There is no doubt that smoking is one of the biggest causes of serious illness in the UK and around the world
Around 78,000 people die from smoking each year in the UK, and countless more endure serious smoking-related diseases.
However, as last night’s ‘How Safe is Your Vape’ report showed, misplaced panic is putting society at risk of losing sight of that fact.
Its narrative relied heavily on the situation in the the US, where 2,711 people have been hospitalised with symptoms of ‘EVALI’, which the CDC said is ‘strongly linked’ to vitamin E acetate.
This additive is found in black-market THC cartridges in the US, not regulated e-liquids sold on UK high streets.
This explains why we have not seen an outbreak of vape-related illnesses in the UK.
Even the CDC has backtracked on its previous recommendation to stay away from nicotine e-cigarettes in light of its investigation.
The programme also followed America’s lead in misinterpreting data to suggest that the UK has a problem with youth vaping.
According to the 2019 Action on Health survey, just 1.6 percent of 11-18-year-olds used e-cigarettes more than once a week, down from 1.7 percent the previous year.
The programme featured extensive comments from US anti-vaping activist Stanton Glantz, whose research has been roundly discredited.
Glantz is dismissive of the UK’s internationally-renowned public health community for supporting vaping as a tobacco harm reduction initiative.
Elsewhere, the team had e-liquids lab tested using mass spectroscopy which was unable to identify all the substances in the e-liquid.
But rather than ask the manufacturer or and industry body about the contents, they labelled them as potentially harmful contaminants.
This is just one example of where the producers appeared to just stick to the narrative rather than consult industry experts or offer a right to reply.
America’s so-called youth vaping ‘epidemic’ remains a highly contentious issue. But a slew of negative stories now threatens the lives of countless smokers and current vapers who may go back to tobacco believing, ‘better the devil you know.’
No one in the UK vape industry or public health community wants teens or never-smokers to vape.
No one in the UK vape industry or public health community will say that e-cigarettes are ‘100% safe.’
No one in the UK vape industry or public health community disputes that a handful of people have experienced serious negative reactions to vaping.
But there are more than 3.6million vapers in the UK.
Public Health England maintains that e-cigarettes are at least 95 percent less harmful that combustible e-cigarettes.
They are also backed by Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Physicians.
Tobacco kills up to half of those who use it.
Vaping is three times more effective than nicotine patches and gum.
Vaping saves lives.
Vapouround’s managing director, Paul Caplin said:
“It’s embarrassing and frankly outrageous that ITV would go after vaping, given the devastating toll tobacco continues to play on our society.
“Many of us in the industry are ex-smokers who got into this business to help smokers break free of deadly tobacco.
“Programming like this threatens to put all that at risk.”
ITV has been contacted for comment