RUSH: As many of you people know, I have had experience with electronic cigarettes. I, El Rushbo, have used them. They’re just jolts of nicotine. They’re no different than a nicotine patch, except the patch sort of has a controlled amount, and the electronic cigarette you give yourself a hit anytime you want. But it’s water vapor. That’s all it is, is water vapor. It’s flavored. Cherry, tobacco flavor, coconut, whatever, different colors. There’s no tar, there’s nothing carcinogen in there. Nicotine is not a carcinogen. It is addictive. In fact, nicotine is the most addictive drug in the world.
Now, see, Snerdley is frowning, and many of you probably, “Ah, come on, Rush, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard anybody say.”
Well, here’s the reason why I say so. Nobody has a pleasant first experience with it. If you’ve ever seen somebody take their first drag on a cigarette, you have seen coughing, sputtering, red-faced sweating, perhaps even retching and vomiting, and they can’t wait to light the next one. Other drugs, the experience is pleasant, and some cases amazingly so. But not nicotine, because it’s delivered via tobacco. For that reason I say it’s the most addictive substance on earth. But it’s not carcinogenic. So you would think that it would make everybody happy in the health community. But no. No, no, no. They want to stamp out electric cigarettes. Of course Big Tobacco wants to stamp out electric cigarettes.
Electric cigarettes don’t face the same kind of taxation yet. They’re not controlled. There aren’t any regulations. It’s relatively new. And, for the most part, it’s equivalent in price, maybe a little cheaper in certain states. The only downside to nicotine, if you get too much of it, in some people it can elevate your blood pressure. I’m watching all these sixties retro-shows, The Hour on the BBC, Mad Men. It’s a popular genre, will be for a while. Everybody smokes all the time. It looks cool to a lot of people.
A cigarette in the mouth or in your hand, looks cool. Not to everybody, but to some people it does. And even in current movie making in Hollywood, people smoke all the time, and nobody ever complains about that. Look at all they get away with. Isn’t that corrupting the yutes of America? And I’ll tell you what. The first tobacco company that gets away with putting marijuana in their cigarettes is gonna be celebrated by the same people trying to shut ’em down. You wait.
At any rate, there’s a story here from the BBC: “A new TV advert for a brand of electronic cigarettes marks the first time in decades cigarettes of any sort have been promoted on US television. Anti-smoking campaigners fear the rapid growth of tobacco-free cigarettes could undermine years of successful anti-smoking efforts.” You know, when you anti-smoking zealots get serious about shutting down Hollywood, television, too, all these other places where impressions are indelible that are made on kids in movies and TVs and music videos and so forth, ’til you go after some of that, all of these claims to care about health kind of fall on deaf ears to me.
But this ad has “A handsome actor poses and struts on a beach in a stylishly shot black-and-white television spot. He puts the cigarette to his lips, takes a puff, and exhales a rich flume.” It’s water vapor. It doesn’t even smell. There’s nothing about it that irritates. I’ll tell you a little story. I was in Hawaii. One of my annual golf trips. I didn’t make it this year because of the election. I think it was two years ago. We’re on the Big Island and we just finished a round at the course at the Four Seasons, and as always, we retired to the bar post-round to review how well — ahem — we all played. To compare scorecards and pay off on the bets. And we always gather at the bar.
At the time, I’m puffing on an electronic cigarette. The manager comes up, and very nice, but you can tell he’s a little nervous. “Mr. Limbaugh, I know you’re aware we serve food. There are laws in this state. You can’t smoke here at the bar.”
“Oh, it’s not a cigarette.”
“No, no. This is one of these new electronic jobs. Here,” I took it apart. I showed him how it works. I let him touch it. “See, there’s no tobacco in here.” And I said, “Do you mind if I blow a puff of this in your face?”
“No, go ahead.”
So I blew a puff of water vapor, cherry flavored, I think it was, in his face. He didn’t smell anything. “Okay, no problem.”
He was back in ten minutes. “Uh, Mr. Limbaugh, there’s a woman…” I knew who it was ’cause I was getting daggers by a couple of women, staring daggers at me. “Mr. Limbaugh, one of our customers is very, very upset and is asking me to ask you to kindly put that away. It’s really a bad image, children shouldn’t see it.”
I said, “There aren’t any here. This is a bar.”
And he said, “But she’s just asking…”
“Well, could you tell me who it is?”
“No, no. I really don’t want any trouble.”
I said, “See, this is what happens. This is not offending anybody. It’s not affecting her. It’s not causing anybody any discomfort. It’s bringing me a little pleasure. You’ve got one customer who is all hoity-toity and high and mighty, somehow thinking that she’s affected, impacted negatively, or others are, by this. And so one customer can cause all this.”
“Well, you know, it does look like a cigarette.”
I said, “But it isn’t. There’s no law against this.”
And I didn’t put it down. I looked around and I found the woman I thought it was and I just stared at her with a smile and kept puffing. That’s just who I am. I was welcomed back. And, by the way, nothing happened. I just stood up for myself, is all I did. I didn’t buckle to it. Anyway, the pressure is being brought to bear. Now there’s a TV ad, and all the forces against these things are lining up. And the only reason I’m mentioning this to you is because the people that smoke these things are actually trying to quit smoking tobacco products. They are trying to improve their health.
And one of the guys, Stephen Dorff, who is the heartthrob star who smokes in this commercial, said, “This lets me enjoy smoking without it affecting the people around me, because it’s vapor not tobacco smoke. We’re all adults here, it’s time we take our freedom back.” And that’s why I want to tell you about this. Now, this guy, I haven’t seen the ad. The fact he’s talking about freedom, he might be 75 or 80, since freedom is important to him as a concept, since he understands it. You know when people start talking about freedom they have to be old. They gotta be old-fashioned and really out of touch. Freedom? Well, what’s that? Who needs any of that?
“The launch this autumn for the electronic cigarette marks a turning point in the fast-growing US market for electronic cigarettes, which use an electronic mechanism to warm a liquid nicotine solution and release mist into the lungs. Most living Americans had never before seen a cigarette advertised on television — they were banned in 1971. But the electronic cigarettes fall outside that law, since they contain no tobacco.”
They don’t bother anybody. Not really. Now, even when I would puff one up here, I would get looks of disdain because people have been made to think that it’s dirty and rotten and filthy and deadly. It’s just water vapor. “Are you gonna quit those things?” Now, if I’d-a been over at the Four Seasons bar and if I’d have lit a bong, that woman would have probably come over and hit on me.
What, Snerdley? What’s the question? I’ll be happy to answer the question. Exactly. People are smoking joints in the open in Colorado, Washington state, California, too, and they’re really inhaling deep, right? I mean, not only do you smoke, you inhale and then you hold it in there; is that right? Okay. Cigarette smokers don’t even do that. I know. The marijuana smokers are doing it in public. See, marijuana’s cool, marijuana is okay, and it is also said to be harmless and it has medicinal characteristics, don’t you know. Yes, it does. No, It’s all back to political correctness.
So, yeah, smoking a joint, there isn’t a stigma to it. You don’t have nearly the people expressing outrage over it, because, ask yourself, where are the anti-marijuana PSAs? Where are all the TV people, all these smoking and health experts on television condemning marijuana? It’s just the exact opposite. Marijuana has advocates. Tobacco has Big Tobacco. They’re the rich. They kill their customers, poison people. They don’t care, either. They really don’t care. The only business alive which seeks to kill its customers. And so what chance do they have? But the electronic cigarette doesn’t do any of that.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention it because the people who are under assault are finally standing up and saying, “Wait a minute, it’s time we take our freedom back. We’re adults here.” This is what ought to happen in Little Rock when some namby-pamby parent says, “I don’t want the church doing Charlie Brown.” Somebody should say, “Screw you, babe. If you don’t want to see Charlie Brown, don’t show up!” I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be threatening here. I don’t mean to be making 24-year-old girls nervous. Jeez. If you don’t want to see Charlie Brown, then stay home. But leave everybody else alone who do want to watch Charlie Brown. What right do you have to tell 30 other people what they can’t see just because it might offend you? You know, screw you! Just try to see it our way.
RUSH: By the way, you know what has happened since smoking rates have plummeted? Obesity has skyrocketed. I’m serious. If you’re serious about explaining the obesity epidemic, in part — of course, it would never be the entire, full reason — in part, it is the smoking reductions that have taken place. There is a correlation there. And take a look. When somebody quits smoking, look at what happens, they balloon. And it’s because of the constant need for oral gratification. Gotta have something in their mouths. And in public there’s only so many options.