The Voke device has been in the making for years. It has been licensed as a medical and safer alternative to smoking by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Voke delivers rapid nicotine, offering rapid relief from cravings without heat, combustion or vapour, yet as in the case of vaping, the administration of Voke mimics that of smoking, likely making it easier an easier NRT for smokers to transition to than say patches or gum.
Moreover, the device looks a lot like a packet of cigarettes, including a rectangular box, and a plastic cigarette which slots into it. The price is also similar, with 20 charges costing £11.99. All these features combined are likely to make this product a very effective NRT, hence why harm reduction and public health experts, and vaping advocates alike, have been in full support of it.
However, the same entities are now disappointed, as the makers of Voke, Kind Consumer, have resorted to an unethical way of marketing the product. The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has pointed out that a slide presentation by the company is claiming that Voke is preferable to e-cigarettes because there have been “numerous recent cases of lung disease and death in individuals who use vape products.”
Sharing misinformation – an act of disservice to smokers around the world
The more nicotine alternatives there are on the market, the higher the chances for the millions of smokers to find a smoking cessation product that best suits their needs.
This sharing of misinformation is not only a case of unethical marketing, but also a serious act of disservice to the millions of smokers who are still looking around in search of their preferred safer nicotine alternative. Recognised health bodies such as the CDC have long confirmed that the cases of lung disease and death that the Voke marketing campaign is referring to, had nothing to do with the use of regulated vaping products, but with the consumption of illicit THC.
The NNA emphasised that it is unethical of Kind Consumer to spread these inaccurate facts in order to place their device in a preferable position. “We realise that business is business and Kind Consumer wish to differentiate their new product from vaping, but repeating information that they know very well is false is not the way to do this. It is especially scurrilous when you consider that they are using the fraudulent information to raise significant levels of funding to the tune of tens of millions of pounds,” said the NNA.
The more NRTs, the better
Just like anyone who has harm reduction at heart, including us here at the Vaping Post, the NNA has long pointed out that the more nicotine alternatives there are on the market, the better it is for everyone, as the millions of smokers around the world stand a better chance of finding a product that best suits their needs. “There is room in the safer nicotine market for many players, and we would ordinarily welcome Voke adding a new option for smokers wishing to quit.”
However, trying to achieve success by throwing shade on a competitor is unacceptable. “However, they should not be trying to build their success by shoving vaping under a bus. Kind Consumer should instruct their fund-raisers and marketers to abandon this approach. It is unhelpful and shameful opportunism. If their product has merit, they should not have to sink to employing baseless scare stories which have deterred large swathes of smokers from switching away from lit tobacco.”