke legally in public places covered by the ban on smoking as defined by the Health Act of 2006. Note that there is a difference between “legally not smoking”, and “not smoking legally” in these statements. So, as one can see, there is a crucial legal difference between not smoking and smoking, as well as a common-sense difference as defined above. I therefore make another simple statement; “Smokers smoke but non-smokers do not smoke!” So I am a non-smoker.

As a non-smoker, I can ride a bicycle and become a cyclist, or drive a car and become a motorist, or board a bus, train, ship or plane and become a passenger. I can go on holiday and become a tourist, or a holidaymaker; take up field sports and become an athlete, and so on, and so forth. The only thing that would ever make me a smoker would be the act of smoking, and I don't do that, for I am a non-smoker.

As such, when I want a nicotine 'lift' I reach not for tobacco, but for my electronic device, which delivers the nicotine in the form of a mist, or vapour, so I describe my actions as 'vaping'. To my friends and family, and to most of my acquaintances, I am a 'vaper'. But I do not smoke. I am simply a non-smoker who vapes. Unfortunately, my electronic device is often called an electronic cigarette or, in diminutive form, an e-cig, since the earliest such devices resembled a 'real' or 'analogue' cigarette (one containing tobacco). My more modern device looks rather more like a writing implement, so I think of it as a 'vapen'. However, the term e-cig has come into common usage, which in some ways is unfortunate because it leads people who have difficulty with the concepts of smoker and non-smoker, or smoking and not smoking, to confuse it with analogue cigarettes. For these types, another simple statement may help; “Cigarettes are used for smoking, e-cigs are used for vaping.” Furthermore, vaping is not smoking, only smoking is smoking. And I am still a non-smoker.

As a non-smoker, I am a citizen, a responsible adult, a husband, a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, a pensioner, a taxpayer and a voter. As a vaper, I am in addition a commentator, a blogger, a troublemaker, a rabble rouser, a fighter against injustice and a general pain in the arse. But I am still not a smoker. Treat me as one and I shall become the stuff of nightmares!


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing on the group!

    I've taken "commentator, a blogger, a troublemaker, a rabble rouser, a fighter against injustice and a general pain in the arse" to heart!

  2. this is a difficult subject, I am a vaper but I am not a non-smoker, I haven't had a cigarette in three years but whether I vaped or not I would still not be a non-smoker.
    I am an ex-smoker, a non-smoker would be someone who has never smoked and someone who used to smoke but has quit by some means would be an ex-smoker, you don't say in your text if you used to smoke but as the vast majority of vapers are ex-smokers or current smokers trying to cut down or quit as a vaper people are bound to assume you were once or are still a smoker.
    I am proud to be an ex-smoker and although I agree with much of what you say I cannot agree that as a vaper I have the right to vape carte blanche wherever I choose to, I have to consider the wishes others especially if they are the proprietor of a place such as a restaurant or other such establishment where others congregate.
    sure it may not and should not be against the law to vape in these places but I have a code of conduct that respects the wishes of others, I act in this manner as I believe it is the right way to be as a responsible adult, this does not mean I cannot vape in any indoor place, vape shops or public places where others who vape congregate are fine but I would not expect people who have a problem with vaping to frequent such establishments.

    1. So for you Robert Harvey,,, let us assume you never lit a tobacco cigarette... And you do not consider your self a non smoker..... That leads us to a contridiction of term, or definitions... If you say you are not a non smoker, that means you smoke combustible tobacco...
      Please stop with your sillyness... My neighbors 3 month old baby is a non smoker.... Just trust me on this one,,, that also means she doesn't light combustible tobacco and inhale the smoke....
      ... Just go away... Maybe this dude is an ex-smoker , but if he doesn't smoke, he is a non smoker.
      .... If you used to have a truck load of sense, then hit your head and became nonsensical..., I do realize that is probably a tough analogy for you.. and a tricky one to because a nonsensical person may have some sense left.. But if this gentle man doesn't smoke, he doesn't smoke.... Ask anybody who has never had a cigarette in their life if they are a non smoker... 99,999 times out of 10,000 times, they would say yes, I am a non smoker

    2. how can someone who has never lit a tobacco cigarette consider themselves as anything but a non smoker, anything you once did but have stopped doing you were once but are now ex, as in ex-wife/husband, ex-lover, ex-partner, ex-long distance runner, ex-smoker etc.
      to say "you never lit a tobacco cigarette... And you do not consider your self a non smoker" is just utter nonsense.
      you would not describe an ex-wife/husband as a non wife/husband if you were speaking of her/him would you.
      you could perhaps say you are a non-smoker now but surely it is far easier and more understandable to describe yourself as an ex-smoker, by simply saying you are a non-smoker in relation to text about vaping just causes confusion, did you once smoke and don't now or did you never smoke, hence my comment "you don't say in your text if you used to smoke" which would have been instantly evident if the term ex-smoker had been used.
      by using the term non smoker in relation to vaping just adds ammo for the anti-vaping brigade to use who can count non smokers who vape as never smokers who vape, surely better to be a more obvious ex-smoker who now vapes which is much better for proving the good that vaping does in helping you stop smoking.

  3. add the following headline to my last comment just to prove a point.

    "Vaping stores told not to sell devices to non-smokers, as survey reveals 90pc are flouting little-known rules"


    by classing himself as a non-smoker whoever sells him vape stuff in flouting this rule.