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Labour Attacks Vaping

A branch of the UK’s Labour Party has been promoting a private company’s attacks on vaping with its social media account

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The Devonshire and Meads branch of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, says it is working in the Ward “to make it a better place to live for everyone in our community.” This contrasts strongly with its promotion of a press release from Black Buffalo on Facebook, where the company makes some wild allegations.

Black Buffalo is the world’s only smokeless tobacco alternative that delivers the same experience as traditional smokeless products, just without any tobacco leaf or stem – the taste, the texture, the rich dark colour and, yeah, the nicotine,” says the company. [Link]

It provides its products in Mint, Straight, Peach, Blood Orange, and Wintergreen flavours.

In April, Black Buffalo raised $9.75 million in growth capital, “from an exceptional group of investors, including Pendyne Capital, Watchfire Ventures and Open Pantry Food Marts.”

Part of their growth strategy appears to be regurgitating the worst attacks on vaping from anti-harm reduction organisations in the United States. Originally, an article originally appeared on an online publication called The London Economic, something registered to a hotdesking office in London [Link].

Devonshire and Meads Labour Party placed the article in full on its website and promoted it to accounts via its Facebook page on Sunday. The headline ran: “E-cigarettes Are No Longer Better Alternatives to Smoking: How Tobacco-Free Dip May Be the Answer to Vaping Crisis”.

It begins by attacking vaping because it contains nicotine. An odd leading statement given it answers the question “Does black buffalo contain nicotine or tobacco?” by responding, “Nicotine: hell yes. Tobacco: nope. Black Buffalo contains tobacco-derived nicotine in our tobacco alternative long cut and pouches, but no actual tobacco leaf or stem. Our tobacco alternative dip products contain the same nicotine content as traditional smokeless brands.”

Then it veers off into an outright lie: “After years of vaping and using e-cigarettes, smokers began to run into some issues; mainly that vaping and e-cigs really weren’t that far off from smoking cigarettes, and even had some detrimental effects on health.”

Public Health England, the NHS, Cancer Research UK and ASH all state that vaping is orders of magnitude safer than smoking.

The article goes on to claim that eliquid contains a chemical found in antifreeze. A bottle of anti-freeze contains a large quantity of water – the argument may as well also warn people off from drinking cups of coffee, eating oranges, and to stop taking baths.

Additionally,” claims the Labour branch, “it’s been found that smokers who use these products to quit actually weren’t more successful in their efforts.” Worse, they suggest that vaping is "a fraud”, leaving users “just as addicted and presented significant health risk”.

This is wholly untrue. The NHS says: “Many thousands of people in the UK have already stopped smoking with the help of an e-cigarette. There's growing evidence that they can be effective. A major UK clinical trial published in 2019 found that, when combined with expert face-to-face support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed as people who used other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum.”

The Labour branch claimed vaping, “increases the likelihood of a COVID-19 diagnosis”. Again, this has been refuted by many bodies and the evidence to date shows that nicotine users are less likely to present in hospital with severe COVID-19 symptoms, although those who do suffer worse outcomes.

They even included this statement: “Vaping and e-cigs are just as addictive, still cause health problems, and are in no way healthier or safer than cigarettes.”

We have included links below to reports by Public Health England, Action on Smoking and Health, the Royal College of GPs, Cancer Research UK, the NHS, and the Royal College of Physicians which refute Labour’s statement.

The final 379 words of Devonshire and Meads Labour Party’s article is nothing but a promotion for Black Buffalo’s products.

Devonshire and Meads Labour Party and the Labour Party press office have been approached for comment. We asked if this was a paid for service, how much money was received, and if someone at Devonshire and Meads Labour Party holds an interest in Black Buffalo. Nobody has responded at the time of writing. Devonshire and Meads Labour Party removed its promoted link on Facebook and deleted the article from its website immediately after being contacted.


  • Devonshire and Meads Labour Party – [link]
  • Black Buffalo – [link]
  • Vaping in England: evidence update March 2020, Public Health England – [link]
  • ASH Briefing on electronic cigarettes – [link]
  • Royal College of GPs and Cancer Research UK’s joint position statement on e-cigarettes – [link]
  • Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking, NHS – [link]
  • Royal College of Physicians advice on vaping following reported cases of deaths and lung disease in the US – [link]

Photo Credit:

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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