UKVIA Calls For An End To Misinformation

Posted 4th May 2020 by Dave Cross
Public Health England (PHE) released its evidence update on vaping just over a month ago, providing a warning that misinformation is causing a problem and preventing smokers from switching to vaping. The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has amplified the call for honesty when discussion tobacco harm reduction.

PHE launched the evidence update by stating its advice remained the same: that smokers should switch to e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking, but non-smokers should not take up vaping.

“E-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco but are not completely safe” wrote PHE. “They contain significantly less harmful chemicals which cause diseases related to smoking but the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes will remain unknown for some time.”

Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies and Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, said that the figures of those scared to make the switch, released by PHE, were “disturbing”.

“Smoking remains the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK, and using electronic cigarettes is an effective means of quitting smoking. [The figures] highlight the urgent need for media campaigns to make sure that all smokers understand that switching to e-cigarettes is one of the most effective ways of quitting smoking and protecting their health.”

UKVIA agrees.

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John Dunne said: “This provides further and concrete evidence that vaping has a crucial role to play in changing the lives of smokers around the country and it dispels the myths that youth vaping is currently a major issue. However, it also tells us that the gross misinformation that has been spread about the safety of vaping has had an effect on consumers’ perceptions of e-cigarettes which could greatly influence their decision to switch from smoking which carries significantly more health risk.”

“We welcome the fact that PHE went as far to highlight that vaping, as we know it, should not be confused with cannabis vaping or vaping of other illicit substances and restated that the recent deaths in the US, which has significantly affected the vaping industry in the UK, appeared to be caused by vaping the cannabis derivative THC oil and vitamin E acetate.”

“It is crucial that we put a stop to all of the misinformation on vaping out there. As PHE concluded in their review, increasingly incorrect perceptions among the public about the harms of vaping could prevent some smokers using vaping products to quit smoking. The fact, as highlighted in their report, that the proportion of current smokers who have not tried vaping products has remained at 37%, supports this view.”


  • PHE evidence update, POTV – [link]
  • Evidence update reactions, POTV – [link]
  • Scaremongering called out, POTV – [link]
  • UKVIA combats vape fiction (2019), POTV – [link]

Image by memyselfaneye from Pixabay

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