The New Nicotine Alliance has once again proven to be an ally of the vaping community during their presentation at this year’s GFN.
It can be easy to forget sometimes, but despite our best efforts, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe. As such, it’s always critical that we have new and effective smoking cessation tools to help people end their dependence once and for all.
Vaping has proven to be a powerful harm reduction and smoking cessation tool since they first hit the market around 15 years ago, but many people remain skeptical. One of the most common concerns revolves around the idea e-liquid flavors are attracting teens into vaping.
Luckily for vapers, the New Nicotine Alliance made a strong case for vaping during the recent Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland. While many in the academic and vaping communities applauded this stance, critics still warn about unforeseen consequences.
Only time will tell how legislators handle this situation and if it makes things better or worse for the industry as a whole. Regardless, we once again have reason to believe the New Nicotine Alliance is one of the best vaping advocacy groups out there.
The NNA In Warsaw
It was during the recent Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw attended by over 500 delegates from across the academic, vaping, and advocacy worlds. One of the main topics of the night was the efficacy of e-liquid flavors, and if the industry should continue support or begin to abandon them.
Head of the New Nicotine Alliance, Martin Cullip gave a presentation at the forum on the value of vaping flavors. “The UK boasts 1.7 million former smokers who have converted from smoking to exclusively vaping instead. Flavors have been a big driver of that success, by distancing smokers from tobacco and providing an incentive to switch, with a wide selection of different options to suit their preferences”
Not everyone was as supportive of this stance, though, as many still firmly believe flavors primary purpose is attracting teens. However, many of these claims have been little more than anecdotal-based fears which don’t reflect the real world.
Sharon Cox, who is a research fellow at London South Bank University, believes policy needs to reflect real user behavior. Her research suggests that not only are e-liquid flavors important for new vapers who are still just getting used to the differences between vaping and smoking, but also for advanced vapers who are accustomed to their preferred flavors.
What The Evidence Says
There has been plenty of research which supports the smoking cessation and harm reduction value of vaping. For instance, a report by Yale Professor, Dr. John Buckell concluded e-liquid flavors play a vital role in supporting the vaping industry. In fact, he found that if all e-liquid flavors except menthol and tobacco were banned, it would actually increase Big Tobacco sales more than prevent smoking.
We also have very little reason to believe vaping is even remotely as dangerous as continued smoking. A report from the end of last year out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute found the toxicants in cigarette smoke are around 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor.
These findings aren’t even that new, as back in 2015 we got a report from Public Health England which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking. Alternatively, consider the report which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than demographically similar smokers.
We can even show strong evidence the so-called teenage vaping “epidemic” is being majorly overblown by the media. While the news would have you believe vaping is leading to a new generation of smokers, a study of over 60,000 teens found only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking students were ever vaping more than a few times.
E-liquid flavors are, without a doubt, one of the most important things about the value of vaping. Despite this, many legislators would ban them outright if they had the chance.
In fact, if we don’t make a point to support vaping now, there’s no telling what the industry could look like in a couple of years. That’s why it’s incredibly important we band together with organizations like the New Nicotine Alliance to fight back against any unfair regulation.
If we can successfully protect vaping rights into the future, there’s no telling what else we can accomplish. However, none of it can happen if we don’t get enough support now.
Do you think advocacy groups like the NNA are making a difference? What’s the best way to protect our vaping rights? How should we teach others about vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.