Friday, 29 April 2016

Why is vaping suddenly fashionable?

The last decade has seen a monumental struggle for vaping companies to gain acceptance and even the chance to present their products to the general public. Politicians, regulators and tobacco companies have regularly ridiculed the industry and tried to keep it under wraps. While at the start of the century a move in favour of vaping began to gain momentum nobody could have guessed the speed at which vaping has taken the consumer market by storm.

However, even though the industry is now readily accepted by consumers around the world it has taken some time for politicians and regulators to even consider the potential benefits. So, after a raft of positive comments from politicians and health bodies around the world, why is vaping suddenly fashionable?

Shaking off the pariah tag

You don’t have to look far to find press comments which were “misleading” as politicians and regulators attempted to rein in this growing market. It seemed that the mass media were being fed stories which were unproven but in the general confusion many of the untruths seemed to attract attention and often general acceptance. The constant battle which vapers have faced has eventually seen the pariah tag shaken off and the industry at least given a levelish playing field to stand on.

It would be wrong to suggest that vaping is seen by many as “cool” but finally the general benefits are being discussed.

Why the sudden wave of support?

The Royal College of Physicians is just the latest in a growing line of prominent bodies which have been talking about vaping in very positive terms. There seems to be a growing consensus that electronic cigarettes are up to 90% less harmful than their tobacco counterparts although all parties still agree that further long-term research is required. Whether the idea of bringing tobacco products and the vaping sector under the same regulatory umbrella will be ditched by the likes of the European Union and the FDA remains to be seen. However, there is certainly growing support for the vaping industry as a means of offsetting the harm caused by tobacco cigarettes.

When you bear in mind it has taken in excess of four years for the FDA to arrive at a set of draft proposals for regulating the vaping industry - are regulators having problems justifying their aggressive stance?

Listen to the vapers

If it was not for a small group of vaping enthusiasts and companies with very deep pockets there is every chance that the industry would have been buried yet again. The fact that tobacco companies are now buying up the best assets in the industry would seem to be an indication that they feel vaping is here to stay. You only need to speak to those who have switched from tobacco products to vaping devices to see the potential benefits. While nobody is suggesting vaping is harm free there is a growing consensus it is nowhere near as harmful as tobacco cigarettes.

When politicians and prominent bodies come together in support of a new controversial industry sometimes alarm bells begin to sound. Some conspiracy theories suggest that governments around the world will now look to introduce specific vaping taxes to replace their ever falling tobacco tax income. Time will tell but it is rather suspicious that support for the industry over the last six months is stronger than over the last decade. What prompted this significant shift in opinion?


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