Haven’t we seen an extraordinary shift in the way nicotine is regarded over the last couple of decades? When Nicotine Replacement products first appeared, they were only available on prescription. A doctor had to review each case, to see if it was safe enough or appropriate for the patient to use that. After all, nicotine is a highly poisonous substance which, in the wrong dose, could trigger a heart-attack or a stroke. It is often referred to as “the most addictive drug in the world”. Newspapers, renowned for their technical accuracy, have frequently observed that it is “more addictive than heroin”.
OK – so if all that’s true, how did we reach the current situation in which any adult can pick it up at Tesco, no questions asked? If it is a highly addictive drug, who decided it was okay to sell it at the filling station? Of course they sell cigarettes, but allowing that was not a recent decision! And I know you can buy strong painkillers like hydrocodone from an internet pharmacy, but that is because no government can stop it (apparently), it wasn’t the government’s idea to make that possible!
Whilst various bodies argue the toss about whether cannabis should be graded B class or C class in the scale of illegal drugs, the substance alleged to be more addictive than a class A drug is now on open sale in any supermarket, thanks to a series of increasingly liberal decisions which seem to take no account of its legendary ‘addictiveness’.
Seems a bit reckless, doesn’t it? I mean what is to stop people who didn’t even smoke in the first place becoming hooked on it too? Where are the usual safeguards that protect society from such dangerous substances? In pharmacies, diamorphine (heroin) is always kept locked away in the Dangerous Drugs Cabinet, which is bolted to the floor – but the nicotine products are out there on the supermarket shelves for any adult to pick up! So – why not just do that with everything?
“Excuse me! Do you have any Setlers Tums?”
“Sure! They’re just down there on the right, next to the most addictive drug in the world, the methodone and the smokable crack substitute. By the way, don’t miss our new special offer on high explosives, Aisle 9! Have a nice day!”
Doesn’t add up, does it? Especially when you consider that every single day, millions of people walk right past “the most addictive drug in the world” without any inclination to even try it – and that includes millions that are allegedly addicted to it already!
Try doing that with heroin, and by lunchtime it will be blindingly obvious why that cabinet needs bolting to the floor.