Anti-ecig campaigner Simon Chapman typifies the people who seek to influence their governments by distorting the truth and adding their own fiction into the mix. Only this time he has been rebuked for his duplicitous actions.
In New South Wales, politicians have voted through a motion to ban vaping from public areas – or face a fine approaching £300. This anachronistic act of prohibition goes alongside a ban from vaping in cars (if carrying a child). Transgressors will face an on the spot fine of Aus$250 (about £140).
The politician responsible for this was Walt Secord. People like Walt say things like: “E-cigarettes should not be allowed indoors”, “While there is still debate on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes and whether they are a gateway to smoking”, and “We also have to look at ways to prevent the normalisation of smoking in NSW - and this extends to e-cigarettes.”
People like Walt say such things because they are being fed a diet of nonsense by people like Simon Chapman. Chapman, in conjunction with Becky Freeman and Maurice Swanson, gave evidence to an Australian parliamentary inquiry. It contained all of those old chestnuts that have been debunked many times over.
This time, Public Health England (PHE) stepped up to the plate.
Aggrieved at the misrepresentation of the PHE’s position, the organisation slammed the trio for presenting a “series of factual errors”. The threesome attempted to claim that the UK operated a “completely different” framework in its approach to vaping compared to the rest of Europe. A PHE spokesperson said: “On the contrary, the effect of European regulation has been to reverse the ban on e-cigarettes in several EU member states, including Finland.”
Chapman also repeated his lie that the PHE report stating vaping is 95% safer than smoking was “influenced” by tobacco companies. “The claim is false. Correction or retraction has been received where the claim has been made in UK media,” the PHE spokesperson added.
Chapman demonstrated how feeble-minded he is by replying to the PHE statement. He told The Australian that the PHE was “pathetic” and they were “clutching at straws”. Then, bending truth a full 180 degrees, Chapman added: “[The PHE] have long been playing policy and campaign catch-up with us.”