Italy, for example, brings positive news. The vaping market was all but destroyed following the banning of certain products and punitive taxation rates over the last few years. Reports came in that many consumers put down their ecig and went back to smoking. Fingers were pointed at the preferential rates given to Phillip Morris, after they invested €500million for a plant in Bologna. Ecigintelligence announce that with a 300% year on year growth, the vape market has bounced back to pre-2014 levels. Good news for Italian smokers looking to switch to vaping, not so good for all of the European products not sourced in Italy and therefore banned from the marketplace.
Meanwhile, in the UK, it has all gone quiet over the promised prosecution of The Times by a group of maligned scientists. Following the paper’s controversial depiction of researchers having their pockets filled by Big Tobacco, the esteemed organ issued an apology.
“We recently published articles and a leader about scientists and public health experts and their alleged financial links with the tobacco industry (Tobacco giants fund vaping studies, Scientists wooed in charm offensive and Smoke in their eyes, October 12).
The experts mentioned in our report, Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, Professor David Sweanor of the Faculty of Law and Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa, Professor Karl Fagerstrom who created the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependency, Professor Riccardo Polosa, Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Catania, and Clive Bates, former executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, are internationally respected for their longstanding global work to reduce smoking, and their work on the issue of nicotine harm reduction.
Our report and a panel headed ‘Academics making a packet’ implied that these experts had received funding for research into e-cigarettes. We accept that this was wrong and that their work has not been tainted by the influence of tobacco industry funding. We apologise for our errors and omissions and for the embarrassment caused.”
Meanwhile, a further development in vaping technology has been announced – the “Streetwise Black Vaporizer”. Or, to give it its full name, the Streetwise Black Vaporizer Electronic Cigarette Stun Gun. Well, not so much announced as the focus of a Daily Star article full of anonymous quotes.
“Gangs are disguising powerful stun guns as e-cigarettes, police warn,” writes Patrick Williams. “E-cig stun guns are the new weapon of choice for UK gangs. They look like vapourisers but are highly dangerous devices which fire millions of volts.”
We aren’t sure how an unknown police spokesperson is able to warn about such a thing, as Williams goes on to confess: “Police have yet to seize one”. Fortunately, the trustworthy journo found another quote from a reliable (but secret) gang member: “The old bill have no idea. Everyone is on e-cigs these days so they don’t look out of place.”
Not for one minute do we dispute the veracity of the Star’s coverage, but POTV does not recommend waving around your Kanger Mini should you get into an argument in the street.