Category Archives for "Vaping"


Vaping should be seen for what it is: an alternative, allegedly safer, way of continuing in thrall of nicotine addiction.

The statement from Public Health England that ‘vaping is a least 95 per cent safer than smoking’ – it has almost become a mantra – has been heavily criticised in the medical literature, for example, in the British Medical Journal:

“Due to many methodological problems, severe conflicts of interest, the relatively few and often small studies, the inconsistencies and contradictions in results, and the lack of long-term follow-up no firm conclusions can be drawn on the safety of e-cigarettes. However, they can hardly be considered harmless.”

These blogs, together with those in the category ‘E-cigarettes’, explore the matter further.

Does Vaping Make You Anxious?

Do you know why vaping is such a big problem with school children? Because they are buying vapes, especially the brightly coloured disposable kind with child-friendly names and flavours, and getting hooked on them. And why are they engaging in this idiotic behaviour? Because vapes are easily available for purchase, online and at vape shops, […]

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E-Cigarette Summit 2023

Evidence or Common Sense? – Part II Momentous news! Later this month the 2023 iteration of The E-Cigarette Summit UK will take place under the auspices of the Royal College of Physicians, no less. This is what it’s all about: The E-Cigarette Summit has a single aim of facilitating respectful dialogue and thoughtful analysis of […]

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Solving the Smoking Problem: Evidence or Common Sense?

Last month the UK Department of Health and Social Care published a paper with the encouraging title: Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smoke-free generation. There are two main strands to this laudable aim: helping current smokers stop poisoning themselves with tobacco fumes by encouraging them to switch to vaping; and stopping […]

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Inaction on Smoking and Health

According to the ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Newsletter of 27 September 2023, ‘The “vapes are 95 per cent safer than cigarettes” message has backfired.’ Indeed it has, as I pointed out in 2017. But first, a digression. ASH is misnamed. ‘Smoking’ and ‘health’ are incompatible. The one action they could take to improve […]

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Vape On!

Vapid thinking about the vaping problem is shown in a seven-author Research Letter in an online publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association called Network Open (2 April 2021). Six of the authors are Doctors of Philosophy and one has a Master of Science degree. (It’s part of the PATH study about which […]

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Further up the Garden Path

Since I first wrote about the PATH (Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health) study ( how far along have our intrepid researchers got? They now proceed, we are informed, not in steps or stages, but in waves. We’re now at Waves 1 – 3 with a paper released in March 2020 by Saul Shiffman and […]

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E-Cigarettes on Prescription!

It has been claimed that ‘The English tobacco control/smoking cessation community is internationally regarded as being utterly, hopelessly smitten  with e-cigarettes. It’s become almost cult-like.’ See Now it seems this community is about to take leave of its senses. A certain Martin Dockrell, the Tobacco Control Programme Lead of Public Health England, is quoted […]

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Vaping is Magnificent!

Some illuminating insights can be gained into the smoking problem by different people’s comments on my answer to a question posted on Quora (a US based question-and-answer website). The question was: What is your opinion on vaping and e-cigarettes? I answered thus: E-cigarettes should be seen for what they are: drug (nicotine) delivery devices. There’s […]

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How E-Cigarettes Make You Feel Bad

It seems these days everyone is jumping on the e-cigarette bandwagon—the debate is swirling back and forth. Are e-cigarettes harmful or good for smokers? If they’re harmful, how much less so than smoking? Should vaping be permitted/banned everywhere/on public transport/in classrooms/hospitals? Should they be regulated, and if so, how and how much? As an example […]

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Anti-Nicotine Alliance

You will not have not heard of this organisation because it’s still in the process being set up. When the Board of Trustees is established – Dr Gabriel Symonds has volunteered to be the honorary Chairman – we intend to apply to the UK Charities Commission for registration. The main aim of ANA is to […]

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Hopelessly Smitten With E-Cigarettes

How to enjoy poisoning yourself ‘The English tobacco control/smoking cessation community is internationally regarded as utterly, hopelessly smitten with e-cigarettes. It’s become almost cult-like.’ These words were written by Professor Simon Chapman, the well-known Australian public health expert and anti-smoking campaigner, in response to a debate in The British Medical Journal (28 April 2018) on […]

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Feeding Nicotine Addiction With E-Cigarettes

Under the guise of protecting public health, the pro-vaping lobby gets into some curious twists and turns. For example, there is an official-looking 2017 paper, Reshaping American Tobacco Policy. It is written by three people, one of whom, Clive Bates, oddly designates himself as ‘Director, Counterfactual’, evidently being unaware of what counterfactual means: pertaining to […]

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Juul – the Safer Way to Poison Yourself with Nicotine

Or so the makers of this latest e-cigarette device would have us believe. And what a clever name, suggestive of the jewel in the crown, no doubt. All right, Dr Symonds, that’s enough cynicism. What is Juul all about? Their website describes it as ‘The Satisfying Alternative To Cigarettes’. Do you know what the best […]

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Is Smoking A Mental Illness?

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) would seem to think smoking is indeed a mental illness, since it has plunged into the debate about e-cigarettes. It takes a wonderfully fence-sitting position in its July 2017 submission to the ‘Inquiry into the use and marketing of electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers in […]

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Parliamentary Enquiry into E-Cigarettes

A headline in today’s online BBC news (so it must be true) announces ‘E-cigarettes: Cross-party group of MPs launches inquiry’. The main point of this exercise is to try and fill the ‘significant gaps’ in what is known about e-cigarettes including how effective they are as a stop-smoking tool and how they are (or should […]

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