WHO makes its position clear on e-cigarettes

In a report so full of jargon that you lose the will to live ploughing your way through it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) made its position clear this week on e-cigarettes - and it's not positive, although that is not entirely unexpected. To increase its jargon usage, not only do we have ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems), we also have a new acronym, ENNDS (Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems). As I wrote on 23 August, WHO would rather people continue to smoke than admit the free market was more effective in tobacco harm reduction than it was. It's about saving face, not saving lives. This report will now be considered at the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) in Delhi in November  Even though the UK's Royal College of Physicians states that "the hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco" and that "e-cigarettes appear to be effective when used by smokers as an aid to quitting smoking", WHO wants to restrict anyone from saying that ENDS are safer than tobacco, and still say there isn't enough evidence to say ENDS are successful in getting smokers to quit. And as you would expect from WHO, it proposes more draconian regulations in what can only be described as an all out assault on vapers and vaping. Continue reading

Another vaping scare story care of The Sun

Last week, the front page of The Sun exclaimed that vaping was as bad as smoking. Vaping damages key blood vessels, the newspaper said. The fact that consuming caffeine has the same effect, didn't seem to matter. Watching your favourite team play sport also has the same effect, but of course no-one would say that drinking tea and coffee or getting excited at a football match is as bad for your health as lighting up a cigarette.  Today, The Sun is warning of the dangers of e-cigarette advertising.  "A new study suggests the adverts make occasional tobacco smoking more appealing." Naturally, this has an expert worried. Cue Dr. Milica Vasiljevic from Cambridge University, who said:  “While we can be optimistic that the adverts don’t seem to make tobacco smoking more appealing to young people, they do appear to make occasional smoking seem less harmful. “This is worrying, as we know that even occasional tobacco smoking is bad for your health, and young people who smoke occasionally believe they are somehow immune to its effects and do not feel the need to quit.” Continue reading

Here we go again - another vaping scare story from the U.S.

An article published on the Huffington Post website yesterday grabbed my attention. The headline was “3 Things To Know About E-Cigarettes And Your Kids”.  It was written by Diane L. Danois who describes herself as an “Attorney, Author, Stepmom, Co-Parent, Blended Families Expert”. As her article was specifically about vaping and children, perhaps I should describe myself as a “Political Campaigner, Journalist, Dad, Stepdad, and Jack of all Trades”. I know I am being a little frivolous, but when you have children of your own you really don’t like being lectured to by a know it all lawyer who enjoys playing fast and loose with the facts in order to get as many hits as they can for a scare story. Because that’s exactly what this article is: a scare story. Continue reading

Indian authorities try to destroy vaping before they host the World Health Organisation's COP7 Conference

“E-cigarettes can help eliminate smoking in 30 years: Research”, says the headline at the top of the page on the website of The Indian Express. The research it cites is from the Reason Foundation - something I wrote about earlier this week. The article goes on to say: ‘In India, the authors estimated that “within a few years perhaps 10 per cent of smokers could switch to vaping. If that happened, close to 11 million people would experience a multitude of benefits, including a substantial reduction in the risk of death from tobacco-related diseases.”' I mention this article because the Indian Government is hostile towards vaping and vapers. A minority of Indian states ban import, distribution and sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems. E-cigarettes are regarded as unapproved drugs and the penalty of vaping is very severe. Take this case of a Punjab man who faces three years behind bars for vaping and allegedly selling vaping products. Vini Mahajan, Punjab’s principal health secretary of the state’s Family Welfare Department, said: Continue reading

How the Vaping Bottom-Up Innovation Is Saving Lives

An excellent new report has just been published by the Reason Foundation. Entitled "The Vapour Revolution: How Bottom-Up Innovation Is Saving Lives", it charts the innovation that has taken place since the first cigalikes were invented and marketed in China, to the devices that we have today. Amongst other things, it also looks at the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a means of giving up smoking, concludes that "while some youths probably do take up smoking after experimenting with vaping, considerably more youths are vaping instead of smoking", and looks at the approach to regulation by governments and the role of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It really is a report well worth reading.  I want to highlight this paragraph, though - a message to WHO, one that it should take on board, however, I don't have any faith that it will: Continue reading