While the UK NHS is most certainly the brains behind the UK-based StopTober campaign there are worrying signs that large tobacco and pharmaceutical groups are now having a greater influence. When the campaign initially started it was seen as “just another quit smoking campaign” although it has gained traction and popularity across the UK and is now been replicated in other areas of the world. However, why do electronic cigarette companies appear a little more reluctant to embrace StopTober 2014 compared to their very upbeat and proactive stance in 2013?
Products on offer
While the idea behind StopTober is the ability to bring together those looking to reduce their tobacco intake, and talk with like-minded people, there are a number of products being pushed by official NHS campaigns. These campaigns are being run side-by-side with StopTober and offer those who sign up access to the likes of nicotine patches, gum, inhalers, nasal spray and other leading pharmaceutical products. Did you miss any particular products on that list?
Despite the fact that electronic cigarettes have grown in popularity over the last few years, with millions now using them across the UK, those behind the StopTober campaign are reluctant to offer them in tandem with an array of pharmaceutical products from the quit smoking arena. When quizzed as to why electronic cigarettes were not offered as an alternative a spokesperson rolled off the typical “electronic cigarettes are relatively new and as yet unproven”. So is there a tactic to ensure that electronic cigarettes are not offered to those looking to reduce their tobacco intake?
The benefits of electronic cigarettes
Time and time again ex-smokers have waxed lyrical about the benefits of electronic cigarettes and the fact that many people have reduced their tobacco intake using these relatively new products. For some reason medical professionals around the world, leading health boards and some health experts appear reluctant and almost “unwilling” to even contemplate any benefits that electronic cigarettes may offer over their tobacco counterparts. However, for many in the medical profession, who support electronic cigarettes as a means of reducing tobacco intake, the recent decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take a negative stance towards ecigs has prompted a significant backlash.
A number of prominent medical figures from around the world recently attacked the World Health Organisation in relation to its biased and statistically unproven attitude towards electronic cigarettes. This has prompted many to suggest that perhaps pharmaceutical groups are pulling the strings behind the scenes and indeed tobacco companies, with increased exposure to electronic cigarettes, appear reluctant to become actively involved in StopTober?
Conspiracy theories abound
Where there is money and influence there will be conspiracy theories although in reality the vast majority of these are unproven and never will be. Is there really a campaign to ensure electronic cigarettes are not an official part of the StopTober campaign? Are pharmaceutical companies using their influence over the UK NHS?
While these conspiracy theories currently hold no weight, because of a lack of evidence, circumstantial evidence is not helping those who are suspicious of large pharmaceutical and tobacco companies. It does seem as though electronic cigarettes are not afforded the same level playing field given to other “quit smoking” products many of which are backed by large pharmaceutical companies who do billions of pounds of business with the UK NHS and other health authorities around the world. Fair comment or are we being a little harsh? You decide…..
Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a levelheaded approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on OK Eliquids and other products available please visit the OKCigs website.