Vaping has helped almost 200,000 to quit smoking in Ireland over the past decade. These people are concerned that research findings are being misrepresented by those who won’t accept the benefits of vaping in the battle against tobacco addiction.
As a result, the lack of clarity and accuracy relating to vaping is driving some people back to smoking. This has been confirmed in the recently published Healthy Ireland 2021 report.
Joe Dunne, founder of Respect Vapers, which represents vapers, said the survey found that e-cigarette usage is down 1%, with smoking increased by 1%.
“We warned the Government that the lack of clarity failure to accept vaping success has caused confusion leading some returning to cigarettes. This runs the risk of smokers returning to smoking or getting unregulated vaping products online. Both are a recipe for disaster. That is a shame, as more people are trying to quit smoking. (44% of smokers, compared to 40% in 2019).”
Mr. Dunne expressed the frustration of vapers as the Oireachtas Health Committee has denied them the opportunity to attend and share their experiences. The members of the Committee have opted only to listen to those who don’t have all the facts.
“Most people would expect a committee looking at vaping to hear the views of 200,000 vapers in Ireland before making recommendations on legislation that affects them. Not this Committee. Some members have now been erroneously led to believe that flavoured vape products are aimed at attracting young people to the products.
“This is not true. Vapers are ‘Quitters, not starters’. Vapers regard flavours as an important ingredient in helping them to quit smoking. Former smokers reject the smell and taste of tobacco, so they opt instead to try other flavours,” he said.
Vapers have consistently told the Government that inaccurate data will drive more people back to tobacco. They strongly advise the Government to focus on three key tasks to reduce tobacco harm in Ireland:
- Place a greater emphasis on addressing stress and mental health issue, which drives people to smoking.
- Accept that vaping has a role to play in helping smokers quit.
- Provide clarity of message to those trying to stop smoking and quit the mixed messages.
Joe Dunne said certain medical experts refuse to look at the benefits of vaping in reducing the harm caused by smoking tobacco. This blinkered approach could cause an increase in tobacco related deaths. 200,000 can’t be wrong and it’s a shame they are ignored.