Vaping News

2022 - Spring Has Sprung

Over Christmas we look back at our busy year with hundreds of news stories covered, now heading into Spring and lifting awards

Share on:
2022 has been another busy year in the world of vape as tobacco harm reduction has become cemented in the UK’s approach to reducing the damage caused by smoking. The same can’t be said of other nations. Our award-winning reporting has covered strip searches, ground-breaking research, political dithering, and industrious advocates – let’s see what was happening during Spring.

April began with Planet of the Vapes News picking up not one but two industry award nominations. In addition, our industrious, good looking and all-round great guy News editor was nominated for Advocate of the Year [*have you been tucking into the egg nog already? – Boss man] in the Vapouround Awards. Insurance at POTV Towers has now gone through the roof due to us lifting the “Best Vaping News Platform” from the UK Enterprise Awards.

Jacob Rees-Mogg was seeking people’s opinions on a matter other than which is the best vape news website. He wanted to know what petty European Union regulations could be abolished or changed. The New Nicotine Alliance gave him a list of things that would improve the attraction of vaping to smokers. Jacob Rees-Mogg did nothing.

Parliament debated the ambition to achieve smoke-free status in England by 2030, “Towards a smoke-free generation”, something the government has been talking about since 2019.

Back then, popular MP Matt Hancock promised the route to achieving Smoke Free 2030 would be paid for by a levy on the tobacco industry. Four years later, still no levy despite frequent calls from Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health, and other interested public health leaders. No one knows if it has anything to do with lobbying from the tobacco industry via some of their funded groups in Tufton Street – it’s a complete mystery.

Scotland’s consultation concluded that it should tighten regulations on the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes. It was immediately knocked by industry bodies the UK Vaping Industry Association and the Independent British Vape Trade Association. The Association of Convenience Stores, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, and the director of We Vape all hit back too.

Action to combat children vaping was also going a bit potty north of the wall as Cathkin High School decided the best approach was to lock the kids’ toilets. Angry parents abounded; “It’s been extremely heavy handed and feels like all the pupils are being punished for a small group of girls who are vaping regularly,” said one.

The European Union conducted yet another evidence gathering exercise, to which the New Nicotine Alliance and the European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates made submissions, but it transpired it only wanted to hear evidence it agreed with.

Making Smoking Obsolete”, the review of the government’s tobacco control policies conducted by Dr Javed Khan OBE was published. He made 15 recommendations, noting that four of them are critical for immediate attention:

  1. Increased investment in smoking cessation
  2. Increase the age of sale of tobacco
  3. Promote vaping to smokers
  4. Improve prevention in the NHS

Experts broadly welcomed the “list of sensible and important recommendations”.

This is a further endorsement of the importance of the independent vape industry if the government is to achieve its smokefree goal,” said the Independent British Vape Trade Association.

Fifteen leading public health academics pressed the government to heed Khan’s call for the immediate investment of £125 million in tobacco control to deliver on its Smokefree 2030 ambition. The government leapt into action and immediately gave us three more Health Secretaries, no investment or tobacco control plan.

This against a backdrop of the trickle of change in the NHS. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities updated its electronic cigarette guidance to health and care professionals. The latest document included include the latest NICE guidelines on vaping and The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training guidance on making e-cigarettes available through stop smoking service centres.

Aiding the NHS policy process, the Smoking Toolkit Study has been monitoring smoking and vaping in England for many years. In April, the STS’s remit was broadened to cover data from Wales and Scotland too. Hopefully this expansion will go some way to counter those opposed to vaping in the two nations.

When he was health minister, Mark Drakeford used duff science from the USA to support his push to ban vaping in Wales. The Scottish consultation demonstrated a similar willingness to embrace unevidenced opinions and misinformation. But then “most vape research is flawed and in need of urgent critical reform,” according to the Centre of Excellence for the acceleration of Harm Reduction.

Politicians would make better decisions if the devolved nations focussed on the STS data and independent UK research – research such as that produced by University College London’s Emma Beard, Jamie Brown, and Lion Shahab, which found that there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes are a gateway into tobacco use. It is vital they get this right during 2023 as the stark fact from America is frightening: imposing bans on vape products leads to an increase in tobacco sales.

Two key papers were published this quarter showing how effective ecigs can be. Firstly, for pregnant women, the study demonstrated the vaping worked to help pregnant women remain smoke free following the birth and had the same impact on birth outcomes as if they were non-smokers. Secondly, Dr Sharon Cox also showed how vaping can help the most economically deprived within society.

Still ignoring the environment, Geek Bar issued calls for Trading Standards to keep getting tough on unscrupulous traders and demanded an increase in the minimum fine for rogue businesses.

Other companies were busying themselves being more productive. Vaping101 and Dovpo raised money for Red Cross Ukraine, 1account launched a one-click age verification solution, and VPZ rolled out a vape coach support programme.

Vape Club went to the races.

But the biggest leap in tech for 2023 was made by Aquios Labs with the launch of its water-based solution to e-liquids, an offering that is claimed to be better at delivering clean flavours. The tech went on to make its retail debut with Innokin.

Advocacy organisations mobilised once more for the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day by again promoting vaping on World Vape Day. It was one of the subjects celebrated as evidence that advocacy works at the Global Forum on Nicotine #GFN22 in Warsaw, Poland.

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

Come To GFN24!

Everyone is going to be welcome at #GFN24 as organisers say it will be an “antidote” to clandestine WHO COP10 and its meetings behind closed doors

Vaping News

CAPHRA Repeats Call For Transparency

Consumer body CAPHRA has repeated calls for greater transparency and engagement from World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control officials

Vaping News

French Plans Will Push People To Smoke

The French government’s nicotine and tobacco policy risks pushing people towards cigarettes says a consumer advocacy organisation