What A Year In Vaping! Looking Back At 2017
2017 could have been a disastrous year for vaping and indeed the health of millions thanks to the arrival of the TPD.
However we’re a tough bunch and far from fading away as another fad – vaping is at least here in the UK – here to stay and is growing stronger by the day!
Globally there’s still a lot to be done and vaping advocacy groups around the world are gearing themselves up ready for the ridiculous yet tough battles ahead.
I say ridiculous because the tsunami of positive research into e-cigarettes should have drowned out the anti-vape brigade by now – but sadly in places such as Asia – Canada and Australia the collective governments are refusing to budge on the bans and criminalisation of what is without doubt a lifer saver.
The year as always has been filled with vaping highs and lows – but for once more positives than negatives.
So sit back with a glass of your favourite tipple and take a look back at the year ‘they’ said would end vaping.
January and February
A quiet start as the New vaping Year dawned with the usual smattering of studies and research depicting vaping as the gift from the devil.
One stand out study was the ‘shock’ news that dripping on your RDA is bad for you – gotta love scientists lol.
Hertfordshire County Council became the first in the UK to adopt a real policy on e-cigarettes and vaping – a year on and most others are still lumping vaping with local no smoking laws which is shocking!
And a cartoon of Father Christmas ‘vaping’ led to vaping retailer The Vapes having their wrists slapped by the Advertising Standards Authority [ASA].
They decided the billboard ad was more of a No! No! No! than a Ho! Ho! Ho! as it appealed to children far more than adults and reprimanded the company putting them straight onto Santa’s naughty list!
As spring arrived ‘scientists’ published a study that said we vapers only vaped to look cool – how do these types justify their jobs!
However at least one doctor praised the use of e-cigs – particularly among sufferers of asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Gina Kruse from Harvard no less said:
Switching to e-cigarettes might have greater positive impact for current smokers with health problems.
Another doctor making waves was vaping advocate Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos who slammed the continued use of ‘cartoon style’ packaging for e-liquids calling them ‘irresponsible’ – something I think we all agree with.
Dr Farsalinos – who’s not afraid of telling it like it is – also slammed yet another ‘medical’ study into e-cigs this one claiming chemicals released by vaping can cause cancer.
In particular the researchers highlighted benzene – a known carcinogenic.
However Dr Farsalinos dismissed the research succinctly:
Benzene formation in e-cigarettes: it does not exist…
And even more good news came after the UK National No Smoking Day which led to the Office of National Statistics publishing the very latest smoking levels in the UK:
In 2015, of all adults in the UK 17.2% smoked, down from 20.1% of adults who smoked in 2010.
Posh people’s bible Debrett’s included a guide to vaping etiquette which included suggesting you didn’t vape during a job interview or in bed!
Not sure how they stand on the traditional post copulation cigarette…
Australia was made to look fools as the New Zealand Government legalized the sale of nicotine based e-liquids.
As you may be aware it is still illegal to use such e-liquids in Australia – something that has to change fast!
The other fools were those of us thinking the triggering of Brexit – the UK’s removal from the European Union – meant we could kiss goodbye to those ridiculous TPD laws.
Whilst the present government has hinted at getting rid of the legislation – it may take more than a little while yet…
Another in a long line of shock horror righteous indignation vaping none stories appeared this one by the Royal Society for Public Health.
Apparently vaping shops were selling vape gear to none vapers without asking if they were smokers or vapers lol.
The New Nictotine Alliance responded perfectly:
The demands made by the RSPH are not made of tobacco or alcohol, it’s bizarre to request them of e-cigarette shops & comes across as unnecessary meddling.
The pro vaping documentary A Billion Lives was released on line and if you haven’t seen it yet it’s available to stream all over the net and well worth watching 😉
The month of fools ended ironically enough with Trump calling for the resignation of anti vaping Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy.
Hi replacement Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams is more of a pro vaper signalling good news for the beleaguered vapers and vape industry in the US.
May Day! May Day!
As the TPD deadline approached most vapers remained blissfully unaware of the repercussions facing UK and European vapers.
Until that is an late on the 19th of May and with hours to go the grim realization dawned and both high street and online vape shops slashed prices and served hoards of vapers bucket sized bottle of e-liquids and tanks!
Yup May 20th saw TPD implementation day with many predicting the death knell for vaping.
Whilst it’s true some shops have since been forced to closed and sadly many jobs have been lost – apart from a bit of ‘moaning’ most vapers have barely noticed and if anything vaping has grown substantially and continues to grow.
Meanwhile scientists in California tried to find dangerous chemicals in vapour in a number of the state’s vape shops.
On finding the air quality at incredibly safe levels – even when completely fogged out – they tried to bury the report.
Thankfully pro vaping professor Dr. Michael Siegel got his hands on a leaked copy showing the results – ha!
Trump showed clear signs he was a pro vaping president pushing back the FDA deadline on new vaping legislation for 3 months – incidentally it’s been pushed back even further now!
The 2017 Nanny State Index showed we Brits were the most nannied when it came to our freedom of choice around tobacco – alcohol and vaping.
The yearly table shows just how much government interference goes on country by country – we came second overall – which is definitely not something to be proud of!
World No Tobacco Day 2017 passed by with a bit of a whimper if I’m honest and May was rounded off quite beautifully by the Vaper Expo Big Weekend.
I have to say this one was the best yet a truly brilliant event coinciding – ironically – with the new TPD legislation.
Well organized – well attended and a real finger to the ridiculous TPD 😉
The on-going Australian vaping fiasco became almost farcical with the government upholding the current criminalization of nicotine based e-liquids before literally seconds later deciding to hold another inquiry into the matter!
New US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib – by all accounts pro vaping – appeared in front of the House Appropriations Committee.
The meeting became quite heated with the anti vape brigade using the old ‘what about the kids’ routine which to his credit Gottleib refused to be drawn on.
The UK went to the polls for the General Election which as far as vaping was concerned didn’t really mean much as all of the parties appeared at the time to be more than a little confused about the phenomena – or what to do post Brexit!
Meanwhile over in America [where else lol] a clinic was opened for ‘vaping addicts’.
Sadly Jonny decided a week or two’s all expenses paid trip over there to get a ‘story’ wasn’t warranted 😉
Even sadder was the news that San Francisco had decided to ban flavoured e-liquids!
Vapers now simply drive out of the city – in some cases a few hundred yards – to stock up – crazy!
Despite the arrival of the TPD – Vampire Vape announced a huge expansion to a purpose built facility with jobs for 150 people – which was excellent news!
Here in the UK the green shoots of a government shift towards accepting the worth of e-cigs appeared with politicians discussing vaping in Parliament.
The debate centred on the call for the government to publish a new version of the Tobacco Control Plan with MPs from across the parties for once in agreement.
On the medical front Professor Peter Hajek published an extremely detailed report that showed smokers switching to vaping were likely to see a 66% improvement in their lung function – research barely picked up by the anti e-cig media.
Bit of a quiet month vaping news wise with I guess everyone off on their holidays…however the ‘hit’ TV show Love Island made the news after viewers complained about the amount of smoking going on.
In this case they weren’t talking about the hot bodies or ‘rumpty tumpty’ rather the amount of cigarettes smoked.
Cue vape company Totally Wicked who’s marketing team need a bonus after parachuting in boxes of e-cig supplies!
Following the FDA’s announcement to push back any new vape legislation in America – share prices in big tobacco companies plummeted – my heart bleeds…
Not so good news was the story of a Swiss vaper arrested in Thailand for vaping – he faced a huge fine and up to 5 years in jail for vaping!
Better news included the Swedish Government announcing it was considering repealing the ban on SNUS and scientists in Scotland found the chances of getting cancer from e-cigarettes was ‘negligible’.
Meanwhile Men’s Fitness magazine [I’m a ‘before model’] came out in support of vaping whilst those bonkers boffins were at it again suggesting we liked flavoured e-liquids because they ‘tasted good’ – file that under ‘sh!te you couldn’t make up’…
I can’t leave August without a mention of our good friend Kev Hill aka The Telford Vaper.
It took him a couple of months to go from the idea of a Telford Charity Vape show to actually seeing it happen – a quite remarkable achievement.
You can read his moving story HERE.
When the #vapefam comes together it really is a beautiful thing…
The signs of worse things to come for vapers in India as the country’s Vaper Expo was cancelled at the very last minute leaving hundreds of exhibitors and visitors stranded.
The State Government of Uttar Pradesh filed banning orders in the High Court [despite earlier giving permission for the event] – leaving organizers no time to appeal – shocking!
Ryan Air tried to ban vaping devices in the cabins of their planes but within a matter of days were forced to change the rule!
This followed letters from both the Irish Vape Vendors Association [IVVA] and the Independent British Vape Trade Association [IBVTA] – a small but important victory of common sense.
A good end to the month with news the number of smokers quitting in the UK had hit a ten year high with the growth of e-cigs playing a major part.
A spokesman from Cancer Research UK said:
Research has shown that e-cigarettes are the most popular way to quit. The evidence so far tells us they’re much safer than smoking, and are helping many people to beat their addiction.
Despite this the anti vaping Welsh Government ignored the potential of vaping in the country’s Tobacco Control Delivery Plan!
And the NNA began its campaign to stop train companies from banning vaping in their carriages.
There’s NO law covering this but as yet the campaign doesn’t appear to have had a big enough platform to get it on the companies timetable…[ouch]
The UK Government showed it recognized the potential of vaping by including e-cigs in the yearly Stoptober campaign.
The event lasts throughout the month and for the very first time e-cigarettes were included in the adverts – including those on TV.
However and with superb timing [lol] managers at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford Kent decided Stoptober was the perfect time to ban e-cigs – like I said at the time we need a Doofus of the Year award lol.
And whilst all this was going on yet another piece of positive news with the powerful National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE] considering finally recognizing vaping as a valuable smoking cessation tool.
In the past they’d ‘shied away’ from suggesting e-cigs to patients but as we saw the new NICE guidance on smoking cessation changed that.
England’s Tobacco Control Plan was discussed in parliament with MPs on the whole praising the use of e-cigs.
Whilst nothing earth shattering can come from such debates it was refreshing to see such a positive light put on vaping – full story on the debate HERE.
It seems you can’t have too much good news in the world of vaping and all eyes were on Australia again as despite concerted efforts by vape advocates from around the world – the country refused to legalize nicotine e-liquids.
In a quite childish outburst health minister Greg Hunt [not a spelling mistake]said:
It’s not going to be happening on my watch as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s hope the clock is ticking on his tenure with that sort of attitude…
And further bad news arrived as New York announced a complete ban on vaping indoors forcing vapers to congregate outside public buildings alongside smokers – crazy.
Oh dear let’s do try and end October on a sort of high!
Thousands of us went along to Vaper Expo the Return and whilst some thoroughly enjoyed themselves I felt it wasn’t as good as others I’ve been to – though maybe I was just entering the pre-Christmas Grinch mood lol – full story HERE.
More good news for UK vapers as once again parliament debated vaping this time following the publication of the The State of the Vaping Nation.
The reports calls for the promotion of vaping ‘all year round’ and not just during Stoptober and recommended the lifting of the advertising ban on e-cigs as well as a detailed study of the UK’s adoption of the TPD.
A great end to the year seeing vaping put in such a good light and you can read my full article on the debate HERE.
And to top things off Cancer Research UK reported the number of young smokers had fallen considerably reaching an all-time low.
I missed the latter part of November – due to health issues – but it doesn’t look like I missed anything important!
Scientists conducting the longest ever study into the effect of vaping on the body found that e-cigs does NOT damage the lungs.
Lasting 3.5 years they found that even using vapers who’d never smoked a cigarette – no ill effects could be found!
More good news as e-liquid manufacturer Dinner Lady announced a whopping £12million worth of sales in just 2 years of trading – be interesting to see how they fair in our annual vape awards with those numbers!
Not such good news for manufacturers of the Heat Not Burn products with the very first independent study into HNB suggesting they could cause cancer.
The Committee of Toxicology [COT] found that HNB products contained 50 and 90% fewer harmful and potentially harmful chemicals compared to a typical cigarette.
However the team was unable to compare the risks against vaping precisely due to a lack of data in the area.
This is a topic I will be keeping a close eye on in 2018 – expect HNB products to flood the markets around the world…
and finally…Happy New Year To You All!
And that was about it of the vaping news of note in 2017!
As I said at the beginning what looked like being the year vaping died – at least here in the UK and Europe thanks to the TPD – has actually turned out to be a pretty positive one.
Globally we still have plenty of battles on our hands in places like Australia – India and even Canada – but as the UK Gov continues to praise the benefits of e-cigs let’s hope other countries get a dose of common sense.
That just leaves me on behalf of all of us here at EcigClick to wish you a Very Happy Prosperous and Safe New Year to you and yours!