Six months ago I had genuine concerns that we were going to throw the baby out with the bath water …


Guest Post by Mike MacKenzie, MSP.

Mike MacKenzie MSP


Six months ago I had genuine concerns that we were going to throw the baby out with the bath water as regards electronic cigarettes. An informal lobby was developing a head of steam urging us to do just that.

As a lifelong heavy smoker who has found redemption and a painless way to quit using e-cigarettes I had a personal axe to grind. I haven’t had a cigarette now for two and a half years but even so I still need the crutch of the electronic cigarettes. Intuitively I think I would find it relatively easy to give up electronic cigarettes but I am a great believer in picking the time to fight such battles. Fighting battles on too many fronts can mean you lose them all and I have a real fear that a ban on e-cigarettes would see me back smoking tobacco.

In any case as a lifelong keep fit enthusiast I am relatively in tune with my body and it is sending me signals that e-cigarettes are not nearly as harmful as tobacco was. I can measure my much better performance on the treadmill and the rowing machine, but my general energy levels are also higher as is my ability to remain alert and focussed for long periods. Medical evidence seems to support this view; that e-cigarettes are at worst benign and many health professionals argue strongly on their merits.

Of course regulation is required. We need to make sure that there is a consistently high standard and that no nasty products lurk needlessly within nicotine fluids. I believe we can do this effectively without denying smokers the opportunity to take the easy route offered to quit tobacco use.

I am reassured in this by talking to colleagues many of whom seem now to agree with me. Following the recent Scottish Government re-shuffle I am now a member of the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee. You can be sure I will be taking full opportunity to make these arguments when the Committee undertakes it’s scrutiny of any forthcoming legislation.






5 thoughts on “Six months ago I had genuine concerns that we were going to throw the baby out with the bath water …

  1. I totally concur with everything you say. I am life long smoker of 47 years. I escaped tobacco by switching to personal vaporisers 2 years ago and have not smoked tobacco since. I have achieved significant health improvements and do not want to be forced back to tobacco as political regulators are determined to achieve. The EU article 20 attempt to make e-cigarettes (personal vaporisers) more restricted than tobacco has been driven through without following the EU’s due process for new directive regulation, with total disregard of harm reduction professionals, misinterpreting and ignoring health professional research and representations and with disregard to the EU treaty rules. Where has diplomacy gone. I am in full support of the legal action being taken against the EU TPD Article 20 by Totally Wicked. More political support for this initiative would be very helpful. I was also pleased to learn today that Westminster politicians are now being permitted to use their e-cigarettes and personal vaporisers indoors at 3 locations in Westminster. Is this an example of one rule for politicians and another for the voter? I and 2 million vapers sincerely hope not.

  2. As a Scottish voter I am glad someone in the Scottish Parliament is paying good attention to the e cig issue.
    Too many politicians give stock answers created after reading the sensationalist headlines and fail to actually look at the issue properly.
    Also too many conflate smoking and vaping because they fail to comprehend the vast differences between them. I worry about e cigs being restricted causing me to rely on grey market imports to continue vaping or fall back into smoking.
    I have been tobacco free since March 8th 2011, and would be happy to talk to any member of the Scottish Parliament about this issue.

  3. Thank you Mike. We are onboard and in full support of your own witness to smoke vs vapor. Good conscience reveals the logic and truthful science without bias or motives. Have a great day sir. Vape Safe.

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