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Lying Lung Foundation

Lung Foundation Australia is promoting “breath-taking ignorance or lies” and “disgraceful misinformation” about vaping online, according to leading harm reduction experts

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Lung Foundation Australia has been accused of propagating “disgraceful misinformation” about vaping with its comments in a newspaper article. The organisation is displaying “breath-taking ignorance” according to a well-respected scientist and harm reduction

An editorial titled “Talking Point: Vaping can hook a new generation”, in Australia’s Mercury newspaper, was written by Lung Foundation Australia’s chief executive, Mark Brooke. In it, he made the plea that “Australia’s health should not be influenced by the billion-dollar vaping industry”.

Lung Foundation Australia claims to be “the trusted central source of guidance and support” for all matters relating to lung health. It says it believes in “compassion, courage, respect and collaboration”, but this goes out of the window when tobacco harm reduction rears into view. For an organisation that believes in “evidence-based” decision making, it works hard to ignore all of the research supporting vaping as a smoking cessation tool.

Brooke’s very first statement is a lie: “In Australia, tobacco retailers have been experiencing significant reduction in sales and profits as the smoking rates in Australia decline.” Australia’s smoking rates have flatlined since 2013 as the country refused to embrace vaping. [source]

“As cigarette consumption has declined, Big Tobacco has developed new products in order to offset losses, create new markets and gain new users.”

Ignorance or lie? Big Tobacco didn’t invent vaping and wasn’t behind its success; the industry was very late to the party when it discovered sales were being cannibalised in regions where vaping rates soared. It isn’t creating these “new markets”, ex-smokers did.

“These products,” he continues, “which look like iPhones and USBs, are targeted to appeal to young people. Once a person gets hooked on nicotine — especially a young person — big tobacco gets a captive, long-term high-paying customer. Without nicotine addiction there would be no tobacco industry.”

How many of us use devices that look like an iPhone?

Who believes the Horizon Tech Falcon or SMOK TFV16 was designed with children in mind?

No rational person can consider his statement to represent fact, but his next one really takes the biscuit: “We and others in the health sector — including state, territory and federal health authorities; the experts who do not have a commercial interest in selling nicotine products, but have responsibility and experience in protecting the health of Australians — are clear: e-cigarettes or other novel products are not less harmful than conventional cigarettes, that is why they are illegal in Australia.”

E-cigarettes are not less harmful than conventional cigarettes? Mark Brooke doesn’t look the sort to be on all manner of drugs, but his editorial is painting a different picture.

Colin Mendelsohn exclaimed: “WOW! Breathtaking ignorance or lies.”

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association said: “Disgraceful misinformation on vaping by CEO of Australian Lung Foundation CEO Mark Brooke. Does the Lung Foundation really believe this? Do the members of the Board agree? Disgraceful.”

Even Stanton Glantz, liar-in-chief of the anti-vape brigade, accepts that vaping is less harmful than smoking.

But wait, Brooke continues: “There is strong, credible evidence that both nicotine and flavoured vaping products are just as harmful, if not more harmful, than conventional cigarettes.”

The only is strong, credible evidence on offer here is that Mark Brooke is wholly unfit to continue in his position.


  • Lung Foundation Australia – [link]
  • Talking Point: Vaping can hook a new generation – [link]
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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