I set up my business/website to encourage people to quit smoking just like I did, while promoting better physical mental health for everyone.
The profit margins are extremely low but this did not deter me as I get more out of helping people than making money.
Of course I want to contribute to my family financially but this is almost secondary to the satisfaction I’d get from helping others.
I sold my car and used all my savings to put into my company, unknowingly just how difficult it would be to promote people to quit smoking and switch to vaping, considering NHS England considers it 95% safer.
A 2019 study found that 19 percent of participants who used e-cigs to quit smoking were no longer smoking a year later, while those who used nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches and gum, quit smoking at a rate of 9 percent.
Here are a few examples of the challenges I’ve encountered;
I set up a WhatsApp business account and it kept asking me to add my products, which I did. I then got blocked from using the App for promoting nicotine containing products. I had to remove all my content and beg them for access to my account again.
I started a Facebook page promoting my products and they kept asking me to pay to promote my business. I tried this and was rejected due to containing nicotine, the same applies to Instagram, yet they regularly ask if I want to promote my business.
Google keeps sending me messages to promote my business but again nicotine containing products are not allowed.
Bear in mind, nicotine is addictive but not harmful. So is coffee.
I approached a well-known mental health charity if I could donate 5% of profits to their charity but was told no because of their nicotine policy. They were happy for the donation but couldn’t use their name, although I still donate to them monthly.
I struggle to see the logic in any of this as my goal was to help people quit smoking and live longer.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK. Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses. Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.
COPD kills 30,000 people a year in the UK, just 5,000 less than the UK’s biggest cancer killer, lung cancer. Yet there is far less awareness of COPD and its devastating effects.
It is estimated that 2 million people in the UK have COPD but are currently undiagnosed. This means they can’t get the support to give them the quality of life they deserve.
Up to 25% of long-term smokers will go on to develop COPD.
The outlook for COPD varies from person to person. The condition cannot be cured or reversed, but for many people, treatment can help keep it under control so it does not severely limit their daily activities.
But in some people, COPD may continue to get worse despite treatment, eventually having a significant impact on their quality of life and leading to life-threatening problems.
By quitting smoking by using e-cigarettes/disposable vapes is not only good for your mental and physical health; it is also a financial benefit and will lessen the demand on the already overstretched NHS.
The annual economic burden of asthma and COPD on the NHS in the UK is estimated as £3 billion and £1.9 billion respectively. In total, all lung conditions (including lung cancer) directly cost the NHS in the UK £11billion annually.
I am aware of the concerns about school children vaping and am obviously in agreeance, when I was at school people were smoking cigarettes which despite all the warnings at the time, It didn’t deter people from smoking.
About 50% of people with COPD (Like me) continue to smoke tobacco products; luckily I have a loving and supportive family and quit smoking not just for me but for them.
I want to live longer to see them grow up and flourish and don’t want to be a burden to them as COPD progresses.
Since I started using e-cigarettes I can honestly say I feel so much better and know I will never go back to the harmful tobacco.
My only regret is not doing it sooner.
The facts speak for themselves, e-cigarettes has the highest quit rates for smokers compared to all other options.
Penalised for following the law
On top of these challenges I’ve faced there are also the vast amount of businesses willing to sell illegal or fake vapes putting me at a distinct disadvantage.
I didn’t realise how widespread the problem was, but in the little town I live I know of 2 shops, one selling the illegal Elux Legend 3500 puff and another selling the Tornado 10,000 puff devices.
The legal devices I sell are between 550 – 600 puffs which are approximately the equivalent to a packet of cigarettes.
Lobby groups calling for a ban on e-cigarettes sales
I find this astonishing as promoting a healthy alternative to tobacco should be demonised. The companies selling illegal and fake devices should be demonised! I understand their concern over children so why are they not calling for a ban on tobacco related products? I also understand that some products are obviously aimed at children by the name and attractive fashionable look. I’ve even seen vapes in the shape of a children’s toy, which is why I only stock the most popular brands of e-cigarettes including Geek Bars, Elf Bars, Elux Bars and Crystal Bars.
The truth is tobacco companies plough billions into lobby groups otherwise there would be a ban on the sale of cigarettes.
The Myth of “Popcorn Lung and Vaping”
What causes popcorn lung?
A group of popcorn factory workers developed the condition, leading to the name ‘popcorn lung’. They had breathed in diacetyl, as it was used as flavouring in the popcorn. It was not related to use of e-cigarettes.
Although bronchiolitis obliterans is sometimes called ‘popcorn lung’, it can be caused by a number of different things. For example, it can happen after an infection, if it damages the lungs. Or after breathing in chemicals that irritate the lungs and cause damage.
What does the evidence really say about diacetyl and e-cigarettes?
Some of the liquids in e-cigarettes used to contain diacetyl. This led to the idea that e-cigarettes might cause popcorn lung. In the UK, diacetyl was banned in e-cigarette liquids under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2016. So, e-liquids sold in the UK shouldn’t contain diacetyl.
This is why it is imperative to buy from a trusted source.