A recreational alternative to smoking… this is what Sarah Jakes, Trustee at the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) sees when thinking about vaping.

“Vaping is a consumer driven free market solution to the problems inherent in smoking tobacco”, she says in an article published on the Royal Society for Public Health’s blog page. She explains the stunning success of the electronic cigarette by the fact that vapers or the vapour industry have filled a gap left by the failure of public health to deliver a solution for smoking cessation.

A new deal

Now that THE SOLUTION is there, it is time to embrace it and not to reject it, as many try to do.

She acknowledges the individuals who had a “pragmatic view of tobacco harm reduction in order to achieve the potentially massive public health gains on offer via vaping”. Besides the “misleading reports of trivial potential harms and the efficacy of vaping products for cessation”, she recalls “the very essence of why vaping works as a way of reducing smoking”.

The Pleasure Principle

“ It is a recreational activity in its own right and brings pleasures of its own. It is also both a movement and a community with its own peer to peer support mechanisms. It is a hobby, an opportunity for socialising and a way to relax.” -Sarah Jakes.
In the harsh political context, (TPD implementation, prohibition, tax increase, Brexit,…) “A rethink is required”. Sarah Jakes poses vaping as a sum of many parts, the whole being even greater than the collections of its parts. The neglect of any one of them is to the detriment of the whole, unfortunately. If public health wants to capitalise on the health benefits of smokers switching to vaping, she writes, it must accept all that it entails; it must accept vaping for what it is and not what it would wish it to be. More understanding, more listening and more support to vapers should be required, in the sole interest of public health.


By her holistic approach of vaping, Sarah Jakes makes a contrast with the reductionist view of the legislative body on the e-cigarette. Do not hesitate to read the whole article, it boosts morale and helps to save lives.

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PhD in science and journalist for the Vaping Post. Specialised in scientific topics.