Published on March 10th, 2016 | by Jimmy Hafrey
Vaping has officially become the most popular way to quit smoking, and Big Pharma is worried.
According to an article from the Daily Caller, the University College of London conducted a study that showed one million smokers in England kicked smoking with the use of vaping products in 2015. That means that out of the 2.6 million people who kicked the habit last year, about 40 percent of them used vaping to do so.
Robert West, who is a professor of health psychology at University College London and associated with a similar study, done in 2014, remarked at the impact vaping has had on those who have been wanting to quit smoking.
“Their impact on public health at present comes from attracting people who would otherwise have tried to stop without any useful form of support,” West was quoted as saying. His study focused on the nearly one million people who used vaping to quit smoking in 2014.
West noted that vaping significantly increased the long-term rate of success of quitting smokers, moving the percentage from five percent to 7.5 percent.
The studies proving vaping’s effectiveness has been a boon for the vaping public and pro-vaping advocates. But it has not fared so well in the eyes of the pharmaceutical companies that create and sell the nicotine products that are traditionally used to quit smoking.
Why is this a problem for Big Pharma? Because only slightly more than 25 percent of people in England who tried to quit last year — roughly half a million — used licensed nicotine products, which are sold by pharmaceutical companies. That means that Big Pharma lost a good amount of money to the vaping industry, and they can only expect to lose more money as vaping gains strength as a viable alternative to smoking.
And the claims that Big Pharma is engaging in misinformation campaigns aimed at strict regulation of vaping — or bans on vaping in general — have only gained steamed in recent years. In 2014, a set of emails were made public that showed one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies lobbying for extensive regulation on vaping.
Sophie Crousse, the vice president of European public affairs for Glaxo Smith Kline’s consumer healthcare division, was quoted in the emails as saying, “We believe in responsible and proportionate regulation for all nicotine-containing products as medicinal products.”
And while studies backed by Big Pharma and Big Tobacco continue to make headlines, vaping advocates have come together to create a documentary aimed at unearthing the claims by these behemoths. A Billion Lives, slated for release later this year, is described as an expose aimed at looking at how and why Big Pharma and its allies are trying to eliminate vaping.
For all those in the vaping community, the push-back from Big Pharma is a sign that we’re heading in the right direction — away from Big Tobacco and towards a healthier and safer alternative. As vaping becomes more mainstream and accepted, the fight to regulate it is heating up, so stay tuned for more vaping news.