Following the recent online E-Cigarette Summit, the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) says its imperative that science and evidence replace vaping scare stories as lives are at risk. The organisation says what viewers heard contrasted starkly with what is heard about vaping in mainstream media and politics.
The E-Cigarette Summit saw contributions from over 35 experts about vaping and novel nicotine products, almost all agreeing that they are key in the fight against smoking.
Commenting on the event Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said: “When we compare the tone and content of what was discussed at the E-Cigarette Summit with what we read and hear in media across the globe, the difference is stark. It was refreshing to hear measured and mature expert voices talking about realities without sensationalisation.
“The science is clear: vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and an effective smoking cessation method. It is the responsibility of the media and policymakers to understand the subject they want to regulate so eagerly better. The lives of millions of smokers are too important to be put on the line for clickbait headlines and the pursuit of anti-vaping ideology.”
Professor Jacob George of the University of Dundee spoke about the health effects of vaping, highlighted the importance of scientific honesty and criticised the recently published SCHEER report in failing in doing so. He said SCHEER’s opinion is “based on very poor-quality data”, that some of the studies that SCHEER classify as “strong” don’t even mention e-cigarettes once, and he criticised their use of “selective evidence.”
The Science Media Centre’s Press Officer, Tom Sheldon, also urged the media to change their way of reporting on vaping. He said, “where there’s controversy, there’s media,” and called for journalists to focus more on science and evidence on their vaping reporting and less on “scare stories”.
Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University then explained why “stopping people from vaping is unethical”. He went on to criticise anti-vaping arguments and noted that the “moral certainty” with which anti-vaping groups make their points is dangerous.
The WVA compiled a summary of the most important statements from all experts throughout the two days which can be found here:
It is time for politicians and journalists to listen to the experts in the field of harm reduction. Otherwise, the fight against smoking will not be successful. Maybe some will tune in next year for the E-cigarette summit”, concluded Michael Landl.
Publication: Planet of the Vapes, date: 17 December 2020