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Vaping: Another con game for us

Why is Big Tobacco now giving health advice when typically coal mine owners don’t do so and McD’s or Mars don’t give advice on good eating? Big Tobacco is presenting itself as a company dedicated to our health and wellbeing despite producing a product that has killed countless millions of people over the past 100 years and will continue to kill countless millions in the years to come. You should genuinely commend the courage. 

According to David Waterfield, CEO of British American Tobacco’s (BAT) North-Western Europe Area, who wrote a piece for the Conservative Home website, there are currently more than three million vapers in England. David reminds us that since everyone here is quitting smoking, this is a good thing. Since 2013, he has believed that vaping is the most popular method for helping people stop smoking. According to David, less than 1% of vapers started vaping without previously smoking. This is fantastic news because vaping only causes a small portion of the harm caused by cigarette use. Nowadays, fewer than one in seven UK adults smoke, which is something to be pretty proud of, don’t you think? People will seek change when given actual options. David wonders how we can convince the remaining 6 million smokers to transition to vaping so that we can become a smoke-free society by 2030, without specifically claiming that his company is solely to blame for this amazing triumph in public health. David explains that BAT is dedicated to creating a better future in which smokers who might otherwise continue to smoke transition to less harmful substitutes like vaping. Sadly, this Better Tomorrow won’t be shared by the many millions of people who have died from smoking throughout the years and those who will die. 

David griped last week in an advertising for the Spectator, grinning out from the full-page story, that regulations were needed to prevent minors from picking up vaping and to keep subpar vaping items off the market. He is such a kind and giving person that you almost want to like him. 

The tobacco industry is the only one that understands that if you want children to do something, you have to make it illegal. For David’s primary product line, cigarettes, it undoubtedly worked. And because they are becoming more and more popular among young people, we now understand that e-cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco use. According to a systematic review, teens who have used e-cigarettes are three to five times more likely to start smoking than teens who have never used them. 

Since the last research in 2015, the European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) revealed a 50% increase in e-cigarette use among adolescents aged 16 to 17 years. One in five (18%) teenagers have tried them, and close to 40% of them currently use them. According to a newly released ASH UK study on vaping among teenagers, the proportion of 11 to 17-year-olds who had ever tried an e-cigarette increased from 11.2% in 2021 to 15.7% in 2022. The usage of disposable vapes in this age bracket increased seven times, according to the survey, between 2020 and 2022. Nearly half of the young people polled who said they had seen advertisements for e-cigarettes on TikTok did so. This is a targeted marketing technique to introduce e-cigarette goods to teenagers and young adults. The strategies are straight from the playbook of “Big Tobacco.” 

Additionally, the assertion that e-cigarettes are a tool for quitting smoking is not supported by the facts. Reviews contrasting e-cigarettes with alternative methods of quitting smoking have been published on a number of occasions. Reviews revealed a greater risk of relapsing to tobacco use among e-cigarette users and found scant evidence to support the use of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. 

E-cigarette use has been associated in studies to an increased risk of coronary events over time. There is growing evidence that they have detrimental health consequences on the respiratory system, even if there is minimal evidence of an increased risk of cancer. 

Another issue with switching to e-cigarettes is that up to 40% of e-cigarette users still smoke conventional cigarettes, negating any advantages. According to a recent Irish Times article, although youth smoking had significantly decreased, the trend has reversed due to e-cigarette use. 

E-cigarettes and vaping are here to stay for the foreseeable future, but it’s important to understand that tobacco companies are primarily focused on recovering revenue losses as tobacco sales decline. Whether these products are safe or not, their primary market will ultimately be children and adolescents.

Ref: https://www.sluggerotoole.com/2022/11/26/vaping-were-being-fooled-again/

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