Harm reduction is only harm reduction when we say it is. We make the rules

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Had dinner out at the home of friends a week or so ago. An invitation much appreciated while our own kitchen is in such disarray thanks to a major reno that seems to have been going on since I was in puberty.

Anyway, the chatelaine of the house was smoking (vaporizing?) an e-cigarette periodically throughout the evening. She has been a heavy smoker in the past and the e-ciggy has become her process of harm-reduction. Good for her, and even better in that it seems to be working and keeping her off the butts. Mind you, she must accept the fact that it givers her a demeanor a bit like Franklin Roosevelt with his ubiquitous, albeit rakish, cigarette holder. She’s cuter and more girly than FDR, but the image was similar.

In that context, I found it interesting to see that a city (BC’s capital) called Victoria wants to ban e-cigarettes from public parks and outdoor areas in their ongoing drive to control the lives of everybody other than panhandlers and obnoxious junkies on the streets. They are advocating such a measure because it is, to them, still a form of smoking and will prove as troublesome and unhealthy for others as regular baccy. Well, the jury is still out on sidestream smoke, but that notwithstanding, I think they are missing the point on e-cigarettes. They are suffering from the belief that e-butts, rather than being a process of harm reduction, will only encourage the tiny tots to start smoking. OK. Whatever. Don’t let logic smack you in the eye.

e-cigarette1The irony here is that on the front page of that same august journal that contained the story on the evils of e-cigarettes, there was a story that told how Victoria council is looking into the possibility of a safe-injection site to serve the plethora of Victoria junkies. Safe injections sites are ‘harm reduction’ enterprises that suggest that a benevolent environment in which to shoot up might get addicts to look in the ultimate direction of sobriety. That’s as maybe.

But the point is, if safe injection encourages ultimately kicking hard drugs, might not e-cigarettes discourage people from taking up real tobacco?

Or is it that in Victoria cigarette smoking is just so reviled that it should be cut no quarter, whereas a little dab of smack is somehow not quite as bad?

Weird. Cigarettes might ultimately kill you, but heroin tends to do it more quickly.


6 responses to “Harm reduction is only harm reduction when we say it is. We make the rules

  1. Hmmm, that thinking seems a bit off to me. Of course, what do I know, I am just a simple woman.

  2. lesliehaweswp

    Follow the money

  3. That is stupid. Period..

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