Vaping News

Canada GFN Subversion Attempt

The British Colombia Ministry of Health attempted to subvert open and honest debate about vaping and smeared a respected British expert.

Share on:
The British Colombia Ministry of Health attempted to subvert open and honest debate about vaping, according to lawyer and tobacco control expert David Sweanor. He spoke to Brent Stafford of Regulator Watch about how and why public health officials conspire to oppose the use of electronic cigarettes.

“We need dialogue to get people talking about these issues,” Sweanor explains to Stafford, “to do what we could do about the health costs of smoking.”

He was speaking in reference to The Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) Dialogue event that took place in Vancouver, Canada, in April. It was a free opportunity to discuss and debate the topics connected to tobacco harm-reduction. One of the notable speakers was Professor Gerry Stimson, professor emeritus, Imperial College, London.

Stafford lamented that it took a visit by advocates and experts from Britain to force the topic of vaping to be debated in British Colombia. Sweanor responded: “We have people from the BC Ministry of Health who did everything they could to scuttle it, to prevent the conversation from happening.”

Sweanor states that ministry officials said they weren’t going to attend the GFN event. Moreover, the officials were opposed to the event taking place at all. “They were saying some really defamatory things about Gerry Stimson,” Sweanor continued. “There was this really awful character assassination – and I think it’s causing discomfort. There are people who feel ‘if we could just treat vaping like smoking we’re just going to get everybody to quit’. When people come in with the credentials that Gerry and other people do on drug harm reduction then we really need to have this discussion.”

“If we can force it onto the agenda, get people to actually think about it, to have to justify the positions that they’re taking, then I think we can change policy” - David Sweanor

Sweanor described Stimson as being one of the “leading authorities on drug harm reduction in the world”, and spoke warmly about how he is very highly regarded by all who know of him.

The accusations thrown at Stimson by The British Colombia Ministry of Health, as described on the video below, are truly shocking.

Sweanor goes on to talk about the motivations behind this ridiculous opposition to vaping: “Innovation is invariably opposed for various reasons. Very seldom is it opposed on rational grounds.”

The full interview is very interesting and strongly recommended if you have seven minutes spare.

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

Dr Kayat: Back With More Nonsense

Planet of the Vapes reported Dr Sara Kayat to the General Medical Council for her popcorn lung claims – but she’s back on television claiming that vapes are “more addictive” than cigarettes

Vaping News

Groups Slams WHO’s Misguided Claims

The World Vaper’s Alliance has slammed the World Health Organization’s new publication claiming to examine the evidence surrounding vaping

Vaping News

Experts Respond to Committee Letter

Experts in tobacco harm reduction have responded to the call for tougher action on disposables and the demands contained in the Health Committee’s letter

Politics & Campaigns

H&S Committee Pushes Heavier Restrictions

The Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee has written to the government demanding heavier restrictions on disposable vapes to limit child use