Vaping News

2022 - The First Quarter

Over Christmas we look back at our busy year with hundreds of news stories covered, picking out some of the important stories

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 dive in to the first three months.

The first quarter of 2022 gave an indication of how local authorities planned on treating vaping as news broke of multiple Trading Standards departments conducting raids on shops selling to underage buyers or stocking illegal products.

From Walsall and Newcastle to Liverpool and Middlesbrough, officers worked with the police to issue warnings, confiscate products not registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and proceed with court action in the worst cases.

Invariably, the illegal stock consisted entirely of counterfeit disposable ecigs containing illegal quantities of nicotine.

We are particularly concerned about products, such as those we have removed from sale, which are clearly aimed at children and young people,” was a comment that highlighted the second area of concern for policy makers this year.

From a point where every vaper knew or knew of all of the other vapers in the country, the tight knit community has been diluted by the millions of smokers switching to vaping. There would be a number of markers this year indicating that e-cigarettes have moved to a different level – but none sadder than the news that the UK Vapers forum had finally closed down.

While the UK has pursued a path of common sense and evidence-based policy making, the hysteria gripping the USA reached new heights as school kids were strip searched in a hunt for e-cigs.

The school superintendent was eventually charged, resigned from her position, but charges of false imprisonment were eventually dropped.

Historically anti-vape, Mark Drakeford’s administration announced that Wales is aiming to become smoke free. While the evidence continued to grow that supports the use of ecigs as a harm reduction tool, vaping is still under the spotlight and open to attacks based on the boom in disposable products.

POTV owner Toby Kilroy wrote a piece about disposables giving an overview to the subject, but concerns over the waste they produce grew across 2022. “Vape usage is growing in Bournemouth, and so is the environmental impact,” said Sophie Wheeldon.

Some companies took a proactive stance; Evapo carbon offset scheme that involves planting a tree for every four disposables sold, 888 boosted its green credentials, and Riot Labs launched the world’s first “carbon-negative” disposable.

Others didn’t think this was important.

Market leaders Geek Bar and ElfBar were repeatedly asked about their plans for sustainability, the inclusion of single use plastics in their production process, and what they were going to do about recycling spent items. POTV still hasn’t received a coherent response.

Instead, Geek Bar spent the year focussing on its drive “to crack down on counterfeit and non-compliant disposable vape products”.

Geek Bar takes its responsibility to its customers very seriously,” it said – just not to their national and international environment.

In the world of research, we discovered that free starter kits from Smokefree Norfolk helped smokers to quit. We also found out that switching to vaping was even beneficial to smokers receiving a diagnosis of tobacco-related cancer, thanks to the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos made the case for flavours in tobacco harm reduction, experts crushed allegations that secondhand nicotine vape exposure exists, and Action on Smoking and Health with the support of Cancer Research UK highlighted the challenge faced by stop smoking services due to continual government underfunding.

Challenges faced by stop smoking services stretched out to the NHS as an audit by the British Thoracic Society discovered more than half of smokers being admitted to hospital failed to receive quit advice.

On a more surreal level, anti-vape researchers attempted to claim that vaping leads to floppy penises and reduces male fertility. Laughable studies but a drop in the ocean compared to the fantasy science going on in a study claiming: “the immediate toxic effects of e-cigarettes far outweigh those of conventional cigarettes”.

John Dunne, the director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association responded: “We have the greatest respect for the medical profession but for one of its leading journals to carry an article which states that there is no robust evidence to show that vaping has accelerated smoking cessation is quite unbelievable and completely untrue.

In politics, one of our many Health secretaries of 2022 promised a “vape revolution”. In reality, the only thing it managed during the entire year was to commission Javed Khan OBE to produce a review of its tobacco control policies.

The New Nicotine Alliance submitted twenty policy proposals to Javed Khan that “go all in on tobacco harm reduction” and we waited to see what would come from the process. Scotland also launched a review and the New Nicotine Alliance contributed comments to that too.

In the lead up to VApril, the industry released vape vending machines, annual reports, and cautioned about levying VAT on harm reduction products. Totally Wicked sponsored Blackburn Rovers FC – marking them out as a better club than Sunderland (but more of that to come later in the year).

While a new ban on vaping in Mexico and Malaysia would prove to have little global impact, news that China planned to shift its position on vaping would come to have a catastrophic impact for some. Banning a range of e-liquid flavours was just a start.

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