Eliquid Brands’ John Dunne said: “It seems like only yesterday that we were here and ‘Going for Growth’. This year we have a bigger mission for a bigger prize. Every smoker in the UK needs to hear our message more urgently than ever; in 2017, a shocking 26% of people thought vaping was as harmful, or more harmful, than smoking. We can’t allow this state of affairs to persist.”
“I am excited to be giving the key note address,” said TV’s Dr Christian Jessen. “Vaping is a gift to public health that we must do more to embrace and encourage.”
Dr Christian expressed some concern though: “Why does myth trump science today? Vaping has been a victim too, like vaccinations and pharmaceuticals, of scare stories and conspiracy theories.”
The TV doctor regularly speaks up in favour of vaping on his social media accounts and, whatever happens in the future, Dr Christian made a pledge: “I will stay by your side as you go on your journey.”
The fifth session of the day looked at how the vaping industry could support the smoking cessation efforts of struggling public local stop smoking services.
Kevin Barron MP stated that action had to be taken “to make vaping accessible in smoking services across the country. We hear from Doctor Christian and Sairah Salim-Sartoni on how we need to get the messaging right to show smokers that they can quit whilst still enjoying the ‘pleasure’ of vaping”.
Ecigarette Direct’s James Dunworth said that stores needed to provide a range of products to appeal to everybody and Sairah Salim-Sartoni added that she believes, “Smokers are voting with their feet and flocking to vaping products.”
The following panel focussed on CBD and the role that could play in improving public health. The forum heard how, “the CBD market is flourishing, and consumers are increasingly taking advantage of new and innovative products in the sector. Of particular interest is the CBD vape market; a category with a loyal following and increasing visibility.”
Harmony Hemp’s Anthonin Cohen warned: “It’s important to be absolutely clear about the kind of properties that CBD products have and to not over promise on health benefits they may have, as it may negatively impact the whole sector.”
Robert Sidebottom of Hemp And CBD Expo agreed, and added: “We are in danger of having legislation done to us - so let’s engage and be part of shaping the legislation that is to come.”
One of the issues, according to Robert Jappie of Mackrell Law, is that (having spoken to many at the EU Commission, “Regulators don’t yet understand CBD products, or perhaps they don’t want to”.
Finally, the forum considered the issue of teens, the program stated: “Despite evidence showing the vaping uptake has not increased amongst young people in the UK, media headlines suggesting a different picture persist.”
Sunday Times journalist Jon Ungoed-Thomas said: “The UK does not have a young people vaping problem.”
Institute of Economic Affairs Chris Snowdon believed: “It’s hard to market to adults without it appealing to younger people.”
UKVIA has recently published a Code of Conduct for its members, which includes advice on this subject.
The vaping industry appears to be in excellent overall health in the United Kingdom – something we can build on with public health support and political will. As John Dunne says: “It’s about an industry built on cutting edge technology and good, old-fashioned customer satisfaction. It’s about an industry that thrives in 2019 and will only be stronger in the future.”