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A very busy 2022 began with the publication of a review of heated tobacco by the Cochrane Library. It found that "heated tobacco products could benefit public health if they reduce risk and help people stop smoking normal cigarettes, without attracting people who would otherwise avoid tobacco entirely." You can read the review here and a commentary on their research by the review team in The Conversation.  

Our Chair, Louise Ross was quoted in an article on how local governments in England managed to improve their smoking cessation services in 2021. She commented that “It’s really good to see how stop smoking services can be flexible and responsive, especially during the difficult times of the last couple of years.”

It was reported in Norway that the country is on the verge of a smoke-free generation as smoking prevalence among 16 to 24 year olds plummeted from 12% to 1% in just 10 years thanks to snus.

On 31st January, it was announced that there would be a refocus on advantages to be gained from the UK leaving the European Union with the release of a report entitled The benefits of Brexit - how the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU, along with a levelling up white paper. Tobacco harm reduction can play a significant role in advancing both these government agendas and we highlighted how the ten policy proposals we put to government in 2020 could help.


The NNA published a call for supporters to respond to the Scottish government’s consultation on  “Tightening rules on advertising and promoting vaping products”. As the title suggests, the proposals seek to place unnecessary obstacles in front of raising awareness about vaping products in Scotland. Vape video reviewer Vic Mullin also recorded a call to action on his YouTube channel.

The government-commissioned Independent Tobacco Review, led by Javed Khan OBE, was launched to much fanfare and media reports that it would usher in “a vaping revolution”.    

Louise Ross featured in Vapouround magazine explaining that there are still threats to vaping in the UK, and that "If you feel you have something more to offer and would like to get involved in advocacy, we would love to hear from you." Also in February, European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA), of which the NNA is a founder partner, presented a memo to a European Commission meeting on "Emerging tobacco and nicotine products in tobacco control policies" which you can read here.


We wrote to Independent Tobacco Review lead, Mr Khan, with a comprehensive set of 20 proposals setting out why tobacco harm reduction should be adopted as a critical strategy for future tobacco policy and is the only realistic approach if the Smokefree 2030 goal is to be achieved, while encouraging supporters to do the same. You can read our full letter here.

The Welsh Government consulted on a new Tobacco Control Plan. We urged consumers to respond with their stories about how vaping works and why it should be central to future government strategy.

March 9 was No Smoking Day. we wrote on our blog that there should be a more concerted campaign to counter media misinformation and confusion about vaping, and that all safer nicotine products should be made widely available, including lifting the ban on snus. On the same day, the Local Government Association called for a reduction of VAT on vaping products from 20% to 5%, stating “There is increasing evidence that e-cigarettes, along with other dedicated support, act as an important gateway to help people to stop smoking."

Jacob Rees-Mogg,  writing in The Sun newspaper, asked for suggestions from the public as to petty regulations that should be abolished now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. We wrote to suggest eliminating pointless restrictions on vaping tank and refill container sizes, removing the 20mg/ml limit on the strength of nicotine e-liquid, and lifting the EU-imposed ban on snus. You can read our letter here.


This month saw the publication of the government’s post-implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR). We wrote on how we believe the regulations could be improved by relaxing pointless vaping controls which only serve to inconvenience vapers and deter smokers switching, but also by better acknowledging the positive contribution other harm reduction options can provide.

On April 13, our trustees, Louise Ross and Sarah Jakes, took part in an online meeting with Javed Khan to give evidence on behalf of the NNA to the government’s Independent Tobacco Review. Also in April, research from University College London found that "Prevalence of e-cigarette use among the youth population in England does not appear to be associated with substantial increases or decreases in the prevalence of smoking uptake", and former NNA trustee, Mark Oates, wrote in Capx that smokers are dangerously ill-informed about the risks of vaping compared to combustible tobacco.


We issued a call to action after the EU Commission called for evidence to assess its legislative framework for tobacco control. The document suggested bans on flavours, plus other restrictions on where products can be sold and used, and proposed treating vaping the same as smoking. Many supporters responded to the call, and you can read the NNA’s submission here.

NNA Trustees met with MPs Mark Pawsey and Adam Afriyie in the House of Commons where they had a constructive discussion on vaping and harm reduction matters (picture below), and research from Queen Mary University found that “e-cigarettes are as safe to use as nicotine patches for pregnant smokers trying to quit, and may be a more effective tool.”



The EU Commission launched a call for evidence on a proposal to amend a 2009 recommendation on extending smoke-free environments to include vaping products and heated tobacco. We produced a guide on how to respond to the consultation for consumers and supporters. You can read our submission here.

In May, the NNA urged supporters to respond to the EU Commission consultation on its legislative framework for tobacco control in our web article here. In July, it was revealed that the consultation received a record number of responses, according to EU Political Report. Also, following March’s consultation to which we responded, the Welsh government stated that "clarifying the position on e-cigarettes in Wales is a priority" in its long term Tobacco Control Strategy.


Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) released a briefing for local authorities on youth vaping. It offered a calm analysis of recent fears over youth vaping and debunked some of the many myths seen in the media. The briefing stressed the key point that “media reports that youth vaping risks becoming a potential ‘public health catastrophe’ leading to a ‘generation hooked on nicotine’ are not substantiated by the evidence.” Regarding myths carried in the media, ASH was forthright with unequivocal corrective statements. We reported on the briefing on our blog.

Meanwhile, an update in the Dentistry journal took on inaccurate media reports in the summer claiming that vaping was bad for dental health, stating that “Smokers can expect to see substantial improvements in their oral health if they fully switch to an e-cigarette.”


The latest annual report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) on “Use of e-cigarettes (vapes) among adults in Great Britain” was released and concluded that there are now around 4.3 million vapers in England, Scotland and Wales, a significant increase from 3.6 million in 2021. We welcomed the news in an article on the NNA website.  

The Dutch government opened a public consultation on the final stage of a proposal to ban vaping liquid flavours. The proposals would make it impossible for manufacturers to formulate any flavours at all and would effectively signal the end of the legal vaping market in the Netherlands. On our blog, we urged our supporters to make a submission.


At the end of September, the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), released its final Vaping in England review, which was largely positive. It is the most comprehensive yet and covered a wide range of evidence on the use of vaping products amongst adults and youth, as well as brief commentary on heated tobacco and nicotine pouches. We welcomed the review and commented on its conclusions on our blog.

Thérèse Coffey was appointed Secretary of State for Health and it was reported that she planned to delay the Tobacco Control Plan for England. We wrote to Ms Coffey to re-emphasise our 20 recommendations for reducing smoking which rely on consumer choice, deregulation, competition and private sector innovation. You can read the letter here.

The Observer published a very negative editorial which repeated all the tired arguments put forward by ideological anti-vaping activists. It ignored the recent comprehensive review by OHID, instead choosing to amplify cherry-picked science, half-truths and hypothetical risks. It was widely criticised, and we wrote to the Observer’s Reader’s Editor section to strongly condemn the editorial. You can read what we had to say about it here. 16 public health experts also wrote a condemnatory letter which you can read here.


At the end of October the BBC reported that health campaigners had called on the government to close a “loophole” in how nicotine pouches are regulated to prevent under 18s from being able to buy them legally. We welcomed this news and noted that we had written to the government on three occasions suggesting light touch regulation. We commented that it is good to see some of our long-held suggestions on nicotine pouches regulation being taken up by health groups.

The Cochrane Library released its latest living review of vaping research, concluding that “There is high‐certainty evidence that e-cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared to NRT.” (summary of findings below). The World Cup began with a warning to football fans that vaping products are banned in Qatar and subject to a fine of $2,700 or three months imprisonment.



It was widely reported that new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data reveals that the smoking rate for over 18s in the UK in 2021 declined to a record low of 13.3%. The ONS described the drop in smoking numbers since the previous year’s rate of 14.0% as statistically significant and concluded that vaping had played “a major role” in the reduction. We wrote that this proves tobacco harm reduction works and we should do more of it. Also in December, King's College London produced an explainer article discussing its latest research which informed OHID’s September Vaping in England report, and The Centre for Evidence-based Medicine in Oxford published a blog entitled “7 things you need to know about e-cigarettes and quitting smoking.”

And finally, in the past year the NNA received nearly £150 just from donations generated by those who chose the New Nicotine Alliance as their selected charity while shopping on Amazon. If you haven’t done so already, please go here to nominate the NNA as your charity and Amazon will then donate towards our activities with every purchase you make. You can also make a donation directly to the NNA by clicking here. Thank you for your donations in the last 12 months by whatever means you have made them. We are very grateful for your support throughout 2022.




The NNA began the year by being invited to give oral evidence to the APPG for Vaping’s inquiry into the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control COP9 meeting which was to take place in November 2021. The resultant report, which you can read here, was released at the end of March.


The NNA published a call for supporters to respond to the government’s consultation on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). The report has yet to be published following this consultation and it was revealed later in the year that this is partly because over 5,000 responses were submitted, the majority of which will have been from consumers. Public Health England released its 7th report on vaping in England, with the press release declaring that “vaping is better than nicotine replacement therapy for stopping smoking”.  We welcomed the report in our news article about it here. Our former Chair, Martin Cullip, took part in a panel discussion hosted by the Adam Smith Institute alongside Clive Bates and Mark Oates on how vaping, snus, heated tobacco and other smoking alternatives can play a vital role in saving lives, you can watch the discussion here.  


News stories emerged in national dailies, The Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Sun, that the WHO planned to ban open vaping systems. For some reason, some commentators dismissed this as a scare story despite it being clearly stated as a policy proposal in documents presented to the WHO in late 2020. Martin Cullip was quoted at Ecigclick on the issue, saying “This is not an empty threat, especially considering the WHO’s extremely hostile stance towards vaping”. Yorkshire Cancer Research released an excellent film called Vaping Demystified, which explored truth about vaping and debunked misinformation, you can watch it here.


The Institute of Economic Affairs held a webinar on the future of the UK tobacco harm reduction policy. Martin Cullip took part alongside Mark Pawsey MP and Clive Bates. The full discussion is available here. The APPG for Vaping’s COP Inquiry report was published.


Holyrood and the Scottish Grocers' Federation conducted a roundtable discussion to debate tobacco harm reduction, with the NNA’s Louise Ross featuring. You can read an account of the discussion at this link. NNA Trustee, Dave Cross, also wrote an article about the NNA on the blog of independent vape retailer, Vapekit.


We wrote to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care at the Department of Health and Social Care – Jo Churchill – and the Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit – Munira Mirza – to provide a more comprehensive set of policy proposals for maximising the potential of safer nicotine products in order to match the government’s smoke-free 2030 and levelling up agendas which you can read here. This followed our previous letter of October 2020. Louise Ross was quoted in an article on the Kings College Cancer Prevention blog asking if the flavour debate is distracting from the health benefits of vaping.


The Global Forum on Nicotine took place in Liverpool with Martin Cullip one of the event commentators. The NNA also held a side panel at a separate venue on the future of harm reduction in the UK with Clive Bates, Mark Oates, and former Lib Dem MEP, Rebecca Taylor. There is a recording of the NNA panel on YouTube here. The NNA gave written and oral evidence to the APPG for Vaping's Smoke Free 2030 Inquiry.


The APPG for Vaping's Smoke Free 2030 Inquiry was published, with the NNA referenced throughout. You can read the full report here. Louise Ross took over as NNA Interim Chair.


A ground-breaking article was published at the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) entitled Balancing Consideration of the Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarettes, written by no fewer than 15 past Presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). We wrote about it here. Action on Smoking and Health released their latest report on Use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain, revealing that the proportion of the population who are vapers has increased to 7.1%, amounting to 3.6 million people, two thirds of which are ex-smokers.


The NNA issued a call to action for consumers to write to their MP in advance of the WHO’s COP9 meeting in November. We wrote an article on our blog explaining why we felt this was necessary.

Louise Ross spoke to the Ashtray Blog about media reports suggesting the UK government may raise the smoking and vaping age to 21. You can read the article here.  


100 specialists in nicotine science, policy and practice submitted a letter criticising the WHO for their objections to tobacco harm reduction. We welcomed the important intervention by these 100 experts in our blog article here. Louise Ross took part in a panel debate at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester entitled “The Golden Opportunity: How Britain can embrace tobacco harm reduction”, which was recorded and can be watched here. Louise also gave the NNA’s view on the rapid rise in use of disposable vaping products to Ecigclick here.


At the end of October, it was announced that vaping products may be made available on the NHS for smoking cessation, we wrote an explainer on what the proposals may entail which you can read here. The WHO FCTC’s COP9 virtual meeting took place, with all discussion and decisions regarding reduced risk nicotine products postponed until COP10 in Panama in 2023. The NNA had applied for observer status for this meeting but was denied access with no explanation given. No consumer group was permitted to observe proceedings despite the WHO’s claim that the meetings are transparent. Elsewhere, research in Sweden revealed that smoking prevalence has declined yet further, to 6%, largely due to the availability and uptake of snus.


Vaping as a stop smoking aid is included in guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence for the first time. Louise Ross wrote about her thoughts on the guidelines on our blog here. Louise also took part in a panel at the World Vape Show on the subject of ensuring access to tobacco harm reduction in healthcare.

And finally, in the past year the NNA received nearly £250 just from donations generated by those who chose the New Nicotine Alliance as their selected charity while shopping on Amazon. If you haven’t done so already, please go here to nominate the NNA as your charity and Amazon will then donate towards our activities with every purchase you make. Thank you for your donations in the last 12 months by whatever means you have made them; we are very grateful for your support throughout 2021.


Hello again

While the NNA has been busy with a number of initiatives in 2021, Covid has exerted pressures on our time so there has been a lack of updates to you, our supporters. As we seem to be getting nearer to the life we all remember, here is the first of what we hope will be more regular communications from now on. We hope you are all well and not too badly affected by what we’ve all been through.

Nicotine pouches

In January, we wrote to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Jo Churchill, to call for sensible light touch regulation of modern oral nicotine pouches. We believe regulation needs to be put in place including age of sale restrictions and to curtail the activities of reckless or unscrupulous sellers, while still allowing adult smokers access to these potentially beneficial products.

We continue to emphasise that nicotine pouches hold considerable promise for the betterment of public health as a safer alternative to combustible tobacco, but better regulation is required to protect the category into the future.

APPG COP9 Inquiry

At the start of the year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping (APPG) conducted an inquiry into the WHO’s Conference of the Parties meeting (COP9) to be held in The Hague in November, where it is expected that there will be a hostile atmosphere towards safer nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. We made a submission to the consultation for this report and our Chair gave oral evidence at one of two virtual sessions held in February. The report giving the APPG’s recommendations for the UK’s delegation to COP9 was published at the end of March and you can read its findings at this link

Make your voice heard

The APPG has now opened another inquiry, this time entitled UK Tobacco Harm Reduction Opportunities Post-Brexit: Achieving a Smoke-Free 2030. There is a consultation which is open to consumers so do please respond, it really could not be easier. Click the link here to tell your story, and the more stories that are told, the more the message will be heard. Please add your voice to make sure that the craziness of European legislation and regulation can’t creep in to the UK. The deadline is Thursday 27th May, so please don’t delay, do it now.

Calling vapers in York and Hull

Dr Frances Thirlway (York University) is looking for local vapers to join an experts-by-experience group for a study she is conducting. She’s very interested in grassroots thinking, so if you’re from there, please do get in touch by contacting our Vice Chair, Louise Ross, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sign up as a NNA Supporter and encourage your friends and family to sign up too, by clicking here.




As mentioned in our round-up of 2019, the coming year will present many sinister challenges. We need to be ready for them and the NNA has been preparing for momentous threats from the EU and the WHO. 2020 will require consumers to be vigilant and active, so do keep watching for updates. Here are just some of the activities we have been involved with at the start of a new year.


With clear and present dangers to harm reduction looming, an NNA delegation met with three MPs at the House of Commons on 28th January. Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, and Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford met with us to discuss how to best address threats to the very successful UK government strategy towards vaping and other reduced risk products.

Our government leads the world in sensible recognition of safer nicotine products and provides a great example to other jurisdictions on how to make the most of innovative products via our Tobacco Control Plan. Unaccountable external interests are irritated by this, but we received a reassuring welcome for our plans to keep the UK safe from measures which could threaten our successful policies here. 


NNA at the House of Commons

Pictured above are NNA trustees Sarah Jakes, Dave MacKintosh, Tom Pruen, Martin Cullip, Mark Oates and Bernice Evans with MPs after the meeting.

Gareth Johnson has already started probing the government for their plans to tackle EU and WHO excesses with two parliamentary questions which you can read here and here, while Adam Afriyie posted positive messages to Twitter the day after our meeting, which you can support here and here. If you choose to post your personal story on how harm reduction helped you, we think it would be well-received.


As if we didn’t need reminding why the World Health Organisation is a conflicted and dangerous force for bad in the tobacco harm reduction space which consumers should be prepared to battle against in 2020, they released a Q&A document and a series of tweets on January 20th which were astonishing. NNA associate Clive Bates wrote about how appalling their guidance is, stating that “there are nine questions and every single answer provides false, misleading or simplistic information”. It was subsequently updated but is still woefully misleading. You can read Clive’s comprehensive summary here.

Our Vice Chair, Louise Ross was also active in objecting to the WHO’s blatant misinformation about e-cigarettes. At EcigClick she rightly accused the WHO of “publishing assertions that undermine the determination of smokers to switch to a less harmful product”, while at The Filter, she was angry that she is receiving calls “from healthcare professionals who now think that vaping is more dangerous than smoking” which is fundamentally untrue, and that it is “because they have been misinformed by an organisation that claims to care about health.”. Louise was also quoted on the subject in a YouTube submission by advocate John Oyston which you can view here.

The Science Media Centre also spoke out about the WHO’s ideological departure from reality, with Professor John Britton describing how “the WHO misrepresents the available scientific evidence”, which you can read here.


Our Chair, Martin Cullip, was interviewed by French magazine PGVG on thoughts from 2019 and aspirations for 2020 in NNA’s role as founder partner of European advocacy group, ETHRA.

Martin Cullip PGVG


In an article drawing on commentators across Europe, Martin remarked that “the coordination and frequency of attacks on vaping have been as extraordinary as they are shameful” in 2019 and that “what happened in the United States must not affect the great potential that reduced risk products can bring to the rest of the world” in the coming year. All the submissions are in French, but you can Google translate them from this link.

Martin was also asked for comment by Vapouround magazine this month about the absurd suggestion by Canadian public health officials that vaping products should be sold in plain packaging. He described the proposal as policymakers with a hammer desperately searching for a new nail and that industry-set standards would be more likely to produce beneficial results to counter perceived downsides to problematic packaging. Keep an eye on the magazine’s website for when the article is published.


It’s great to note that our sister organisation, NNA Ireland, continues to gain recognition. In a country implacably opposed to harm reduction, they are doing a great job of making themselves heard.


NNA Ireland is a nascent consumer group representing those who use reduced risk products across the Irish Sea. If you are in Ireland please contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or join their Facebook group (here), they would welcome your input. They urgently need help with setting up a website and also need people who are prepared to be active and share their story with politicians.


We are delighted to report that NNA trustee Dave Cross has been appointed as a member of the committee to craft standards for e-cigarettes and e-liquids with the British Standards Institution. The working title for the standard is BSI CH/437 and we are confident that Dave will be able to contribute wisely in the role drawing on his extensive knowledge of the product category over many years.

Additionally, our newly-appointed trustee Tom Pruen has submitted evidence towards the BSI’s inquiry into heated tobacco entitled Draft PAS 8850: Non-Combustible Tobacco Products, Heated Tobacco products, while Louise Ross contributed towards NICE’s guidance on Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence.


Our highly respected and loved trustee Kevin Molloy is going through a difficult time right now, and has had to stand down from NNA. We wish him love and strength as he undertakes a very arduous treatment for cancer.



Trustee Dave MacKintosh spoke at the launch of Tobacco Harm Reduction and the Right to Health, the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report at Guildhall Art Gallery on the 23rd of this month. There are plenty of other events lined up for our team in coming weeks.

Our Chair, Martin Cullip, will be speaking at St George’s Hospital in Tooting on 10th February at their Great Vape Debate. The panel will be filmed but if you are in the area and wish to attend, tickets are available here.

NNA Associate Andy Morrison will be in Lanarkshire to discuss harm reduction with local stop smoking services on 12th February, and our snus expert Mark Oates will be at Vaper Expo in Olympia on the weekend of 15th/16h February.

Lastly, if you have an idea for a session at the Global Forum on Nicotine you can submit your abstract here - but please do it quickly, as the deadline for abstract submissions is 9th February. As ever, the 7th GFN offers a lot of opportunities for consumer participation - including dedicated forums for consumer discussion - so please consider attending. You can register for the GFN here.


Please remember that NNA trustees give their time for free, and we rely on your generous donations to continue to ensure consumer voices are heard. Please keep your donations coming in via the donate button below, and if you can commit to a standing order or regular PayPal payment it would be gratefully received.

There is an option to get Amazon to donate to the NNA if you shop via the Amazon Smile page and select NNA as your charity. You can support New Nicotine Alliance (UK) by starting your shopping from this link.

You can also donate to the NNA via eBay, as we are registered as an eBay charity. You can add a donation when you buy something and you can also auction your own items and choose to donate part or all the proceeds to us. We are always open to donated items which we can sell to raise funds too, all items would be gratefully received.

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Donate to NNA


As 2020 approaches we can look back at what the NNA has been up to in the last 12 months. It has been a difficult year, but we expect an even more difficult one to come and we will need all your support to get through it. Please share our posts, make a financial donation, but most of all in 2020, be prepared to get active as there are momentous challenges ahead. To learn how to donate to the NNA and support our work, please see the bottom of this page. In the meantime, here are highlights from 2019.


The year began quietly but NNA Trustees were active, nonetheless. A significant report by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) was released for which our Vice Chair, Louise Ross, had helped with recruiting subjects. The study found that vaping doubles a smoker’s chances of quitting, when compared with NRT, and gathered a lot of national media interest as well as being cited regularly throughout the year at conferences and in news articles. You can read the report here.

Louise co-authored a separate report released in January alongside our former Chair, Sarah Jakes, and produced in partnership with Caitlin Notley of the University of East Anglia and Sharon Cox of South Bank University. It concluded that academics should be involving vapers in their investigations or else they will come up with unrealistic or incorrect results. The report is available to read here.

January also saw the release of a film by PHE comparing the effect of emissions from cigarettes and e-cigarettes on cotton wool in two bell jars. The film is available at the BBC website here and you can read our reaction to it on our blog here.


NNA Trustee Louise Ross joined Professor Peter Hajek and Dr Katie Myers Smith of Queen Mary University, Martin Dockrell of Public Health England and other public health influencers on a tour of London, Birmingham and York to discuss the conclusions of January’s revealing QMUL study.

Louise also wrote a guest article at Clive Bates’s Counterfactual site to explain her role in the E-cigarettes Priority Setting Partnership which we highlighted on our blog in January here. Meanwhile, Jessica Harding attended the APPG on vaping meeting at the House of Commons, arranged for MPs to discuss the industry’s role in preventing youth uptake of vaping products. She reported that, although this was a meeting to take evidence from industry only, MPs on the day made a very good effort at putting the consumer case and seem to have taken the NNA’s previous contributions on board.


March began with ominous signs from the EU that they intend to crack down on vaping in the next iteration of the Tobacco Products Directive. The outgoing EU Health Commissioner had described to Euractiv how he wishes to see medicalisation of the products and his second in command had described vaping as “poison”. As we warned just last week, heading off these threats is going to be a priority in 2020, you can read why we take that view on our blog here.

Also in March, the NNA’s Gerry Stimson, Kevin Molloy and Jessica Harding took part in a trip to Malawi and Kenya to spread the message of harm reduction in Africa, meeting with representatives of the Campaign for Safer Alternatives in Africa and THR Malawi while there, while Louise Ross was filmed by Filter giving her thoughts about the real-life practicalities of harm reduction via vaping, and how she had changed her mind from being initially against but now very much in favour of e-cigarettes. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Louise Ross Filter vid


We got off to a flying start in April by writing a “Switch on to vaping plan” which you can read and download here. This was to coincide with the second annual UKVIA VApril campaign which launched on the 1st. Our Chair, Martin Cullip, spoke at the launch alongside TV’s Doctor Christian Jessen, and we wrote about why the campaign should be supported on our blog here.


Louise Ross was again seconding her thoughts to external websites by writing of how stop smoking services should be receptive to e-cigarettes to make harm reduction a success for their clients at the widely-read Ashtray Blog here, while also writing in support of e-cigarettes being sold in pharmacies in a debate-style piece for the Pharmaceutical Journal which you can read here.

In Hong Kong, the government conducted a consultation in April on whether to ban e-cigarettes outright. The NNA submitted a response warning that a significant proportion of the 570k UK tourists that visit Hong Kong every year might be at risk of jail simply for following advice from health organisations in the UK. You can read our full submission here.

As if that isn’t enough, Andy Morrison was also in attendance at the 5th annual Glasgow School of Vape and a delegation from the NNA went to Vape Jam at London’s Excel where Martin Cullip took part in an eventful panel debate on the main stage about responsible marketing.


The UKVIA’s second yearly Forum took place in May, addressed by Dr Christian Jessen and attended by two MPs – Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron and Conservative Mark Pawsey. NNA Chair Martin Cullip represented consumers on a panel entitled “Has the UK become vape unfriendly?”. Where he defended the use of e-cigarette use in private venues and raised the issue of poor advice on workplace policies on the Acas website, more on that later. We reported on the event on our blog here.

NNA Associate Terry Walker also blogged this month about his efforts at changing misguided vaping bans and how he has managed to engage with his local NHS Trust on educating them about how to treat e-cigarette use in line with government advice, which you can read here.


As usual, June was a busy month with many NNA Trustees, associates and supporters prominent at the sixth staging of the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) in Warsaw.

We hosted a press briefing on the importance of flavours in vaping liquids at the conference, our press release from which you can read here. A panel representing academia, industry and consumers emphasised how vital flavours are in ensuring vapers do not relapse to smoking once they have found a set-up that works for them. On the Thursday NNA Chair Martin Cullip also oversaw a marathon half day consumer alignment meeting comprised of several panels on issues of interest to those who use safer nicotine products. The meeting began with a star-studded panel on what good consumer advocacy should look like in advance of the World Health Organisation’s COP9 in The Hague next year which attracted so much interest that it was standing room only. Associate Andy Morrison also spoke, delivering his thoughts on bad policy on vaping from regulators and industry as part of the At the front line - what do consumers need? panel, featuring consumers from North America, Europe and Asia. And to top all that off, we also presented a poster at the event describing our input to the VApril campaign earlier in the year.

CAAM for newsletter 2Consumer meeting at the Global Forum on Nicotine

There was also good news in June that Acas had agreed to change their website advice about workplace vaping as a result of our highlighting the issue in May; Action on Smoking and Health released new data on the subject of underage vaping in the UK - which you can read here – and Martin Cullip delivered a presentation to the ENDS Conference in London where he expressed criticism of some approaches to policy currently being undertaken by vape businesses.


We were disappointed in July at some of the regulatory noises coming from both the WHO and the UK government.

The seventh “report on the global tobacco epidemic” from the World Health Organisation was released in this month and its only mention of harm reduction was to dismiss it as a concept fabricated by the tobacco industry. We issued a press release criticising the report’s adherence to myths and innuendo, suggesting that the WHO are taking an unhelpful ideological stance rather than one which could contribute to the outcomes they claim to want to achieve. You can read our valid critique of the WHO’s pitiful claims here.

Also in July, a government green paper containing recommendations towards vaping products was released. We felt that it was hastily drawn-up and described it as a “regulatory bull in a china shop approach” in our newsletter. We described on our blog here why the suggested proposals could “instantly remove the allure of safer products for many smokers.”.


We were heartened in August to find out that the Indiana University School of Public Health agrees with our regular assertion that bans on vaping in public spaces are a very bad idea. We blogged about this evidence-based confirmation of what we vapers have always known, saying “No amount of stressing the safer nature of vaping from public health groups will ever be as powerful an opinion-former to the general public as a prohibitive and dramatic “no vaping” sign or announcement on a public tannoy”. You can read our article on the subject here.

August also saw our Vice Chair Louise Ross travel to Rio de Janeiro to talk about how vape-friendly stop smoking services in the UK have been a success and that it’s not a bad idea to replicate the approach. Louise reported that there was some opposition but “the audience when I talked about the UK experience were quietly encouraging”, which is a good reaction in a country where vaping is currently banned.


September was a pivotal month in 2019 as the cacophony of misinformation on what was causing an outbreak of respiratory illnesses in the US reached mainstream media in the UK. We wrote on our blog that “illegal oil-based THC liquids bought from unregulated vendors in America” were to blame and that UK smokers, vapers and their relatives should take the hysterical scare stories with a pinch of salt. The situation is entirely different in the UK as we explained in a blog entitled “nothing to see here”, click here to read it.

ETHRA twitter header

In September, we also announced that we were now founder partners of a new Europe-wide consumer advocacy organisation called European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA). It was launched on 26th September with the goal of joining forces with regional consumer groups to amplify the voice of the many millions of safer nicotine users in Europe. Since that day, ETHRA has been actively spreading the message of harm reduction in our region and now boasts 20 partner organisations across the continent. You can read the launch briefing – including a quote from the NNA – at this link.

The end of the month saw the release of this year’s ASH report on e-cigarette use in the UK. It revealed yet another rise in the numbers of vapers to 3.6 million, up from 3.2 million last year, 1.9 million of whom have switched entirely from smoking. We were encouraged by these figures and wrote about the report in our news section here.

Towards the end of the month, NNA representatives Andy Morrison, Dave Cross and Louise Ross debated with workshop attendees at the final Priorities Setting Partnership for e-cigarette research, and Martin Cullip took part in a panel debate at Labour Party Conference in Brighton alongside Sir Kevin Barron MP on the subject of “Does Brexit present new opportunities for the vaping industry?”.


October saw more party conference activity as NNA Associate Andy Morrison attended the Scottish National Party Conference in Aberdeen to comment on “Where next for vaping in Scotland” as part of a panel comprising two Members of the Scottish Parliament and a board member of the independent Vaporized vape shop chain.

AM SNP conference                                                                                                                       Andy Morrison at the SNP conference

Some much-needed common sense from the USA on the harm reduction front was announced in this month too. The Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) issued a judgement that eight snus smokeless tobacco products can be marketed with the claim that they are less harmful than smoking. NNA Trustee, Mark Oates, explained why this is an encouraging development which should shame the EU into following suit in our press release which you can read here.

NNA Trustees were also active spreading the word in other countries with NNA Trustee Sarah Jakes taking part in a round-table discussion by Turkish broadcaster TRT World which tackled many of the recent misleading stories about vaping, and which you can view in full here.


Meanwhile, Louise Ross travelled to Paris to share the perspective of vape-friendly Stop Smoking Services, and the people who use them, at the third Sovape Sommet de la Vape conference. Her comments even earned an airing in renowned French socialite magazine Paris Match which you can read here.


In November, we wrote an open letter to London mayor Sadiq Khan after he spoke at the London General Assembly about reviewing rules on vape adverts on the London Underground system which you can read here. We highlighted that “vaping advertising is already prevalent on London buses, so it would seem consistent to also allow the same messages to be presented to travellers on tube trains too” and highlighting that the review should take into account that the Tobacco Control Plan for England recognised the benefits of smokers switching to e-cigarette.

We also found out in this month that Acas had, indeed, updated its advice on vaping in the workplace after our intervention at the UKVIA Forum in May. It is in no way perfect, but far better than it was previously. You can read the updated web page here.

Trustees were again active with NNA Trustee Mark Oates travelling to Sweden to address an event attended by a number of Swedish politicians on the subject “Politicians wouldn’t ban motorcycle helmets, so why do they ban safer nicotine products, such as snus?”   You can read about Mark's talk in Snusforumnet, here and view the video here.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Vice Chair, Louise Ross, addressed the 7th E-cigarette Summit and gave a presentation entitled “I had given up giving up’ – how smokers have reacted to a new gateway out of smoking” which is available to view here, and also wrote a letter to the Guardian rejecting ill-informed assertions from a selection of misguided paediatric professionals which had been published previously. Martin Cullip also took part in a panel discussion at Vaper Expo in Birmingham on the threats to vaping which could result from the panic emanating from the US. The stage debate can be viewed in full at this link.


The last month of 2019 was taken up with the general election and – with government dissolved and civil servants stifled by purdah – opportunities to advocate were non-existent. It is clear, though, that we face some major threats in the coming year, and we will be needing your help. Please read our article explaining why “this is no time for complacency, there are real threats coming and we are going to need you to put yourselves out to protect your right to choose safer nicotine products” which you can visit at this link.

The same theme was conveyed by our three Trustees who contributed to the Ashtray Blog’s annual December predictions article for the coming year which you can read here. Martin Cullip warned “don’t ever be complacent enough to think the battle is won here. Be prepared to do your bit if rumoured threats become real.”, Louise Ross predicted that “vast amounts of time will be spent fire-fighting – in health arenas, in politics, in the media and directly with consumers.”, and Dave Cross said that “it is inevitable that we will face further coordinated demands to restrict flavours here.”.

2019 has been a sinister year but there are further threats to come, we need to be on our guard, and we will be needing a concerted effort from consumers everywhere in 2020. Please enjoy your New Year celebrations and come back refreshed and ready to fight for what we know is right.


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