Year 13 English - Column Writing

By Daniel Ashton | Posted: Thursday June 22, 2017

Recently there has been an influx of trench coat wearing males roaming the streets of Dunedin. Tall bearded men. Out on the town, rain or shine. Men who are not only full of knowledge on why the government is conspiring against us but also delicious fruit flavoured vapour.

More importantly, they grasp the technology of the future in their filthy fingers. Strawberry flavoured clouds plume out from the sleek steel design, sharing a likeness to the world's most advanced laser pointer. Unfortunately cutting edge genius, changing the way we point at the strange man across the street forever, is not the point of conversation here. Instead, I’ll be discussing inventors-Hon Lik and Herbert A. Gilberts vape machine. Together these great men have achieved technology that converts liquid into gas. Subsequently, these machines are purchased by our trenchcoat-clad vagrants.

Vaping, as the cool kids call it, despite the ridicule it may earn from friends and family could actually have a huge impact on the future of our country. In March 2011 the New Zealand Government adopted the Smokefree goal of a tobaccoless country by 2025. Since then revisions have had to be made and policy formed by our bees in the hive. Goals were eventually established for less than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025 seems slightly more reasonable. Only 17% of our adult population are smokers thanks to this campaign. Even our friends at the tobacco industry are pitching in, flashing their million dollar smile, proudly displayed on every box of cigs.

Unfortunately, progress has slowed to a halt. “Is it really plausible to achieve this goal by 2025?” is a frequent question amongst the bigwigs. Getting long time smokers to quit is like getting a cat to stop hunting, you can feed the cat but every now and again it will bring back a disembowelled creature just to show it loves you. The correlation here is the alternative smokers are being given just isn’t satisfying cravings. The official policy on quitting is to count to ten. Seriously? Are smokers for over 40 years going to count along with Dracula from Sesame Street, forgetting the urge to light one up? Or even better, they advise drinking some water. If we’re being realistic a cool glass of water is not going to quench your Nans burning sensation to smoke a pack a day.

Instead, grab yer Nan and let me introduce her to the hobby you’ve always wanted to try, vaping. Now I know what you’re thinking, can this simple method really restore the bond between you and your Nan, simultaneously also curing her crippling addiction to nicotine? Yes. However, it won’t fix the dent you left in her car on a rowdy night out with the boys. Vaping is really the promised land for smokers, and the studies can attest to that. Hundreds of addicts have claimed that after up to 40 years of smoking and uncountable attempts to quit, they have found salvation in that sweet, sweet strawberry flavoured fluid, never returning to the hell that is the tobacco industry.

Unfortunately vaping has been receiving more negative press than Donald Trump. Formaldehyde was found in a recent study conducted in 2015 funded by the health conscious tobacco industry. Aren’t tobacco companies great? Always looking out for the little guy. Formaldehyde is a really big word that cigarette companies use to distract you from the fact it causes cancer. Formaldehyde isn’t something you can just buy like your bread and butter, this concoction can only be found along with over 4000 other chemicals in every cigarette. All of this for the low price of $26.10 a pack! Strapped for cash? A bottle of bleach will achieve the same results for only $5.99. To produce similar results with your vape you

have to perform some tricky manoeuvres. Luckily if you stick with me I’ll show you how to perform chemistry just like Walter White that you can conduct in a bathroom stall near you. Honestly preparing Formaldehyde with your vape is a relatively simple process, even children can do it! There’s really only one step. Boiling. Simply by heating your vapour fluid to temperatures rivalling that of the sun, you can achieve cancer causing chemicals they used in the war. Easy enough to do, right?

Tragically if you weren’t gifted with opposable thumbs at birth you might find this difficult. Not everyone was created equal, that’s just life. If this method has you gasping for air don’t fret. Simply sit back, relax and pick up the peace pipe again. Ensure you breathe deeply, to inhale those lethal chemicals prepared specially for you, whilst waiting for this vaping epidemic to blow over. Yeah right. Tobacco industries have been wringing people dry for years, squeezing every last penny out of their poor souls. With collaboration from Smokefree New Zealand and endorsement from the New Zealand government vaping could be the miracle cure, not just another ad your Nan read about online. So let’s weigh up the pros and cons. Studies have shown that vaping has no negative health effects and is a cheaper, safer alternative to cigarettes. Additionally vaping won’t leave you with teeth sharing the likeness of corn and breath that smells worse than a public bathroom. Instead, addicts can enjoy the delicious fragrance of strawberry and keep all their pearly whites while they are at it. On a serious final note, there are around 2000 new cases of lung cancer in New Zealand every year. This is a serious disease that affects too many families in New Zealand, and we all know the largest contributing factor, tobacco. Smoking kills, everybody knows it, yet people still can’t quit. Addiction is a real problem that can’t be dealt with lightly, the old kiwi saying ‘she’ll be right’ really doesn’t apply here. So next time you’re catching up with your Nan, grabbing a bickie on the porch pass her the vape, not the cigs.