Aaron Biebert, filmmaker for Attention Era Media, was initially delighted to learn that E-cigarettes have the potential to reduce smoking-related health problems and deaths, but soon became frustrated when he realised that Big Pharma was engaged in a deliberate campaign of disinformation in order to maintain their own market share.
Biebert soon realised that such richly funded objections actually had the potential to ruin the entire E-cigarette industry before it even really got off the ground, potentially removing the freedom of informed choice from smokers and their families.
With this in mind, Biebert developed a documentary film named “A Billion Lives,” due for release in 2016, to reveal the truth about vaping and the E-cigarette industry to the winder public.
Biebert states that he decided to develop “A Billion Lives” after he became frustrated by the abundance of apparently scientific studies that were ultimately undertaken and published solely to spread disinformation and obscure the facts about vaping, including statements such as that made by the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed to have found more formaldehyde in E-cig vapour than is present in combustible cigarette smoke.
Finding out about this claim in the first instance understandably concerned Biebert, who has many friends who have successfully stopped smoking in favour of vaping. However, when Biebert shared his concerns with some of his friends, they pointed him in the direction of a scientific rebuttal of this claim, which demonstrated that the results published by the New England Journal of Medicine were attained by deliberately overheating the E-liquid that they used.
The New England Journal of Medicine’s skewed results are by no means a standalone anomaly either. Biebert found multiple others as well, and states that the general public are unlikely to perform their own research or verify the results of such studies, instead understandably choosing to trust the medical professionals and respected scientists who are sometimes simply using poor research and study techniques in order to support their own agendas.
It is estimated that a billion people-that’s some one thousand million-will die during the 21st century from smoking-related diseases. This estimate led to both the title of Biebert’s film, and his desire to tell the story of the potential for harm-reduction by means of vaping, and refute the lies and disinformation spread by its opponents.
Biebert hopes that his upcoming film with generate new conversations about vaping, and the truth about its benefits as a harm reduction technique. The general atmosphere of distrust and opposition between the two factions on either side of the vaping movement-the pros and the anti’s-is something that Biebert feels needs to stop, in order to allow politicians and healthcare experts to open a meaningful, fact-based dialogue on both vaping and smoking.
He also hopes that his film will provide a source of impartial advice and information that is not currently widely available to the lay-public.
What makes Biebert’s view on vaping and the vaping/smoking debate particularly interesting is the fact that he himself is neither a smoker nor a vaper, although he says that he has tried vaping in order to develop a more in-depth understanding of how it works and what it’s all about.
Biebert says that he is not, on principle, against either smoking or vaping, and that people need to make their own decisions, when provided with accurate, factual information to help them do so.
Many vaping lobbyists and advocates view Big Tobacco as the natural enemy of the vaping movement, but Biebert himself is not convinced. While Biebert states that he is not a fan of Big Tobacco, he also doesn’t think that the two camps need to be natural enemies.
Biebert states that while Big Tobacco is understandably concerned with its own bottom lines and profits, this is a reliable, understandable factor that we can actually trust for what it is. Many tobacco companies have now begun to diversify into E-cigarette production themselves, and it seems likely that more will get on board the vaping train in the future, if they wish to retain or increase their current market share.
While Biebert was in attendance at the Global Forum for Nicotine, he found himself seated next to the vice president of a major tobacco firm, who told him that ultimately, he would wish to switch as much of their current tobacco trade as possible to the vaping market, and that their profit margins in that area are actually higher.
So if Big Tobacco is not the driving force behind anti-E-cigarette propaganda and disinformation, who is? Biebert has his own ideas. Big Pharma, Big Legal and Big Media are all involved, in Biebert’s opinion, due to their “addiction to money,” and willingness to sacrifice their stated missions in pursuit of the bottom line.
On the rumours of increased regulation for E-cigarette sales and usage, Biebert feels that an outright ban on such products is destined to fail, or even backfire. Biebert is confident that, should vaping be banned entirely, a vibrant black market will spring up in its place, alongside of a correlating rise in smoking and smoking-related health problems.
This does not mean that Biebert is against regulation of the industry per se; he feels that a certain level of regulation is probably a good idea for the vaping industry, and that vaping-related products should be restricted to adult use only.
“A Billion Lives” is due to premiere in cinemas in 2016, and will ultimately be available via Blu-ray and DVD. You can find out more about Biebert and his work by visiting ABillionLives.com.