Members of the UK Parliament have been briefed on electronic cigarettes. The research briefing indicated that the growing body of evidence supports the fact that ecigs are less harmful than smoking. The briefing referred to the evidence presented by both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians that concluded that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
The briefing was meant to educate legislators on the truth about vaping and the potential to save lives. That’s in addition to the potential to save billions in health care costs by reducing smoking related illness. A recent EU directive regarding vaping has imposed standards that include limiting the nicotine content of e-liquids as well as limiting the e-juice capacity of ecig tanks. With the Brexit vote, the UK can impose more sensible standards that benefit public health.
The briefing also pointed out the the negative media hurled toward vaping is having a negative impact. A couple of years ago, only 7% of people in the UK thought that vaping was as bad as smoking. With the full on media assault on vaping launched from US media outlets, the negative perception of vaping has increased to 25%. In the US the negative view of vaping is much larger as the public is being purposely misinformed in order to derail the vaping movement.
One of the chief lanes of attack on vaping has been the false premise that vaping leads to smoking. The CDPH in California is actively promoting this false claim in tax payer funded media ads right now. This is irresponsible considering the evidence does not bear out that vaping leads to smoking. If you vape, you know this, of course. And the UK briefing made it clear to legislators that there is no evidence linking vaping to starting smoking.
The purpose of the briefing is to combat the misinformation and enable legislators to make decisions and assessments based on facts rather than innuendo. The briefing went so far as to show that there is evidence that vaping does indeed help smokers quit. This is something the FDA tobacco regulators will not admit to seemingly no matter how many personal testimonials they receive.
In an odd twist in absolute defiance of logic and consistency, the FDA gravitates toward data dredged surveys and admits those as evidence. By the same token, the tens of thousands of comments that they received from former smokers who quit with vaping do not make so much as a blip on their radar. Apparently, a rigged survey with a sample size of a couple hundred gets more consideration than tens of thousands of personal testimonials.
The UK is embracing the benefits of vaping for the obvious potential to benefit public health. We can only hope that saner heads will ultimately prevail here in the US. Perhaps someday the FDA will actually listen to vapers and realize that vaping is not a public health menace but rather the biggest ally to the number one cause of preventable death. We hope that sooner, much sooner, rather than later US regulators turn their attention to product safety rather than the crushing regulations they have currently imposed.