DRAGON SLAYERS – POWERING THE PUBLIC HEALTH WAR ON VAPING (REG WATCH)



hi I bread Stanford and this is reg watch by regulator watch calm dragon-slaying that's what public health officials do over the past 150 years great battles were fought and won against infectious disease deplorable living conditions and hazards on the road major progress was made in reducing mortality and raising life expectancy all thanks to the public health movement but there are still dragons to be slayed and the fiercest and most formidable is smoking at the turn of the 20th century smoking-related diseases were rare but as cigarette smoking became increasingly popular lung cancer and heart disease became epidemic cigarette smoking invaded every aspect of modern life from the battlefield to the home front and permeated magazines movies and TV in a repeated national Surrey doctors in all branches of medicine doctors in all parts of the country were asked what cigarette do you smoke doctor once again the brand named most was camel yes according to this repeated nationwide survey more doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette why not change to camels for the next 30 days and see what a difference it makes in your smoking enjoyment see how camels agree with your throat see how mild and good tasting a cigarette can be considering that even doctors in the 1940s and 50s promoted cigarettes it's not hard to understand how smoking became so prevalent but as more and more people began to get sick and die public health officials unleashed a crusade to stamp out smoking Canada played a leading role in the fight by passing new legislation that set worldwide standards for tobacco control laws enacted in the late 1980s and implemented in the 90's band cigarette advertising sports & entertainment sponsorships and smoking in public spaces and in the workplace the new laws also restricted in store display nificant Lee increased taxes and put health warnings and graphic images on the pack a key player in developing Canada's tobacco control initiatives is David's wiener Ontario lawyer and adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa he's a renowned expert on matters of public health dealing with tobacco and has spent the last 30 years on the front lines in the battle against smoking he thinks e-cigarettes could be one of the biggest breakthroughs ever in public health so regulator watch.com reached out to ask why so many of his anti-smoking colleagues seem to disagree David thanks for joining us first off please tell our viewers a bit about your role in the battle against smoking was admitted to the bar in Ontario in 1983 I went straight into working on public health dealing with tobacco I played a key role in a whole range of World precedent-setting measures in Canada whether it be the tax increases the advertising bands the health warnings the smoke free spaces getting smoking out of airplanes all of that stuff having done it in Canada I was replicating it doing the same sort of stuff with the World Bank the World Health Organization other groups globally and I'm now an adjunct professor of law at University of Ottawa I'm member of the center for health law polzin ethics University of Ottawa I've got a position you'd receive nadim UK well there you have it you're obviously the right guy to talk to David when we evaluate the regulatory environment around vaping it appears public health officials are taking a zero-tolerance attitude well there's certainly a very strong abstinence only part of what's going on in the anti-smoking movement and I think it's one of the most counterproductive things that that we've ever seen that we know we've known for decades people smoke for the nicotine they die from the tar they die from the smoke that the nicotine itself that the dosage level somebody's looking for is not particularly hazardous so it can be usefully compared to caffeine that you know many of us consume caffeine is almost consumed quite a lot of it we get caffeine in a way that causes us very little harm if we got our caffeine by smoking tea leaves rather than brewing tea that too would be killing us not because of the caffeine but because we'd be sucking smoking door lungs so we're vaping nicotine is delivered through the vapor not smoke so does that mean less risk well in in vaping I mean there's no doubt that once you get rid of the smoke you get rid of the fast vast majority of the problems associated with cigarettes in this case you know anybody who's you know open-minded actually understands the science and is willing to look at it it's saying there is no question that it's way less hazardous a massively less hazardous but David a lot of your colleagues in the public health arena are saying the exact opposite they're behind the post to demonize nicotine and ban vaping why is that I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out why you have people who will they support you know legalizing marijuana they support giving teenagers information about how to prevent pregnancy they they support needle exchange programs they support safe injection sites but when you get to nicotine they're absent its own and I think some of is that we had people who got involved in this issue because they saw a black and white they saw something where they could fight evil and evil was the cigarette companies and they play a really good role as you're evil because it I mean these are people who were you know misleading the public for a very long time about a huge cause of death they were denying that advertising affected consumption they denied that they had any interest in people taking up smoking they denied that it ever caused any illness and I think people went after them the way that your dragon attracts dragon slayers you know it's just it's an evil entity and you're gonna go out and destroy it and I think some just lost sight of the public health component of this and you know they're still dragon slayers you're saying we got to kill this industry we can't allow it to get into anything else and we're going to define dragon very broadly so you know Brent if you start an e cigarette company or open a vape shop suddenly they see you as part of the tobacco industry I mean obviously you're not but for them they see the world in terms of dragons and you've just become a dragon but dragon slaying sounds also very noble but in the case of vaping isn't it just doing more harm than good with nicotine we've done this amazing thing that we've essentially given the cigarette companies a monopoly on long-term nicotine use so if you need or want nicotine on an ongoing basis you've got virtually no option other than together for smoking cigarettes which that has a huge probability of killing it and every time we come up with something or entrepreneurs come up with an idea of a different way to do this you would give them the nicotine without the smoke it gets attacked not the cigarettes getting attacked the alternative gets attacked and that's part of that whole abstinence only thing that it's really treating smoking nicotine tobacco like it's in rather than it's a public health issue did a urine anti-smoking crusader and were directly involved in developing the regulations which impose strict limitations on tobacco now vaping is being jammed into the same legislation what's the impact of that what we're now saying to smokers is that your smoking is no more hazardous inve thing because we're going to treat them the same you know vaping is a big problem and you will probably see this as I do in talking to smokers who believe now not only is vaping not weightless as it is it's not even less hazardous I think it's probably more hazardous so they're not going to do it and that's because the environment you know the government is really clamping I'm on vaping but you can still buy cigarettes in all these places you know they're going to try to close the vape shops but every corner store is selling you cigarettes well what's that tell you you know cigarettes must be safer and if they start talking about all these terrible things they found in in e-cigarettes without putting it in context of saying well yeah somebody found something that that you know could be a problem except that it's there one one-thousandth of the love will you find in a cigarette you know they just say it's there I it's scaring people and if you have reputable institutions coming up with research that is saying how bad these things are again it's it's telling smokers keep smoking finally David is the regulatory push against vaping misplaced and our public health officials taking their eye off the big issue which is still cigarette smoking there's no question but that's the big issue that's the one we can deal with we need to deal with the product we need to deal with the deliveries and we're being stymied we're being prevented from doing that from people who think that by attacking any alternative to the cigarette there's somehow you know getting somewhere well all they're really doing is protecting the cigarette business in killing more Canadians well that's it for this edition of reg watch before you head off please like us on Facebook and don't forget to follow us on Twitter for regulator watch calm I'm bread Stafford

1 Comment

  1. Stop banging on about nicotine, i vape 0 nicotine liquid.

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