Vaping Saved My Life (VSML) is a consumer advocacy group with the sole purpose to promote tobacco harm reduction through the means of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). It is widely accepted that combustible tobacco products are one of (if not) the biggest contributor to non-communicable diseases that affects the world today. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 1,3 billion smokers on the planet, and that 8 million people die per annum as a direct or indirect result of smoking and other forms of combustible tobacco. In South Africa, the statistics are just as alarming with smoking prevalence been reported at 8 – 11 million people and a death toll of 42000 per annum.
VSML founders, Kurt Yeo and Craig Stuart were part of these statistics, both been longtime smokers facing a predefined conclusion. Although their paths had not verged yet, both individuals had stumbled upon the ENDS/vaping in a very similar way some years back in an attempt to find a way to escape the deadly habit of smoking. Like so many before them and millions since vaping became the final solution and method that helped them quit combustible tobacco.
The similarities don’t stop there the experience was so profound that both Craig and Kurt left their corporate careers to explore opportunities in the vaping industry. It was here where Craig and Kurts’ paths met, and a friendship grew from the passion that both had of the technology and impact it will have on other smokers.
In August 2017 after vaping started getting some very negative press, the pair decided to do something about it. The Vaping Saved My Life Facebook page was created, a platform for ex-smokers now vapers to share their experiences and testimonials on how vaping had changed their lives. The focus was to provide the first-hand experience of individuals in South Africa that had decided to switch.
With the outbreak of a new threat seen in the United States under the term EVALI (E-cigarette Vaping Acute Lung Injury), VSML decided to move away from a predominantly passive approach on tobacco harm reduction, and become more active in its message. It was felt that balance and truth was needed in the onesided onslaught on a method that has and will save millions of smokers from a certain outcome. So, in September 2019 VSML evolved into a consumer vape advocacy group.
With the help of the vaping community; vape activists and like-minded harm reductionists across the globe, VSML will continue sharing its mission statement, “Vaping Saves Lives” and “The most important vaper is the smoker that hasn’t switched”
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