Vaping News

The Coordinated Threat

Vaping and tobacco harm reduction in the UK is coming under a sustained attack from a coordinated group of prohibitionists

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Over the last week, several articles have appeared in print that contain quotes from (usually Martin McKee) anti-vaping activists. No note is given to the minority role they play in the UK’s understanding of vaping. Now The Guardian has printed a letter in its entirety from 16 paediatric healthcare “professionals”.

Despite all of the national evidence being to the contrary, they begin by stating that “children and young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke tobacco”.

“Vaping addictions begin in childhood”, they continue, presenting zero evidence that this is true. Currently, all the evidence amassed by the Smoking Toolkit Study and ASH UK is that only a tiny proportion of teens vape – and those that do are almost exclusively ex or current smokers.

“The number of UK children vaping is being grossly under-reported,” they add. Presumably, given that they don’t provide any evidence of this statement (again), they have failed to

“More than three quarters of 11-18 year olds have never tried (76.9%) or are unaware of e-cigarettes (6.6%),” said ASH in its last report on youth vaping. Of non-smoking teens, only “0.8% are current vapers, only 0.1% vape more than once a week.”

Cancer Research UK and Public Health England have consistently stated that there is no significant use of vape products with non-smoking teens.

“We cannot sit back and accept a blanket message from Public Health England that vaping is 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking,” proclaim the paediatricians.

It is clear that the NHS and Public Health England need to talk to Warren Lenney, Andrew Bush, Jayesh Bhatt, Will Carroll, Frances Child, Gary Connett, Iolo Doull, Francis Gilchrist, Jonathan Grigg, Atul Gupta, Simon Langton-Hewer, Clare Murray, Jimmy Paton, Mike Shields, Ian Sinha and Edwina Wooler. Their ignorance is dangerous.

There is a pressing need for a coordinated rebuttal to convince news outlets that people like this are marginal views grounded in ignorance and not science. It’s time for them to stop citing flawed American hysteria and focus on the compelling UK research.


  • Vaping poses serious threat to children, The Guardian – [link]
  • Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain, ASH UK – [link]
  • Toolkit Study – [link]

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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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