Public Health – The Clash of the Vaping Titans

Vaper’s Vortex

August 20, 2015

 “The first official recognition that e-cigarettes are less damaging to health than smoking tobacco.”

Sometimes you find yourself wondering “What happens next?”

It has been one busy week in the vaping world. One that culminated yesterday with a landmark recommendation by Public Health England that has sent shock waves throughout the electronic cigarette debate. I’ll be discussing these stories in more detail in upcoming blogs. But for now, in case you haven’t had the time to read the dozens of media reports that have been published in the last week, here are a few of the highlights.

August 13, 2015

The British Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) released a report calling for a program to educate the public regarding the health risks associated with smoking, versus the health risks of nicotine addiction without combustible tobacco.

RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer:

“Clearly there are issues in terms of having smokers addicted to nicotine, but this would move us on from having a serious and costly public health issue from smoking-related disease to instead addressing the issue of addiction to a substance which, in and of itself, is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction.”

RSPH membership consists of more than 6,000 public health professionals.

August 18, 2015

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes the findings of a study titled “Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Initiation of Combustible Tobacco Product Smoking in Early Adolescence”.

The key conclusion of the study:

“Among high school students in Los Angeles, those who had ever used e-cigarettes at baseline compared with nonusers were more likely to report initiation of combustible tobacco use over the next year.”

The JAMA report was picked up by the Associated Press and subsequently published by dozens of media outlets nationally and worldwide. Media journalists had a contest to see who could come up with the most alarming headline. Many were quite imaginative. Most were not even remotely supported by the conclusions of the study. But the rules were simple – if it bleeds it leads.

Public health and the media pitched this report as the smoking gun they’ve been waiting for. This is the study. The one that proves e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. Even the authors of the study acknowledge that it proves nothing. It was clearly and carefully designed to launch yet another anti-vaping media campaign. Mission accomplished.

The study was conducted by the University of Southern California’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS). One of fourteen TCORS established at universities across the country. USC has a five year, $20 million grant. Funded by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products through the National Institutes of Health.

August 19, 2015

Public Health England (PHE) issues a press release stating emphatically and unequivocally, vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Based on an independent evidence review, PHE goes on to say:

“There is good-quality evidence that e-cigarettes can be effective in helping people quit smoking.”

This is the crown jewel in the evolution of the electronic cigarette debate. Imagine the CDC suddenly doing an about face and telling the world that vaping is dramatically safer than smoking. For the first time ever, a high level government agency has endorsed the use of vaping for harm reduction and smoking cessation. The government of the second largest vaping market in the world.

Prof. Ann McNeill from King’s College London:

“At the moment, 80,000 people [in England] die every year as a result of cigarette smoking. If everybody who was smoking switched to e-cigarettes that would reduce to about 4,000 deaths a year. That’s the best estimate at the moment. It may well be much, much lower than that.”

Prof Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England:

“E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting.”

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, Action on Smoking and Health:

“This timely statement from Public Health England should reassure health professionals, the media, and the public, particularly smokers, that the evidence is clear: electronic cigarettes are very much less harmful than smoking.”

The U.S. has long been the undisputed leader of the free world in matters of public health. Then along comes a Chinese pharmacist with the unmitigated gall to offer a potential solution to the greatest public health crisis the world has ever known. Millions of lives hang in the balance.

U.S. public health responds not with science and objectivity, but with ego and greed. Somebody needed to take the lead. History will record that another great nation, England, made a clear statement to the U.S. and to the world – enough is enough.

The clash of the vaping titans has begun.

We are sincerely interested in your thoughts and comments! Please join the conversation and invite others by sharing this post! Thank you for visiting our site and we hope that you will come back often!

Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at .

The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.

6 thoughts on “Public Health – The Clash of the Vaping Titans

  1. Jerry Billings says:


    This news from England is really important and needed but how much will it help us here? The powers that be seem to be intent on crushing vaping here in America. I site the new FDA rules set to be released soon and the efforts of our legislators here in California as they pass new laws that will restrict vaping in record breaking ways that could create a domino effect in other states. California has decided to call vaping a tobacco product and that will allow them to restrict it like they do cigarettes. You and I know that vaping is an important tool for removing the use of tobacco products from our lives but our legislators seem to only be looking for ways to fill their coffers and could care less about people and public health.


  2. Dave Coggin says:

    Good morning Jerry. How much will it help us here? That is indeed the question of the hour isn’t it? PHE’s endorsement is a milestone. It’s generating a lot of buzz. People are talking. That’s exactly what we need. People need to have enough information to make an informed decision. They need to understand the relative risks of harm from smoking vs. vaping. Vapers get it – the public doesn’t. Because U.S. public health has so effectively hidden it. In a recent interview with David Sweanor (Adjunct Law Professor at the University of Ottawa and 30 year tobacco control advocate), he stated that when people understand the “differential in risk” and have access to electronic cigarettes – you get “public health revolution”. Understanding is crucial. The action by PHE adds a new and important dynamic to the conversation.

  3. Dave Coggin says:

    Many DIYers order 100mg nicotine which they then dilute with their preferred PG/VG mix. 100mg nic is extremely poisonous – especially to children. A single teaspoon is 4.9ml. One teaspoon of 100mg nic is almost 500mg of nicotine. More than enough to be fatal to a small child if ingested. That is exactly why I made the policy decision that DIYELS does not sell any nicotine above 36mg. Every bottle we sell, regardless of size, has child-resistant caps. Every retailer, every wholesaler, every vaper has a responsibility to ensure that all possible precautions are taken to protect themselves and every child from poisoning. We must take this seriously. As we saw in N.Y., the alternative can have unimaginably tragic consequences.

    • Jerry says:


      I agree entirely. I believe it is not just the responsibility of parents to be diligent when using vaping products around small children. It is also our responsibility as vapers to continue to vape responsibly and promote this attitude among ourselves. Yes, there is going to be vapers who will not vape responsibly and when we can we should call them out.

      It is also the responsibility of vendors to do all they can to insure their products provide all the possible safeguards necessary to protect innocent children. Childproof caps and I like your idea of not selling nicotine with more than 36mg. This alone could prove to be the best way to help when it comes to those of us who DIY. I personally like the idea of being able to purchase large bottles of mixing base. It makes DIY much easier.

      I think vendors of B&M’s need to be much more responsible when it comes to selling to underage kids and carying juice lines that don’t market to kids. I personally think we could come up with better ways to insure that vaping is not so attractive to teens. While I like flavors that taste good I could do without gummy bear juice and bubblegum flavors.

      I recognize that adults like these flavors as well as teens but if we would just be a little more responsible with the choice of flavors we purchase, especially with all the attention we are getting from the media and the government, then I think it would go a long way to help give vaping a much better profile. We don’t need all those kids flavors to enjoy vaping.

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