NNA Jakes on Radio

Posted 11th December 2019 by Dave Cross
New Nicotine Alliance’s Sarah Jakes was invited on to 105 Uckfield to speak in response to comments about vaping made by “Health and Wellbeing expert” Kate Shemirani. Sarah put across, as 105 Uckfield termed it, “the other side of the issue.”

“It’s [vaping] actually very dangerous,” claimed Kate Shemirani in a previous episode on the show [link]. “Everything you put in your body or on your body is going to have an effect – and vaping is one of them.” Then she went off on a monologue about smoking for some reason.

“It’s all about money,” she added, before talking about British American Tobacco. “You smoke that vapour and it’s highly addictive. I’m going to go what’s in it because it’s quite shocking.”

Her list of what’s in eliquid was quite ridiculous: “THC, CBL, butane, and hash oils.”

“Metals, you don’t want metals in your body!” – we’ll ignore that minerals are essential nutrients.

Following Shemirani sharing her absurd fact-free opinions, the Independent British Vape Trade Association called the show. It expressed strong disagreement with what had been said and so 105 Uckfield invited NNA’s Sarah Jakes to respond.

The Electronic Cigarette Company

Sarah pointed out that the NNA is a charity and not connected with industry, and so she represented the consumer voice. She explained how the NNA was formed to oppose EU moves to ban vaping and formed as a charity to maintain transparency.

“We raise money for education, so that we can educate people about harm reduction products. We also get involved in things like snus, which is vastly safer than smoking.”

The presenter, king of the garden shed shock-jocks, Terry O’Brien expressed the view that vaping isn’t safe. Sarah responded: “There are risks in all of these products. There’s risks but they are minimal compared to smoking. In most walks of life we reduce harm, we don’t eliminate harm.”

Sarah told O’Brien how we manage the dangers of driving by using seat belts to reduce the risks, “we don’t ban driving.” O’Brien scoffed, so Sarah told him how harm reduction is used in the drug world in order to mitigate the risks associated with drug use.

“Obviously, the ideal is not to do the risky behaviour at all. If you can reduce the risks by more than 95%, which is the current thinking with vaping, then for those people who can’t or won’t give up smoking they can reduce the harm that they’re doing themselves.”

Vape Club

O’Brien then read a definition of nicotine that he got “from the web.” Despite being informed that smoking related illness was linked to the tar and toxins, O’Brien persisted in claiming nicotine was responsible.

Sarah quoted Professor John Britton: “Nicotine has a similar harm profile to caffeine.”

She pointed out that some of the things O’Brien finds so dangerous can be caused by having a cup of tea or watching a football match. “But you don’t watch football 20 times a day,” he glibly replied.

Sarah pointed out that toxicological studies have demonstrated the chemical composition of vape is orders of magnitude safer than that found in smoke, and quantities are much smaller.

As O’Brien continued his belligerent, opinionated and evidence-free opinion frothing, Sarah Jakes is to be commended for retaining her composure. The full interview is linked below.



  • 105 Uckfield interview – [link]
  • The New Nicotine Alliance – [link]

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