Watch UKCTAS applicants & other experts speaking at the E-Cigarette Summit

As the next e-cigarette summit approaches we wanted to look back at some of the great lectures over the past couple of years. (lectures can only be played on vimeo for privacy reasons) 

The fourth annual E-Cigarette Summit will take place at the Royal Society in London on the 17th November 2016.

The issue of how public health should respond to the exponential growth of e-cigarettes remains a contentious issue and continues to divide scientists, policy makers and health professionals alike. The E-Cigarette Summit has established itself as a neutral environment for scientists, policy makers, medical and public health professionals and e-cigarette stakeholders to come together and look at the latest scientific research and evidence available on e-cigarettes and debate their impact in context of public health and regulation.

Alongside examining the latest evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes for users and bystanders, The E-Cigarette Summit will also address broader debates including evidence on Gateway for children and non-smokers, advertising and marketing, use in public places and the conflicts arising from the tobacco industry’s dual corporate ownership of tobacco harm reduction products and cigarettes. The role that e-cigarettes could play in ending or extending the smoking epidemic will remain one of the most fiercely fought debates in public health history.

For policy makers/advisors, the weight of making the right decision cannot be underestimated. From outright bans, advertising restrictions to higher taxation; the way that each country introduces, interprets and implements legislation, including consumer and medical licensing routes, will have far reaching consequences. Setting the regulatory bar at the correct level, will be vital to harnessing the opportunities that e-cigarettes could offer while remaining responsive to a tobacco control manifesto to reduce smoking related harm.


For more information and to register for the 2016 event, click here!

Connecting worlds, Connecting the Public: When body art meets neuroscience

Engaging the public with research through novel collaborations

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Room 130, Wolfson Institute – Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ
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Reaching the public with research findings can be difficult. This event focuses on novel ways that audiences can engage with academic research, offers advice on raising funds to support these projects, and offers networking with a difference!

The event will help you think in a new way about your research as well as offering an opportunity to see how stand-up comedy, football, or even trapeze may help you reach a wide audience. Speakers include, a neuroscientist collaborating with an artist to use the human body as a canvas to raise awareness of mental illness; and an economist who engaged with a range of businesses to setup her own currency in Brixton.

The event will provide a relaxed and informative environment to hear about fascinating projects and to get you thinking about how you can involve the public with your findings outside of the academic world.

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Smartphone application could help people cut down their alcohol consumption – University College London

Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and her team at UCL, have developed a new type of app to tackle excessive alcohol consumption, a major societal and public health challenge.

This is the first app that uses evidence and theory from the fields of behavioural science and addiction to help support users in reducing their alcohol consumption.


Drink Less is a super-easy to use app that allows you to keep track of how much you drink, set goals to drink less, get feedback on whether what you’re doing is working and access some unique and fun ways of changing your attitude towards alcohol. Try it here!


You can:
– Keep track of your drinking and see how it changes over time
– Set goals for the targets that matter to you and get feedback on your progress towards them
– Complete a daily mood diary so you can better understand the effects of your hangover
– Play games designed to strengthen your resolve to drink less alcohol
– Create plans for dealing with situations when you may be tempted to drink excessively
– Take part in exercises designed to change your relationship with alcohol

Drink Less has been created by a team of psychologists at University College London; who’re researching what techniques help people reduce their consumption of alcohol. You can use the app fully without taking part in the study and you can opt-out of it at any time. But if you do participate you’ll be helping understand how to help more people drink less.





Research released today shows an overwhelming majority (77%) of the British public support lowering the drink drive legal limit, which would bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and the rest of the EU. The polling data, from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, is published the same day the House of Lords will debate a Private Members Bill to lower the legal limit.
The drink drive limit is expressed as the number of milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood. In England and Wales the current limit stands at 80mg of alcohol/100ml of blood, which is the highest legal limit in Europe with the exception of Malta.
Scotland lowered its drink-driving limit to 50mg/100ml in 2014 and after just three months, alcohol related road traffic offences went down 17%. Today the House of Lords will debate lowering the limit in England and Wales to 50mg/100ml, as a bill sponsored by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe receives its second reading.
Research suggests that lowering the limit to 50mg/100ml would save over a hundred lives a year, and that £300 million would be saved in costs to the emergency services and hospitals.
The UK public have consistently supported calls for a lower drink drive limit and the results of an opinion poll of 5,000 respondents released today show that 77% people favour a 50mg/100ml limit to bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and the rest of the EU.
Also supporting the call for the limit to be lowered is Simon Richardson MBE, a double-Gold and Silver Medal-winning cyclist at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, who has twice been struck by drunk drivers, and has retired from the sport as a result. Urging the House of Lords to support the bill in the chamber today saying:

In 2011 a drink driver almost killed me. 240 other people weren’t so ‘lucky’. I lived, but my health was destroyed, as well as my dreams of competing at the London 2012 paralympic games. As a previous Paralympic twin gold medal winner and cycling world record holder I should have been part of the 2012 success story. My daily pain does not register as one of the annual drink drive fatality statistics that has refused to fall since 2010.

Statistics on drink driving:
 The latest available figures show that in 2013 there were 240 deaths and 8,270 injuries due to drink driving accidents.
 England, Wales and Northern Ireland have the highest drink drive limit in Europe with the exception of Malta.
 Reducing the legal Blood Alcohol Content limit to 50mg alcohol/100ml blood would save over 100 lives a year.
 Enforcement is part of the solution, but cuts to police numbers are making this more difficult. Reducing the drink drive limit would not only have a greater impact on fatalities, but would save £300 million each year in costs to emergency services.
 There is overwhelming public support for lowering the legal drink drive limit – our recent poll showed 77% of people favoured a 50mg limit.
 At the current limit of 80mg, drivers are six times more likely to die in a road traffic accident than those who have not drunk alcohol.
 Self-reported drink driving appears to be on the rise: a 2015 survey found one third of drivers who drink regularly drive whilst over the limit.

About the survey!

The Alcohol Health Alliance commissioned Bluegrass Research, an independent research and polling organisation, to survey the British public at the end of 2015 on their attitudes to alcohol and drink driving. 4869 respondents, across all four nations of the UK, answered an online survey, and the results were weighted by age, gender, socio-economic class and geography to be representative of the UK as a whole.
On drink driving, the question posed to respondents was: Scotland recently reduced the amount of alcohol drivers are legally allowed to drink, bringing Scottish drink driving limits in line with nearly all other European countries. To what extent would you support or object to reduced drink driving limits being introduced in the rest of the UK?
The breakdown of responses was as follows:
Strongly support: 2852 (58.58%)
Support to some extent: 878 (18.02%)
Neutral: 793 (16.29%)

Object to some extent: 222 (4.56%)
Strongly object: 124 (2.54%)
Overall support: 3730 (76.61%)
Overall object: 346 (7.10%)

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) is a group of 45 organisations including the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of GPs, British Medical Association, Alcohol Concern and the Institute of Alcohol Studies. The AHA works together to:
 Highlight the rising levels of alcohol-related health harm
 Propose evidence-based solutions to reduce this harm
 Influence decision makers to take positive action to address the damage caused by alcohol misuse.
For further information contact Matt Chorley, Policy and Communications Officer for the Alcohol Health Alliance, at or on 0203 075 1726.



2016 Vaping Documentary

The following post may not represent the views of everyone in the centre.

Major pharmaceutical companies and public health activists are among the leading culprits spreading disinformation about the health risks of e-cigarettes.

A new film set to be released in 2016 titled “A Billion Lives” exposes one of the main reasons behind the increasingly visceral campaign to tax, regulate and ban e-cigarettes — money. The title of the film is based on the World Health Organization’s estimate that one billion people will die from smoking over the course of this century.

The film’s trailer, released Friday, shows a slew of anti-smoking activists, doctors and health professionals slamming their colleagues for peddling falsehoods about the dangers of vaping.

“I always flinch when I hear colleagues saying things about e-cigarettes that they know, or they should know, are completely wrong or exaggerated or scaremongering. There’s too much of that going on. We used to have very dangerous products and the makers of those used to lie about those. We have much safer products and the public health community is lying about those.” Clive Bates

A billion people are projected to die this century from smoking and there’s a solution. It’s not a perfect one, but it will save lives by reducing the harm caused by cigarettes by switching smokers to vaping nicotine. Unfortunately, there are big players with vested interests in keeping this new technology away from the masses.

– Pharmaceutical Companies (Big Pharma)
– Anti-smoking advocacy groups
– Tobacco companies
– Even our own national & state governments

Join us for the journey across four continents to seek the truth and discover why something that can save so many lives is banned or discouraged in so many countries.

Learn more about 165,000 kids that die each year from second hand smoke!

Learn more about the billion deaths predicted this century!

Despite all this death and suffering, money continues to play a big part in maintaining the status quo. Cigarette sales are profitable not only for Big Tobacco, but also to Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Charity.

Taken from YouTube & The Daily Caller

E-cigarettes generate high levels of aldehydes only in “dry puff” conditions. (GET THE FACTS!)

“You have certainly seen the reports, accompanied by huge media campaigns, stating that e-cigarettes generate many times higher levels of carcinogenic aldehydes compared to tobacco cigarettes. We have always responded that such findings were the result of severe overheating of the device, which the vapers identify and avoid. We have repeatedly referred to the dry puff phenomenon as an explanation of these findings and why they were unrelated to realistic use. The authors of those studies and reports should have known the existence of the dry puff phenomenon since I have presented it in detail in a publication back in 2013! However, it is hard to explain this to someone who has limited background on e-cigarette function. So, it was time to present true evidence which, as always, have the strongest impact.” Dr Farsalinos

These findings emphasise the importance of making clear the conditions in which tests of this kind are undertaken and avoiding sweeping assertions that can mislead the public. Vapers are not exposed to dangerous levels of aldehydes. My reading of the evidence is that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than smoking. Smokers should be encouraged to switch to vaping.

Professor Peter Hajek

Read more

‘Is nicotine all bad?’ By Kate Kelland

Psychologists and tobacco-addiction specialists, including some in world-leading laboratories in Britain, think it’s now time to distinguish clearly between nicotine and smoking. The evidence shows smoking is the killer, not nicotine, they say.

“We need to de-demonize nicotine,” said Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, who has spent her career researching ways to help people quit smoking.


Smoking kills half of all those who do it – plus 600,000 people a year who don’t, via second-hand smoke – making it the world’s biggest preventable killer, with a predicted death toll of a billion by the end of the century, according to the World Health Organization.

Few doubt that nicotine is addictive. How quickly it hooks people is closely linked to the speed at which it is delivered to the brain, says McNeill. The patch is very slow; gum is slightly quicker. But there is no evidence as yet that significant numbers of people are addicted to either. Daniel, who works long hours in London’s financial district, says he chews less on weekends when he’s relaxing, doing sport and hanging out with his kids.

One reason smoking is so addictive is that it’s a highly efficient nicotine delivery system, McNeill says. “Smoking a tobacco cigarette is one of the best ways of getting nicotine to the brain – it’s faster even than intravenous injection.” Also, tobacco companies used various chemicals to make the nicotine in cigarettes even more potent.

Pure nicotine can be lethal in sufficient quantities. There is some evidence it may lead to changes in adolescent brain development, especially to the part responsible for intelligence, language and memory.

Stanton Glantz, a professor of tobacco at the University of California, San Francisco, says the younger kids are when they start using nicotine, the more heavily addicted they get. “This is likely because their brains are still developing,” he said.

Countering that, others say studies have focused on animals and that in any case, nicotine should not be available to under-18s. Michael Siegel, a tobacco control expert and professor at Boston University, says that in the few studies so far, such effects have been seen only in smokers, not smoke-free nicotine users.

Elsewhere, studies have looked at nicotine’s potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and to delay the onset of Parkinson’s.

A study in the journal Brain and Cognition in 2000 found that “nicotinic stimulation may have promise for improving both cognitive and motor aspects of Parkinson’s disease.” Another, in Behavioral Brain Research, suggested “there is considerable potential for therapeutic applications in the near future.” Other work has looked at the stimulant’s potential for easing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

See the whole article here.

Expert reaction to two new papers – investigating frequency of e-cigarette use and smoking reduction or cessation, and investigating frequency and type of e-cigarette use and quitting smoking.

“These two new studies make valuable contributions to the growing literature on e-cigarettes. Most previous studies have been cross-sectional surveys using broad definitions of use, whereas these new studies are longitudinal in nature so are more able to follow up individuals. Commonly previous studies have asked whether e-cigarettes have ever or recently been used, and have made broad assumptions about their impact on quit attempts and success in stopping smoking on that basis. Most previous studies have also not differentiated between types of e-cigarettes, whereas the second of these studies does investigate that aspect.

“What this new research tells us is what e-cigarette users already know. The type of device, how often it is used, and how much nicotine it contains, all matter. Some devices will be effective to help smokers to quit and others less so. Future studies need to maintain this focus and not treat all e-cigarettes, or all users, the same.”

Prof. Linda Bauld, Deputy Director, Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling.

View more opinions on the studies here:

E-cigarettes – does type and frequency of use influence quitting amongst smokers?

Dr Leonie Brose, lead author of the first study, from the IoPPN at King’s College London, said: ‘E-cigarettes are still a relatively new product, so this study adds important information about what happens when they are used alongside tobacco cigarettes. We already know that using an e-cigarette in an attempt to quit smoking increases the chances of success compared to quitting without any support. This study did not test how helpful they are as quitting aids because we looked at smokers who were using them for any reason, including just to cut down on their smoking or in situations when they cannot smoke. But it is encouraging to see that even then, regular e-cigarette use was linked to reduced numbers of lethal cigarettes smoked and increased attempts to quit smoking in the following year.’

The second study extended this by looking at not only how often e-cigarettes were used but also what types were used, measured for the first time at follow up in 2013. E-cigarettes in the UK have been classified into two basic types – ‘cigalikes’ and ‘tank’ models. Cigalikes resemble tobacco cigarettes. They are disposable or use replaceable cartridges. Tank models look quite different from cigarettes and have containers that are refilled with the ‘e-liquid’.


In the second study the researchers found that of 587 people using e-cigarettes at the one year follow up, 76 per cent used cigalikes and 24 per cent used tank models. Nearly a third of daily tank users (28 per cent) had quit smoking compared with 13 per cent of those not using an e-cigarette. 11 per cent of daily cigalike users and 9 per cent of non-daily tank users had quit smoking, but these were not significantly different from those not using e-cigarettes.

Non-daily cigalike users were actually less likely to have quit compared with those not using e-cigarettes, with only 5 per cent having quit smoking. The researchers highlight this as a cause for concern because many of the most prominent brands of cigalikes in the UK are now owned by the tobacco industry. A recent study carried out at the IoPPN, funded by Cancer Research UK, found that tobacco industry cigalikes were the most prominent e-cigarettes at the point of sale in small shops.

Read more here: