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Vaping

New paper slams the nicotine stigma

Today, the Consumer Choice Center and the World Vapers’ Alliance published a new paper on the war on nicotine, arguing that there are evidence-based reasons to end it in Europe and globally.

Vaping and other alternatives such as nicotine pouches have been recognised as far less harmful than smoking, and yet their lifesaving qualities continuously come under fire for a variety of reasons. The consumption of nicotine is one of them.

The Consumer Choice Center’s paper examines six main reasons why the war on nicotine is unreasonable, ineffective and ignorant of a growing body of evidence.

Six main reasons why the war on nicotine should end:

  1. People consume nicotine, but they die from smoking  
  2. Nicotine in patches & gums is not a problem — it is neither when vaped nor in a pouch
  3. Addiction is complex and not solved by a war on nicotine
  4. Nicotine makes some people smarter, stronger and more attractive
  5. Misconceptions about nicotine are hindering public health progress 
  6. Prohibition never works

Nicotine is not your enemy

Commenting on the findings, Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance and a co-author of the paper, said: “The anti-vaping discourse is riddled with double standards about nicotine. If we are to be consistent about nicotine, we have to treat vaping with the same openness and encouragement as nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches. Due to innovation nicotine consumption can finally be decoupled from the hazardous effects of smoking and therefore help millions of smokers to improve their health. And yet, nicotine is unjustifiably demonised. This must end.

Reducing the number of smokers and allowing them to rapidly and efficiently switch to a less harmful alternative should be a major priority for governments and public health agencies worldwide. To achieve that, the stigma around nicotine should stop. 

“We aim to use our new paper as a factsheet to debunk many myths that surround nicotine prohibition. Potential benefits of nicotine must be explored, and unbiased scientific endeavours must be ensured,” said Maria Chaplia, Research Manager at the Consumer Choice Center.

Researchers Call for End to ‘War on Nicotine’

A new research paper attempts to clarify the confusion surrounding nicotine consumption and the role it plays in the diseases caused by smoking. The paper, released by the Consumer Choice Center, outlines six main reasons why the “war on nicotine is pointless” and should end.

“Instead of celebrating declining numbers of smokers and far fewer deaths, many governments, public health agencies and anti-smoking activists have been on the hunt for new enemies,” the researchers wrote. “They decided to scapegoat nicotine, and as a result, the fight against smoking gradually transformed into a fight against nicotine. Such an approach has dire consequences: fewer people switching to less harmful alternatives.”

Read the full article here

New Research Hopes to Help End War on Nicotine

A new research paper attempts to clarify the confusion surrounding nicotine consumption and the role it plays in the diseases caused by smoking. The paper, released by the Consumer Choice Center, outlines six main reasons why the “war on nicotine is pointless” and should end.

“Instead of celebrating declining numbers of smokers and far fewer deaths, many governments, public health agencies and anti-smoking activists have been on the hunt for new enemies,” the researchers wrote. “They decided to scapegoat nicotine, and as a result, the fight against smoking gradually transformed into a fight against nicotine. Such an approach has dire consequences: fewer people switching to less harmful alternatives.”

The paper was co-authored by Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, and Maria Chaplia, research manager at the Consumer Choice Center This six reasons listed to stop the war against nicotine the paper recommends are:

  • People consume nicotine, but they die from smoking
  • Nicotine in patches and gums is not a problem — it is neither (a problem) when vaped nor in a pouch
  • Addiction is complex and not solved by a war on nicotine
  • Nicotine makes some people smarter, stronger and more attractive
  • Misconceptions about nicotine are hindering progress
  • Prohibition never works

Read the full article here

Шість причин чому не варто демонізувати нікотин

Добрі новини для початку тижня: у країнах, які пішли шляхом заохочення вейпінгу, кількість курців суттєво зменшилась.

У Великій Британії, наприклад, рівень куріння впав на 25% з 2013 року (час, коли вейпінг став популярним). 

Але для критиків цих успіхів нікотин став козлом відпущення і в результаті боротьба з курінням поступово переросла в боротьбу з нікотином. Такий підхід має жахливі наслідки: менше людей переходить на менш шкідливі альтернативи.

Шість причин чому треба перестати демонізувати нікотин:

1. Люди споживають нікотин, але вмирають від куріння

Це правда, що не слід заохочувати людей починати вживати нікотин. Але органи охорони здоров’я повинні перестати перешкоджати курцям переходити на вейпінг та інші альтернативи. Британська національна служба охорони здоров’я (British National Health Service) дотримуєтьсяпрагматичного підходу до споживання нікотину та вейпінгу, заявляючи наступне: «Хоча нікотин викликає залежність у сигаретах, він сам по собі є відносно нешкідливим. Майже вся шкода від куріння походить від тисяч інших хімічних речовин в тютюновому димі, багато з яких є токсичними».

2. Нікотин у патчах і жувальних гумках не є проблемою, а тому він не має вважатись проблемою у вейпі

Королівський коледж лікарів Великобританії узагальнив роль вейпінгу як методу споживання нікотину таким чином: «Електронні сигарети відповідають багатьом критеріям ідеального продукту для зменшення шкоди від тютюну. Хоча споживання нікотину з електронних сигарет залежить від ряду факторів, […], вони можуть містити високу дозу нікотину, але при цьому не мати шкідливих компонентів тютюнового диму […]». 

3. Залежність від нікотину складна і вона не вирішується заборонами

Безсумнівно, нікотин викликає виділення дофаміну і, таким чином, сприяє звиканню до куріння, але це не може бути єдиною причиною, чому так багато людей не можуть кинути палити. Якби нікотин був єдиною причиною залежності від куріння, кожен курець, який використовує нікотинові патчі, мав би кинути курити одразу.

Як показало дослідження, опубліковане у 2015-ому році в науковому журналі Drug and Alcohol Dependence, за відсутності тютюнового диму потенційна залежність від нікотину дуже низька, тому більшість вейперів відчувають набагато менший тиск залежності, ніж курці.

4. Нікотин має медичні переваги 

Дослідження, проведені в 1960-х роках, показали, що у курців спостерігається нижчий рівень хвороби Паркінсона, і нещодавні дослідження показало, що причиною цього є нікотин. Було доведено, що «чоловіки, які не курили, але вживали снюс (тип бездимного тютюну), мали значно нижчий ризик хвороби Паркінсона». Однією з причин є те, що нікотин має позитивну когнітивну дію.

5. Помилкові уявлення про нікотин гальмують прогрес

Сприйняття громадськості щодо нікотину, на жаль, викривлене. 57% респондентів американського опитування помилково погодилися з твердженням, що «нікотин в сигаретах є речовиною, яка викликає більшість ракових захворювань, викликаних курінням», і навіть 80% лікарів помилково вважають, що нікотин викликає рак. Ці неправильні переконання громадськості та експертів мають негативні наслідки, адже вони викривлюють уявлення про вейпінг, який є на 95 відсотків менш шкідливий ніж куріння.

Недавній огляд 755 тематичних досліджень про загальні наслідки вейпінгу прийшов до висновку, що лише 37 «відповідають точним критеріям наукової якості».

6. Політика заборон ніколи не є ефективною

Якщо політикам до цього часу слід було б чомусь навчитися з історії, так це те, що заборона не працює. Заборона алкоголю в США була повною катастрофою, що призвело до збільшення споживання алкоголю, споживання неощадливих продуктів і породило величезні картелі. Війна з наркотиками в усьому світі є повним провалом і в багатьох випадках призвела до контрпродуктивної політики. Тому справедливо припустити, що війна з нікотином матиме такі ж результати.

Оскільки куріння і хвороби, які ним спричинені, залишається одним з викликів людства, дуже важливо підходити до їх вирішення зважено і без нав’язаних ідеологій. Нікотин – не ворог.

Originally published here

David Clement on Living Life and Taking Risks

On this pop-up episode of She Thinks, IWF’s Director for the Center of Policy & Innovation interviews David Clement of the Consumer Choice Center on people’s misunderstanding of risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way many Americans look at risk, but the concept can be also be applied to other areas of life like food regulations and vaping regulations.

Listen to the podcast here

Apresiasi Inggris Negara Pertama yang Melegalkan Vape sebagai Produk Medis

Isu mengenai produk rokok elektronik, atau yang dikenal juga dengan nama vape, saat ini masih menjadi kontroversi. Perdebatan mengenai isu terkait vape umumnya muncul pada aspek kesehatan, terlebih lagi, dari tahun ke tahun, jumlah pengguna vape di seluruh dunia kian meningkat.

Bagi sebagian kalangan, vape atau rokok elektronik merupakan produk yang sangat berbahaya, dan tidak jauh berbeda dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Untuk itu, akan sangat berbahaya pula bila produk ini dapat dijual bebas ke masyarakat seperti produk-produk konsumen lainnya.

Mereka yang memiliki pandangan bahwa vape atau rokok elektronik sebagai produk yang sangat berbahaya umumnya akan meengadvokasi berbagai kebijakan yang bertujuan untuk mencegah seseorang mengkonsumsi produk tersebut. 

Berbagai kebijakan ini ada dalam berbagai bentuk, mulai dari kebijakan untuk mengenakan cukai atau pajak yang tinggi, untuk mengurangi insentif seseorang mengkonsumsi vape, hingga kebijakan pelarangan total.

Sementara itu, di sisi lain tidak sedikit pula pihak-pihak yag memiliki pandnagan bahwa vape atau rokok elektronik merupakan produk yang tidak lebih berbahaya daripada rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Oleh karena itu, vape atau rokok elektronik memiliki potensi untuk membantu para perokok untuk mengurangi kebiasaan merokoknya yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan.

Mereka yang memiliki pandangan tersebut umumnya justru menentang keras berbagai kebijakan yang ditujukan agar seseorang semakin sulit untuk mendapatkan akses terhadap produk-produk vape. 

Mereka melihat kebijakan tersebut justru akan membawa dampak yang kontra produktif, karena bukan hanya akan semakin menyulitkan para perokok untuk mendapatkan produk alternatif yang dapat membantu mereka berhenti merokok, namun juga berpotensi besar akan semakin membuka praktik pasar gelap vape yang sanget berbahaya bagi konsumen.

Di Indonesia sendiri, tidak sedikit pihak-pihak yang memiliki pandangan pertama terkait dengan produk-produk vape. Mereka memiliki pandangan bahwa vape atau rokok elektronik adalah produk yang sangat berbahaya dan harus dilarang oleh pemerintah. Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (IDI) misalnya, menganjurkan agar produk-produk vape dilarang di Indonesia (cnnindonesia.com, 24/9/2019).

Tetapi ada pula negara lain yang memiliki pendekatan yang berbeda terkait dengan produk-produk vape atau rokok elektronik. Salah satu dari negara tersebut adalah Britania Raya, yang bukan hanya tidak melarang vape, tetapi justru menjadikan produk tersebut sebagai alternatif yang dapat membantu seseorang untuk berhenti merokok.

Kebijakan yang diambil oleh Inggris ini memang tergolong unik. Ketika berbagai negara di dunia berupaya untuk memberlakukan kebijakan yang membatasi hingga melarang vape, mulai dari Amerika Serikat hingga Australia, Inggris justru memberlakukan kebijakan yang berbeda 180 derajat dari kebijakan yang diambil oleh negara-negara lainnya.

Pendekatan yang diambil oleh Pemerintah Inggris ini bisa ditarik kembali ke tahun 2015. Di tahun tersebut, lembaga kesehatan publik Inggris, Public Health England (PHE), mengeluarkan laporan mengenai vape, yang isinya secara eksplisit menyatakan bahwa kandungan dalam vape atau rokok elektronik 95% lebih tidak berbahaya bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. 

Tidak hanya itu, PHE juga menyatakan bahwa produk rokok elektronik dapat membantu seseorang untuk berhentu merokok (theguardian.com, 28/12/2018).

Laporan tersebut kelak menjadi salah satu dasar kebijakan resmi dari Pemerintah Inggris untuk menjadikan vape atau rokok elektronik sebagai produk alternatif untuk membantu seseorang berhenti merokok. Kebijakan ini akhirnya secara resmi diterapkan di negara tersebut pada akhir bulan Oktober 2021 lalu.

Pada bulan Oktober lalu, lembaga regulasi medis Inggris, United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) menerbitkan panduan untuk menjadikan produk-produk vape sebagai salah satu resep medis bagi seseorang untuk berhenti merokok. Resep tersebut bisa dikeluarkan oleh lembaga kesehatan nasional Inggris, National Health Service (NHS) (edition.cnn.co, 29/10/2021).

Melalui aturan ini, perusahaan produsen produk-produk vape bisa mendaftarkan produk yang mereka buat ke MHRA untuk diteliti agar bisa mendapatkan lisensi medis bagi produk tersebut. Proses tersebut diberlakukan sama dengan produk-produk medis lainnya.

Kebijakan ini sendiri diambil sebagai salah satu upaya dari Pemerintah Inggris untuk mengurangi jumlah populasi perokok di negaranya. Bila kelak nanti sudah ada produk vape yang lolos proses regulasi dari MHRA dan mendapatkan lisensi medis, maka Inggris akan menjadi negara pertama di dunia yang melegalkan produk-produk vape untuk digunakan sebagai produk pengobatan medis.

Namun, Pemerintah Inggris dalam hal inibukan berartoi menyatakan bahwa vape merupakan produk yang 100% aman untuk dikonsumsi, tetapi resiko tersebut jauh lebih rendah bila dibandingkan dengan rokok elektronik yang dibakar. 

NHS menyatakan bahwa, rokok elektronik tidak memproduksi tar dan karbon monoksida, yang merupakan dua zat yang paling berbahaya yang terkandung dalam rokok konvensional yang dibakar (edition.cnn.co, 29/10/2021).

Kebijakan yang diambil oleh Pemerintah Inggris ini sendiri tentu merupakan kebijakan unik dan yang patut diapresiasi, di mana Pemerintah Inggris dalam hal ini berupaya untuk bersikap pragmatis untuk mengurangi populasi perkok di negaranya. Indonesia sendiri tentu dapat mengambil pelajaran dari kebijakan yang diambil oleh Inggris tersebut.

Indonesia merupakan salah satu negara dengan jumlah populasi dewasa perokok tertinggi di dunia. Pada tahun 2021 ini, Indonesia menduduki peringkat negara dengan populasi perokok tertinggi ketiga di dunia, dengan jumlah 65,7 juta penduduk Indonesia adalah perokok aktif, atau 33,8% dari jumlah total penduduk (jpnn.com, 29/4/2021).

Hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat berbahaya, dan bukan hanya membahayakan kesehatan publik, tetapi juga dapat semakin menambahkan beban pemerintah untuk membiayai biaya pengobatan masyarakat Indonesia. 

Untuk itu, kebijakan pragmatis untuk menanggulangi hal tersebut adalah hal yang sangat penting, salah satunya adalah mencontoh kebijakan yang diambil oleh Pemerintah Inggris tersebut.

Originally published here

The obscure UN conflab that seeks to cut off the world from vaping and harm reduction

While most popular attention this month has been on the vital discussions at the United Nation’s COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, there is an equally important UN conference happening in Geneva that also contemplates the fate of millions of lives.

There are also questions on the importance of science, the role of activists and industry, and how humanity can forget a better path based on common agreements to be implemented in each country.

This year, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an obscure World Health Organization treaty dedicated to eradicating tobacco use, is having its ninth iteration, known as COP9 in Switzerland.

At this conference, 168 member delegations — as well as a narrowly selected group of tobacco control advocates — participate in discussions and debates to forge global standards on taxation, restrictions, and rules on tobacco products.

While no one would object to these goals, the conference threatens to put one of the largest public health victories in recent memory at stake: tobacco harm reduction by innovative technologies.

Though the well-documented scientific evidence on the life-saving potential of smokers switching to less harmful vaping devices is clear and undeniable, it is one scientific fact that is ignored or denied throughout the event.

As I have uncovered in my two trips to the COP FCTC event, one of the most dogmatic conclusions of the event organizers is that they consider nicotine vaping devices, what they label Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (or ENDS), as ordinary tobacco products that should be as harshly taxed, regulated, and eventually eradicated from the market altogether.

It is this nuance — that alternative harm reducing technologies like vaping or heat-not-burn devices pose the same threat as traditional cigarettes — that so animates activists, former smokers, and some health officials who criticise the FCTC and its proceedings. Not to mention the yearly mission of several delegations to completely bar journalists and media from any of the debates.

Considering that many countries represented have embraced policies that elevate harm reduction and acceptance of vaping at home, including the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and New Zealand, it is perhaps most frustrating that this nuance is stopped at the door and reiterated by the power brokers at COP.

What makes COP9 FCTC different from its climate change cousin is the elevated role of public health lobbies and advocacy groups throughout the proceeding.

Groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, and the Framework Convention Alliance on Tobacco Control are the recognised NGOs that are able to intervene in parts of the discussions and help set the agenda.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has pledged millions directly to these organizations and similar entities, with hopes that any tobacco-related products— including vaping devices — are regulated, restricted, and banned. It is no surprise, then, that any efforts to recognise the life-saving potential of vaping devices are blocked immediately.

These lobby groups have routinely been caught bribing and funding various political bodies in developing nations with the goal of restricting and banning vaping devices.

What’s more, they often bully and shame delegations if they do not adopt a strict prohibitionist attitude on tobacco alternatives like vaping, awarding countries like the Philippines, Honduras, or Guatemala with “Dirty Ashtray” awards for “insisting on amendments with unhelpful and often confusing wording” or for requesting “further discussion” on various amendments.

The Filipino delegation, in their video statement to open the conference, said that it was important to recognise vaping devices and “products that deliver a similar satisfaction but with far less harm”.

The recognition of this fact — and the potential to save millions of smokers’ lives — by the delegations at the FCTC’s COP9 is realistically the most pressing issue that should be addressed. It is one that millions of vapers, who have added years to their life by switching away from tobacco, should have represented in an international body.

Whether delegations will understand this key point, and whether they will embrace science over prohibitionist ideology, however, remains to be seen.

Originally published here

El vapeo y tu derecho a consumir

No es algo novedoso encontrarnos con algún político deseoso de regularnos nuestra vida personal: como lo es con el alcohol, el azúcar, el tabaco o las demás drogas, también el acto de vapear ha caído dentro de la misma bolsa.

Como sucede con todo, a los políticos y demás legisladores poco les importa la voz del consumidor, mucho menos la defensa de los derechos de los usuarios.

Pero vayamos por partes. Aunque nunca o quizás alguna vez hayas oído el término “vapeo”, muy probablemente hayas visto a alguien “vapear”. Pues, vapear es, simple y sencillamente, el acto de fumar un cigarrillo electrónico o también llamado “vaporizador”.

Qué nos importan los cigarrillos electrónicos, podrás preguntarte. Pues, quizás a muchos no les importe, pero hay personas a las que sí. Y más importante aún, existen legislaciones, regulaciones y prohibiciones que además de violar las libertades de los consumidores, están perjudicando a los individuos y, como siempre, causando consecuencias opuestas a las que dichas legislaciones buscan conseguir.

Read the full article here

The EU should follow the UK’s lead on harm reduction at FCTC COP next week

The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC COP) is coming up next week, after having been cancelled last year. The meeting will assess the progress of WHO states in their reduction of smoking rates and continue its recommendations to curb the use of tobacco products.

Curiously, in the conversations over the last few years, FCTC has been keen to include non-tobacco products in its considerations. The WHO’s crusade against vaping products remains a public health mystery, not least because studies have underlined how e-cigarettes represent a reliable smoking cessation tool.

The international health body’s claim that e-cigarettes are harmful to human health is distorting the harm reducing reality of vaping, and stands against Public Health England’s findings that it is 95% safer than smoking conventional cigarettes, a number which it has been happy to reiterate.

UK public health officials have firmly pushed back against the WHO, accusing it of “spreading misinformation“. The fact that the WHO remains undeterred in its opposition to e-cigarettes is a reason for concern because the body appears to channel a political sticking to its guns than a scientific reevaluation of its earlier statements.

The UK’s public policy response to vaping has been a more productive one, as numbers have shown. According to England’s 2021 vaping evidence update: “In 2020, 27.2% of people used a vaping product in a quit attempt in the previous 12 months. This compares with 15.5% who used NRT over the counter or on prescription (2.7%), and 4.4% who used varenicline.”

In 2017, 50,000 smokers quit their habit through vaping. Overall, the government recognises the effectiveness of vaping as superior to any other smoking cessation tools. This is also backed up by 50+ studies in a review done by the Cochrane policy institute.

The European Union’s response to e-cigarettes has unfortunately followed WHO doctrine, which sets out to regulate and restrict vaping to such an extent that it becomes uninteresting to users to continue. So far, the real risk that this means that many vapers could switch back to smoking regular cigarettes has yet to reach the conscience of EU lawmakers.

Instead of following its current line, the European Union should follow the lead of the United Kingdom and its successful experiment with vaping. The FCTC COP meeting in Geneva next month is an excellent occasion to do exactly that, especially now that 100 public health specialists have signed an open letter calling for an FCTC policy reversal on vaping.

To be clear, vaping is not a one-size-fits-all solution to smoking as a public health issue, but to many current smokers, it is an adequate substitute that is safer and, in the long run, can lead to stopping tobacco use altogether.

Visitors of vape shops can confirm: most vape shops offer the different flavours in 0% nicotine options as well, and one will be hard-pressed to find vape shop owners who push customers to increase their nicotine consumption levels. Quite the contrary, vape show retailers have paved the way for many users to quit cigarettes and are thus part of the solution as much as the devices themselves.

Harm reduction is not new. Many European countries already apply it in drug policy, alcohol policy or in safer sex programmes. It is true that for decades, smoking cessation tools have been on the market, including products such as nicotine patches. That said, we’ve seen that there’s only so much you can do with these tools, which is exactly why policy-makers should embrace vaping as the tobacco harm reduction tool of the future.

Originally published here

Can we please have a debate about policy issues?

Trying to talk policy with confused Le Monde activist journalists

Have you ever attempted to argue with a conspiracy theorist? 

They don’t all wear tinfoil hats and argue about vaccines or government plots. Some earn paychecks from respectable media outlets. Others are funded by billionaire philanthropists to sow doubt and spin narratives.

The Consumer Choice Center recently met with some Michael Bloomberg-funded journalists — a troubling web on its own — supposedly to discuss our campaigns on tobacco harm reduction, an important issue for us and for a billion smokers worldwide. Yesterday they published their “research” after months of inquiry.

We wanted to talk to them about policy issues. But they seemingly weren’t interested in the great work we do on consumer choice and innovative, smart policies across the globe. They did not care about our fight to save the lives of millions of smokers, or our efforts to make ride-sharing available for everyone and reduce drunk driving, or combatting criminals and drug-dealers by endorsing cannabis legalization. We advocate for innovative solutions to tackle the world’s problems — from hunger to pandemics — but they had a different narrative to sell.

Cynical activist-journalists don’t seem to care about the life-saving potential of vaping but instead aim to slander people that endorse and use it. Where is the alternative solution provided by these intrepid journalists? They also don’t care about us and our volunteers being actual consumers — this makes me look forward to displaying hundreds of video testimonials of vapers in the upcoming weeks across Europe. Nearly 70 million smokers (that’s 1% of world population and about 200-times more people than Le Monde readers) have been able to quit thanks to vaping. This is likely the largest public health victory since the invention of the Polio vaccine! 

Instead, the big story they wanted to target is that the CCC receives money from for-profit corporations. This is true, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s clearly stated on our website, and we’ve answered these questions a hundred times. If it takes three “journalists” months to figure this out, then Michael Bloomberg and those who run his foundation, who funded their research, should probably consider the return on their investment. 

Despite their ambiguous claims, CCC has ZERO ties to the Koch family, their companies, or their money, and though this was made very clear to the intrepid reporters, they devoted the vast majority of their screed to trying to force a link that doesn’t exist. This is neither honest journalism nor fact-based reporting, but it fits the illiberal and moralizing worldview of a sect of journalists, and their contrived sense of right and wrong. 

They believe that fighting for consumer choice and evidence-based policies is a fringe pursuit and lonely endeavor, which no one would dare try unless funded by various incarnations of the devil. We disagree. 

I devoted more than an hour to talking with these journalists in person, and provided responses to all of their follow-up questions, in good faith. The same can be said for my colleagues who provided answers to them in the months prior. Their suggestion that I was evasive just doesn’t match the facts. We are open and proud of the work that we do. 

There’s a massive need to raise and amplify the voice of consumers that want access to innovative products, that want to decide for themselves, and that don’t want to be lectured to by activist-journalists with an ideological axe to grind. 

The Consumer Choice Center is proud of its accomplishments in our years of existence, and that my colleagues and our volunteers work hard hours every day to bring evidence and consumer choice to the public debate. I am very thankful for all the support we have received in the past and we look forward to growing our efforts for 21st century consumer policies! 

P.S.: The story that consumers and ex-smokers (like me) fight for the right to vape seemed to be such a non-story that the writers decided it was appropriate to comment on the fashion choices of myself and Michael. When they go low, we’ll go high, so we won’t respond in kind. But I would like to say that I proudly bought my Burberry trench coat in a second hand market. But this wouldn’t fit their narrative. 

P.P.S.: All I want for Christmas is for Michael Bloomberg and the World Health Organization to realize that vaping can save millions of lives. Santa, can you help with this?

P.P.P.S: If you want to read through the result of the aforementioned 3-month-long research you can have some entertainment here.

Addition: This thread by Michelle Minton at the Competitive Enterprise Institute shows the undeclared conflicts of interest of some of the authors of the references ‘research’.

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