Can vaping render the cigarette obsolete? Dubai turns global spotlight on growing tobacco alternative

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World Vape Show aims to remove question marks over e-cigarettes and help those looking to quit smoking

Joe Dunne, Director of Hale Vaping.

Dubai, UAE: Could the days of the cigarette be numbered as millions of people worldwide switch from smoking to vaping?

When vape retailers say this is a process now well under way, that’s one thing, but when one of the world’s largest tobacco producers supports the argument, backed by industry groups and experts from the US to China, that’s another.

With public health officials, chemists, consumer groups as well as manufacturers joining in the conversation, the World Vape Show taking place in Dubai next month could go a long way to removing some of the question marks above the e-cigarette and vape market, which is expected to be worth USD 67.31 billion by 2027.

The combined exhibition and conference, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-21 September, is as much an opportunity for those looking to kick the habit of smoking as it is for the makers of regulated products now meeting the demand for safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

Among the speakers at the Middle East’s only vape industry event will be South African Kurt Yeo, a former two-packet-a-day smoker for more than 20 years, who finally quit and co-founded Vaping Saved My Life, a consumer advocacy group dedicated to promoting tobacco harm reduction.

He will be in good company. Tobacco giant Phillip Morris International is sending its VP Global Scientific Engagement, Dr. Gizelle Baker, to take part in another of the panel discussions on

the future of vaping research and public health.

Dr Baker, one of two PMI speakers in Dubai, leads a team of scientists engaging and sharing the science behind the company’s smoke-free alternatives to grow awareness and understanding of tobacco harm reduction.

Co-panellist Joe Dunne is Director of Hale Vaping, which accounts for 45% of the Irish vaping market. He tells smokers eager to quit to see vaping as a “new miracle drug” they can use at their own initiative in order to take personal responsibility for their own health.

“Millions of adults have already benefited by switching from smoking to vaping or are on their way to doing so,” says Dunne. He says vape products are among the most significant public health innovations of modern times, with “the potential to render the cigarette obsolete, and end the worldwide epidemic of smoking-related disease.”

Dunne points to an assessment by Public Health England that vaping is 95% less harmful than tobacco based on more than 300 studies. 

The first World Vape Show in Dubai is assembling more than 200 exhibitors showcasing thousands of global vape brands, several thousand industry professionals, vape enthusiasts and those looking to switch from cigarettes

China, the birthplace and largest worldwide producer and exporter of e-cigarettes, will be represented by one of the country’s most influential vaping figures.

Ao Weinuo is Secretary-General of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Committee, part of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce, and will offer analysis of global vaping issues, the opportunities and challenges countries are facing, and what can be learned from their experiences.

He will be joined by Dustin Dahlmann, Chairman of the board at the Independent European Vape Alliance, which represents e-cigarettes as a category in opposition to tobacco and works to dispel some of the myths about vaping.

Other key speakers include John Dunne, Director General, UK Vaping Industry Association, Gregory Conley President, American Vaping Association, and Alex Clark, CEO, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association in New York.

The World Vape Show is open to both business buyers and the general public, but you must be over 21 to attend and get tickets online in advance.