In the first, lengthy installment, I explained a little how the cigarette industry tried to keep their policy to rob and kill us, and a lot how to stop smoking. However, the cigarette industry really tries to influence the Israeli public and law givers towards no limits for electronic “smokeless” cigarettes. Brazil, Singapore, the Seychelles, Uruguay, and Norway have banned e-cigarettes. That may betray that they are not as innocent as its drug pushers pretend. The aggressive campaigning for these products also is not indicative of their harmlessness. The sly advertising by the industry asks for more words against naively believing its seemingly sympathetic approach.
The gigantic ads (does smoking ruin eye sight?) for smokeless cigarettes that Israeli newspapers run now are a crafty ruse! They contain lies and half truths: as if these products just constitute “health risks” [sic]. Rather, they hurt directly — nothing just risks. They supposedly promote these drugs for people who “intend” and “want” [sic] to continue tobacco use. No one desires to continue addictions! Therefore to outlaw these harmful “alternatives” [sic] is not “depriving” [sic] smokers. Of course: when the fox preacheth, then beware your geese. I’m sorry for their missed revenues, but I do not want this junk in my newspaper!
Since cigarette smoke contains 100 known carcinogens, and 900 potentially cancer causing chemicals, what would be bad in cigarettes that have no harmful smoke? These electronic cigarettes, that use a vapor instead of smoke, should they not be hailed and subsidized because they are no doubt much healthier than the old cigs, no? No! How not?
- Most of the bad effects of classical cigarettes come from the nicotine and nicotine addiction, not the carcinogens. More people die of cigarette-induced heart trouble than of lung cancer. Nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit and definitely harmful in the short and the long term. Those “new” e-cigarettes have as main component nicotine. Experimenting with them could lead to a lifelong addiction. The vapor “alternative” too runs on the whole warped attitude to solve life’s stresses with drugs, a quick pseudo-fix, instead of finding a listening ear.
- The so-called lesser-harm e-cigarettes might be a starting point for nicotine use towards the classical cigarette, and would so introduce cigarettes rather than diminish their use. Even the types without nicotine, with just the aromas, are stepping stones to the ones that do contain this very simple but wonderful nicotine, that relaxes, makes one focus, suppresses fears and help abates stress…. People would switch from using smoke to using vapor? It could easily go the other way around. Any narcotic is a springboard to all other ‘recreational” and mind-bending drugs, legal or illegal. Stealth vaping cannabis is the most direct example.
- Many youths in the US and UK use both smoke and vapor. That being supposedly safer than only using the smoke ones, dual use possibly delays or deters quitting. The vapor ones lower the threshold to the smoke ones. Fruit and candy taste are signed to get young people hooked.
- It’s like giving alcoholics strong beverages with half the alcohol contents: they do not help – they hurt still. For the same reason, health authorities have blocked adding vitamins B to alcoholic beverages. Surely, the first massive health disaster in alcoholics is often a lack of those, because they stop eating grain produce. However, they did not want supposedly “healthy” beer or liquor on the marked.
- The producers do not advocate to stop smoking and close down tobacco production. Rather, they use this “alternative” to promote the false notion that smoking does not need to be so bad. It’s a billion dollar business, so don’t trust whatever the producers say. Traversing the street with only your eyes closed is less risky than with your eyes and ears blocked; but from that does not follow that crossing “only with your eyes closed is safer.” It is still stupid. The tobacco lobby does not have the interests of the public at mind at all ever.
- Addicted Orthodox Jews may use the old cigarettes on the Festivals (lit from an existing fire) but not the electronic ones. This way, the ones who use the supposedly innocent e-ones are pushed towards the “kosher” smoke ones, up to 12 days a year in the Diaspora. A failing e-cigarette battery is quickly remedied with a “helpful” smoker offering the low-tech olden alternative.
- More-advanced generations of vapor cigarettes (four so far in 14 years, with all kinds of novel constructions that work more or less similarly) are invented all the time. Who doesn’t want to look sophisticated and smoke the newest thing?
- The industry tries to get a fresh start with the electronic cigarettes: no health regulations banning them. The good old days, when smoking was considered a harmless enjoyment and could be promoted as relaxing, fun, giving popularity and friends. There is a solid medical consensus that cigarette smoking is very bad for one’s health. But on e-cigarettes there is still debate. And guess who profits from that big time. Would you want your loved ones to use vapor cigarettes and be nicotine addicted until the long-term effects in a few decades become clear? Physicians are right when they urge: kindle not a fire that you cannot extinguish.
No smoke without fire? No smoke — also fire.
Stop big tobacco before it stops non-smokers (vapors) too!
Meanwhile, Israel’s Health Ministry’s annual report notes the biggest single-year rise in smoking rate among Israelis in more than a decade.
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. *
Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. *
His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. *
One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. *
To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. *
His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1