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Cancer Research UK (CRUK) hit back at its research being misused, Iceland is celebrating record lows in rates of smoking thanks (in part) to vaping, and the tobacco control community is mocked for running scared of open and honest debate.

CRUK issued a press release due to the severe concerns that research they funded was wilfully being misinterpreted to support a claim that there is a gateway from vaping to smoking.

Carl Alexander said on behalf of the organisation: “While this study shows young people who experiment with e-cigarettes are likely to try smoking and vice versa, the researchers didn’t look at whether the youngsters then became regular users or whether they might have tried smoking anyway. Research like this is important to help us understand the potential impact of e-cigarettes on young people.”

“It’s illegal to sell e-cigarettes to under 18s in this country, and regular use among those who’ve never smoked tobacco is very low. Tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of death in the world. The evidence so far shows that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking and people are successfully using them to give up tobacco.”

As they write: “The study did find an association between both e-cigarette use and smoking, and between smoking and e-cigarette use. However, finding this association does not mean one behaviour caused the other.”

Evidence of this erroneous train of thought comes in the form of a celebration in Iceland. Paul Fontaine writes on Grapevine: “An Icelandic doctor credits vaping with contributing to the dramatic decline in smokers in Iceland, calling it ‘a great blessing’ for Icelanders’ health.”

“Smoking has been falling like a rock like we’ve never seen before,” he reports the doctor saying. “The biggest contributing factors have been mouth tobacco and vaping, which have clearly been wiping smoking out.”

This is a situation that won’t make anybody smile who is currently making a living from working in tobacco control. Following the revelation that attendees at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health conference in South Africa were instructed not to engage in scientific debate with the vape community, Carl Phillips has penned a vicious takedown.

He calls the bulk of what research it produces as “junk science” and laughs at the journal editors now banned from discussing published pieces, as “dialogue inevitably highlighted the errors and poor quality in much of what the journal published”.

His article is a compelling read.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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