Over the last few years the battle between critics and supporters of the electronic cigarette industry has grown in ferocity with not only industrywide but also personal insults flying between all parties. This has the potential to become a disastrous PR situation for both supporters and critics amid concerns that the facts and figures have been overshadowed by this ongoing battle. So, how do the authorities get to the bottom of the electronic cigarette phenomenon?
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, medical trials to date suggest that electronic cigarettes are nowhere near as harmful as their tobacco counterparts. While supporters and critics are fully aware that more clinical trials and data are required before a conclusion to this issue, information so far has been encouraging to say the least. So, if the medical trials have some way to run, supporters and critics cannot agree, where should we look for answers in the short-term?
Speak to the users!
Unfortunately more and more individuals and companies appear willing to speak on behalf of electronic cigarette users when in fact many of them know nothing of their particular experiences. Those from all sides of the battle have their own agenda and seem willing to talk for others at the drop of a hat. Surely now is the time to speak to electronic cigarette users?
When you bear in mind more than 99% of those who use electronic cigarettes have also experienced tobacco products then who is better qualified to comment? There are millions of individuals around the world who can give unbiased feedback on their experiences. They can comment on the positives and negatives of switching between tobacco products and electronic cigarettes as well as what they believe to be the impact/nonimpact on their daily health.
Surely this is the simple answer?
There are so many individuals, companies and regulatory bodies purporting to speak for the electronic cigarette community that very often the individuals are overshadowed and ignored. It all seems crazy because we have millions of people round the world who have very different personal experiences regarding electronic cigarettes and can assist in bringing these facts, figures and opinions together for a more believable conclusion.
It seems that the authorities allow individuals to buy these products, irrelevant of any concerns that the authorities may have, and spend the money that they raise in taxes. Then on the other hand we have critics suggesting, many of these critics are of a political persuasion, that electronic cigarettes are harmful in the longer term. How can they say this on one hand yet support the sale and taxation of products which they believe to be harmful?
Over the last few years the vaping industry has been content to let the facts and figures do the talking with regards to potential medical health issues. Unfortunately, this transparent approach to the electronic cigarette phenomenon has not been reciprocated in the political arena where many critics are happy to quote misleading and sometimes untrue statements to tarnish the reputation and the name of the industry. So, surely the time has come to speak to those who use and have used electronic cigarettes to see what they think?
Is there any other group more qualified to give an opinion?