Save e-cigs was at the Global Forum on Nicotine, and once again the entire agenda was based around electronic cigarettes and e-liquid.
This is the second year the GFN has been held and the second year in the lovely City of Warsaw. This year it attracted more delegates, and dare I say it a few more of the big guns, which reflects the importance that this conference is gaining. Hon Lik the inventor of the modern day e-cig was there – (yes, there was much awe in the room when he spoke!) but also Dr Derek Yach, the man who was responsible for leading the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Having him speak was not only symbolic of where e-cigarettes have come, he was also one of the loudest critics of the attitude that many in Public Health are clinging onto. During his speech a prominent tobacco control advocate tried to defend a Dr from the BMA that had stated e-cigarettes are worse than tobacco cigarettes, (basically an indefensible statement) he roundly put her in her place!
The theme this year was billed as ‘a different kind of endgame’. I think this was a tad optimistic in the light of the global opposition to e-cigarettes, but there was plenty of talk regarding policy, how to engage with policy makers and politicians, plus Simon Thurlow who has been representing Save e-cigs in Wales, gave two presentations and did all of us very proud.
The Highlight of the conference was undoubtedly Hon Lik and the humble manner in which he spoke. I think he was overwhelmed by the strength of goodwill towards him.
The most exciting part was the impassioned speech by Dr Atilla Danko, but what struck me the most was the way that the scientists are 100% aware of the terrible effect the junk science and the mass media scare tactics are having, and they are just as scathing and seething towards this as we are. They are aware of just how deeply entrenched the tobacco control and Public Health fears are, and that many that are in Public Health are using a business model that is out-dated and was designed back in the 1960’s when the war against big tobacco was well and truly raging. However, we are now 50 years on from that, the world has changed beyond belief, and Public Health and Tobacco Control need to join the digital age with its digital thinking.
Overall it was a great GFN, wonderful to meet delegates from all over the world – including Australia, New Zealand and China. Once again it is very positive and reassuring experience when you are in a ‘bubble’ like that – listening to like-minded people and refreshing yourself on the latest research.
Shame we all had to come down to earth with a bump due to Mark Drakeford and his ridiculous proposed vaping ban in public spaces in Wales!
The presentations from the GFN .