Fact Vs. Fiction
The reputation of tobacco harm reduction has a history of being corrupted. In South Africa, zealots are distorting the truth, claiming that vaping doesn’t help smokers quit (when there have been study after study proving otherwise). Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (STOP), a Bloomberg funded organisation, has published a document full of advocacy smearing and blatant lies.
“A recently published Eurobarometer survey reveals widespread ignorance about e-cigarettes,” writes Christopher Snowdon in an article on New Europe. “The evidence shows that vaping helps people quit smoking. This has been shown in a series of randomised controlled trials, the gold standard of scientific evidence.”
“Why, then, does a growing majority of EU citizens believe the opposite? Partly it is because the Americans’ moral panic about e-cigarettes has drifted across the Atlantic. Junk science from California regularly makes its way into European newspapers. Chemical experiments on mice, zebrafish and other small animals have been inappropriately extrapolated to humans to produce scary headlines and undermine the public’s confidence in e-cigarettes.”
In a call for new electronic cigarette regulations, researchers are telling South Africa that vaping doesn’t work as a smoking cessation tool. “Majority of e-cigarette users continued to smoke and few of them manage to stop smoking for more than six months,” writes Business Live.
“While the tobacco and e-cigarette industry likes to position e-cigarettes as cessation aids, the limited effectiveness of these products for long-term quitting, the health harms associated with usage and the industry’s clear and targeted marketing to youth are facts which are conveniently omitted from their narrative.”
However, the article fails to mention what we can only call a disaster the recent ban on sales of cigarettes and vaping products was in the country. As vapers, this skewed and misinformative trope is something we’ve become all too accustomed to, being given untold amount of real estate in news articles, despite the countless evidence proving otherwise.
Groups like the New Nicotine Alliance, who don’t receive a single penny from any industry, are relentlessly attacked simply for providing a sound argument based in scientific fact. It’s clear that these philanthropic sources don’t care about the findings and the evidence, just their pseudoscience bolstering their bank balance.
They seem to be running out of arguments against vaping when they’re relying on smearing any conflicting opinion, especially when the opinions are correct and scientifically sound.