IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE.
Saturday 7th December 2019.
Right then, it saddens me that once again I'm here defending Vapers and Vaping from click bait tabloid stories based on debunked science or completely unfounded opinion. What's more disappointing is the tabloids that seem happy to spread fear and misinformation in return for money. Frustratingly there's also a large amount of people who continue to be duped and take these headlines verbatim and consider them fact.
I'm disappointed to report that there is a small group of mindless cretins who have glanced at a headline and feel this justifies them in shouting abuse at strangers in the street. I unequivocally state right here and now, SHOUTING ANY KIND OF ABUSE AT FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR. What makes these particular imbeciles so laughable is they actually have no idea what they are talking about and fall to pieces when asked to back up their comments, absolutely pathetic !
For those that, for some reason presume otherwise, it's worth noting that Vapers are not blind to the risks of Vaping, they have a vested interest in the products they use and the science based evidence as it unfolds. No one is claiming Vaping is 100% safe, the important distinction is harm reduction and that Vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Thankfully we are very privileged in the UK, where actual unbiased scientific studies have been undertaken and the evidence continues to be monitored.
Making informed decisions about Vaping is continually made difficult by the sheer disregard for human life given by Tabloids publishing these frankly bullshit stories based on bullshit 'studies'. 'Studies' that are conducted by supposed 'professionals/scientists/universities' who are more often than not, funded by Big Pharma or Big Tobacco.
It's no surprise the waters are so often muddied, here's what you need to know.
[Facts based on actual unbiased scientific studies conducted by professional British healthcare organisations. Studies that continue to be backed by Public Health England and the NHS amongst countless other healthcare professionals]
- Vaping is at least 95% Safer than Smoking
- Vaping is a vital harm reduction tool in the fight against smoking related diseases and deaths
- We do know exactly what's in eliquid, the UK has some of the strictest Electronic cigarette and eliquid regulations in the world
- Ecigarettes, eliquids and related products are are restricted by age and not sold to minors.
- Any use of ecigarettes by minors is a result of a very small number of retailers or individuals not obeying the law
- Vaping saves lives
- Smoking Kills
- There are at least 3 million Vapers in the UK of which a high proportion no longer smoke
- Smoking rates continue to drop in the UK
- Smoking rates among adolescents continues to drop in the UK
- There is no evidence that Vaping is a 'gateway' to smoking
- There is no evidence that Vaping is harmful to bystanders
- A flavour ban in eliquids would turn Vapers back to smoking, discourage smokers from making the switch and cost lives
- High taxation or a sin tax on ecigarettes and eliquid would turn Vapers back to smoking, discourage smokers from making the switch and cost lives
- Big pharma and Big Tobacco's only focus is profit
- Big Pharma and Big Tobacco continue to fund 'studies' about Vaping
- 'Studies' funded by Big Pharma and Big Tobacco are more often than not, entirely biased
- Most of the recent tabloid headlines are rehashed stories based on studies that have no scientific basis or on studies that have already been debunked.
- WHO (World Health Organisation) continues to discard proven science from the UK and risks people's lives in doing so
- The BMA (British Medical Association) continues to hang onto WHO's unfounded opinions and advice regarding Vaping. Risking people's lives in doing so, all whilst representing the UK in EU policy making
- The CPME (Standing Committee of European Doctors) continue to disregard proven science from the UK and are making recommendations on EU policy based on debunked and baseless 'studies'.
- It's criminal that health organisations with such power, influence and control are permitted to introduce policy and law based on ludicrous recommendations.
THE NEWS AND THE LIES BEHIND IT
The headlines continue to be awash with click bait stories about the 'dangers' of Vaping. Here's a few recent ones and why they are complete nonsense.
A letter from 16 paediatric health professionals published in the Guardian claiming “we cannot sit back and accept a blanket message from Public Health England that vaping is 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking”. This letter starting with “nobody knows exactly what substances are in these liquids”. This is indeed absolute rubbish, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency knows exactly what is in them, the UK's regulations are some of the strictest in the world. Supposedly professionals in paediatric health but entirely happy to ignore the evidence from ASH and Cancer Research UK that indicates Vaping is actually displacing smoking among adolescents. Also completely missing the fact that Vaping has helped many parents stop smoking and in turn protected their children from second hand smoke.
Ecigarettes produce carcinogens and dangerous chemicals released from heated metal coils, often at the same levels as cigarette smoke. What the story doesn't clearly state is that it's based on a study that tested certain ecigarettes but not in any real world capacity. The 'professionals' who conducted this study would not confirm whether they actually used any eliquid or not during their testing. They did however confirm that the temperature they were testing these coils at was in excess of 200 degrees. So to state the obvious, of course a metal coil is going to produce potentially dangerous levels of chemicals when excessively heated without any eliquid. This however, has no baring on the coils, ecigarettes and eliquids used in the real world.
Vaping Related deaths in the US. So this one has been drawn out for months now. A series of serious illness and deaths in the US and been touted as 'Vaping related' by anyone who has a laptop and a blog. These deaths and serious illness are a result of black market THC eliquids sold in the United States. These products are not legal or readily available in the UK and the ones that are legally available in the US are regulated. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has confirmed that more than 80% of the illicit THC eliquid samples they have received all contained high levels of a Vitamin E acetate used to thicken the liquids. Which is now strongly believed to be responsible for all of the cases of serious illness and deaths over the last few months in the US. Recommendation, don't buy black market THC eliquids or eliquids.
Vaping increases the risk of heart attacks. This story has been doing the rounds in one form or another for the last couple of years. What the study this story is based on actually showed is, in some cases a stiffness in some of the muscles of the heart during Vaping. What the study did not include is a comparison to the levels whilst someone is smoking. It also didn't include the recovery rate of a Vaper, or the recovery rate of a Smoker. The reality is the stiffness in the heart muscle due to Vaping is comparable to the same results in a person who has ingested caffeine.
Eliquid kills human cells. This story is based on a 'study' that was supposedly testing the effects of eliquid on human cells. So one would assume they'd use actual cells from a human and eliquid in vapour form right? You'd be wrong, cells synthesised in a lab were placed in a dish and covered in eliquid. In simple terms they drowned lab made cells in eliquid. How this is relevant, useful or applicable to real world use is a mystery.
Slightly off topic but one I'd like to include to further increase awareness of how unrealistic some of these 'studies' are and how dangerous and irresponsible government bodies, health professionals and tabloids are for using the results to further their own agendas.
CBD damages the liver. This one is particularly frustrating and laughable. The study this story is based on only ever conducted it's testing on mice, so it's not something any conclusions can be drawn from regarding the human liver. This is the best bit, this study conducted on mice had them consuming 25% of their own body weight in CBD. No one in their right mind would be ingesting 25% of their own body weight, it's absolutely ridiculous and renders the study entirely useless.
Whilst it's probably a good idea to be looking out for our health and taking in as much information as we can to make informed decisions, we shouldn't be using tabloid stories to do so. Read the stories, read the information, read the studies, check the facts and don't be a dick !
© 2019 JJ Allen.
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