Vaping is seen as being a benign alternative to smoking. Sadly, this impression was largely driven by a plethora of supposedly independent studies published online. The truth is that many of these have been funded by big tobacco who now own much of the vaping industry.
We decided to fight these ‘fake news’ campaigns with our own. Except ours was a two prong approach which, on one side seeded doubt digitally, whilst on the other we used the media to deliver what science really knows about vaping using the most credible voice possible – the CEO of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Prof. Pamela Naidoo.
Vaping was miles from being benign, as it has been positioned. In fact, it hasn’t even been around for long enough for any credible studies to exist on its long-term effects. In short, anyone who vapes is literally a human guinea pig for vaping companies.
We had to fight back. With extensive research, speaking with Prof Pamela Naidoo as well as the UCT Lung Institute gave us access to the real dangers of vaping. These dangers were on one side turned into a digital campaign which used the same sensationalist tactics used by fake news campaigns globally. On the other, they helped to inform the discussions Prof. Naidoo had with the media.