Vaping News

The Lies of Peter Ucko

South African Tobacco Alcohol and Gambling advocacy group CEO Peter Ucko tells barefaced lies about vape research during an interview.

Share on:
South African Tobacco Alcohol and Gambling advocacy group CEO Peter Ucko told barefaced lies about vape research during an interview. He was speaking to an interviewer from the NCA channel about the tight regulations surrounding cigarettes. He didn’t bat an eyelid while inventing a stream of nonsense about British research.

Peter Ucko was asked: “The World Health Organisation says that e-Cigarettes should be classified the same as cigarettes, and I see that in places like Australia they are already implementing a fine of up to Aus$550 if you are caught vaping in public places! Do you think that South Africa should go that same route with e-Cigarettes?”

Ucko replied: “100%”

“The definition of a tobacco product in the proposed legislation, which cabinet has now approved, the electronic cigarettes and vaping devices – and whatever you want to call them – are included in the definition of tobacco products,” he said by way of an opening.

So, vape products are “tobacco products” because they have been defined as tobacco products, despite not being tobacco products.

“They will fall under the same legislation and the same controls as tobacco products. And the reason for this is very simple: firstly, electronic cigarettes are not safe. Electronic cigarettes are harmful, there’s no question about that.”

Except, Ucko (who some social media users have been cruelly renaming as Peter Thicko) is ignoring that the relative danger is one of being at least 95% less than that of smoking – and on par with drinking coffee daily. So, there is very much a “question about that”.

“But then here’s the latest research,” the challenged individual continues. “It is risky for your health. Howard College in the United Kingdom…”

*Record scratch*

*freeze frame*

Lie 1: There’s no Howard College in the United Kingdom. It doesn’t exist.

“It is risky for your health. Howard College in the United Kingdom, together with Cancer Research UK, recently published a paper in the British Medical Journal which showed that children - and here’s the risk – children start smoking, or using these electronic devices, which create huge, dense plumes of smoke.”

Lie 2: There’s no such research. It doesn’t exist either.

Lie 3: Smoking is not vaping.

Lie 4: Vaping does not “create huge, dense plumes of smoke.

Lie 5: Children have not taken to vaping in the UK. All the research indicates that only a fraction of UK vapers are under 18 and, of those, they are almost entirely ex or current smokers.

“They are engineered to do that...”

Lie 6: No, they aren’t.

“…and then they have competitions for blowing smoke rings and all that sort of stuff

Lie 7: There are no smoke-ring competitions for children. Or ones for “all that sort of stuff.”

“They have wonderful fruit flavours [said with a wistful tone, he must like fruit] and exotic names, and so children are tempted to use those products.”

Lie 8: See Lie 5.

“Here’s the result of that research, bottom line:”

Lie 9: There’s no research. It still doesn’t exist.

“Children who experiment with electronic smoking devices/electronic cigarettes are twelve times more likely to convert to combustible tobacco products and cigarettes which you light. That’s the risk.”

Lie 10: This only happens in Made-upland, where Ucko’s brain takes a holiday on a daily basis.

“So children start off having a little bit of fun, tasting these wonderful exotic fruit flavours and other things, and they go on and get addicted to nicotine and go on to smoking combustible tobacco products.”

Lie 11: He really does love these fruit flavours, doesn’t he. Is it possible he was attacked by a fruit truck driver and secretly enjoyed the experienced? It’s like he has a real love/hate thing going on with fruit. Oh, yeh, sorry, his whole statement here was an utter lie.

“And the tobacco companies know that, and that’s why they are buying electronic cigarette companies and promoting those sorts of things.”

Lie 12: Tobacco companies own just 25% of the total vape market.

“They are dangerous.”

Lie 13: Repeating a perceived danger doesn’t make it so. Sit down and have some pineapple, Peter, or "one of those sort of things".

“They must be banned for the sake of public health and protecting our children,” concludes the lying charlatan (who has the appearance of a man that a court has banned from public areas).

South African Tobacco Alcohol and Gambling advocacy group’s CEO Peter Ucko is a prevaricator, falsifier, and a fraud – he tells lies.

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World said: “Disappointing to see this South Africa tobacco control advocacy group pushing for e-cig regulation that matches traditional cigarettes. Another example of how flawed risk perception impacts decisions by smokers and policy makers.”

NNAlliance Sweden wrote: “CRUK quoted by this gentleman as main source for unequivocally saying a 12 times higher ‘conversion rate’ from e-cig to combustibles (note causality and sequence). We hope someone might help him get his reading of the science right. South Africa deserves better.”

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) encourages smokers to attempt quitting with vape products and it says: “Research so far shows that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking. This is because e-cigarettes don’t contain cancer-causing tobacco. They do contain nicotine, which is addictive, but isn’t what causes the damage from smoking.”

You can read about CRUK’s current position here.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

Come To GFN24!

Everyone is going to be welcome at #GFN24 as organisers say it will be an “antidote” to clandestine WHO COP10 and its meetings behind closed doors

Vaping News

CAPHRA Repeats Call For Transparency

Consumer body CAPHRA has repeated calls for greater transparency and engagement from World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control officials

Vaping News

French Plans Will Push People To Smoke

The French government’s nicotine and tobacco policy risks pushing people towards cigarettes says a consumer advocacy organisation