When I first looked at the idea of vaping as a direct replacement for smoking, I looked very carefully at which organisations were arguing against their use, and why. Today I saw this report from Public Health Wales published on the Wales NHS website. The report is about smoking amongst 11- 12 year old girls in certain areas of Wales. It mentions e cigarettes in passing. The authors of the report have strong links with pharmaceutical companies. Given the evidence here and looking at it objectively, the actual report does not support the scaremongering anti e cigarette stories it has generated. Scaremongering produced with the full support of the authors who have added fuel to the fire. Take a Pharmaceutical industry linked PR firm, generate some “statistics” and create some media hype with the same old arguments. I consider this to be the entire problem with the current arguments around e cigarette use in a nutshell. “We just don’t know enough” Yes. Yes we do. We really do. “Gateway” If there is one, it leads OUT of smoking. Although even the most positive statistics on this get spun negatively. “Evil Big Tobacco”
“It’s been an effective public health strategy to demonise the tobacco industry in the past, but many tobacco control advocates seem be in danger of believing their own propaganda on this point.” Jonathan Fell, the former tobacco analyst at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Deutchse Bank
The report was about SMOKING. It focused on SMOKING. The e cigarette scaremongering from the back of it is appalling. Vilifying a consumer product, which is being legally marketed and has already helped more than 700,000 adults in the UK to stop smoking lit tobacco is horrifying. Who is against e cigarettes and why? Big Pharma is Lobbying Against Electronic Cigarettes and I am not the only one who is sick of the double standards. So which is the bigger plague? E cigs helping people escape from smoking, or pharmaceutical companies and public health trying to stop them? Public Health should be unbiased arbiters, not swayed by financial links and interests. Tobacco control advocates in all aspects of public health must disclose any links and ties they have in any relevant industries if they are advising government about national strategies for electronic cigarette regulation. These ties represent a conflict of interest.