It has come to our attention that Kind Consumer – the company behind medicinally licensed smoking cessation device, Voke – is exploiting deaths attributable to black market THC liquids in the USA to promote its product.
A slide presentation to investors by the company made the claim that Voke is preferable to e-cigarettes because there have been “numerous recent cases of lung disease and death in individuals who use vape products”. This is completely untrue of legal vaping products and we unreservedly condemn their approach.
We realise that business is business and Kind Consumer wish to differentiate their new product from vaping, but repeating information that they know very well is false is not the way to do this. It is especially scurrilous when you consider that they are using the fraudulent information to raise significant levels of funding to the tune of tens of millions of pounds.
There is room in the safer nicotine market for many players, and we would ordinarily welcome Voke adding a new option for smokers wishing to quit. However, they should not be trying to build their success by shoving vaping under a bus.
Kind Consumer should instruct their fund-raisers and marketers to abandon this approach. It is unhelpful and shameful opportunism. If their product has merit, they should not have to sink to employing baseless scare stories which have deterred large swathes of smokers from switching away from lit tobacco.
As we said in September last year on this subject:
We … condemn the many bad actors who are fanning the flames of this false panic. Whether it is journalists chasing click-bait or ideologically driven harm reduction sceptics in the UK health community, they are actively deterring many thousands of smokers from either opting to switch to a far safer form of nicotine consumption or guiding those who may be using e-cigarettes to move back to smoking, based on no proper evidence whatsoever.
This is not a game. Their crass conflation of vaping with illicit, unregulated and deadly illegal drug-containing liquids will cost lives and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
It is sad to see Kind Consumer endorsing such a shabby business model and we hope that they will ensure that it is not pursued any longer.