“It has come to our attention that Kind Consumer – the company behind medicinally licensed smoking cessation device, Voke – is exploiting deaths attributable to black market THC liquids in the USA to promote its product,” said the NNA.
“A slide presentation to investors by the company made the claim that Voke is preferable to e-cigarettes because there have been ‘numerous recent cases of lung disease and death in individuals who use vape products’. This is completely untrue of legal vaping products and we unreservedly condemn their approach.”
The NNA continued: “We realise that business is business and Kind Consumer wish to differentiate their new product from vaping, but repeating information that they know very well is false is not the way to do this. It is especially scurrilous when you consider that they are using the fraudulent information to raise significant levels of funding to the tune of tens of millions of pounds.”
“There is room in the safer nicotine market for many players, and we would ordinarily welcome Voke adding a new option for smokers wishing to quit. However, they should not be trying to build their success by shoving vaping under a bus.”
The NNA demanded that Kind Consumer instruct its fund-raisers and marketers to abandon this approach.
“It is unhelpful and shameful opportunism. If their product has merit, they should not have to sink to employing baseless scare stories which have deterred large swathes of smokers from switching away from lit tobacco,” Britain’s leading tobacco harm reduction charity concluded.
Ecigclick’s Neil Humber contacted Kind Consumer and was told that the company would be removing the slide from future presentations. It told him: “The blog [from the NNA] makes reference to a slide from a commercially confidential US specific presentation. The data referenced in the slide is in the public domain and was reported in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.”
“However, our goal is not to be anti-e-cigarettes or vaping so we have removed this data from the presentation. Kind Consumer’s aim is, and has always been, to help people cut down and or stop smoking.”
Vapers can aid the New Nicotine Alliance’s work by becoming a supporter for free [link] or making a donation [link]. The board of trustees volunteer their time, so all funds go directly to supporting the work to promote the consumer’s choice to use nicotine and reduced harm products.