“A Billion Lives” – that’s the title of Aaron Biebert’s documentary film which was released in American movies in May 2016 and has become very debated since then. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion people could die this century from the health effects of tobacco cigarettes.
The fact that vaping is not as damaging as smoking has reached a number of people. But why is the public not better informed about this healthier alternative? This question was investigated by Aaron Biebert in his film. In the following we would like to give you a short overview of this controversial topic.
Bieber explains in an interview that he is neither smoker nor vaper. When a friend of him died of lung cancer, he began to learn about the consequences of smoking, withdrawal and vaping. The deeper he was into the topic, the more he revealed the corrupt practices of pharmaceutical industries, politics and tobacco lobby. He says that false information about vaping is intentionally being spread in order to create a negative public image of the e-cigarette. Furthermore he criticizes that smokers have not the opportunity to switch to the healthier alternative by biased information given. But why?
In the documentary film, experts from different perspectives have their say. As a supporter of vaping, the former head of the American health alliance "Action on Smoking and Health" Clive Bates explains how lies are deliberately spread about the consequences of the e-cigarette. Surprisingly, Biebert does not see the tobacco industry as the main fighter against the e-cigarette. According to his research, the pharmaceutical industry is said to be responsible for the misinformation. As often, he names monetary interests as the reason for this: The pharmaceutical industry has suffered enormous financial losses of nicotine substitutes in recent years. Many people are able to get rid of the traditional cigarettes by vaping. Bad luck for the pharmaceutical industry.
It is sure that smoking still is and will remain a big issue: Around 20% of the world’s population is smoking and the tobacco industry pays impressive salaries to stakeholders in politics. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will voluntarily forego billions of dollars for the sake of people’s health. But the battle for money is being fought on the back of the consumers and not least of all many children who are exposed to second-hand smoke. In his film, Biebert appeals to politicians and lobbyists to finally refrain from misreporting for the benefit of consumers and thus to ensure greater transparency in the population.
Our conclusion: a controversial topic that once again demonstrates the power of money and will be highly debated in the long-term. It is not a film pro vaping, but rather a compilation of broad lines of argumentation that affects everyone, whether smokers, vapers or non-smokers.