After the Mail published a lifestyle feature about a study that found vaping didn't help smokers quit, a local business owner reached out with a counter case.
The feature referred to a paper in BMJ Tobacco Control, which found that e-cigarettes were linked to lower success rates for those who tried to quit smoking.
Busso Vape owner Trinite Williams said that he and many of his customers had been able to quit smoking by using vapes, which he now sells in his store.
"My entire team is made up of people who have successfully stopped smoking through vaping and are now living a much more healthy and prosperous life. And that demographic ranges from 18 to 85," he said.
Last week's feature explained that the US-based study looked at data from 2017-2019, with just under 5000 participants.
It found that by 2019, those who had used e-cigarettes were 9 per cent less likely to have successfully quit than those who'd gone cold-turkey.
In this study, "successful quitting" was defined as having gone 12 months without using tobacco products.
The researchers stressed that their study was observational and this data doesn't show that e-cigarettes are the cause for these failed quitting attempts.
They also pointed out that their data sat in contrast to other clinical trials, which tended to slightly favour e-cigarettes over other quitting methods.
Despite these considerations, Mr Williams expressed concerns that last week's headline 'E-cigarettes aren't helping smokers quit' would lead some readers to completely overlook the potential for vaping to help them quit smoking.
"People who are yet to decide, or investigate if vaping is a harm reduction alternative for them, you've just shut the door for them," Mr Williams explained.
"So they're gonna continue to smoke. And they could be part of that 24,000 people [in Australia] who die from smoking related illness and disease this year alone."
While Mr Williams does profit from selling vapes, he said that his business was primarily a 'support center for harm reduction', with the goal to help as many people quit smoking as possible.
"It [the business] was never meant to be any more than a space within a social media platform, where people within the South West community could share and discuss information, and how we can create a successful pathway towards smoking cessation," he said.
The Cancer Council website states that evidence to support that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit is 'inconclusive', and they have not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a cessation aid.
As a result, e-cigarettes cannot be advertised as therapeutic aids to quit smoking.
"More and more, we're seeing so many restrictions around our industry and so much rhetoric that is one sided and generally paid for through organisations that have a vested interest in big tobacco," Mr Williams said.
For more information about options to help quit smoking, visit www.cancer.org.au