You may have seen a recent article in the Daily Mail which claimed, without evidence, that electronic cigarettes are worse than tobacco cigarettes.
(Steve Vape believes that the article was deliberately designed to drive traffic by making outragous claims. I’m inclined to agree!)
The article enraged Clive Bates, former director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) UK, and a campaigner for reduced harm tobacco alternatives.
Unbelievably ridiculous and irresponsible article. E-cigarettes are at least 99% safer than cigarettes. People smoke mostly for the nicotine, which is a widely used recreational drug usually taken by smoking tobacco. But it is not nicotine that does the damage in smoking, it is particles of burnt tobacco (tar) and hot gases that cause the cancer, emphysema and heart disease. E-cigarettes have none of these hazardous emissions . Articles like this are real-world dangerous, because they may discourage people from making a potentially life-saving switch from cigs to e-cigs.
Source: Clive Bates
Clive systematically destroys the article in his blog post (referenced above). But what really interested me is how he dealt with the article.
In addition to leaving a comment, Clive also reported the article to the Press Complaints Commission.
Though it’s hard to believe based on some of the rubbish published daily, the press have a duty to report accurately, and may not:
publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
If an article is found to be inaccurate, an apology must be published.
Source: Press Complaints Commission (page since removed)
We have a pretty strong case. The article carries the very real risk that people who would have switched to a device much safer than tobacco cigarettes will continue to use a product which carries a very real risk of death.
Plus, people who have already stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes in favour of e-cigarettes will return to smoking cigarettes.
Or to put it another way, the article will contribute to smoking deaths.
Fancy making a complaint? It’s easy – just click here and submit your complaint online (page since removed)!