“There is concern that ENDS are seen as ‘safe’ but this is not the case,” the statement begins – but this does not fit in with anecdotal evidence or empirical research findings. The numbers of smokers believing that vaping is as dangerous as smoking has risen to unprecedented levels thanks to misinformation being produced by puritanical anti-vape campaigners.
Dr Julie Bishop, Director of Health Improvement for Public Health Wales, said: “We recognise that there are a lot of confusing and contradictory messages around e-cigarettes. This is because there isn’t one simple answer – it is different for different groups of the population. In simple terms, if you don’t smoke, don’t vape. But if you are a committed smoker who is unwilling or unable to quit, switching completely to e-cigarettes will be beneficial to your health.”
Her press release quotation doesn’t tell the whole story, the position statement goes on to say: “Confectionary-like flavours of e-liquid should not be permitted, in order to reduce the appeal of [vaping] to children and young people.”
It continues: “There is some evidence of the potential for [vaping] use to have a negative impact on indoor air quality and therefore represent a risk to health.”
The more than slightly deluded Ashley Gould from Public Health Wales is reported as saying: "You can buy bubblegum, candyfloss, jam doughnut flavour e-cigarettes and they are only aimed at one audience - and that's about recruiting children."
Despite a total absence of evidence to support the call for a ban on sweet flavours, Gould went on to add that vaping is OK for smokers looking to switch – presumably only as long as it tastes bad and then fails to work?
Judy Gibson, speaking on behalf of The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), said: “I suppose we should be pleased that Public Health Wales has finally acknowledged that switching to vaping is a positive step for smokers. However, the demand to prohibit ‘sweet’ flavours is unjustified. It ignores current evidence and is based on fallacious assumptions. INNCO is strongly against the restriction of flavours which play a significant role in offering an alternative to combustible cigarettes.”
The Independent British Vape Trade Association went further. IBVTA sent an open letter to Tracey Cooper, the chief executive of PHW. They attack the lack of evidence being offered to support the daft proposal to limit flavours. The letter is an excellent summation of the facts relating to teen vaping and the benefits of flavours.