COMMENT:

This really is a lesson in no matter how much we allegedly learn we still refuse to take it on board.

How ironic is it that in a country that has decided collectively to be smokefree by 2025 we, like most other Western nations, seem to have been swept up in this mad vaping e-cigarette scandal which will, and can only, end in misery.

A new study out of Australia finds the flavoured e-cigarettes kill lung cells, why wouldn't they? Why wouldn't people be dying in America?

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Having gone through the whole tobacco war over the past five or six decades, where we start out by saying how good they are, advertising them, have movie stars promote them, doctors prescribe them for relaxation, to the growing concerns, then the alarm, then the health statistics, then the addiction, then the lawsuits, taxes, and open war and derision towards them - we then watch the whole cycle of madness start all over again.

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With exactly no evidence, science, or study we once again, as we did 50 years ago, delude ourselves into believing that e-cigarettes are somehow good. Or at the very least not as bad as tobacco. Sort of like getting run over by a Lime scooter isn't as bad as being squashed by a truck.

And because we have no evidence, and we are clearly thick and there are no rules, anyone can do it. Kids are into it, primary school kids are getting them confiscated. Shop after shop in malls and strips all over the country are festooned with vaping outlets, peddling to the kids with lots of pretty colours and flavours. It is history repeating itself.

Except it might just be this time round, the pushback is coming quicker than it did last time.

Even Donald Trump weighed in last week. If he decides to ban them, politically it will have been the most effective thing he's done.

There will be millions of middle American parents who will have appreciated the move and sentiment. And they will be grateful for a steady hand, strong leadership and common sense - and not a lot of people associate Trump with those qualities.

India has, of course, banned them. That's a billion strong market gone for the tobacco companies now desperate to peddle some new opiate to the masses.

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States in America beyond Trump are already moving, and the lawyers are already engaged.

We, of course, are asleep at the wheel which given what Helen Clark started all those years go, in the smokefree movement, is surely the ultimate irony.

How much money, time and energy do you think we have put into a smokefree New Zealand, to literally in the past couple of years watch it all go up in smoke, literally and figuratively, because we can't get out of our own way on health matters?

It's illegal to smoke in a car with kids, such is our vehemence over tobacco. Yet 12-year-olds are vaping in school. The tragedy of this given the history, is we literally need saving from ourselves, we are that hopeless.