The experience of vaping

It’s one of the hottest topics in public health right now. It’s divided scientists and researchers across the globe. It’s even divided the community on some aspects of it. Vaping. A consumer driven market that has enabled 2.6 million people (UK) to either reduce the harms of smoking or stop smoking full stop.

The question that rattles around in my head regularly is why is this topic so divisive and why are so many intent on heavily restricting it? To that end, I try to go back to basics, with a little help from some friends. (more…)

Them or Us

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of being able to attend the e-cigarette summit at the Royal Society. It was an eye-opening experience, not least of which the number of speakers there exalting the positives of vaping, but it wasn’t that that was the most eye-opening. There were some that were conspicuous by their absence, and no I’m not talking about the opponents of e-cigarettes.

At some point during the day, two blog posts were released (here and here) which prompted the Spock eyebrow from me. (more…)

E-Cigarette Summit: The Debate Goes On

“Much has changed since we ran the inaugural Summit in 2013, when calls for medicinal licensing and outright bans on e-cigarettes were dominant”.

Reading that in the introduction and welcoming statement in the e-cigarette summit programme highlights, at least in the UK, just how far things have come. When you have the likes of Professor Ann McNeill, Professor Robert West, Professor Linda Bauld, Professor Marcus Munafò, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, Professor John Britton, Professor Peter Hajek, Professor Ricardo Polosa talking about e-cigarettes folk sit up and listen. The list of names that gave talks is far longer. Including Clive Bates, Louise Ross, Lorien Jollye, Sarah Jakes, Professor David Abrams, Oliver Kershaw, Andy Morrison, the Department of Health represented by Alette Addison, Public Health England by Rosanna O’Connor.

The list of folks reads like an “A” list of proponents for e-cigarettes. My first thought when I saw the agenda was a big “wow”. Given that I’ve heard some of the names listed speak (mostly on video replay), it was definitely going to be a busy day. Really, the sheer amount of information presented over the day could easily have filled two days with a more relaxed pace with a lot more time for Q&A and discussions between delegates. It’s my only gripe about the day, alright there’s two, 0530 is a horrible time for a wake-up call.

(more…)