Irish Cancer Society Lies

Posted 3rd February 2020 by Dave Cross
The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) says it wants politicians to protect children from “the tobacco and alcohol industries” as the parties gear up for the 2020 election hustings. The ICS is “concerned that e-cigarettes are being used to by tobacco companies to target children to be the next generation of nicotine addicts in Ireland.”

Ignoring all of the evidence from this side of the Irish Sea, the ICS foolishly shouts: “We want a ban on e-cigarette flavours and on advertising of e-cigarettes.”

“E-cigarettes contain highly-addictive nicotine and contain chemicals that can cause harm to the lungs, heart and brain,” it laughably claims. “Studies have also shown that young people who use e-cigarettes are far more likely to go on to smoke in later life, than those who don’t.”

Studies have shown beyond any doubt that nicotine is much less addictive in vape, and the “chemicals” that are present in both smoke and vape are in greatly reduced volumes in the former – the entire point of reducing harm.

Relying on dubious studies showing a gateway into smoking is a shocking abdication of the ICS’ role to work towards lowering cancer rates. But the lying plunges to even more shameful levels.

“The tobacco industry knows this too. They want more people to use their products, so they have helped to develop bright packaging, advertising and flavours like bubblegum, slush puppy, and candy-floss, which they’re using to hook young people on nicotine.”

As any vaper knows, tobacco industry products are generally packaged in boring boxes – and none of their liquids contain bubblegum, slush puppy, or candy-floss flavours. The Irish Cancer Society is lying.

Cancer Research UK honestly says: “Evidence so far indicates e-cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco and can help people who smoke to cut down or stop smoking. However, more evidence is needed to help inform smokers and policy-makers looking to reduce the harm from tobacco.” [link]

It continues with words the ICS should heed: “E-cigarettes represent an opportunity for harm reduction. The evidence so far indicates e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco smoking and can be an effective quitting tool. Harmful chemicals may be emitted by these devices and, although these are generally at much lower levels than tobacco cigarettes, we don’t know the potential health impacts of using e-cigarettes long term. Non-smokers should never use e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes should be effectively regulated to ensure they are only used by smokers when making a quit attempt or to prevent relapse.” [link]

Last year, ASH UK researched vaping and young people. It found:

  • More than three quarters of 11-18 year olds have never tried or are unaware of e-cigarettes
  • Young people vape mainly just to give it a try not because they think it looks cool
  • Vaping is much less common among young people who have never smoked
  • A large majority of never smokers aged 11-18, 93.8% in total, have either never used an e-cigarette (87.8%) or are not aware of them (6.0%)
  • Of young people aged 11-18 years old who have never smoked, 5.5% have ever tried e-cigarettes, 0.8% are current vapers, only 0.1% vape more than once a week, and not a single never smoker reported vaping daily
  • Children under 16 are less likely to try e-cigarettes than 16-18 year olds

ASH concluded: “Data from the 2019 ASH YouGov Smokefree youth GB survey suggest that while some young people, particularly those who have tried smoking, experiment with e-cigarettes, regular use remains low.”


  • General Election 2020: Protecting children from the tobacco and alcohol industries, Irish Cancer Society – [link]
  • Our policy on e-cigarettes, CRUK – [link]
  • Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain, ASH UK – [link]

Image by Alison Updyke from Pixabay

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