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Advocacy

“Vape Truths” campaign hits back at “alarmist” misinformation

By Jordan Millar 23rd November 2022 6 Mins
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Listen up all you vape denialists; all you harm reduction haters, ‘quit or die’ devotees and ban happy regulators! We get it…between saving millions of lives and reducing the devastating health implications of cigarettes, vaping can be a complicated thing to grasp.

So it’s TOTALLY understandable that the world-shifting benefits of e-cigarettes can occasionally get lost in translation and, rather than promoting the public health power of vaping, you instead find yourselves peddling moralistic warnings. But there’s no need to fear…you’re in luck.

In a virtual mission to clear up ‘common misconceptions’ about vaping, harm reduction powerhouse and smoking cessation expert Colin Mendelsohn has released a collection of informative clips.

Inspired by eight ‘misleading’ videos from Queensland Health, the ‘Dr Col’s Vape Truths’ campaign was intended to combat ‘rampant misinformation’ touted by Australian health departments.

However, with tensions over vaping rising on a global scale, the clips might just be worth a watch by governments and independent organisations across the world.

The ‘Vape Truths’ campaign features eight short videos, which give the low-down on everything from the reduced risk reality of e-cigarettes to the fact that not one person has died from nicotine vaping…EVER.

OTHER KEY POINTS COVERED INCLUDE:

  • Vapour is far less toxic than cigarette smoke
  • Vaping significantly reduces the risk of cancer relative to smoking
  • Vaping nicotine does not cause serious harm to the lungs ·
  • Most of the chemicals in vapour are present at very low doses and most cause little or no harm

In an announcement ahead of the series, Mendelsohn condemned the ‘alarmist’ mistruths that are so often used to deter adult smokers from making the switch.

He said: “It is unacceptable for health authorities to provide untruthful information to the public and it will lead to more smoking-related deaths and illness.

“Dr Col’s Vape Truths are designed to help adult smokers get the facts on vaping so they can make informed decisions about switching.”

Naturally, we at Vapouround couldn’t wait to check out the videos and see what wisdom Dr. Mendelsohn would dish out…here’s what we took away from each instalment.

SECRET INGREDIENTS

In the first of the eight vape truths, Dr. Mendelsohn addressed wrongful beliefs that vapour is more toxic than smoke. He confirmed that smoke contains more than 7,000 toxic chemicals – dozens of which have been shown to cause cancer – while vapour contains just 100 chemicals in ‘very low doses’.

Recent evidence from Action on Smoking and Health UK showed that, even in countries that have a largely positive attitude towards e-cigarettes, perceptions on the relative risk of the two products are skewed.

Shockingly, it revealed that a third of British smokers believe vaping is more or equally as harmful as smoking.

TOXIC TRAITS

keeping on theme with the previous two videos, in this clip Mendelsohn dispelled concerns that vapes are deadly just because they contain toxic chemicals.

He highlighted that the danger doesn’t just come from the chemical itself, but from the dose as well, with many of the chemicals in vapour being present at low levels that cause ‘little or no harm’.

Another way to look at this is with apples; amazingly the seeds of this popular fruit actually contain amygdalin, which can turn into the killer hydrogen cyanide during digestion.

But there’s no need to panic, you’re not going to be poisoned if you accidently chow down on an apple core… you would have to eat hundreds or even thousands of these crushed seeds before you risk meeting your maker.

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF CANCER

It seems like there’s a shock horror headline or news story spewing terrifying links between e-cigarettes and cancer almost every day.

But is there any truth to the suggestion that vaping can cause the deadly illness…Dr. Mendelsohn says no.

In this clip, the founding chairman for the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) said that there ARE cancer causing chemicals present in vapour. However, he confirmed that these are in very low doses and the risk of cancer from smoking is 200 times higher than from vaping

A RESPIRATORY STORY

Another go-to claim from anti-vape advocates is that vaping nicotine can actually cause serious lung disease.

However, Mendelsohn assured viewers that, ‘despite what you might read in the media’, quite the opposite is true. He said that smokers who switch to the reduced risk alternative will actually experience improved lung health – even for those with asthma or COPD.

PUFFERY

Australian policymakers recently clamped down on the vaping industry, meaning that black market sellers had to find unsavoury ways to get around regulation. Dr. Mendelsohn stressed that there ARE vaping products out there that are labelled as nicotine-free, even though they do, in fact, contain nicotine.

But he said that these come from ‘dodgy and illegal’ sellers trying to get around customs and NOT from reputable businesses. The issue of illicit hardware is one felt across the globe and so, as Mendelsohn says in this clip, you should always buy your nicotine vaping products from trusted sources.

VAPING BLOWS

Despite all the warnings of long-term health impacts and deadly consequences, there’s one fact that anti-vape lobbyists just can’t overcome… …that after 15 years, there hasn’t been a single death ever caused by nicotine vaping.

Dr. Mendelsohn highlighted this – and the fact that serious side effects from vaping are ‘very rare’ – as a stark contrast to the claims that e-cigarettes pose a severe risk to health.

He also highlighted evidence from the Royal College of Physicians, which shows vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.

HUFFING AND PUFFING

There’s a huge list of potential benefits for adult smokers who make the switch to vaping…one of the most noticeable being the ability to breathe more freely.

In this clip, Mendelsohn highlighted that smokers report a ‘substantial’ improvement to their breathing after they trade in cigarettes for vaping. As a result, he said they are able to ‘exercise more easily’ and won’t need to cough as much

UP IN SMOKE

Capping off the eight-part video campaign, Dr. Mendelsohn suggested that many are asking the wrong question about vaping.

He said that, while people want to know if vaping is safe, they should really be asking ‘whether vaping is safer than smoking’. And the answer? Of course it is.

Mendelsohn said that people who make the switch to e-cigarettes not only experience ‘substantial health improvements’ but can even save money by moving away from costly smoking

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Jordan Millar