BEFORE Google, doctors were the accepted authority on health matters. Patients would put near-religious faith in their GPs’ qualifications, experience and expertise, hoping to live long and healthy lives by unflinchingly following their advice. Which, up until relatively recently, included smoking plenty of cigarettes.

Unfiltered and filled to the brim with unidentifiable, crispy scrapings from anonymous factory floors, mid-20th century cigarettes only came in two sizes – baseball bat and Canadian tree trunk. Some folks’ arms weren’t even long enough to light them, which may explain why no Tyrannosaurus Rex ever died from cancer.

When health concerns regarding smoking began to enter the collective public consciousness in the 1930s, Big Tobacco – far from taking their deadly product off the shelves and apologising for killing millions of loyal customers – instead took pre-emptive action to save their bottom line.

Part of this strategy was slipping wee collectable coupons into packets, and smokers who lived long enough to save up a few million could then trade them in for various low quality household goodies – like lampshades that began smoking themselves when the bulb got too hot. It would surely have made more sense to offer coffins as prizes, or at the very least an oxygen tent.

Yet, these tokens weren’t enough of an enticement. Instead, it was the populace’s unerring faith in doctors and our weakness for reinforced propaganda that kept consumers on side. Heavily influenced by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels’ genocidal groundwork into manipulating the human psyche, modern advertising was thus born – where smiling, rosy-cheeked, buoyantly barneted “doctors” hailed the myriad health benefits of full-fat ciggies. This nonsense was often reinforced by a medical professional posing with a lit ciggie like they were on a David Bowie album cover.

We’ve all been ad

SOPHISTICATED modern audiences may chortle at archaic newspaper ads with smoking scientists peering through microscopes with lit biftas resting on their bottom lips. Yet, everything changes and nothing changes. All that really exists in reality are mutations, both societal and biological – with Big Tobacco currently evolving their old strategy of health reality distortion with their mass production of cyborg fags – e-cigs.

The latest panacea for nicotine addiction is now on track to outsell real ciggies by the end of 2023, with the heavily-lobbied UK and Scottish governments now considering making e-cigarettes available on the NHS to wean smokers off the snout. A recent report published by the Science and Tech Select Committee has also urged a review to allow such prescriptions. Ever wonder why Japan Tobacco International and Imperial paid for presence at the recent SNP conference? Far be it from me to speculate on such matters.

Perhaps e-cigarettes would already be available on the NHS were it not for the fact that medical licensing requires proof of any health benefits. It’s notable that so far only one e-cig has been licensed by health authorities – e-Voke – which is, entirely coincidentally, produced by those well-known devotees of the stop-smoking cause British American Tobacco.

False profit

FORGET cancer charities, we may one day have to pass the collection tin around for British American Tobacco (BAT). The world’s largest tobacco company moaned last week that it will miss its 2018 revenue goal of £1 billion from vaping products – lowering financial projections to a piddling £900m.

BAT’s e-cig sales may take a even bigger knock in the months to come, however, with a new experiment studying vaping and e-cigs highlighting how many of these sweet, fruity, mysterious liquids impair lung function. Even more damningly, these experiments – taking place upon on some particularly unfortunate mice – showed that short-term exposure to e-cigarette vapour caused levels of inflammation similar, if not worse, to that caused by old school chokers.

The new study, published this month in the American Journal of Physiology, was carried out by scientists at the University of Athens. “The condition of the e-cigarette groups in comparison with the cigarette group surprised the researchers,” the Journal concluded.

Perhaps this will simply be viewed as collateral damage to Big Tobacco, just like the new generation of kids they’ve hooked on nicotine who have never even tried a cigarette. Or maybe I’m being too cynical and flavours such as Gummy Bear and Candy Crush are indeed intended for adults.

I vape, therefore I am

EVEN the iron-lunged British Army have now stepped into the vaping debate, perhaps hoping to make amends for the millions of free ciggies they got countless Tommies hooked on (along with methamphetamine and promises of glory) during WW1.

Yet, it isn’t cancer or lung disease the Army are worried about – it’s the effects of vaped cannabis oil. Perhaps they fear troops would lay down their guns after realising that spending one’s brief time on Earth as an imperialist elitist hegemony’s hired killer is nonsensical.

The Army claims it has treated 60 soldiers for symptoms associated with cannabis oil-infused vape liquids, ranging from headache, dizziness and a belief system realignment raising awareness that our reality is made entirely from infinitesimally small strings, each vibrating in different frequencies to create all matter and thus the illusion of time that cages our eternal energy.

Such a radical awakening of calcified military mindsets exists on YouTube, showcased in official 1950s government footage where UK troops were given LSD while on duty.

A plummy-voiced narrator concludes: “One hour after taking the drug, with one soldier climbing a tree to feed the birds, the commander gave up, admitting that he could no longer control himself or his men.

"He himself then relapsed into laughter.”

And finally ...

SO, when you’ve vaped your fill of cannabis oil liquid (non- psychoactive legal CBD variety, mind), what can one do with all that free love energy that’s lit up your brain’s cannabinoid receptors?

China-based HelloCig Electronic Technology Co knows – offering vapers a liquid that will perfectly complement their newly turned-on brains with a two-day erection.

Yet, the big firm could face stiff penalties over their new product, after the use of impotence drugs Viagra and Cialis in vaping products was condemned by UK medical professionals.

Apparently no UK prescription drug is approved to be inhaled – as no studies have been conducted on the risks. Officially, that is.

Be warned, however, that such illegal ingestion may leave users in the same predicament as Ozzy Osbourne when he first experimented with Viagra.

Ozzy being Ozzy, he gobbled an entire strip of pills – later bemoaning the week-long erection that transpired. “I even tried pouring freezing cold water on it”, he fumed. “But it was like watering a plant.”