A recent tobacco control summit called the ‘Global Dependency Treatment Summit 2016’ has shown just how divided, or uniformed, many in tobacco control are when it comes to e-cigarettes.
Clive Bates writes about the summit on his website, and shows a slide to illustrate this point. The slide shows the result of a straw poll regarding vaping. The question asked was:
‘The long term use of non-combustible nicotine (as in e-cigarettes) is an acceptable, if not ideal, alternative to continued cigarette smoking.’
The results are surprising to say the least - with 39% strongly disagreeing, 27% somewhat disagreeing.
As Clive states, the summit brought together world leaders in tobacco control and treatment, and he believes “In theory, these are professionals trying to contain the ‘smoking epidemic’, but voting to extend it”
On further reading, Clive reveals that perhaps one of the reasons for the summit’s dislike of e-cigarettes may be that there is funding to be had.
He writes, “Conflicts of interest. It’s to treat pharma money with just as much caution as tobacco money. We need to start calling out more forcefully those situations where pharma commercial interests have an obvious conflict with pathways that benefit health, and therefore – like the tobacco industry – cause smoking related ill-health. I’m sure everyone has noticed the volume of anti-vaping propaganda that pours out of the pharma-funded health meetings like the American Thoracic Society annual congress – it would be hard not to. But they keep getting away with it – unchallenged by journalists and, of course, from within the ‘discipline’ of ‘public health’ (the quotes are necessary).”
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