My journey into vaping

What we have from the denialist outliers is a refusal to communicate


This used to be titled, “what we have from most of Public Health is a refusal to communicate’, but happily since it was published most of the people who were refusing to engage have engaged in positive ways. However there are a few blow-hards who still refuse to see reason and common sense and to whom this piece still applies over a year since this post first went up.

I’m a part of a community of vapers, which was established long before I switched. Some of these folk who I now call friends have been fighting for my right to vape for more than five years now. The community that exists in the vaping world does sometimes resemble a very large, very diverse, very argumentative family; we don’t always agree with each other. We fall out. Certain topics will pit vaper against vaper in disputes that have left us not speaking to each other. There are a few things that will band us together despite our familial arguments though.

Trying to discredit vaping activists. Labelling us as shills for any part of the tobacco industry will just make us furious. In all honesty, why would the tobacco industry want vapers advocating for products that are in competition with their main product. They may be trickling into the e cigarette market now, but they’re coming in at the wrong end, with too little of the market share and no real insight into vapers or vaping in general. The very new switcher might want something that mimics a cigarette; most of us come to realise that for vaping to really work it has to become better than smoking and stop being anything remotely like a cigarette. Our counter to it is to call out the pharmaceutical links from those claiming that we are being paid. Not always either true or helpful, but the anger generated from accusations that our points of view have been paid for when we actually use our own resources for this fight isn’t trivial, and really should be understood. Calling us a cult won’t wash either. Too much of the anti-tobacco and anti-nicotine ideology looks like a cult from the objective side of the evidence base. Too much of the anti-nicotine stance is based on evidence that wouldn’t stand up against creationism, let alone fact based and objective science.

Trying to twist the pro-vaping argument. Let’s get the message clear.

  • Vaping is SAFER than smoking. Unless your argument proves that smoking is safer than vaping, your argument is scaremongering and will produce net HARM as a result.
  • By your logic smokers are already addicted to nicotine, so what if we keep using it. Vaping nicotine stops us from relapsing to smoking. The health benefits of continued use preventing relapse to smoking make all of your anti-nicotine arguments irrelevant to ex-smoking vapers.
  • It is a product that was designed to replicate a consumer product. It was designed to be a consumer product. Regulating it as a medicine will make it into NRT. ONE in TEN smokers are succeeding with NRT. NRT is 90% ineffective.
  • There is no evidence that nicotine is as addictive as tobacco when it is not administered alongside the minor alkaloids in tobacco. The addictive nature of nicotine separate from tobacco is a topic which requires more study before accurate conclusions may be drawn. All else at this point (including my own rambling on the subject) is conjecture. I call for more research.
  • Your war against tobacco is now a crusade against nicotine. You want to eradicate all nicotine use from society. Prohibition has absolutely no lessons to teach you in this regard, and you’re certain that you’re correct in all your assumptions about nicotine and its role in the evils of society. Can you not see the red flags this throws up. Imagine if crusaders decided that chocolate was evil because of theobromine, and that it should be eradicated from society forthwith. Stop, step back, check all prejudice and regain some objectivity.

Refusing to engage with us. I would love to engage with public health in the hearty to and fro of twitter debate. I pride myself on staying objective and trying to keep my sense of humour. But those who disagree with my points of view have a distressing tendency to block all those who disagree with them. Science will obviously “flourish” where there is no debate. The points of view of those who refuse to engage with opposing viewpoints are always going to remain unchallenged. Cognitive dissonance is a good state when it is not immediately dismissed by turning off the opinions creating it. The best scientists look at everything with the attitude “I COULD BE WRONG.” That is where good science lives and breathes and generates better science.

Denialism: Denying reality one fact at a time

The Ecig Denier Terrible Trio.

The community of vapers isn’t going to give up, even if everything goes as badly for us as our worst nightmares, we won’t stop this fight. The problem is that we are actually right; the evidence backs up our arguments. History will judge you by the stance you take in this. That it judges against me is a risk I’m willing to take on the evidence. I could be wrong. Are you really so certain that you’re right?


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Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

Author: B

A Mad middle aged woman who lives in the middle of nowhere, Scotland with a parrot, two Jack Russells, some koi, and a tank full of tropical fish. I have M.E. but that's really not important. I draw, paint, write, game, garden, blog and enjoy a good vape. I have three lovely grown up offspring, and 2 ex-husbands.

13 thoughts on “What we have from the denialist outliers is a refusal to communicate

  1. Good points, well made. Chapeau.


  2. Very well said. As usual. 🙂
    I’ld like to add my 2 cent to the topic of addictiveness:

    Take a closer look at what the producers of NTR’s write on this. They claim that the nicotine in their products is either not addictive at all or at most has a very low risk to create a new addiction. Fancy that!
    I guess the would be in very big trouble if they claimed some medicinal property that wasn’t true for their approved products.
    Since ecigs contain even less ingredience than e.g. their inhaler or spray deliveres similar amounts of nicotine, dioesn’t it seem reasonable to expect that the addictiveness of ecigs would be on a similar level?

    But of course it would be nice to have undisputable scientific evidence. One way or the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And then we compound it by adding in behavioural queues that mimic smoking which confounds the issue. I don’t believe that nicotine alone is as addictive as tobacco, but most of the evidence I have to back that up isn’t studying that actual question because no research has been done that answers that specific question. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The case for nicotine’s relative safety in that aspect (although strong) is still unproven. We need research that will specifically look at this aspect, otherwise we’re still in the realm of conjecture. I want the case against ecigs to be shot down incontrovertibly, watertight and final. I’d also like a lottery win and a cure for what ails me, but I’ll settle for a cup of tea and a vape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m just having a green Darjeeling with a pinch of peppermint. Actually i drink that all day long. 😉
        One of my vapes also is green tea + peppermint. 😀


      • You don’t even need research Beki. Ecigs contain the same pure nicotine as NRTs or vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant etc. None of these are addictive. Or do you wake up every morning longing for a tomato?


      • Oh there’s nicotine in them, but it is at clinically insignificant amounts. Like the traces in the vapour we breathe out; not enough to have any real effect. trust me, I’m with you on this. I loathe using the word addiction in the context of nicotine use in the first place, because it is not on the same level as addiction to a drug like heroin. I’m constrained by the language used by others; I’d rather it were referred to as a habit. But still the most robust statement I can make with research to back me up is that nicotine has never been known to cause either withdrawal or addiction when used to treat disease. Putting aside the animal studies which don’t translate completely to humans, not one single study has been done DIRECTLY on the addictive nature of nicotine in never smokers, which is the only study that would give that clear outcome. I’m tainted by my tobacco addiction; as is every ex-smoker. There is such a huge hole in the research on this one point that it almost makes me want to put my tin foil hat on and demand to know why it hasn’t been looked at directly. I know the case for nicotine being addictive without the other minor tobacco alkaloids is weak – hell I’ve even blogged that I don’t believe it to be addictive at all with lots of links to back up my conjecture. But until we fill that research gap it is still, unfortunately, conjecture. I’m not going to play the antz game by saying I can prove it when I can’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: What We Have From Most of Public Health Is A Refusal to Communicate | The Spinfuel Network

  4. Great blog!
    Whilst it is only some members of the public health community that seen blind to the evidence and continue to bad mouth vaping they do bring all of public health into disrepute. Mind you, I think the BMA’s stance has done even more harm with many justifying bans based on their guidance. Having taught critical appraisal skills to medics for many years I now despair; so many still continue to selectively quote poor quality research or opinion pieces that have been discredited.


    • I apologise for taking so long to reply to you; I’ve had some serious computer issues these last couple of days. Some PH people are embracing ecigs, some cautiously accepting that vaping may have a role, but the ones who are dismissing the idea outright are doing damage and as Clive Bates has pointed out, they need to be called out for that harm. I still feel that I’m saying the same thing over and over again here. Those who really need to see these arguments are ignoring them. That’s the crying shame.

      Liked by 1 person

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