E-Cigs and ‘dripping’: What Science isn’t Saying

There’s a new study doing the rounds at the moment. Well, I say “study” but it isn’t really. It’s yet another survey, with participants selected from eight southeastern Connecticut high schools from spring 2015. “This study is the first systematic evaluation of the use of dripping among teens,” says the lead author Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

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Public Health Wales failing Public Health

It is well-known that within the UK, each of the devolved areas have completely different priorities when it comes to “running” their little piece of the country. Wales tried, and spectacularly failed last year to bring in a new “Public Health (Wales) Bill” which would, in effect have severe negative consequences for Welsh vapers. That Bill, the demented offspring of one Mark Drakeford, was defeated at the final hurdle, not by the weight of evidence as it should have been long before it got to the final vote, but by the “cheap date” comment.

A victory is a victory. Whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning. In the case of Labour’s attempt to place a gagging order on the Welsh vaping community, we won.

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Our survey says….

Surveys. I’ve touched on the usual suspects upholding their own data as though it was the Holy Grail before. ASH is utterly remorseless when it comes to trumpeting their own data, usually for their own means, and they also heap scorn on data that contradicts their sacrosanct view of the populace. Typically, in the UK we have two primary sets of survey data on smoking – the ASH survey (hosted by YouGov) and of course the Smoking Toolkit Study.

Both of these, along with many others run by Cancer Research UK, consistently show that never-smoking-teens rarely pick up e-cigs. They also consistently show little or no progression from e-cigs to combustible tobacco. They also consistently show a decrease in smoking prevalence at the same time there’s an increase in e-cig prevalence. It’s hardly the silver bullet to prove (or disprove) “gateway” theories correct or otherwise; after all it is still perfectly feasible that some insanely curious folks will experiment with both. It’ll happen.

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Feel the Heat, not the Burn

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the news is awash with an announcement from Philip Morris saying that their Heat-not-Burn product iQOS is coming to the UK. London specifically – for the moment at least.

Well, so what you might be asking, why has a new product launch attracted so much press? The answer to that is two-fold. One, it’s a new product from a tobacco company. We all know how much folks are beginning to despise the tobacco industry – particularly those in tobacco control and public health. Two, it sits in the middle-ish of the “risk-profile” (if such a thing is to be believed) with combustibles at the top, abstinence at the bottom, NRT, e-cigarettes, and snus all feature.

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Another Bid to Ban Smoking: Consulting the Public

Thanks to Dick Puddlecote for reminding me about some more shenanigans from “public health” – this time in Sheffield. I had spotted this in my feed last week from Simon Clark but sadly work and my everyday life got in the way of putting finger to key.

Council chiefs are considering whether to ban lighting up outside hospitals and other NHS buildings, universities, council offices and leisure centres – and they are seeking the public’s views on the proposal.

Why am I not at all surprised about yet another attempt to impose draconian measures on an already heavily ostracised group? After all, it isn’t as if Sheffield Council have more important things to worry about is it?

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Consistently inconsistent

Readers will remember the “guidance” issued by Public Health England in a vague attempt to convince business owners, and other individuals that vaping in the workplace is not, in reality, such a bad thing, nor is it actually illegal. Folks will of course remember this post from Vapers in Power about banning smoking AND vaping on a beach. There is of course, this one where Nottinghamshire went beyond insanity and banned smoking AND vaping on any and all council owned property – including outside. I had a few words to say about that too.

Y’see, getting folks to change their mind on banning vaping in public places should be fairly straightforward right, or at least you’d think so. After all, there’s a substantial amount of evidence to support not banning it. But hey, if you’re in power who needs evidence? As demonstrated last month when Simon Cooke tried to introduce a more enlightened approach to vaping in Bradford. Simon wrote an article detailing just how far removed his fellow council members were as they put forward some daft and contrived justifications in order to dismiss the idea entirely.

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