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The Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw is to Vaping what the Cannes Festival is to Cinema

The "Global Forum on Nicotine, it is like the Cannes Festival", whispered Remi Parola. Not wrong, if one takes into account the 350 participants who came from 55 countries to set foot on the red carpet and meet the talismanic figures of vaping, scientists, politics and advocates.


By browsing the conference program of these 17 and 18 June 2016, one must confess that Remi Parola is right, the “GFN in Warsaw is the Cannes Festival of vaping”. A two-day meeting that brought together the most famous figures: Clive Bates, Linda Bauld, Bertrand Dautzengerg, Jean-François Etter, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Jacques Le Houezec, Ann McNeil, Riccardo Polosa or David Sweanor.

Aaron Biebert also performed on scene with a European preview of his movie “A Billion Lives“.

About 350 participants joined the meeting from over 55 countries among which France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, Senegal or even Russia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Liban, India and South Korea.

In the permises, we met Bertrand Dautzenberg who was attending the event for the first time. We questioned him about his feelings at the end of the second day. “I am surprised by the reluctance of the public against physicians, nevertheless it is when the e-cigarette is welcomed by physicians, like in France or in the UK, that it spreads in the best conditions“, regrets the tobacco specialist.

No data is given about ex-smokers who became ex-vapers. And yet, it is something that I often observe with my patients: they stop smoking and they actually stop vaping as well. Nobody tells anything about that.

Big Tobacco brands that came in force to promote reduced-risk products did not receive a warm welcome by the physician who devoted his career to fighting against the damaging effects of smoking. “Their studies, most of the time, are rejected from scientific journals, and they take advantage of such events to communicate“.

“I Don’t agree. JF Etter defends at the GFN16 the publication of articles by Big Tobacco in scientific journals. No No” – Pr B. Dautzenberg.

The respirologist fears that some products like IQOS, “designed to reignite the e-cigarette market”, might be as addictive as tobacco cigarettes. He is however relieved by the Paris Sans Tabac surveys that preclude the use of nicotine e-cigarettes by the youth who experiment vaping with nicotine-free products. The Professor fears that the new generation adopts such reduced-risk products and becomes addicted.

A little bit further, we met Konstantinos Farsalinos who acknowledged the growing success of the forum that hosts more and more people in crowded conference rooms. The number of posters has doubled compared to last year, he noticed. At a glance, one can say that almost half of them are coming from the tobacco industry. JTI, BAT, PMI and Fontem Ventures were coating half of the surface of the exhibition.

Science is Science” said the cardiologist, “I am not against the fact that the tobacco industry publishes on the subject” but when considered their historical record “it is important that independent studies validate such results“. Next to him, Jacques Le Houezec acknowledged.

Gerry Stimson, the organizer of the event, said he was very satisfied with the success of this annual meeting and welcomed that 70 international vapers decided to combine their efforts to address international issues around vaping, especially during the WHO’s COP7, that is supposed to deliberate on WHO’s official position with regard to the e-cigarette.

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Kathleen O'Connor
Kathleen O'Connor
8 years ago

I am so glad GFN #2 has attracted more attention. While the US generally ignores the rest of the world, the world is not ignoring the positive effect in smoker’s lives that switching to a vaping device brings.

7 years ago

An estimated 6.1 million Europeans have quit smoking by switching to vaping, according to a paper published online this week in Addiction. So we must fight for our right, vape on!