Don’t let fearmongering guide the vaping debate

Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association says Instead of acknowledging that e-cigarettes are helping millions transition to products estimated to be at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, a vocal minority is dead set on spreading misinformation about the dangers of vaping.

This is unfortunate and a disservice to a productive dialogue about improving public health.

Despite the sometimes confused, and confusing, media reporting around the safety of e-cigarettes, there is growing consensus around the evidence. While not without some risk, when compared to smoking e-cigarettes are far less harmful.

This view is supported by a number of key bodies, including Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Medical Association and recently, a major US science body, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“The Vaping Industry needs to be considered as a partner to the Health agenda in South Africa, should all smokers move to harm reduced vaping products the impact is bound to be extremely positive from a Non-communicable diseases point of view. It is our duty to ensure that we provide a safer alternative to the millions of smokers in the country” Zodwa Velleman, VPA CEO says.

In South Africa, members of the VPA have responded to the legislative situation by adhering to their own code of conduct. We voluntarily have committed ourselves to not selling the product to and by people under the age of 18.

We want to ensure that the proposed regulation does not force small vaping businesses to close their doors.

This is a debate that should be shaped by real facts and sound science and increasing evidence that e-cigarettes — especially flavored ones — actually help incentivise adult smokers to switch , it is important that we not let fearmongering and misinformation guide the public discourse.