While Australian authorities largely ignore tobacco treatment expert and physician Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, as well as many of his peers, the the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has presented him with a prestigious award his effort and hard work in the field of tobacco harm reduction.
Dr. Colin Mendelsohn has been honored with the Most Supportive Public Health Professional/Researcher Award at the UKVIA 2023 Industry Recognition Awards. Presented at the annual UKVIA Forum in London, the award acknowledges Mendelsohn’s substantial contributions to promoting vaping within the realm of public health.
The judging criteria for the accolade included actions taken to counter misinformation, educating colleagues and the public about smoking and vaping risks, involvement in healthcare vaping initiatives, and participation in events and conferences addressing vaping in the name of tobacco harm reduction.
The distinguished award placed Dr. Mendelsohn in the company of notable finalists, including the Office Of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) team, recognized for their exceptional 2022 evidence update on nicotine vaping in England, and renowned English physician Dr. Sudhanshu Patwardhan, the Medical Director of the Centre for Health Research and Education, dedicated to innovative cancer prevention solutions.
Discussing the award, a humbled Mendelsohn told Vaping Post that it’s ironic that he is being awarded for his work in the UK, and attacked for it in his home country. “Its very frustrating that vape advocacy is recognised in the UK but largely ignored or attacked in Australia, especially by the mainstream media and the public health orthodoxy.. Its a much needed validation in a very hostile environment!”
“Its very frustrating that vape advocacy is recognised in the UK but largely ignored or attacked in Australia, especially by the mainstream media and the public health orthodoxy.”Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, Smoking Cessation Expert
Last August, the tobacco treatment expert was commended by tobacco harm reduction advocates worldwide, when he released his popular smoking cessation book to the public for free. The book “Quit Smoking, Begin Vaping” seeks to provide accurate information about vaping and its effectiveness as a tool to quit smoking. Mendelsohn emphasized his desire for both smokers and vapers to be well-informed about and have easy access to the resource, encouraging a wider audience to benefit from it.
About the UKVIA
The UKVIA, a non-profit organization representing various facets of the vaping industry, focuses on responsibly promoting vaping as a life-saving alternative for adult smokers. Dr. Mendelsohn’s recognition is an indicator of the organization’s commitment to public health leadership and success.
Last September the UKVIA announced that memberships by tobacco companies British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International had come to an end, and that in the future it would not be accepting any such memberships.
Dissociating from the tobacco industry
As a result of a member-wide consultation, the association has decided to decline membership applications from vaping businesses that are either wholly or partially owned by tobacco companies. This also means that moving forward the association will refuse any funding from such companies.
Last month, the UKVIA also launched a new web-based information hub, aswell as a week-long Sustainable Vaping Week campaign which aims to encourage vapers, the vaping industry and vape retailers to do their best to minimize the impact of vaping on the environment.
Although the vaping industry is getting better at reducing its environmental footprint through innovations in recyclable products and collection initiatives, a recent report from Material Focus highlighted that approximately 5 million single-use vapes are discarded weekly. The UKVIA’s new resource hub and campaign, aim to offer vapers guidance on recycling single-use vapes, such as the dos’ and don’ts of recycling and offering a list disposal locations.