Posted 18th February 2020 by Dave Cross
The coronavirus outbreak in China is hitting parts of the global vape industry that source products from the region as the country struggles to contain the spread of the disease. Experts are saying that smokers are a high-risk group and could suffer from coronavirus complications, thus switching to vaping would be beneficial, but Maurice Swanson, Executive Director at the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, is celebrating their choice to reduce harm being restricted.

News outlets are reporting that many factories in China are suffering from a lack of supplies and workers continue to be quarantined as the country makes an effort to return to normality.

George Magnus at Oxford University’s China Centre said: “The kind of fear and freeze that has taken hold in terms of economic activity is likely to persist. I don’t really see a good outcome.”

Fasttech are advising customers that although they were due to return to shipping orders on 10th February, “the Wuhan Coronavirus [is still] affecting service and shipping”. The company has been instructed to kit out all employees in biohazard suits before they return to work, which they are still in the process of acquiring. They are now saying that normal service will be resumed today, Monday 17th.

Up to Friday, over half of China’s population was under some kind of lockdown and although many companies were beginning to fire up again none were reporting full production.

The virus only holds a real threat to vulnerable sections of the population. In China, it seems to have hit males more than females and lung experts are saying this is due to the prevalence of men smoking tobacco products; 61.5% of those suffering from severe pneumonia are males.


Nottingham University’s Professor Jenkins is quoted as saying: “China has extremely high rates of COPD and it also has high rates of severe pneumonia. In this particular coronavirus 15 per cent of the Chinese population who have been infected have severe respiratory disease and around two per cent have died, in the rest of the world the disease doesn’t seem to be as bad. We don’t yet know why that is, it could be that the epidemic is later in its evolution in the rest of the world. But we do know that in China there are very high rates of smoking and COPD.”

With studies showing that vaping reduces the incidence of COPD when smokers make the switch, now using e-cigarettes could be life-saving in more ways than one.

This scenario doesn’t appeal to Australian Council on Smoking and Health’s Maurice Swanson. The executive director has made many ridiculous comments about vaping in the past but now celebrates a virus that has killed because it will keep people smoking.

#Ecigarettes A fortuitous outcome for public health in Oz. Australia may run out of vape supplies in a few weeks due to coronavirus,” he tweeted on Monday.

One retailer told the journalist that he can’t get any stock, while another said he was “feeling the pinch” on popular lines. Vendors are saying that pods and coils are the most badly effected while juice, manufactured in the UK and USA is unaffected.

88 Vape

With this following the Chinese New Year, stocks were already running low and some businesses are saying they might not be able to survive.

So, Maurice, plenty to cheer there – vapers going back to smoking and jobs lost. How happy he must be. “We aim to reduce overall smoking rates,” say the Australian Council on Smoking and Health. The only thing they’ve reduced is the public’s ability to see the organisation as credible.


  • “Australia may run out of vape supplies in a few weeks due to coronavirus”, ABC – [link]
  • Australian Council on Smoking and Health – [link]
  • “Smokers at increased risk of coronavirus complications”, The Telegraph – [link]

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
Legion of Vapers