Cancer Research Ad Provokes Attacks

Posted 29th January 2018 by Dave Cross
People with an axe to grind, a desire to troll or who have swallowed the lies put about took issue with Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) advert on Facebook. You’d have thought that clearing up the 10 most asked questions with factual answers would have been helpful – not according to those who slammed the organisation.

The Facebook post simply said: “Are e-cigarettes less harmful than smoking? Our blog post has the answer to this, and other common questions about vaping.” There was a link to the blog, where the organisation detailed ten of the most common questions and attempted to answer them in a straightforward manner.

The question were as follows:

1. Are e-cigarettes less harmful than smoking?

Answer: Yes

2. Is nicotine dangerous?

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Answer: Nicotine doesn’t cause smoking-related diseases, but it is addictive.

3. Do e-cigarettes produce harmful chemicals or blow up?

Answer: There are far fewer harmful chemicals present in the vapour than in tobacco smoke. It’s important to charge e-cigarettes with the right charger.

4. Is it OK to smoke and vape at the same time?

Answer: The greatest health benefits are seen when people stop smoking tobacco completely.


5. Can I use an e-cigarette in the Stop Smoking Services?

Answer: Yes.

6. Which e-cigarette should I start with?

Answer: The refillable tank system e-cigarettes might take a bit of getting used to, but they allow you to use more flavours, and generally deliver more nicotine than e-cigarettes that look like tobacco cigarettes.

7. How should I use my e-cigarette to help me to stop smoking?


Answer: It’s not like a cigarette, which you smoke from start to finish. With an e-cigarette you can use it once or twice, and then put it away.

8. Will e-cigarettes be cheaper for me than smoking?

Answer: Yes.

9. Can I use e-cigarettes in places where I can’t smoke?

Answer: There are no laws preventing or restricting where you can use e-cigarettes.

10. Is second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes dangerous? How can I protect my children?

Answer: Unlike second-hand smoke from cigarettes there’s no evidence that second-hand e-cigarette vapour is dangerous to others.

*The answers have been curtailed and are in more depth in the Cancer Research article.

Oblivious to the fact that the organisation is Cancer Research UK, Sharene wrote (from Australia): “DO NOT ENDORSE THIS CHEMICAL CR*P”. Thus far nobody has pointed out the long list of “chemical crap” littering her own timeline.


Sharene’s unexplained loathing of harm reduction is mirrored by a wealth of others. While her keyboard is stuck in caps-loc, Paul’s is all lowercase - “click bait using cancer ffs,” he wailed, and then implored CRUK to “get some values”. Linking to an article where nothing is being sold must have confused Paul, or maybe he didn’t even click on the link.

Richard (it is unclear if he is often called Dick) stated the advert was “another promotional advert for a carcinogenic product”. Let’s call him Dick. Dick is prepared to step in where science has failed to tread: “It certainly isn't the job of cancer research to promote and advertise a product that in all probability is carcinogenic.” No more research needed now, Dick has labelled vaping to be carcinogenic.

Andrew thinks “they still stink the place out”, Hugh reckons vaping is obviously dangerous because “the bottles have a skull and cross bones on them”, and the marvellously-named Jeff Broccoli thinks all of you who have stopped smoking “haven't stopped! My god you people are sheep.”

It’s difficult to know how much of this is the result of simple trolling, but if it is genuine then the level of ignorance is frightening. There are accusations of popcorn lungs, emulsified oils, and even a bloke suggesting that smoking herbs (they are plants) is better than smoking tobacco (also a plant) – when both will produce combustion-related tar, Carbon Monoxide and assorted other carcinogens.

The upside is that if you know someone who has issues about vaping, or is interested in learning more, you can point them in CRUK’s direction.


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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