THE index patient as we say in medicine is the late husband of our daughter Fiona. She left us as you know two months ago. She incidentally was ‘vaping’ for six years, having stopped after decades of ‘combustible’ smoking of tobacco with so many other chemicals added within the cigarette, the small cigar, writes retired consultant, Doctor David Halpin.

Mike had joined the navy aged 17. Smoke filled the mess rooms, and one brand was called you will recall - ‘Senior Service’. How simple and transparent is propaganda. Boost pride whilst you flog tobacco, and help salve the conscience of securing addiction by building Torbay Hospital - the Wills family of Bristol. So his addiction was ensured as he went on to serve in an RN intelligence unit tracking Russian subs in the North Sea from Morwenstow in Cornwall.

The first sign was blood in his urine. A wise and senior urologist in Yeovil said that in say 500 cases of bladder cancer, his would be the most aggressive. Unfortunately, he was referred to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where I had served in 1967 as a senior house officer in the best urology/water works firm in the UK.

Retired consultant, Doctor David Halpin
Retired consultant, Doctor David Halpin (-)

There he received skilled but mechanistic care, and mostly from a bed in the ICU – intensive care. He suffered terribly from unwise but ‘clever’ surgery, and died in the ICU six weeks after first being referred, with Fiona and our son Andrew by his side. The cost was about £100,000 to OUR NHS - under ‘pressure’. Instead dear Mike should have been at home in Sherborne with Fiona holding his hand and caring for him, caring being her profession. And if respite was needed or special care, there was the Yeatman Community Hospital in Sherborne which is still there and good - unlike so many others UK wide.

It is very instructive to read this It reminds us that this alkaloid from a member of the deadly nightshade plant is a poison. The poison within selected by evolution to prevent it being eaten by herbivores like the brontosaurus. And so poisonous it kills insects too - being used by older gardeners to fumigate the green houses against insect pests. I see that it is used as an insecticide in China and elsewhere.

But to quote Foods are imported from countries in which nicotine pesticides are allowed, such as China, but foods may not exceed maximum nicotine levels! So the authorities are content for millions to imbibe nicotine directly through the lungs, and to tax it, but not to allow much smaller quantities get into the guts of a largely unthinking population.

So what of vaping, the cure supposedly for nicotine addiction, a most strong addiction? 

I read yesterday an account by Dr Joseph Mercola whose bulletins I am listed to receive. He writes well, thinks deeply and informs so well. And all is well ‘referenced’; he must have a small team of researchers given the volume and depth of his postings. 

I will select the most salient or disturbing from ‘The Vape Deception’  the www link being too long. He starts as usual with ‘Story at a Glance’ The figures are for the US.

‘More than 2.5 million youths used vaping products in 2022, including 14.1 per cent of high school students and 3.3 per cent of middle school students. Most use flavored e-cigarettes. Fruit flavours are the most popular, followed by candy and dessert flavours

‘Flavoured e-cigarettes appear to be the most harmful. Research shows vaping with mango- or mint-flavoured pods increases the inflammatory process in multiple organ systems, with the most striking changes happening in the brain, which may contribute to behaviour changes and mood disorders.

‘E-cigarette vapour disables the ability of macrophages to engulf bacteria and protect pulmonary function. This type of damage increases lung cells vulnerability to dust, bacteria and allergens. It also increases our risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

‘Single-use and refillable vaping cartridges have been found to contain fungal contaminants associated with asthma, COPD, reduced lung function and inflammation of the lungs

‘One of the largest-ever studies conducted on the health effects of vaping found that adult e-cig smokers have a significantly higher chance of heart disease and mental health problems than nonsmokers.’

Further down -

‘Instead, the Federal Drug and Food Administration allowed all e-cigarettes already on the market to stay while their manufacturers applied for the OK to market them. Seven years later, vaping has ballooned into an $8.2bn industry, and manufacturers are flooding the market with thousands of products — most sold illegally and without FDA permission — that can be far more addictive.

‘While e-cigarettes do not expose you to the thousands of toxic compounds found in conventional cigarettes, researchers are only beginning to understand the toxicities involved in smoking e-cigarettes, and based on what they’ve found so far, vaping is likely just as dangerous as conventional cigarettes.’

So it is ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ after the lie that vaping was the way out of nicotine addiction. Yet another spur to societal disintegration whilst our ‘legislators’ look on. They may be enjoying discounted alcohol prices in the 12 subsidised bars in the Palace of Westminster.

Note the pretty colours of the vapes alongside the high energy snacks as you leave the supermarkets favoured by the ‘planning’ committees. Our ‘governments’ have tinkered with the snacks but bent before their corporate friends whilst the obesity pandemic swells ever larger.

I saw this on a petrol pump: Vape? £6 – 520 puffs in each!

Again I ask the local MPs Messrs Stride and Morris as they view the proletariat from Westminster. Are you content to have a proportion of the less well educated (another fact) addicted to a poison, with attendant other poisons?