Vape News

Posted 17th May 2018 by Dave Cross
Carrie Wade penned an article titled “What anti-smoking advocates can learn from the opioid crisis” for the Washington Examiner, and received praise. The Mail On Sunday wasn’t so lucky as its contribution to the vape debate was called “flippant”. Inside Sources asked if vaping could be the “most significant public health benefit in a generation”? Meanwhile, Conscience Health laments that scientific debate is collapsing into a mess of ad hominem attacks and, worse, it works in persuading the public.

The American Vaping Association called Carrie Wade’s piece a “sound and well-reasoned article”. In it, she contrasts the ‘quit or die approach to smoking cessation with an enlightened method of trying to combat opioid addiction.

While the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis is “decreasing barriers to medication-assisted treatments and increasing naloxone access”, efforts to reduce tobacco harm consist of simply repeating the old mantra over and over as almost half a million Americans die each year.

“Like providing injection-drug users with clean needles,” Wade writes, “encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes without forcing abstinence on those who don’t want to quit will help reduce the incidence of smoking-related illness and death.”

As if evidence of the organisation’s ridiculousness were needed, the Mail On Sunday wrote: “The £2bn fire-sale of a cigarette empire: Imperial Brands set to sell-off chunks of the company as it looks to focus on global vaping craze”.

Advocacy umbrella organisation INNCO said: “As more and more smokers switch to safer nicotine products, describing the choice of 50 million users as a 'vaping craze' is pejoratively flippant. Vaping is a global health revolution!”

Clackers were a “craze”. Pogs, Pet Rocks and ‘I Shot JR’ t-shirts were a craze. Claiming to be a Leicester City supporter was a global craze for three months after they won the Premier League. Drinking Tide pods and having tubs of ice-cold water poured over you was a craze. Something that offers less than 95% of the risk of smoking to help addicts escape the threat of cancer doesn’t need this level of belittling.

Vaping is only a craze to media organisations desperately hunting footfall on their websites, so media companies like the Mail will churn out any garbage it can, unquestioningly, and focussing on the big tobacco industry.

Thank goodness for a more balanced approach elsewhere, as Inside Sources spoke to The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) to highlight that “while the major tobacco companies are involved in the industry and sell vaping productions, by no means do they control the market. Instead, a whole industry has grown up outside of this framework.”

Some may wonder if it is the fault of media companies and that they can only be as reliable as the information sources they use.

The scientific process and journal paper peer-revue exists to improve the quality of research findings – moving society forwards. What we see with current vape research is that the disagreements over the science frequently descend into ad hominem attacks on pro-vaping advocates.

Conscience Health reports that a study finds that trashing reputations works (for people who frequently do it like Simon Chapman) in that the work is undermined in the eyes of the public. It warns: “Discourse that strays from the facts and into the ad hominem simply gets in the way. It undermines everyone’s credibility, and ultimately, the public’s trust in science. That price is too steep.”

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