THREE AUSTRALIAN anti-vaping advocates posted an article on The Conversation yesterday supporting further restrictions on nicotine vaping. The article is truly awful. Here are a few reasons why.

The article is fatally flawed by

  • Cherry-picking data
  • Misinformation and false claims
  • Lack of context for claims
  • Exaggerating harms
  • Understating benefits

Here are several of the more egregious flaws:

1. “evidence for e-cigarettes helping people quit smoking is inconclusive”

False. Vaping is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy in randomised controlled trials and is increasing quit rates in countries such as the UK and US where it is widely available.

2. “e-cigarette use in US secondary schools increased 78% in 12 months”

More importantly, youth smoking fell in the US by an unprecedented 25% in 2019.

  • Vaping is diverting kids from smoking
  • Most youth vaping is experimental and short term
  • Regular vaping by never-smokers is rare
  • Nearly all smoke before they vape (88% in the US)
3. “there is no scientific basis for the claim that vaping is 95% harmful”

False. This estimate is based on comprehensive, independent evidence reviews  by the UK Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England.Switching from smoking to vaping leads to

  • dramatic reduction in harmful toxins
  • substantially reduced ‘biomarkers’
  • improved health outcomes
4. “the tobacco industry and retail sector promote e-cigarettes

In the US, promotion is unfettered due to Constitutional barriers. In the UK, advertising is strictly controlled. Australia should follow the UK model. 

Read full article here.

Colin Mendelsohn – Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association – July 14, 2020.

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