Broken heart over PHE logo.

The End of Public Health England is a Threat to Vaping

Over the last few years, no official government body in the world has endorsed vaping like Public Health England has.

With grace and integrity, the organisation and the people at its helm, have countered misinformation. For example, when the lung disease EVALI was wrongly attributed to nicotine vaping (it was actually caused by the use of illegal cannabis in the USA), PHE was quick to point out the strict regulations that protect vapers in the UK.

They’ve promoted research into vaping, and, following that research, the benefits of vaping – reiterating again and again that it is 95% less harmful than smoking.

Under PHE’s watch, the UK has become a world leader in quality standards and vaping safety and has had a strong influence on other countries such as New Zealand and Canada.

They’ve done all that despite the political risk involved. Like all disruptive industries, vaping has many powerful enemies, and supporting vaping involves taking a lot of flack.

PHE’s support of e-cigarettes, of course, was not borne from a love of vaping itself, but a commitment to harm reduction and to tackling smoking rates.

As we wrote last year, the body wishes to effectively eliminate smoking in England by 2030.

Many anti-smoking organisations say this, of course, but with the way smoking rates are falling in England, the organisation looked as if it might actually meet its goal.

In 2012, as vaping started to take off, 20% of the population, or 1 in 5 people, smoked.

As of 2019, that number had shrunk to less than 14% of the population – and by all accounts smoking rates are continuing to fall rapidly in 2020.

It’s an achievement matched by few countries elsewhere in the world.

The body now looks set to be dissolved. Some of its responsibilities will be shifted to a new body, the National Institute for Health Protection, although it’s not yet clear who will take over responsibility for reducing smoking rates. It’s also not clear what the impact will be on attitudes towards vaping.

One thing’s for sure, though – PHE, and especially those who have worked with vaping and tobacco harm reduction, will be sorely missed by both vaping advocates and the vaping industry.

7 thoughts on “The End of Public Health England is a Threat to Vaping”

  1. They’ll never stop supporting smoking over vaping. Tobacco industry is too massive an earner for the governments. Vaping isn’t. That’s all the elites care about. Lining their pockets, regardless of the health of the “common” folk. DO NOT CONSENT to their laws. You are a free person. Stand your ground and hopefully others will follow your lead

  2. Why does the government spend huge amounts of money to encourage people to quit smoking? Surely revenue recieved from tax on smoking helps the purse of the government, let’s face it when a new product comes along that helps people to stop smoking,or any new ideas come along,others see their profits fall and think of ways of doing away with help from other things that help people,as they will lose money,I vape n I prefer to vape as I’m no longer lining anyones pockets,

    1. I think that has certainly been the case elsewhere – in particular in the USA, where states have received billions from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Fortunately, so far the UK seems to have been influenced more by a concern for public health.

  3. Pingback: Vaping Digest 21st August –

  4. Love your work James, Thankyou so much for all you do. PHE’s demise seems like the worst vaping news in a few years, over and above EVALI lies, retracted heart attack studies, USA PMTA deceit / MSA greed, tenuous seizure claims, manipulated teen use studies. I have prayed constantly that PHE could stand their ground, and be a shining beacon of light and hope for the world. In Australia and around the world our hopes are really high for UK to lead the way in vaping tobacco harm reduction. And not just for the big tobacco players benefit. The world hangs its head in shame at the greed for tobacco taxes / income, and big pharma / medical profits. Not to mention disguised population control and pension savings. What a sad misguided world we have made. I wonder if a petition could save PHE ?

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