The Black Death, the devastating pandemic that struck terror into countries all across the continents of Asia and Europe during the fourteenth century, killing around 100million people, is back amongst us, and set to take its toll once more.
This time, however, the cause of the disease is not rats, but tars.
San Francisco mayor, London Breed, has indicated that she will introduce new, and already passed, legislation in the city that will outlaw e-cigarettes, due to the fact that insufficient research has thus far been done to rule out possible health risks.
If she signs the order to ban, e-cigarette sales in SF - or mail order to the city from outside it - will be illegal, and punishable by custodial sentences. The popularity of e-cigarettes, particularly amongst young people, and their removal from the marketplace, is sure to signal the speedy return of the traditional, toxic, nicotine-packed, real cigarettes - otherwise known as Cancer Sticks.
And the Black Death.
Many millions of smokers have made tremendous efforts to give up smoking cigarettes, and one way of doing that was to replace them with e-cigarettes. Now that that option is to become illegal, 'vapers' are bound to return to their former addictions.
Vaping will cease, ex-smokers will revert to being smokers, the newly-fresh air will again reek of tobacco smoke, cigarette producers' profits will rise.
Hospitals will see a steep rise in smoking-related illnesses and admissions, 'No Smoking' warnings will be erected once more, the old familiar disputes between smokers and non-smokers will come drifting to the surface again, and all the good work done by 'Stop Smoking' groups and campaigns will - if you'll forgive me - go up in smoke.
Rank, rancid smoke. The kind that sticks to your clothes and your hair.
And kills you.