Leading academics would love you to keep smoking

It is very rare for me to post something whilst I’m still incredibly angry after reading an article. But in this case, I’m going to make a bloody big exception.

For a while now the anti-vapor organisations have been setting a pretty dismal standard in their attempts to either discredit vapers or the vapor market. It seems that there is nothing they won’t do, no low they won’t stoop to.


Quit Victoria proudly supported by VicHealth, the Heart Foundation, the Australian Cancer Council and of course the State Government for Victoria are calling for all electronic cigarettes to be outlawed.  We know that Australia is a bit backwards when it comes to harm reduction strategies and more than a little draconian in terms of tobacco control, but this is a move that is decidedly stupid. Even by their own dumb actions.


“A new generation becoming hooked on smoking”. There it is again, the bloody gateway theory which has been debunked so many times and so hard by so many actual experts that it is a wonder that it can still be bandied about. But there it is. In black and white.  But, what did you expect when the leading expert in tobacco control is pulling the strings?

It comes as a leading health academic warns there is scant evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes, despite makers’ claims that their products have harmless doses of nicotine.

“Scant evidence”. It’s only evidence if it coincides with his twisted sense of evidence. Remember, this comes from the person that believes quitting smoking by ‘cold turkey’ is the only method that should be available. He has no time for NRT, or any other alternative which of course includes vapor products.


I would dearly love to see inside this persons head, just for a moment to try to figure out which planet he is actually from. No evidence exists that those who successfully switch to a vapor product have ever relapsed back to smoking. Nor is there any evidence anywhere that suggests those that pick up a vapor product move on to smoking.  Thanks to a follower on Twitter, I’ve been able to read Simone’s letter, and it truly is disgraceful.

Parallel laws banning sales of tobacco products to children have existed in Australian states since 1900.1 These laws have long been ignored by many retailers2 and are poorly enforced. Prosecutions are rare, with the laws being largely symbolic gestures.

You’ll remember of course that the Greens in NSW also called for complete prohibition along with ‘tougher laws’ and more prosecution. Seems Chimpan fully endorses this, either that or he planted the idea in the first place. Can never really tell with that person moron, but I suspect the latter.

The tobacco industry long ago perfected pious expressions of public concern about juvenile smoking, while knowing how essential new cohorts of young smokers are to its very survival as an industry.


The trouble here is, that whilst the tobacco industry do seek to have more customers (what business wouldn’t?), by adding draconian restrictions, bans and other control efforts has probably made it easier for the younger generations to take up smoking. See, the smoking rate whilst falling hasn’t dropped as much as those in tobacco control would like yet sales are dropping. Wonder where these youngsters are getting their smokes from then?

Australian data on daily EC use are unavailable, with a 2013 national survey finding that 15.4% of smokers aged 14 years or over had used them at least once in the past 12 months, despite sales of nicotine liquid or “juice” being illegal here.

So 15.4% of current smokers (back in 2013) had tried a vapor product. Note the word tried there. There isn’t any evidence to say that they dual use or have switched completely, instead they focus on the fact that the younglings have tried a vapor product. You know, gotta skew those results to get big scary headlines.

advocates argue that there is thus no evidence for any gateway effect where nicotine initiation through vaping predicts uptake of smoking at higher rates than would occur without EC use.

If Chimpman actually bothered to read the surveys and raw data, he would actually see that there is no gateway effect, not in the US or the UK and certainly not down under either. It is a myth, always has been and always will be.

Here though, a potential coalmine canary comes from a repeated Polish cross-sectional study, blithely dismissed as an outlier by vaping advocates. It found current use of ECs among Polish adolescents was dramatically higher in a 2013–14 sample than in a 2010–11 sample (29.9% v 5.5%) and that the prevalence of smoking tobacco cigarettes also increased (38% v 23.9%)


I don’t suppose that he’s bothered to look at Sweden has he? Where tobacco harm reduction products, like snus are available and endorsed, yet they have the lowest smoking and cancer rates. Odd that, I suppose that Sweden is an outlier.

There are concerns that the devices will entice young people to take up the habit because the products come in cherry, vanilla and berry.

To be honest, if it was a choice between a youth taking up smoking or vaping I would prefer they vaped if they had to choose. To my mind, it isn’t much of a concern considering that vapor products have been identified as being less addictive at least that is what surveys and studies from the UK are suggesting.

The NSW government recently banned the sale of e-smokes to children, but Prof Chapman said similar laws for tobacco had been poorly enforced.

Oh so it isn’t a marketing issue now, it’s one of enforcing existing rules. Make up your mind Chimpman, you’re confusing people.

Director of Quit Victoria Dr Sarah White wants a ban on the retail sale of all e-cigarettes and the advertising and promotion of the devices and an extension of smoke-free laws to cover the products.

Like many other places, they want vapor products bundled up with tobacco products and regulated as such. Doesn’t really seem fair, especially considering there is no tobacco in a vapor product.

Evelyn Ek, a spokeswoman for Health Minister Jill Hennessy, said the State Government was consulting with experts on this issue.

Well, we know exactly which ‘experts’ they are consulting with don’t we, and there is only one thing they are ‘experts’ in, and it isn’t vaping or health.

Dr White said there was no evidence nicotine-free e-cigarettes helped people quit smoking.

Interesting that this Dr White specifically mentions nicotine free vapor products here. It’s almost as if she knows that those that contain nicotine do actually help and doesn’t want to, you know shoot herself in the foot with a misleading statement. Oh wait.

“Perhaps one day we will see an e-cigarette go through proper trials and testing processes and be approved for use as a cessation aid. Until that happens, though, these devices should be banned,” she said.

This I find particularly interesting. Let’s be honest, what kind of “trials” did cigarettes go through hmm? We as vapers do not want our devices “approved” as a cessation aid. Why? Well, for one they aren’t intended for that purpose. They are an alternative to traditional cigarettes. The fact that almost all users have ceased using tobacco products is a beneficial side effect, for us anyway. The other thing that bugs me about this statement, how can they conduct the ‘proper trials and testing processes’ if they ban them?

I guess it would only be clinical trials, which are pretty much useless in the real world.

No, this ‘call’ from Quit Victoria is just another attempt, and a poorly disguised one at that to discredit a successful product that has done something that they have been unable to do. Help smokers.

And there’s more:

Pied Pipers in the vaping and tobacco industries have attempted to argue that concern about EC uptake in youth who would have never used any nicotine product is nothing but barely disguised moralism, akin to railing against innocuous caffeine. If they are right, those urging caution about soft touch regulation will have simply been wrong. But if the EC advocates are wrong, a less than benign genie with its pharmacological clutches around millions of young people may be extremely difficult to put back in the bottle

Once again, the vapor industry as small as it is, is being bundled up along with the tobacco industry.  As far as I know, many vapers and advocates don’t want youth vaping, but if it is a choice between them taking up cigarettes or vaping, then choose the less harmful of the two. I do find it odd that they continue to attack vaping using the “nicotine addiction” theory, but isn’t the replacement therapy made from the same stuff?

Oh that’s right, I forgot. It’s magical unicorn farts and fairy dust.


One thought on “Leading academics would love you to keep smoking”

  1. Thank you for an excellent rundown of that piece of shite article. Pharma, tobacco control extremists, the government, fake charities (Cancer Council and Quit orgs), and the tobacco companies, are all squealing like stuck pigs to get vaping banned in Australia. When you remove the fake concern over “the cheeeldren” and the fake concern about health, you are left with the only conclusion possible, and the only common denominator that all these vested interest groups care about, MONEY.

    Vaping is the biggest threat to the status quo of tobacco smoking, that any of these vested interest groups have faced, no wonder they’re having a collective conniption fit.

    When my non-smoking friends and family, are questioning why the government and ANTZ groups want to stop people giving up smoking, because it is simply illogical to anyone who actually cares about smokers, you can be pretty sure that the lies they are constantly spewing out, are not working.

    Tick Tock……

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