A Guest Post From the New Nicotine Alliance On Sarah Jakes Speech At The E-Cig Summit
Sarah Jakes – the no-nonsense talking chair of the New Nicotine Alliance will be addressing the E-Cigarette Summit today and delivering yet another straight from the hip speech.
In this one she targets the rumbling rows over vaping and other alternative nicotine delivery systems in the public health sector and says those groups should come together for a common cause – helping smokers quit.
She tackles the ridiculous vape bans and says behind the label ‘vaper’ there are real people who deserve more respect.
Here’s the guest post – enjoy:
Confusion Reigns While Public Health ‘Experts’ Argue
The New Nicotine Alliance calls for a new approach from public health towards vaping and other safer nicotine products:
- Warring factions in public health are contributing to confusion and mistrust of effective alternatives to smoking
- If the public’s health is to be properly served by state-funded organisations, accurate and impartial information is key
- Misperceptions are harmful, breed intolerance, and are exacerbated by bans and restrictions on proven safer products
- If public health advocates wish to see further reductions in smoking, public health needs to come together and win over hearts and minds.
Along with the increased availability of online information, the public has also been bombarded with less than honest propaganda from ideologically-motivated sources on products which carry a reduced risk, and which have contributed to the lowest smoking prevalence rates in the UK’s history.
In her speech Sarah says:
The public need to be able to trust that the information given to us by public health authorities is accurate and complete.
The vast majority of the public are not scientists, so they go with what they perceive to be a trustworthy source of information. But who can you trust when the authorities and experts are so divided?</blockquote.
Spotlight On The Situation In The USA
Sarah will highlight the febrile political debate currently taking place in the US, where truth about vaping has been abandoned in favour of moral posturing which serves no positive purpose for American smokers and urge campaigners to settle their ideological differences for the benefit of those they are tasked to help.
The vast majority of vapers don’t advocate, or even identify as vapers. They are simply people getting on with their lives who also happen to vape. This silent majority are mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters with ordinary and extraordinary lives to lead but our humanity is often obscured from view when the label of ‘vaper’ is applied.
As long as the apparent controversy continues, the public will trust only what they see with their own eyes, and what they see is bans, restrictions, warning labels and something that looks like smoking.
Misperceptions are harmful in more ways than one. They breed intolerance, which supports restrictive policy, which in turn creates more misperceptions and more intolerance. Is it any wonder that many smokers don’t see the point of switching?
Smokers and vapers are not merely numbers in a dataset, or a trend on a graph, they are real people and should not be pawns in a political power game between different factions of the public health community. A new, more sympathetic approach is required.
We must never lose sight of the fact that behind every data point is a real person with strengths and weaknesses, desires and ambitions, and that every life is precious.
The NNA would like to see a new approach which places the consumer over and above dogma and insular point-scoring, one which treats nicotine users with more respect.
I couldn’t agree more with what she has to say especially the constant bickering between shall we call them ‘rival’ health and advocacy groups especially centered around vaping.
Whilst I’m all for lively debate and opposing views – the simple fact is yes we know vaping is not without a small amount of risk but is is clear that it’s at least 95% safer than smoking and of course the same can be said for SNUS.
We also have to look at HNB which whilst the science hasn’t caught up yet – the consensus is it is safer than smoking – just how much we don’t yet know.
But it’s that call for us users of nicotine to be given respect that stands out for me.
Given nicotine and caffeine are pretty much cut from the same chemical cloth – coffee drinkers are perfectly acceptable in society indeed lauded however mention you need a nicotine fix and the world loses its collective minds!
We really are lucky to have such a powerful ally as Sarah Jakes and of course the NNA fighting the vapers corner and if you’d like to find out more about their work and donate to the cause head over to the website now: NEW NICOTINE ALLIANCE.
Note: The Ecig Summit has been running for the past 5 years and brings together advocacy groups – scientists – policy makers – medical and public health professionals and stakeholders to discuss and debate the latest research and evidence around e-cigarettes in what they call a ‘neutral environment’.