Capewell’s Delusional Ignorance

Posted 23rd November 2020 by Dave Cross
 Capewell’s Delusional Ignorance lead image
Anti-vape Professor Simon Capewell has distinguished himself once more with yet another display of delusional ignorance. In an attack on The E-Cigarette Summit and the list of distinguished speakers taking part, he accused them all of being “stooges” and “useful idiots” for the tobacco industry.

Capewell is a professor in Public Health and Policy at the University of Liverpool and has found himself in frequent demand by the media as it sought negative balancing opinions each time a positive vape news story has emerged.

In 2015, following the launch of the ground-breaking Public Health England report [link], Capewell (and Martin McKee) attack the 95% safer figure and cast aspersions on the motivations of those supporting it.

Capewell and McKee’s comments drew swift condemnation.

Profession Linda Bauld said: “Their arguments against the PHE report and related evidence can be easily critiqued. Whether intentional or not, instead of promoting public health, the very considerable influence and energy of these colleagues is discrediting the work of the leading nicotine and tobacco researchers who authored the PHE report.”

Professor Paul Aveyard said: “In my opinion, McKee and Capewell appear unable to see the forest for the trees. While they pick individual studies, the totality of evidence is clear.”

Professor Robert West added: “This topic requires careful, reflective analysis and research, not propaganda.”

Capewell didn’t listen.

Just a selection of his outpourings:

  • Attacked Sainsburys for stocking Juul products [link]
  • Whipped up baseless fears of a UK teen vaping epidemic – [link]
  • Added his name to an ignorant letter – [link]
  • Attacked flavours – [link]
  • Insulted a celebrated expert – [link]
  • Repeated attacks on the initial PHE report – [link]

With the news that The E-Cigarette Summit is set to take place at the beginning of December [link], Capewell took to Twitter to do more hash-tagging. The “Family man, gardener, European” semi-coherently wrote: “Annual #eCig Summit 2020 Dec2020! #vape? Watch #BigTobacco -Funnel $$$ to stooges & #UsefulIdiots -Push biased #HarmReduction ‘evidence’

His post tagged the ex-deputy chair of the British Medical Association council, a serial anti-vape troll, the Shadow Health & Social Care Secretary, an academic, the retired Stanton Glantz, “an intersectional feminist who loves to cook”, and a few anti-vape organisations.


Unfortunately for Capewell, The E-Cigarette Summit “is solely funded through individual delegate ticket sales. The event does not seek or accept any sponsorship/external funding from any outside organisation either commercial or government funded. The editorial program is researched and written by Smooth Event Management who have no commercial links or involvement with the tobacco, pharmaceutical or electronic cigarette industry.”

None of the invited speakers have received any direct or indirect funding from the tobacco industry.

Clive Bates, a genuine expert, responded to Capewell’s ridiculous comment: “So says an opinionated amateur from the sidelines who so poorly understands the tobacco/nicotine field that he doesn't realise that in the unlikely event his views were taken seriously, he would be protecting the cigarette trade, promoting smoking and adding to the body count.

“The conference line up is really quite impressive. Are you seriously calling these experts useful idiots or stooges? I guess the quietly conscientious academics featured here are not spending their time tweeting baseless smears, but getting the work done.”

Despite having had the truth pointed out to him, like on all the previous occasions he’s made a fool of himself, Capewell has not retracted his tweet or apologised for his gross error. Capewell has spent the last week making multiple calls on Twitter for two politicians to resign. Maybe it’s about time he considered his own position.



  • Capewell’s tweet – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.