UK media publish 'fake news' about vaping
On Sunday February 28th The Sun published an extremely misleading article about vaping, with a headline that went a long way beyond misleading.
A better description would be an outright lie; “fake news” at its very worst.
The story has since been picked up by the Daily Mail. For the sake of clarity, Totally Wicked is clear in its belief that neither the World Health Organisation (WHO), nor any UK Government agency is suggesting that vaping should be banned in any form in the UK.
The WHO’s formal position on vaping is that e-cigs should be regulated in any country that chooses to allow them. They believe that countries that are unable or unwilling to regulate vaping should ban it. Thankfully the UK has been in the vanguard of progressive regulation of a thriving vape sector for some years, and is the World leader in the advance of vaping to the detriment of smoking rates.
In recent times the WHO has been a little out of step with the UK on vaping. It is an organisation that has to balance the needs of many countries, and for some of those countries, vaping is not yet seen as a viable means of improving public health.
The next Conference of Parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC COP9) will be in The Hague later this year, so there is a massive opportunity for UK Government agencies to enlighten other countries on the amazing things that have been achieved so far. The Independant British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), of which Totally Wicked is one of the founding members, has already been in active dialogue with those agencies, and other stakeholders, to help ensure an important part of recent UK social history is seen in a genuine and positive light.
An important part of the story of vaping was also told in the same week, in a landmark report from Public Health England (PHE), “Vaping in England: evidence update February 2021”. This is the seventh annual report on vaping that Public Health England (PHE) has produced, and gives detail of excellent relative safety of e-cigs to smoking, reassuringly low youth uptake of vaping, and for the first time, incontrovertible evidence that vaping is effective in helping people to quit smoking; almost twice as effective as traditional NRT, in fact.
We can only express disappointment that the UK media failed to notice this remarkably good news story, yet some were in favour of creating an alarming but totally misleading narrative.