As the might of the FDA and the World Health Organization combine in calls to ban or over-regulate e-cigarettes out of existence, a new study shows all this will do is return current vapers back to smoking.

The study is another of those “well that’s pretty obvious” type deals however we do need these kinds of factually based studies to add weight to the argument that vaping is considerably safer than smoking.

Politicians do like the men and women in white coats giving them statistics 😉

duke health vape study

The Duke University study chimes with the thoughts of two unlikely bedfellows – the New Nicotine Alliance and Big Tobacco’s Phillip Morris International – the force behind IQOS HNB and the Mesh kit – more on that in a moment.

The research by scientists at Duke University shows a staggering 47% of vapers would return to smoking should American politicians and the FDA impose flavour bans and severe restrictions on all vape products.

Lead author of the study, Lauren Pacek, Ph.D, says her findings should be a warning to those looking for an outright ban or limits on all vape products:


The FDA now has regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and we know that some communities have taken action to ban flavored e-cigarette products.

We wanted to take a first pass at seeing what users’ anticipated responses to new regulations might be.

Our findings suggest that while some regulations, such as banning certain flavors to limit appeal to adolescents, might improve outcomes for those young users, the new regulations might have unintended consequences with other portions of the population.

Those ‘unintended consequences’ are actually extremely concerning and when you look at the data, look behind those figures and we have real people at risk of dying from tobacco-related diseases.

Add to that the impact of that person’s death on family and friends, and those anti-vapers out there are literally killing people and destroying families.

Ban Or Restrict Vaping – Get More Smokers!

Scientists looked at a group of adults aged between 18 and 29. They were asked what their reactions would be should flavour bans – strict regulation on e-cigarettes and the reduction of nicotine in lit tobacco products, come into force.

As you can see almost half said they’d return to smoking should vaping become over-regulated or flavour bans continue to be imposed. As to flavours – if the USA, for instance, decided to only allow menthol and tobacco flavoured e-liquids, 17% said they’d not bother with vaping and carry on smoking.

Another concern was if the customization of vape devices and e-liquids became an issue 22% would again quit vaping and return to smoking. By that, the researchers meant being able to control the power going into the vape device or level of nicotine used.

E-Cigarette vs cigarette

Pacek said the research was worrying:

It’s likely some potential new regulations on e-cigarettes will result in a net good for the whole population, such as limiting flavors that might entice young users, improving safety standards, or mandating that liquids come in child-proof containers.

However, our findings suggest that there should also be thoughtful consideration to potential unintended consequences that could affect other subsets of users of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

As I said at the start it isn’t rocket science – we instinctively know that if there are severe restrictions placed on vaping, smokers will continue to smoke and vapers will find it increasingly difficult to find the kit that’s right for them.

Factor in many smokers falsely believing that over-regulation must mean e-cigs are as harmful if not more harmful than smoking, and we shall see a rise in smoking and death rates – brutal but that simple.

WHO’s Stance Will “Perpetuate Smoking”

As I reported last week, the World Health Organization’s 2019 Global Tobacco Report paints vaping in an extremely bad light.

Apart from standing by its ridiculous claim there’s no evidence vaping helps people quit smoking – yes really – it also suggests e-cigarettes are “undoubtedly harmful” and some sources have reported the WHO saying e-cigs are “not helping to tackle cancer” and are still a “gateway for young people to smoking“.

Of course, all of those wild and idiotic claims have been disproven many times. And you only have to look at who sponsored the report – Bloomberg Philanthropies – the extremely anti-vaping lobby/charity behind Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products – STOP.

With those over the top anti-vaping zealots paying the bills, it’s little wonder the WHO dare not support e-cigarettes – they do like their cash to keep funding those first class junkets 😉

New nicotine Alliance Snus

The New Nicotine Alliance didn’t hold its punches – little wonder given the WHO has black-listed that UK vape advocacy charity in the same group as arms dealers – yes really!

A spokesman said:

The World Health Organization’s recent report on the global tobacco epidemic will do little but perpetuate smoking by making non-combustible alternatives to smoking like electronic cigarettes less accessible, more expensive and less consumer-friendly.

Public Health England research has shown that vaping is at least 95 per cent safer than cigarette smoking and 2-3 times as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapies in helping smokers to quit, confirming the UK Royal College of Physicians’ view that vaping has “huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use”.

A recent study, funded by the leading cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, found that people using e-cigarettes to quit smoking are about 95 per cent more likely to report success than those trying to quit without help from any stop-smoking aids.

The WHO report reiterates the discredited argument that e-cigarettes are a gateway for young people to start smoking. Yet only last month, research published by anti-smoking charity, ASH, found that vaping remains uncommon among young people and is almost exclusively confined to current or past smokers.

Most teen vaping is experimental and short-lived, with Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, saying at the time: “We need to be vigilant and continue to monitor e-cigarette use among young people. However, smoking prevalence among children and young adults in Britain has fallen substantially since 2010, which doesn’t indicate that vaping has been a gateway into smoking.”

And still, the WHO buries its head in an ashtray full of dog-ends…quite remarkable and it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.

Martin and Jessica NNA
Martin and Jessica NNA

NNA Chair Martin Cullip called the WHO to task pointing out the success here in the UK:

The UK boasts some 1.7 million former smokers who have converted from smoking to exclusively vaping instead.

It is extremely likely that this behavioural shift has been driven by the availability of e-cigarettes and their promotion by public health in the UK.

If the WHO truly wants to drive down smoking rates, it must consider the growing body of evidence that vaping is an effective way to help people to quit.

The WHO and the tobacco control lobby seem to have abandoned health altogether in favour of just attacking industry.

Wise words indeed but will the WHO do a 180 anytime soon? One doubts it because as we can see they persistently and consistently support BIG Pharma stop smoking tools such as patches, gums and sprays that don’t work and mind-bending drugs that can lead to suicide.

WHO Won’t Talk To Big Tobacco!?!

To solve any conflict its a fact that all parties involved should at least have some kind of dialogue whether it be an actual war or one of ideas.

However, it seems in tobacco harm reduction one side is keen to chat and find common ground, in this case, the vaping industry and Big Tobacco, whilst the World Health Organization refuses to even consider such a thing.

Childish ain’t the word!

Of course, it’s a risk getting into bed with Big Tobacco, however sometimes you have to make that first step whilst all the time keeping up a decent level of suspicion – reminds me of marriage guidance 20 odd years ago lol.

unsmoke pmi

But in all seriousness the WHO’s latest report targeted Phillip Morris Inc – in particular, its Un Smoke campaign.

As I said in my article is this merely a clever PR ploy to get folks smoking? Time will tell but I doubt it and anyway the WHO has a duty – a moral duty to do all it can to help smokers quit and if that means talking with Big Tobacco then so be it – we’re all adults here…apparently.

Dr. Moira Gilchrist, Vice President of Strategic and Scientific Communications at PMI agrees:

The WHO is failing the 1 billion men and women around the world that continue to smoke by continuing to ignore the science behind better alternatives to cigarettes.

There is no question that scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives are better than cigarettes.

The WHO is perfectly situated to encourage independent research and provide science-based recommendations to smokers.

Instead, they seem to be closing down dialogue on promising alternatives to continued smoking, choosing instead to focus solely on pharmaceutical industry products.

Once again the lady has nailed it.

IF and that’s a big IF, the WHO is really keen on tackling what they’re calling a “global tobacco epidemic” [they do like that e word don’t they lol] then they MUST talk to who they perceive as the enemy – in this case Big Tobacco and most definitely the New Nicotine Alliance.

Sitting on their first-class seats on flights to the next paradise based junket with their fingers in their collective ears singing “we’re not talking to you” is pathetic even more so when people’s lives are at risk.

The WHO needs to stop fiddling about whilst the world burns – literally – because the lives of billions are at stake.

Neil Humber
I began vaping in 2012 and found it easy to give up a 40 per day roll-up habit! DTL: Lost Vape DNA75C BF - Dead Rabbit SQ - MTL: JacVapour Sandstorm DNA 75 + Augvape Merlin Nano RTA...Daily set-up Lost Vape DNA 250c and Geekvape Zeus X I'm a former journalist and now a writer and author.. I'm an Army veteran - adore dogs and never happier than with a good book on a beach.

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