If you have something to say, then say it. If you don't, keep your mouth shut. There's no point in trying to invent news. If you do, it will be obvious to everyone that that is what you are doing. If only the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) thought this way.
The RSPH "report" published yesterday claimed that almost nine out of ten vape shops (87 per cent, to be precise) sell vaping products to non-smokers. This, RSPH said, breaks the Independent British Vape Trade Association's (IBVTA) code of conduct, which says:
"Vape products are for current or former smokers and existing users of vaping devices, therefore never knowingly sell to anyone who is not a current or former smoker, or a current vaper."
The title of the report could have easily read, "Adults sold legal products. Read the shocking story". Electronic cigarettes are, after all, a consumer product. They are bought and sold freely which is why they are so successful - the number one quit aid, according to Prof. Kevin Fenton of Public Health England. We also know that more than 97 per cent of vapers are former or existing smokers.
The report is a non-story if ever there was one. The blogger, Dick Puddlecote, has written a wonderful post about it. Clive Bates has written to the RSPH telling them what he thinks of it. I urge you to read them both.
As I wrote yesterday, there are times when you have to state the bleeding obvious. Today is another one of those days. As Clive Bates said yesterday:
"...the primary purpose of this exercise has little to do with public health but is a publicity stunt for an ailing organisation in a declining field that offers ever less to the public or to health."
Clive Bates is stating the bleeding obvious, but it needs repeating until the media realise that the RSPH has basically used them to get publicity for a non-story.