Dr Col’s Vape Truths: Combating misinformation in Australia

A new video campaign by the Queensland Government uses public money to highlight incorrect information about vaping. Dr Colin Mendelsohn’s series, Dr Col’s Vape Truths, is set to put a stop to this spread of incorrect information.

A series of eight misinformed videos(1) have been released on the Queensland Government website. The series shows well-known science commentator Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki stating incorrect information about vaping. The videos focus on vaping ingredients (citing them as “toxic”), allege that vape clouds cause cancer, and state that vaping can seriously impact on your breathing. There is, however, no reputable scientific research to demonstrate or prove Dr Kruszelnicki’s assertions.

Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, who has been working in tobacco treatment for 40 years, has responded to this misinformation campaign by creating eight videos of his own to provide correct information(2). Dr. Mendelsohn points out that vapour is far less toxic than smoke, the risk of cancer from vaping is much lower than from smoking, and that vaping nicotine does not cause serious damage to the lungs.

In an article published on Planet of the Vapes, Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates (CAPHRA) recently said,

“Australia’s overall smoking rate has barely budged in recent years, while New Zealand’s has halved in the past decade. New Zealand is promoting vaping as an effective smoking cessation tool while Australia’s ‘quit or die’ approach to tobacco control is failing its 2.3 million smokers badly.”

CAPHRA further stated that “Australia is falling further behind the Asia Pacific region, with the Philippines the latest country to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, and use of vaping.”(3)

Australia is, in fact, the only Western democracy that requires users to have a nicotine prescription to vape (3), while every year around 20,500 Australians lose their lives to smoking, accounting for 13% of deaths in Australia (4).

Hopefully, Dr Col’s Vape Truths will be successful in combating the misperceptions of the public and health workers about nicotine and vaping. As a harm reduction tool, these videos are underpinned by research that shows the health benefits gained when smokers switch to vaping (5).

For more information, please visit tobaccoharmreduction.net for more resources and studies on vaping research.


(1) Queensland Government. Vape truths: Dr Karl's vape truths [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022 Jun; cited 2022 Aug 22 ]. Available from https://www.vapetruths.initiatives.qld.gov.au/dr-karls-vape-truths.

(2) Dr Colin Mendelsohn. Dr Col’s vape truths. [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://colinmendelsohn.com.au/dr-cols-vape-truths/

(3) Planet of the Vapes. Aussie propaganda exposed. [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022 Aug 15; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2022-08-15_aussie-propaganda-exposed.html

(4) Australian Bureau of Statistics. Pandemic insights into Australian smokers, 2020-21. [Internet]. c.2021 [updated 2021 Oct 12; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/pandemic-insights-australian-smokers-2020-21#:~:text=Tobacco%20smoking%20is%20one%20of,Australia%20in%202018%5B1%5D

(5) Polosa R, Rodu B, Caponnetto P, Maglia M. A fresh look at tobacco harm reduction: The case for the electronic cigarette. Harm Reduction Journal [serial online]. [cited 2022 Aug 22]; 10(19). Available from: Springer Nature

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