The New Nicotine Alliance
The average vaper makes their purchase, uses their products, and rarely thinks about what is going on behind the scenes. In this article we introduce you to the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) and the incredible work it does to educate politicians and fight to protect the rights of ecig users.
The NNA [link] is a non-profit charity set up by individual vapers who are ex-smokers. The board has changed over the years, but all the participants volunteer their time freely and the organisation runs on public donations – no money is accepted from pharmaceutical, tobacco, or vape businesses. This independence from industry interests means the NNA has achieved a high standing in the view of researchers and politicians.
The NNA has forged strong working relationships with leading smoking and tobacco researchers and policy analysts. It speaks with authority on matters relating to nicotine use and tobacco harm reduction to people who make the decisions that impact on our lives.
It says: “We wish to see a mature public and organisational understanding of the potential of safer nicotine products for reducing cigarette smoking, including their safety and efficacy, and hence contribute to the reduction in cigarette smoking. This requires engaging with and informing a wide range of individuals and audiences – from health through to regulatory bodies.
“Our policies and public statements are evidence-based, with a clear focus on the health of consumers and the wider public.”
Considering all of the board members volunteer their time, it is exceptionally impressive how active the NNA has been over the years. One example of this is the press conference they arranged at the last physical Global Forum for Nicotine [link]. Assembling a panel of experts from various fields, the NNA aimed to sway the minds of decision makers from around the world about the importance of keeping the wide range of flavoured eliquids.
Speaking truth to power is a key part of the work the charity does. Last week, chairperson Martin Cullip was invited as an expert witness to talk to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping on the subject of the World Health Organization’s Conference of Parties – an event to take place later this year where decisions will be made about electronic cigarettes. Politicians present said it was the best and most educational fact-finding inquiry they’d ever been a part of. The NNA has been pushing the government to start supporting
As well as educating politicians, the NNA regularly speaks to researchers and legislators at conferences, has representatives interviewed on radio and television, and has hosted free webcasts with experts from various fields.
Among others, the webcasts have featured cardiac specialist Dr Farsalinos, harm reduction authority Clive Bates, and economist Matt Ridley. All of them are available to view on the NNA’s YouTube channel [link].
From campaigning for NHS Trusts to follow the instructions from Public Health England to calling for vape stores to be given essential status during the COVID lockdowns, the NNA doesn’t let up.
Clive Bates, former head of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), recently said: “A lot of people don’t like what you’re doing. Whether it’s public health organisations, government, European Union, local councils – you name it, there’s a whole bunch of people who would like to stop you [vaping] and make it as restrictive and as difficult as possible. There is something that you can do about that, and that is that you can join up with the New Nicotine Alliance, the main consumer campaigning organisation for vapers in the UK.”