You don’t have to be religious to appreciate a basic concept shared by many faiths, that your body is a temple and should be respected as such.
We live in such a beautiful place, with the ocean, snow-capped mountains and a veritable banquet of wholesome activities to partake in. And yet, so many of us stick needles in our arms, eat mind-altering pills, court cancer by smoking tobacco and damage our livers with liquor.
Our species is singularly adept at inventing, and indulging in, crutches that are harmful to us. One burgeoning vice is vaping.
A recent study suggests this behaviour has doubled among young people since 2017 and Health Canada warns the “long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown.”
To tell an addict a walk among the flowers will cure them of their substance abuse is specious at best, grossly minimizing both the hold an addiction can have on someone and the personal circumstances that led them there.
That said, addiction starts with a first pill, a first drink, a first smoke, whatever. It starts with a choice.
The City of Surrey is evaluating restrictions or banning vape shops in an effort to curb the behaviour. While it’s important for society to sometimes draw lines in the sand, for many young people, being told “don’t” represents a challenge to “do.” Rare is the young person who appreciates the fundamentally inescapable reality of their own mortality, and truly understands that decisions made today can result in dire consequences in years to come.
Bans, though rooted in good intention, can result in politicians and bureaucrats deluding themselves into thinking they’ve achieved a fix. You can’t fault them for trying.
The real fix, we argue, is attitudinal. Respect your body for the temple it is. Realize you have the power to decide not to follow the crowd, to not take the bait, not indulge in behaviours that are not good for you.
And if abstinence is considered square in some circles, well, then, three cheers for square power.