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OWN #7 | 20-26 MAY 2019

Another local news story this week, this one selectively quoting studies that "prove" vapign is as bad as smoking - quality journalism. While over in the UK, a new study finds that vaping can double the success rate of quitting smoking. And in Canada, the tobacco companies are calling out vaping for targeting teenagers - the hypocrisy is too obvious. Let's dig in.

Remember World No Tobacco Day is this week on 31 May 2019 - just keep vaping!

South African journalism at it's worst

A staff reporter from Alex News has written an opinion piece (drenched in one sided subjective reporting) tagged as "local news". In this "article" they go on to "report" on the assumptions made by a local anti-tobacco group based on the findings of a Harvard study (regarding contaminants found in e-liquid).

Now I'm all for getting to the facts, but citing the quality of e-liquid from the USA as a measure for the quality worldwide seems a little overzealous - after all, the USA is a country with a 10-20% obesity rate among children aged 2-19 (you can look that up). Clearly they're very concerned with what they allow their children to put in their bodies.

The next target is vape packaging and flavours. Claiming that colourful packaging of these products in "upmarket malls" is targeting the youth. I happy meals are okay - clearly they have no effect on our youth's health.

The next claim is that the youth are idiots who know nothing. Except it's not our youth, it's the youth in the USA, the same country we cited previously as having out of control school shootings. And even assuming it's true, should it not fall on the parents and teachers to educate the children rather than ban that which is harmful to them - after all how do they know not to drink alcohol?

The final call is for government to expedite the local vaping regulation - which in it's last seen form would effectively wipe out local vaping completely.

Now, I'm all for regulation - the industry needs to follow certain standards when manufacturing products that are intended for mass consumption. Tax on vaping products could in fact help our flailing economy and give government an "easy" extra income. And lowering the number of smokers has a huge benefit for public health spending - so anything that helps in this regards is a good thing.

Studies all over the world, showing the positives of vaping (such as the next story) is being utterly ignored in this "article". This is a purely subjective opinion piece, with no consideration of the other side of the story.

Well done Alex News for the quality reporting we've come to expect from the majority of local media. Additionally, not a single link to any study or article was provided - it must all be true.

I know there are no quotes from the "article"...this was intentional, so as not to lower the standard of this post. You can read the full write up here:

A quick note

After reading the above section it dawned on me that I seemed very one-sided myself. And I suppose I too am a little subjective here - the fact remains that there are a lot of unknowns still with vaping. However, as a 20+ year smoker turned vaper, empirically I have found vaping to be a life saver and the single biggest positive health step I've ever taken in my life.

Perhaps there are serious dangers to vaping - the proof just seems very thin as of this writing. And yet these dangers get continually "reported" as fact, while more often than not they are debunked as completely wrong or inconclusive.

The fact remains that most people I've met who have used vaping as a means to quit smoking claim to feel healthier than they ever had while smoking. Vaping is, and should remain, a smoking cessation product - helping the millions of people who would otherwise die from smoking related complications.

The youth should always be educated on the dangers of certain products - such as alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. This is our responsibility - these products should not be banned or removed just because they are harmful to children. We as a society should not censor peoples freedom of choice - that is a slippery slope.

This is just my humble opinion.

Vaping can double the success rate of smoking cessation

Research funded by Cancer Research UK analysed the success rate of stop-smoking methods, including e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches and gum, and Pfizer's varnicline (Champix).

The study involved 19,000 people in England who had tried to quit smoking over the preceding 12 months. The study data was collected over a 12 year period from 2006 to 2018. Success was defined as those who said they were still not smoking.

The study found that e-cigarette users had a 95% increase success rate, while Champix had an 82% increased success rate - compared to those who tried to quit with no aids.

"Our study adds to growing evidence that use of e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit," said Sarah Jackson, a professor at University College London who co-led the study.

Furthermore, smokers who were prescribed an NRT by a medical professional were 34% more likely to succeed. Those buying NRT from shops had no extra likelihood of succeeding than those who used no aids.

Peter Hajek, director of the tobacco dependence research unit at Britain's Queen Mary University of London, had the following to say about the study:

They help smokers quit at least as much as stop-smoking medications, and they are used by many more smokers. This means they generate many more quitters and do this at no cost to the NHS (National Health Service).

Read the full article below:

Big tobacco vs vaping

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (as big tobacco as it gets) is pushing to restrict the sale of vaping products to the youth in Canada. This would be a great thing, if it weren't for the layers of hypocrisy this is drenched in.

"We support the government's goal of curbing youth vaping to help the next generation set Canada on a path to be smoke-free," Peter Luongo, managing director of RBH, says in a release.

They go on to say that flavours which appeal to the youth should also be banned and responsible marketing practices should be adhered to - rewind 40 years and imagine a tobacco company saying this.

And the best quote of them all:

"Ottawa can bring an end to cigarettes faster by stopping a new generation from getting hooked on nicotine and helping today's generation of adult smokers who won't quit to make a change," Luongo adds.

So effectively, here's someone who would like their business to be destroyed - but please also destroy vaping in the process. Also, please forget everything we've done over the last 50 years :) Read it all here:

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