IBVTA response to response to The Sun and Daily Mail articles
On Sunday February 28th, The Sun newspaper published an extremely misleading article about vaping which has since been picked up by the Daily Mail and some other news outlets. In the article it is claimed that a WHO report, supposedly released by their tobacco regulatory committee and which recommends to ban open vape systems, might be acted upon by the UK government.
What is puzzling about this story, is that we are not aware that such a report exists. For the sake of clarity, the IBVTA is clear in its belief that neither the WHO, nor any UK Government agency is suggesting that vaping should be banned in any form in the UK.
The next Conference of Parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC COP9) will be in The Hague later this year, so there is a massive opportunity for UK Government agencies to enlighten other countries on the amazing things that have been achieved so far. The IBVTA has already been in active dialogue with those agencies and other stakeholders, to help ensure an important part of recent UK social history is seen in a genuine and positive light.
The UK continues to be a world leader in harm reduction through vaping. There are now 3.2 million vapers in the UK, the majority of whom are ex-smokers. As the largest randomised control trial conducted to date shows that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as Nicotine Replacement Therapy for smoking cessation, more and more local stop smoking services and NHS Trusts are actively promoting the use of e-cigarettes as a quitting tool.
An evidence review carried out by researchers at King’s College London for Public Health England and published last week, once again came with advice from PHE that smokers should switch to vaping products to help them quit smoking.
This is the seventh annual report on vaping that PHE has produced and gives detail of excellent relative safety of vaping to smoking, reassuringly low youth uptake of vaping, and for the first time, incontrovertible evidence that vaping is effective in helping people to quit smoking; almost twice as effective as traditional NRT, in fact.
The IBVTA can only express disappointment that the UK media failed to notice this remarkably good news story, yet some were in favour of creating an alarming but totally misleading narrative over this past weekend.
This wealth of credible independent data has given the Government the confidence to take a more positive position towards vaping and the regulation of vaping. There is a thriving and responsible vape industry serving these consumers, and smoking rates are at a record low level.
It would be highly unlikely that the Government would pivot from their current supportive position on the basis of advice from the WHO, and ban the most effective and popular method of quitting used by the majority of vapers; open systems. This story therefore, appears to be a non story. Misleading at best, at worst an outright case of “fake news”.