Research shows that nicotine is all-too-frequently confused with tobacco in the minds of the public. At the same time, this common compound is present in the food you eat, holds the potential to treat severe ailments and (in e-liquid) could save a billion smokers’ lives. “You Don’t Know Nicotine” is a new film that explores the science and politics of the substance in a compelling and entertaining manner.
Maybe the thought of sitting down with the family and a pizza to watch a film about a chemical compound isn’t the first thing on your to-do list this weekend? While it’s true that there are no car chases, romantic interludes, or fantasy dwarves fighting ogres in mines, You Don’t Know Nicotine does offer something akin to a cracking mystery flick.
Being a vaper means we are automatically linked to the content of this film. The attitudes of scientists, public health officials and politicians dictate what, how, and where we can vape.
Over the last ten years, the United Kingdom has seen legislation brought into effect that dictates what can’t be used in e-liquids, we’ve been banned from vaping in football stadia and on railway platforms, our bottle sizes reduced to 10ml, our nicotine content restricted to 20mg/ml, and our tanks constricted to an arbitrary 2ml.
In the future, despite the UK being a very pro harm reduction place and leading the world in using vaping to combat tobacco-related harm, we are going to face increased pressure to conform to European standards – despite having broken away politically. The Netherlands is fighting over banning e-liquid flavours, Denmark has gone down that road, and the next round of European legislation looks like including a provision to limit juices to tobacco-only flavours. The World Health Organization is staunchly against vaping and the billionaire Michael Bloomberg is throwing millions of dollars at promoting negative poor-quality science and press coverage.
Is nicotine really the bad drug it is painted out to be, is it guilty by association, do the people attacking vaping and nicotine use have something to gain by doing so? This is something You Don’t Know Nicotine seeks to discover.
As we journey through the narrative, we meet genuine open-minded experts who are seeking to evidence truth. At the same time, those who are ideologically opposed to nicotine are given voice to explain their opposition to its use – the contrast between what they are saying and how they are saying it is as captivating as the sums of money mentioned are shocking.