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Vape Live: Day 2 in the Auditorium

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We returned to our virtual auditorium for another packed day of informative talks.

We had another stellar line up of speakers from all over the UK, Europe and the US, once again showing the value of the online format.

Remember: You can watch all these videos via the Vape Live Auditorium for the next four months.

Nicotine and the New Drug War: The Case for Tobacco Harm Reduction With Harry Shapiro

Harry has worked in the drug harm reduction field for more than 40 years. It was fascinating to get his insight on tobacco harm reduction in 2021.

Harry talked about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) hypocrisy in refuting the principle of tobacco harm reduction. The health body is ‘fully signed up’ to HIV and drug harm reduction but maintains a ‘quit or die’ approach when it comes to tobacco.

He also said that the WHO was coming from a moralist, anti-nicotine position.

“The tragedy of all of this is, you can’t conduct a war against nicotine, you can’t conduct a war against drugs, you can only conduct a war against the people who use them.

“So in this attempt to try to eliminate nicotine from the social and cultural landscape is destined to fail, and by and large will only result in many people reverting back to the most dangerous way of consuming nicotine that there is.”

How to Overcome the Challenge of Winning Customers Back into Vape Stores With Caroline Eccles, UK Vapour Brands

Vape shops were closed for four months during the last lockdown. In that time, vapers had to rely on supermarkets and convenience stores.

This shift in shopping habits means that vape shops will have to work hard to win back their customers.

Caroline had some great suggestions to achieve this, including promotions, social media events and loyalty schemes.

Why I Campaigned for Vape Flavour Bans…and Why I Quickly Changed My Mind With US Politician Julie Casimiro

Many US politicians have sadly dug their heels in when it comes to e-cigarettes, with few deviating from the ‘flavours are addicting our kids’ narrative.

But Julie Casimiro of the Rhode Island House of Representatives came around when she saw for herself just how important flavours are for adults wanting to quit smoking.

She said:

“I had so many people tell me that if we didn’t get the flavours back, that they would mix their own in their basement or they’ll go back to cigarettes. Vaping is helping people quit. And that’s what’s important at the end of the day.”

Robert opened with some insight on the many ways we use harm reduction in everyday life.

As well as contraception, helmets and seatbelts, he draw parallels with e-scooters, which came to prominence around the same time as the EVALI epidemic struck. Both showed how new technologies could be beneficial but need effective regulation to mitigate risk.

“It is critical that we look seriously at the huge potential public health benefits that can be obtained by putting in place a global product regulatory system that will give millions of people science-based options for reducing disease and death caused by smoking.”

Robert Naouss, RELX

Excessive Regulation in Germany With Michal Dobrajc, Chairman of German Vaping Industry Association VdeH

The TPD2 was supposed to harmonise vaping regulation across the EU. But Germany’s interpretation shows just how varied it is across the region.

The country also has its own safety regulations independent of the TPD, which can make shipping from the UK to Germany quite high risk.

Meanwhile, all liquids which can be used for vaping – regardless of nicotine content – were brought under TPD2 in January this year.

UK Vape Show Special With Aden Crew (Little Bro Vapes), Victor Mullin (Vaping with Vic) and Adam Hutton (Retro Vape TV)

The UK’s biggest vape show drew a huge audience, with the presenters on top form with the usual mix of banter and serious chat.

One big topic of conversation was the closure of vape shops during the last lockdown and what this meant for the industry.

The guys also discussed the role of vaping in the NHS and the need for unification across the health service.

What Do Poor Policy Choices Mean for Vapers? With Clive Bates, The Counterfactual

Former Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) director Bates discussed the implications of bad policy choices and why policymaking for vaping products is all about avoiding perverse consequences.

Clive addressed a range of issues affecting vape policy around the world, including youth use, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan.

He concluded:

“If you block or make reduced-risk options less attractive or reduce their appeal, don’t be surprised if fewer smokers switch and more vapers relapse back to smoking.”