Planet of the Vapes was approached to help promote the Save My Vape campaign to our forum members and newsletter readers. We asked some questions about the previously unknown organisation. Some were answered, others were not.
This article will present what we have found out about the campaign, who is behind it, and allow you to make your own decision as to whether you should take part.
The Save My Vape paid for adverts on various social media platforms make a range of dramatic claims about UK vaping being under threat. They all encourage vapers to sign a petition on a website where you encourage to donate to help save vaping. You have to give a number of personal details.
Who is behind the Save My Vape campaign and what is it?
It was easier to find out who isn’t behind the campaign. None of the reputable consumer organisations are associated with this. Nobody at the New Nicotine Alliance or We Vape had heard of Save My Vape.
Research discovered that Save My Vape and its accompanying website have been set up by a private limited company called Global Britain, registered at 7-12 Tavistock Square, London, with Companies House.
Global Britain’s accounts filed last year shows it has a balance of £11,000 following a £9,080 repayable loan from a single donation. It has two directors: Brian Monteith and Ewen Newton Stewart. Monteith has no other declared interests, Newton Stewart is also a director of Centre Point Strategies Ltd, Walbrook Economics Ltd, and The Freedom Association.
Global Britain claims it campaigned to leave the European Union, a single-issue entity.
It was set up by a man who created UKIP (Lord Pearson of Rannoch) and another who used to be the head of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Tufton Street (Lord Harris of High Cross).
Global Britain appears to have lain dormant since Theresa May left office but sparked back into life to collect email addresses and ask for donations from vapers. The vape page had zero followers on Facebook when research was conducted two weeks ago.
In addition to the Save My Vape website, Global Britain has also set up a Say No To WHO website. It calls these sites “action oriented brands”, aimed at putting “pressure on the UK Government to stand against the regressive guidance of the Chinese backed WHO.”
Global Britain says: “The UK government wants Britain to be smoke free by 2030. This is under threat because of the Chinese backed World Health Organisation.”
The truth is that the WHO’s current stance on vaping is being dictated by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. WHO Director-General appointed Bloomberg as the WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries in 2016.
Global Britain says: “The WHO wants the UK to treat all reduced risk products in the same way they treat cigarettes. That means that e-cigarettes, heat not burn products and nicotine pouches will be restricted and ultimately banned.”
This is not true. The WHO does want governments to restrict flavoured e-liquids and ban open tanks, but it has no authority to compel the UK Government to do this. Currently, the UK Government is very supportive of vaping and a tobacco harm reduction approach, based on the advice of Public Health England.
Under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), people who have submitted their personal details to Global Britain can request they are deleted in full.
It is possible that Brian Monteith and Ewen Newton Stewart are enthusiastic supporters of vaping. This said, they are not part of a recognised nicotine or vape consumer organisation.
We suggest that vapers should become supporters of The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), a transparent registered charity staffed by volunteers. This can be done for free at the NNA website.
The NNA frequently presents to parliament and has forged solid relationships with decision makers to promote consumer interests at the highest level. Recently, the NNA called on UK vapers to help – without asking for personal details or wanting a donation.
You can visit the NNA’s website to find out more about what it does and how you can help.