The POTV Guide to the Politics of Vaping

Posted 4th June 2021 by Mawsley
This guide looks at the laws that control what, how and where we vape as well as introducing the groups, charities and organisations that work to influence government policy. We will also highlight the bad actors who campaign to make things worse for us.

What laws cover electronic cigarettes?

Who campaigns in the UK against vaping and vapers?

Michael Bloomberg

  • Not directly, but Bloomberg’s organisations fund an active and consistent opposition to vaping and tobacco harm reduction (a number of which are listed here)

Martin McKee:

  • Admitted he knew nothing about vaping when he began attacking it
  • Lied to children about tobacco harm reduction
  • Says vaping causes popcorn lung
  • Says vaping causes tumours and denies it’s 95% safer
  • Says vaping can lead to cocaine use
  • Regularly invited to provide “balancing opinions” in interviews, where his arguments are destroyed
  • Says the tobacco industry is funding vape “internet trolls

David Bareham:

  • Accused the House of Commons (HoC) committee of being led by the nose by Big Tobacco
  • Belittled Norman Lamb for appearing in a “glossy tobacco-industry funded UKVIA publication”
  • Accused committee chair Norman Lamb of tobacco “industry collaboration”
  • Accused ATHRA of “quackery” and accepting tobacco funding
  • Said “The 95% safer statement is fake news”
  • Claimed dropping smoking rates are down to “proven measures, not e-cigarettes”
  • Partners Simon Chapman and McKee in making negative submissions to governments

Professor John Ashton:

  • Abused vapers online, for which he lost his job
  • Frequently comments negatively about tobacco harm reduction products and nicotine users

Simon Capewell:

  • Tweets anti-vape nonsense with a proliferation of hashtags
  • Provides nonsense to the media when McKee isn’t available
  • Accuses advocates and experts of being “stooges” and “useful idiots” for the tobacco industry

The Daily Telegraph:

  • Following a run-in between the then senior science journalist and expert Clive Bates, The Daily Telegraph continually runs smear stories attacking vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

The Lancet

Ruth Malone

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

University of Bath/Tobacco Control Research Group:

  • Bloomberg funds the TCRG and this influences the output from the University, this includes smears and

Who promotes vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool?

Health charities

Consumer groups

Trade organisations

Parliamentary groups

Who are the leading researchers influencing vape policy in the UK?

Pioneering work is being conducted by:

  • Professor Linda Bauld – pregnancy, nicotine
  • Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies - research
  • Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at Kings - research
  • Professor Peter Hajek - research
  • Academics at the University College London Tobacco & Alcohol Research Group - research
  • Dr Sharon Cox – the vulnerable
  • Lynne Dawkins - evidence

Where do researchers share information with consumers, advocates, and politicians?

The two leading events are:

There are many other events where consumers and advocates are not involved. The people and organisations in the section about who is opposed to vaping have been invited to the two events above in the past but either declined or failed to respond to their invitations. None of them have attended GFN or the E-cig Summit.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.