The BBC reports that ministers in the UK are considering a new tax on vapes. While health concerns about youth vaping are valid, this move feels like a missed opportunity. It’s time to change the conversation and explore how vaping technology could be repurposed as a force for wellness rather than simply another vice to be taxed.

Studies have linked nicotine and vaping ingredients to deadly and other serious health concerns including infertility, stroke, and aneurysms. Mix these ingredients with unregulated marijuana and you are toying with your brain health. The NHS seems to be in denial about vaping concerns or doesn’t have the manpower or funding to co-research with other institutions around the world to face facts: vaping in its current form is not something to promote as an alternative, especially on a publicly funded health service.

What if, instead of harmful nicotine and dubious chemicals, vapes could be used to deliver:

  • Natural Endorphin Enhancers: Endorphins are our bodies’ built-in painkillers and mood boosters. Imagine vapes designed to introduce natural compounds that promote endorphin release, offering a healthier alternative for managing mild pain, and anxiety, or simply creating a sense of wellbeing.
  • Essential Nutrients: Vaping could revolutionise supplement delivery. Inhaled vitamins and minerals could offer faster absorption and better bioavailability, especially for those with digestive issues or specific deficiencies.
  • Targeted Anti-Inflammatories: Chronic inflammation underlies many modern ailments. Vapes could allow for the precise delivery of anti-inflammatory compounds directly to the lungs, potentially easing conditions like asthma or chronic pain.

The Power of Collaboration

This shift would require a bold collaboration between the supplement, pharmaceutical, and even the vaping industry. Some of the largest vape manufacturers in the UK, EU, and the US include:

  • UK: Totally Wicked, Vape Dinner Lady, IVG
  • EU: Innokin, Vaporesso, Geekvape
  • US: JUUL Labs, NJOY, Vuse

These companies possess the technology and infrastructure; partnerships with innovative supplement and pharmaceutical players could unleash the potential for groundbreaking formulas. Governments could tax these companies directly until they start to clean up their act – literally. By this, I mean to collaborate with governments through tax breaks/incentives to develop healthy vapes that kick nicotine, tobacco and any chemicals linked to health problems to the curb when administered through a vape. Replace these ingredients with healthy alternatives.

Challenges and Opportunities

This vision wouldn’t be without challenges or naysayers. Strict regulation, ethical marketing, and long-term safety studies would be paramount. Yet, the potential benefits are undeniable:

  • Addressing addiction: “Wellness vapes” could become off-ramps for nicotine addiction, offering smokers healthier alternatives.
  • Combatting supplement fatigue: The ease and speed of vape delivery could boost adherence to essential vitamin and mineral regimens.
  • Expanding therapeutic options: This technology could provide new ways to quickly and effectively treat conditions ranging from anxiety to chronic pain.

Reframing the Debate

The government’s proposed vape tax reflects a familiar “sin tax” approach. It’s time to think bigger. Instead of taxing a technology, why not promote public and private funds to invest in research and development? A collaboration between health and technology sectors could birth a new era of targeted, natural therapies – and perhaps even retool a controversial industry for the betterment of public health.

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Ministers consider new vaping tax at Budget next week – BBC News

Does Vaping Cause Infertility? Unveiling the Truth | Kin Fertility

Barrow Study Shows How Nicotine May Promote Brain Aneurysm Rupture (barrowneuro.org)

How does cannabis affect my mental health? (rethink.org)

Cannabis Use and Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage | Stroke (ahajournals.org)