The annual E-cigarette Summit took place on Thursday and Friday, where experts discussed the challenges and opportunities ahead for the industry.
Scientists and experts from all over the world spoke about public health, policy and regulations concerning vaping and tobacco harm reduction.
More than 35 industry professionals take part in the discussions the over two days.
The list of expert speakers included Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Professor Caitlin Notley of the University of East Anglia, Clive Bates of Counterfactual and Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Control Programme Lead at Public Health England.
The event highlighted the a gulf between expert opinion and what the media actually reports about vaping.
Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:
“When we compare the tone and content of what was discussed at the E-Cigarette Summit with what we read and hear in media across the globe, the difference is stark.
“It was refreshing to hear measured and mature expert voices talking about realities without sensationalisation.”
“The science is clear: vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and an effective smoking cessation method.
“It is the responsibility of the media and policymakers to understand the subject they want to regulate so eagerly better.
“The lives of millions of smokers are too important to be put on the line for clickbait headlines and the pursuit of anti-vaping ideology.”
There were further calls for the media to moderate their reporting on vaping issues.
The Science Media Centre’s Press Officer, Tom Sheldon, urged the media to consider focusing more on science and evidence than “scare stories.”
“Where there’s controversy, there’s media.”
There was plenty of politics in discussion at the virtual event, with Brexit talks and the US presidential election taking place in recent months.
He said that SCHEER’s opinions were “based on very poor quality data” while highlighting that some of the studies cited as ‘strong’ did not even mention e-cigarettes.
He referred to this as ‘selective evidence.’