The Need For Accurate Health Information On Vaping

The Oxford Academic Group “Nicotine & Tobacco Research” have published a paper titled “The effect of conflicting public health guidance on smokers’ and vaper’s e-cigarette harm perceptions“.

oxford academic nicotine & tobacco Research logo

You can also view a PDF of the whole study here.

As the title implies this study is examining how public health guidance and media perception form harm reduction opinions in smokers and vapers.

The opening paragraph sums up why this study was needed…

“E-cigarettes are increasingly being viewed, incorrectly, as more harmful than cigarettes. This may discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. One potential explanation for these increasingly harmful attitudes is conflicting information presented in the media, online and from public health bodies.”

In general we assume the attitude to vaping is pretty positive, but as my own News Tracker demonstrates – the media can often promote scare tactics which go against public health recommendations.

newspapers uk

More About the Study

A registered online study received responses from 334 daily UK smokers who don’t vape and 368 daily UK vapers.


These respondents were then presented with varying information regarding harm reduction.


This study appeared to show that those who are exposed to negative messages against vaping did tend to view vaping as more harmful. Even vapers were susceptible to absorbing the negative statements.

I quote…

“Our findings suggest that public health bodies should communicate the safety of e-cigarettes in consensus with other public health bodies to reduce harm perceptions. This is feasible in light of the growing body of evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation tool and therefore have the potential to reduce smoking associated morbidity and mortality.

Additionally, public health bodies may wish to proactively challenge negative information by countering it with harm reduction information, as we find that negative information is more harmful than conflicting information. However, when public health bodies are already in conflict, it is not necessarily advantageous to reiterate the harms of smoking.

These communication methods need to be evaluated amongst people who do not smoke, to ensure that vaping is not promoted amongst this group. “

So who knows what the effect of the recent spate of negative press will have on harm reduction. It looks like there is a lot more work needed to make sure smokers are educated correctly on the risks and benefits of swapping to vaping.

Thankfully this was a part of the critical recommendations (“must dos”) in the recent Khan Independent Tobacco Review. It was stated that accurate information on vaping must be provided whilst also making sure to prevent youth vaping.

itr critical

So fingers crossed this should be less of an issue in the future.

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Study Finds Traces of Caffeine in Juul Pods

Dr. Neal Benowitz, a researcher and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, said that the caffeine present is in levels too low to have an effect.

In January 2020, the FDA released the much anticipated guidance pertaining to flavoured vaping products. “Companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions,” said the guidance, which went into effect the following February. However, anticipating this move, Juul had already stopped selling its flavoured products in the US as of late 2019.

And while Juul users were forced to resort to more boring flavours or seek their preferred products on the blackmarket, a recent study claimed that they may have been getting their kick from the products regardless, via caffeine. Titled, “A Retrospective Analysis of Chemical Constituents in Regulated and Unregulated E-Cigarette Liquids,” the study  analyzed the contents of 241 nicotine and cannabis vaporizer products, including Juul pods, found on the market over the past few years.

A research team from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Forensic Science found ten chemicals in Juul pods, including caffeine, which appeared in concentrations averaging 23.5 micrograms per milliliter in Classic Tobacco pods, and averaging 9.3 μg/ml in Menthol-flavored pod. The addictive substance is not listed as part of the contents which according to the Juul’s website, consist only of nicotine, and the additives propylene glycol, glycerine, and benzoic acid.

The presence of caffeine in the products oculd make them more addictive

Discussing the findings, the researchers said that the presence of caffeine in the products would make them more addictive. “The addition of caffeine to e-cig liquids could act as an initiation primer, leading to increased caffeine seeking and consumption and chances of caffeine addiction,” they wrote, noting that “caffeine consumption has been reported to increase the odds of smoking [and] the urge to smoke.”

The question is whether Juul added the caffeine purposely. Dr. Neal Benowitz, a researcher and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, said that this is unlikely as the caffeine present is in levels too low to have an effect. “For comparison, a cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams” of caffeine,” Benowitz said. At 25 micrograms per milliliter, “a bout of JUULing would deliver about 1/1000 of the caffeine in a cup of coffee,” he said. “Unlikely to have any significant effects.”

As for how it got there? Probably an accident, according to Benowitz. “I can see no reason why they would add minute amounts of caffeine,” he added. “Most likely a contaminant in some flavor chemicals they purchased and did not know about.” Nevertheless the findings could prove tricky for Juul who is still waiting for its Pre-Market Tobacco Authorization (PMTA).

Read Further: Forbes

The FDA Suspends Its Own Juul Marketing Denial Order 

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Disposable Vapes – Why The Panic?

I have noticed a trend over the last few weeks of a panic about disposable vapes in the UK media.

I am still keeping track of all the news headlines related to vaping for my News Tracker.

There are a lot of vapers who are sceptical about this form of vaping and I totally understand why.

disposable vapes

In general the reputation of disposable vapes brings a lot of negativity to vaping. Also it was widely predicted that these devices would result in a lot of bad press for vaping in the future, which does seem to be coming true.

There is also the issue of waste and general environmental impact.

If used by adults who want to try vaping for less expenditure or if someone needs a vape in a hurry I think they serve a useful purpose.

But what is becoming apparent is that there is a lot more teenage experimentation with disposables, plus this brings up the question of how under age people are able to purchase these?

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Scare Mongering

Below are some articles taken from the last few weeks regarding this issue and they are pretty full on pushing some bullshit claims too.

I understand they are trying to put teens off vaping – which is fair enough, but they are also detering older smokers who may have considered vaping as a way to quit smoking.

Daily Mail

Daily Mail – Expert warns that up to 95% of people who develop severe “Popcorn Lung” as a result of vaping will DIE within five years of developing this disease

Yeah sort of expected isn’t it from the DM. Basically this scare story relates to the bullshit “Popcorn Lung” theory of vaping Diacetyl in e-liquid. This compound has been banned for many years and you won’t find legal e-liquid containing this. Kind of a very low blow from the DM.

As you would expect thankfully this utter horse shit has prompted a backlash on Twitter…

This is a whole thread of response to the story – click on the Tweet to view…

Daily Mail – 19-year-old who quit four-year vaping addiction cold turkey as part of a $3K BET documents the horrific realities of withdrawal – from binge eating and vomiting to brutal manic episodes

Teen from Arizona US – it is worth mentioning that vapes can go up to 50mg nicotine strength there so that may be a factor – who knows.

Daily Mail – Girl, 11, is rushed to hospital after vaping as mother warns parents over fake e-cigarettes being sold to children

This article also calls for bans for children buying vapes – which are already in place!

BBC News

BBC News – E-cigarettes: Young addict fear as 17 year old can’t stop vaping

This relates to Wales and a Deputy Head Teacher from a school there is quoted as saying:

”In the old days you could smell cigarettes or tobacco,” he said. “If you light a cigarette it takes a certain amount of time to disappear.

“With these [vapes] you can have one quick puff, you can keep it in your pocket, you can keep it on you all day and you can’t smell it.”

BBC News – Market flooded by unsafe vapes aimed at children

This article seems to have some facts regarding the Trading Standards organisation trying to keep on top of illegal vapes. Thankfully they have included a graphic to help people recognise whether their vape is legal.

BBC news legal vape

BBC News – Vaping – is it a risk-free option?

This article includes an example from an 18 year old in Borehamwood…

“I can just sit in bed and vape and be on Facetime to my friends at the same time,” she says.

“It’s always in my hand, so you just do it all the time.

“It got to the point where I was getting through two vapes a week, with 3,500 puffs in each.”

Then the article goes into dodgy territory blaming vaping for dental issues which has already been debunked by experts.

The Telegraph

There’s a new status symbol for Britain’s teenagers – and it’s toxic

I won’t lie – I am unable to read this article due to it being behind a paywall. Even ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) have kicked off to deny the rubbish claims that are made. Again this is a Twitter thread…

What Has Triggered This?

The lighting of the fuse appears to be an article in The Times on 2nd June 2022 which is sadly behind a paywall, but I did get to read it once – before the paywall kicked in.

Elf Bars and Me, I’m a vaping addict so will I get gum disease?

As you can see Elf Bar disposables were singled out as being addictive and the article also brought up dental problems which the newspaper attributed to vaping. As mentioned above this received a backlash of dental professionals denying this was actually the case. But the stage was prepared for more scare stories about disposables.

The issue of social media such as TikTok and Instagram arises too as a lot of blame is being put on influencers and viral videos which are apparently promoting vaping to youngsters.

social media

Metro – Ads on TikTok and Instagram “behind rise in children vaping”

Perhaps this is true, being 46 I have no concept of “influencers”? Seeing someone famous doing something does not have any impact on me at all. Even sometimes it actually puts me off whatever they are advertising. Is this happening to young people? I don’t know?

Wales Online – Rise in children vaping across Britain “influenced by social media”.

Luckily in the UK for many years vaping has been seen as a bit of a geeky hobby, so mainly teens have not found it appealing.

But looking at some of the figures from the ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) recent survey says that 52% of young vapers use disposables which is a 7% increase on 2020.

ASH vaping trends 2022
ASH “Brand of device tried by 11-17 year olds who vape disposables”

I am torn on this issue as nobody wants underage people using vapes full stop. But also would these teenagers be the ones who would take up smoking anyway? So if they are choosing vapes rather than cigarettes does this mean the tobacco free generation is already starting?

It is such a hairy topic and even mentioning causes a lot of disagreement. I think originally the UK were fine with disposables, just a few on the market from well known brands. But sadly the popularity of these has taken off with cheapo and fake versions hitting our shores and it’s those which I think are dangerous. Who knows what chemicals go into the tank and even worse they might be electronically dodgy.

Keeping Safe

My recommendation is to buy well known good brands, with 2ml of e-liquid or less. To be legal in the UK the nic strength has to be 20mg or below. So should be easy to spot dodgy ones as they won’t meet these requirements.

Regulated legal vapes are not harmful, just try and steer clear of any dodgy ones which are from unknown brands, high nicotine strength or high capacity (over 2ml).

This hysteria is mainly due to illegal vapes, not the Elf Bars and Geek Bars you buy from a trusty local vape shop. But even they can be copies so make sure to check they are authentic using the systems in place.

Big vape brands such as Innokin, Wotofo etc are now making disposables so sticking to a well known brand would be your best bet.

I have personally seen discarded disposables when out walking my dog and sadly I don’t recognise a majority of them. They appear to not be from respected companies which is scary. So they are getting into customers hands somehow and this is what needs to be clamped down on.

I wouldn’t want some crappy “no-name” disposable anywhere near my face but I would happily use a Geek Bar, Elf Bar etc made by trusted manufacturers.

What Can You Do?

If someone you know is into disposables try and get them onto legal well-known ones for their own safety.

We list our best disposables of 2022 here plus also check out our reviews to see which are safe and reliable as a guide when you purchase.

Report any dodgy vapes to Trading Standards which are also backed by the UKVIA and other vape industry bodies to crack down on illegal supplies. The UKVIA also publish their own guide to staying within the law when selling vaping products.

ukvia regulatory compliance

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Philippines: Pro-Consumer Vaping Bill Becomes Law

The vaping regulation bill passed by the Philippines legislature in January has become law. The legislation makes the Philippines one of very few Asian countries with reasonable vaping regulations intended to benefit people who smoke or would smoke if vapor products weren’t available.

The Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act overwhelmingly (19-2) passed the Philippines Senate in January, and was quickly reconciled with a version passed earlier by the House of Representatives. Since then, the bill has been the subject of intense debate, with major lobbying efforts by groups both in support and opposition to the law.

After the bill was transmitted to then-President Rodrigo Duterte on June 24, Filipino newspapers were filled with stories about efforts to persuade Duterte, and then his successor Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to sign or veto the bill. The presidents had 30 days from receiving the bill to sign or veto. Neither took any action, so the bill “lapsed” into law on July 25. It will become official two weeks after publication in the country’s Official Gazette (which hasn’t happened yet).

The most important aspect of the law is that it legitimizes vaping as a strategy to help smokers reduce or eliminate their health risks. There are more than 16 million Philippines citizens who smoke. Offering them a government-approved, regulated alternative could save millions of lives.

Neither the final Senate bill nor the reconciled version passed by both legislative chambers is available to read, so specifics about the bill are difficult to pin down. The following details come mostly from Philippines news sites, which sometimes conflict (about flavors at least). We will revise the article if necessary when the final law is published.

The law gives authority to regulate vaping and heated tobacco products to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which will consult with the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set technical standards for safety and quality. (The FDA will maintain authority over products making health claims, like nicotine replacement therapies.) The law includes all consumer vaping products, including those that don’t contain nicotine.

The law allows online sales and products with nicotine strengths up to 65 mg/mL (6.5 percent). It lowers the legal age of purchase from 21 to 18, which means there will be more young people vaping instead of smoking (the age to buy cigarettes is 18). The new vape law imposes restrictions on where vaping products can be sold, and provides penalties for stores and online retailers that sell to minors. It also restricts advertising, including use of social media influencers and celebrities.

While the new law may not ban flavors outright, it at least prohibits labels and advertising that use “flavor descriptors that are proven to unduly appeal particularly to minors,” according to Vera Files. A flavor descriptor is presumed to appeal to minors “if it includes a reference to a fruit, a candy brand, dessert, or to a cartoon character.”

However, according to some reporting, legislators supporting the bill claim the law would maintain the existing flavor ban and add the “descriptor” language on top of it. An outright flavor ban would probably prevent legal vaping retailers from effectively competing with black market sellers.

But flavor ban or not, the Philippines’ new vape law is a minor miracle. In Southeast Asia, nicotine and tobacco policy is dominated by the World Health Organization’s Bloomberg-fueled prohibitionist ideology. Most of the Philippines’ neighboring countries have passed outright vape bans, in accordance with WHO recommendations. For Filipino vaping advocates to battle the influence of the tobacco control establishment and eventually convince elected officials to enshrine tobacco harm reduction in law is a major feat.

Because the Philippines presidency changed hands in July, not one but two presidents had the opportunity to pass or veto the vaping bill. As it turned out, neither the outgoing Rodrigo Duterte nor the incoming Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took any action at all, and the bill became law automatically. But that month was an orgy of lobbying, with both presidents pushed and pulled to make a decision.

The vaping bill was strongly opposed by the Philippines Department of Health, and by many medical and tobacco control groups. Because the new law will remove authority to regulate the vaping industry from the Philippines FDA and hand it to the DTI, the bill generated hostile reactions from entrenched public health interests, including regional and international organizations.

The FDA itself lobbied the two presidents—right up until the deadline—urging a veto of the bill. The agency had previously angered many members of the legislature when it was revealed that Bloomberg Philanthropies had attempted to influence the FDA position on vaping by flooding the Philippines public health establishment with money.

The vaping bill had support from some medical organizations that believe tobacco harm reduction (THR) can help reduce smoking disease and death. It was also supported by the PhilTobacco Growers Association, which represents 50,000 Filipino tobacco growers and believes the production of nicotine for vaping products can help farmers, according to the Manila Times. In addition to DTI, the proposed law had support from the country’s labor, interior and defense departments.

The question going forward is whether tobacco control and public health groups will give the law a chance to work, or try to poison public opinion against vaping and undermine DTI’s regulation at every turn.

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US Report Warns That Flavoured Vapes Are Still in Stores Despite Federal Ban

In January 2020, the FDA released the much anticipated guidance pertaining to flavoured vaping products. “Companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions,” said the guidance, which went into effect the following February.

A judge ruling last September aimed to enforce the measure. Yet, said a report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, countless kid-friendly vape flavours are still being sold through the five top online e-cigarette retailers, and widely available in convenience stores and gas stations located in eight cities across the country.

“Flavored e-cigarettes of precisely the kind that youth are using are widely available both on the internet and in retail outlets,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Flavors attract them. Nicotine addicts them,” Myers continued. “Without the flavors, many fewer kids would be attracted to these products — 85% of the kids who use an e-cigarette use a flavored one.”

A steep increase in flavoured disposable vapes

Meanwhile as a result of the ban, there has been a shift in the type of products teens purchase, such as a sharp drop in Juul sales and a steep increase in flavoured disposable devices by Puff Bar. The latter sells disposable e-cigarettes online in a range of flavours including pink lemonade, tobacco, and strawberry, and colours (some of which light up when used). The devices contain 5%, or 50mg, of salt nicotine.

Amidst previous concerns pertaining to the popularity of the Juul device which also delivers nicotine via salts, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had highlighted that the nicotine salts lead to a higher consumption of nicotine, making the device particularly dangerous for teenagers.

Meanwhile, said WebMD, the report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids summarized the findings from n-store assessments conducted in eight cities as follows:

  • “Juul was sold in all cities, and brands like Vuse, NJOY and blu were available in most.
  • Flavored e-liquids were found in most cities, in flavors like Green Apple, Cola, Peachy Rings, Tropical Fruit, Strawberry Macaroon and Island Orange.
  • Disposable e-cigarettes were available in every city in flavors like Coconut Pineapple Smoothie, Strawberry Ice Cream, Gummy Bear, Mango Slushee and Blue Razz Lemonade.”

US: San Diego Bans Vape and Tobacco Flavours


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The Issue Of Disposable Vape Waste

Again the issue of Disposable Vape waste is being talked about in the media.

recycle your vape
Image courtesy of

For instance the following news sites have had these articles on the topic:

Sadly the Telegraph article is behind a paywall but it mentions that the amount of Lithium from disposables every year would be enough to build 1,200 car batteries!

vape waste vehicle batteries
Image courtesy of

According to the Sky News article two disposables are being thrown away every second. Therefore around 10 tonnes of Lithium is being chucked.

Each disposable apparently only contains less than 1/10 of a gramme of Lithium but the sheer quantity being wasted adds up.

vape waste stats
Image courtesy of

Sky News quotes Mark Miodownik – the Professor of Materials and Society and University College London…

“We can’t be throwing these materials away, it really is madness in a climate emergency,”

“It’s in your laptop, it’s in your mobile phone, it’s in electric cars. This is the material that we are absolutely relying on to shift away from fossil fuels and address climate issues.”

A survey conducted by Opinium for the non-profit recycling organisation Material Focus found 18% of 4000 people surveyed had bought a vape in the previous year. 7% of those had bought a disposable. These figures applied to the whole of the UK could mean around 168 million disposables are bought annually in the UK.

Over half of users reported just discarding these in a bin rather than recycling correctly.

What Can Be Done To Solve This?

The Sky News article investigated what the manufacturers of the popular disposable brands Geek Bar and Elf Bar are doing to reduce this issue.

The UK has the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations which says that producers bear responsibility to make sure their products are recycled and disposed of safely.

Apparently according to Sky News both manufacturers do not appear on the WEEE register and neither replied when asked for a comment on the situation.

recycle vape batteries and disposables

I have looked on both the manufacturers’ websites and sadly there is no guide to recycling their devices.

Our wonderful Neil Humber wrote in 2021 about the issue and also contacted suppliers, trade associations and vendors for their response.

If you want advice on how to recycle these products please visit the website.

how to recycle vapes
Image courtesy of

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Gregory Conley Takes External Affairs Job at AVM

After more than a decade as one of vaping’s most prominent freelance defenders, Gregory Conley will join the American Vapor Manufacturers Association as Director of Legislative and External Affairs. It will be his first job working for a vaping industry organization.

At AVM, Conley will focus on government and media relations. He has a long history of speaking for vaping consumers and the independent vaping industry at legislative hearings and in radio and television appearances, as president of the American Vaping Association (AVA). He will also continue to lead the AVA, which will shift its efforts to voter education and outreach. The AVA name may change, Conley says.

The American Vapor Manufacturers Association (AVM) was launched in 2020 by Amanda Wheeler and Char Owen, both small vaping business owners attempting to navigate the complex FDA premarket review process. The organization represents vape manufacturers across the country, and has become the most prominent trade organization in the industry. Wheeler serves as president of AVM, and is herself a highly visible vaping advocate.

“Gregory is a critical voice for vaping and understands adult smokers and ex-smokers face dire circumstances because of the FDA,” Wheeler said in a press release. “One single billionaire is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns designed to end the vaping industry. The stakes have never been greater and I am thrilled to have him aboard to work towards a unified industry.”

Conley’s involvement with vaping began as a consumer. He quit smoking with e-cigarettes while earning a law degree from Rutgers University, and joined the recently formed Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) in 2010 while still a student. He began as a volunteer, soon became a board member, and then CASAA’s first Legislative Director.

In 2014, he founded the American Vaping Association, a non-profit dedicated to vaping advocacy. While the organization has been mostly a one-man show, it certainly has never seemed that way, especially during crisis moments when Conley might jump from writing op-eds to doing TV interviews to testifying before state legislatures—sometimes all in one day.

In television appearances on CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN and others, he has proved ready with complex facts and quick responses that unprepared network pundits were unable to refute. Once, while visiting congressional offices in Washington, he accidentally encountered Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and used the occasion to engage with the surprised Obama official and give him a copy of the Royal College of Physicians report on vaping and harm reduction.

In his most famous TV appearance, Conley found himself sitting three chairs away from President Donald Trump at Trump’s roundtable listening session on vaping, which was unexpectedly broadcast live by several TV networks. Conley, sitting alongside anti-vaping activists like Truth Initiative’s Robin Koval and Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, briefly but effectively explained the “EVALI” lung injuries, the harm caused to small businesses by the FDA PMTA process, and the likely results of a flavor ban. When Juul Labs’ CEO spoke up to defend the FDA, Conley shot him down with a withering comment about regulatory capture and monopolies, earning a chuckle from Trump.

“Over the last decade-plus, myself and millions of American adults have given up cigarettes because of vaping,” Conley said today in a statement. “During that time, I have been proud to advocate for vaping from the perspective of a consumer and harm reductionist. In this new role at AVM, I will continue to push for appropriate regulations to ensure that American businesses are not replaced with a multi-billion dollar illicit market. I look forward to helping grow AVM alongside Amanda and her board.”

Featured photo courtesy the American Vaping Association.

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People Caught Vaping at Qatar 2022 World Cup Face Fines or Prison

Brits are being advised to use other quit smoking methods when travelling to Qatar.

Fans are being urged to check the nicotine consumption rules in Qatar ahead of travelling as it’s prohibited to vape in the country or import vapes. Vaping has been illegal across Qatar since 2014, while data from the UK has indicated that there are approximately 3.3m UK nationals using vapes. To this effect, Brits are being advised to use other quit smoking methods when travelling to Qatar, or else face possible harsh penalties such as fines or a maximum of three months in prison.

The warning is being issued by UK online retailer Vape Club, as a large number of UK vapers are also football fans. Given the progressive vape laws in the UK, many of these travelling vapers may mistakenly assume that regulations elsewhere are as permissive.

Qatar’s vape ban

In Qatar, using and importing vaping products has been banned since 2014. In 2016, head of the Non-Communicable Disease Department at the Ministry of Public Health Dr Kholood al-Mutawaa, had stated, “The e-cigarette was banned in Qatar according to a ministry order in 2014. We have instructed all supermarkets, pharmacies and other outlets not to sell it. We have also communicated with the customs department at the airport, seaport and the land border not to allow e-cigarettes into Qatar.”

“We have instructed all supermarkets, pharmacies and other outlets not to sell it. We have also communicated with the customs department at the airport, seaport and at the borders not to allow e-cigarettes into Qatar. People can’t bring it to the country or order it from other countries. Others can’t send it to the country either. Anyone who is in possession of e-cigarettes may be charged with appropriate action.”

Director of Vape Club, Dan Marchant, highlighted that because of the UK’s progressive attitude towards vaping, UK nationals are perhaps more likely than others to unknowingly get in trouble. “Because the UK has such a progressive attitude towards harm reduction and recognises the huge role vaping has to play in achieving a smokefree future, we tend to forget that there are many other countries around the world who are so far behind us. How any country can ban vaping over tobacco use is beyond me, and seems completely anti-science and anti-public health.

“I just hope that quitters don’t find themselves turning back to cigarettes in Qatar. There’s a real danger of this. Being deprived of their vapes as a source of nicotine to replace a harmful tobacco product could easily push people back to cigarettes while in Qatar. Once this happens, it could consign the smoker back to months or years of cigarette use before being able to quit again.”

Qatar : Health official repeats misguided arguments


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Things Looking Grim For Vapers In Ireland

Things are looking grim for vapers in Ireland…

I reported previously how Ireland is struggling to formalise a Tobacco Control policy that promotes vaping and harm reduction. And it appears to be getting worse.

On July 17th 2022 the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health put forward a report regarding the future steps to take in Tobacco Control.

Sadly it isn’t as positive as the Khan Review in the UK for vapers.

Is Vaping Under Threat In Ireland?

Unfortunately the committee is taking guidance from the WHO (World Health Organisation) who have published some absolute bull crap regarding vaping. For instance – taken from the report…

tobacco control ireland report harm

I know you are probably shaking your head reading these, like I am. All of this is disproven. But hey Science seems to not be important.

Other Irish authorities such as the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation and SCHEER (European Commissions Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks) are on the same wavelength as WHO.

So this kind of displays the tone this document has taken, it is pretty anti-vaping to be honest. There is the odd mention of the UK policy but an argument is pitched against it.

respect vapers flavours


  • The report recommends licencing the sale of e-cigarettes and for it to be reviewed one year after it comes into effect. Also it recommends the public are educated on the harms of vaping in a simple and effective manner.
  • It says that under 18s should be prevented from buying vaping products. Plus scientific evidence should be constantly reviewed in relation to vaping due to the speed of new technologies entering the market.
  • The funding for stop smoking services should be increased and support should be universally available to everyone free of charge.
  • Sale of tobacco products from temporary or moveable premises is to be prohibited and also this extends to e-cigarette sales.
  • Restrictions on sales of tobacco products will be introduced and these will also apply to vaping. Plus no sales at events or places intended for children.
  • If you are under 18 you will not be allowed to participate in the sale of tobacco or nicotine products (including vapes).
  • The sale of tobacco products from self service vending machines is prohibited – which will also be extended to cover nicotine vaping products.
  • Regulation of e-cigarette and e-liquid flavours to be prohibited to all but Tobacco flavours.
  • Measures to restrict the use of brightly coloured packaging and even further regulation to plain packaging should be implemented.
  • Prohibition of all forms of e-cigarette advertising and promotion, including Billboards, Online, social media and influencer marketing.
  • A future review into increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products with the aim of increasing from 18 to 21.

Obviously the above is just a summary. You can read the full report here in PDF format – Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine inhaling products) Bill 2019.


As you can imagine this strict stance has created a bit of a backlash…

Let me know if these measures will impact you in the comments below and also contact your TD to let them know what you think. A guide to help you do this is here on the Respect Vapers ie website.

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NZ Government Expresses ‘Extreme Concern’ as PMI Uses Tax Loophole

PMI’s cigarillos are subject to a lower excise duty, at about $5.24 less per pack, enabling the company to sell them for 10% less than the next cheapest cigarette.

Philip Morris NZ’s new ‘cigarillo’ looks like a cigarette and is marketed as one, but is sold at about $3 cheaper per pack. The Philippines-made cigarettes come in a brown paper which is reportedly meant to look like a tobacco leaf, hence allowing them to be imported as “cigarillos.” These products are subject to a lower excise duty, at about $5.24 less per pack enabling the company to sell them for 10% less than the next cheapest cigarette.

Meanwhile Philip Morris has been doing its best to portray themselves as moving away from combustible tobacco towards more sustainable products. “We are working towards a future without cigarettes: a future where adult smokers have access to smoke-free alternatives that are a far better choice than continued smoking.” Yet it has introduced a new combustible product, at a very attractive price.

Dr. Rachel Nicholls from New Zealand’s Cancer Society said the group condemns the product. “We believe this is yet another cynical attempt by tobacco companies to hook new users and encourage people to continue to smoke … The Cancer Society condemns the underhand tactics that are used by the tobacco industry to increase their profits at the expense of people’s suffering.”

Associate Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall said cigarillos are not new in New Zealand, and are subject to many of the same strict conditions for sale as cigarettes. However, marketing them as cigarettes is new. “It’s extremely concerning to see cigarillo products being sold with the same brand name as a line of cigarettes, in indistinguishable packaging and at such a low price point,” she said.

New Zealand’s Smokefree Plan

Meanwhile, last December New Zealand launched its Smokefree plan. Verrall, was commended for engaging with a number of health entities to gather opinions about the right action plan. These included organisations, services, advocates, academics, researchers and individuals who have left a mark on their communities.

Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) co-director Nancy Loucas said that ministerial diary records show that Dr. Verrall held teleconferences ahead of releasing the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan discussion document for public consultation. The consulted groups included ASH, Hapai te Hauora, and the NZ College of Physicians.

The co-director added that the fact that these groups were consulted is a positive sign, as they are aware of the role that safer nicotine alternatives can play in reducing smoking rates. “These groups are very supportive of vaping’s key role in smoking cessation. It’s very encouraging then that Dr. Verrall is prepared to listen to their on the ground experiences before she finalizes her smokefree action plan.”

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