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When I first looked up and saw that the clouds were coming from the south, I felt content – they were moving in the right direction and it was a sign that winter was over and that warmer weather was on the way: When Public Health England, and The Royal College of Physicians, started to promote vaping as at least 95% safer than smoking, I felt satisfaction, contentment. This feeling was though tempered by a niggling sensation that all was not right. I wondered about the timing of their action – just after the establishment of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). But I dismissed the sensation and bathed and luxuriated in anticipation of a new warmer climate.

Then, just after the announcement of the FDA regulations on vaping, just a few weeks ago, an odd thing happened. I looked up, and in a tiny break in the clouds, high up in the troposphere, the clouds seemed, once again, to be moving in opposite directions. Was I just imagining things? I dismissed the thought and settled back.

What I had actually spotted was a news release, dated, August 17: 2016, about research from Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park. Here it was stated:

This study suggests that smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes and stop smoking tobacco cigarettes may significantly reduce their exposure to many cancer-causing chemicals.” It was however, noted by some, that this research had been carried out five years previously, so why the delay in announcing the findings? It seems they were too busy. But, let us face it, it was good news and to be welcomed.

Added to this, in another recent announcement, Neil Benowitz states: “The reduced nicotine content cigarette and the emergence of non-combusted nicotine products like e-cigarettes should be viewed not as alternatives but as complementary components of regulatory interventions that could virtually end combusted tobacco use.

Of course we already know that reduced nicotine content leads to compensatory increased smoking. Clever is it not? Use of second rate e-cigarettes to bring smoking rates down a bit and reduced nicotine cigarettes to keep the rate up.

The clouds were indeed moving in opposite directions.

We need to get our skates on – this is the biggest threat to vaping that we have witnessed to date… Vaping is being hijacked.

***

When I first looked up, I thought, ‘imagination.’ The second time I looked up, I thought, ‘coincidence’, but the third time I looked up, I thought, ‘this is really happening’.

And in answer to the question posed by the title, I can only say that clouds are moved by forces which we do not fully understand – or can accurately predict… yet.

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