At the age of 21 James decided to travel and work for a year. That year became 9 years in total, in which he worked in Asia and the Middle East, became fluent in Indonesian and explored the jungle, beaches and waves of far off countries, funded by teaching and writing.
In between travels, James studied education and taught at Cardiff University for a year.
On holiday in the UK one summer (you do that when you work abroad) James’ mother showed him an e-cigarette she had bought at a trade show and asked him if he could build a website to sell it. Two weeks later the website was ready and E-Cigarette Direct was launched with an initial investment of £1500.
As controversy grew around electronic cigarettes, a chance conversation with a researcher from the Tobacco Harm Reduction group at the University of Alberta in 2009 lead to a series of interviews with scientists which helped refute many wild claims around e-cigarettes with cold hard science. It also led to the first peer reviewed study into electronic cigarettes Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as potential tobacco harm reduction products.
In addition to being chairman of E-Cigarette Direct, James runs the well known Ashtray Blog, the first media outlet to interview Herbert Gilbert, inventor of the first smokeless cigarette.
James has been featured on in most major newspapers in the UK, and has been interviewed about vaping on TV and radio, including Sky News, the BBC, The Jeremy Vine Show (where he went up against the Mark Drakeford, Minister of Health for Wales, on the proposed Welsh ban on vaping in public places), Hello Wales and Radio Five Live. He’s also been featured on podcasts (most recently on the Heartland Institute) and on panel discussions on vaping.
When not writing or talking about vaping, you can usually find James outside – either in his veg plot, up a mountain, fishing or bobbing up and down in the waves on his trusty surfboard.
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