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ECigIntelligence - Public health leader resigns after Twitter outburst


A British government health adviser has resigned after launching a Twitter tirade at his opponents in an argument about e-cigarettes.

John Ashton, who was president of the UK’s Faculty of Public Health (FPH), is sceptical about e-cigarettes. According to the FPH, this led to a Twitter debate between him and e-cigarette supporters getting out of control on Saturday 6th September.

The offensive tweets have subsequently been deleted, but the Daily Mail, a sometimes sensationalist British newspaper, reports that he stated “these abusive e-cig people remind me of the lads who used to play with themselves behind the bike sheds at school”, “they are even more pathetic than that”, and  “ need e-cigs to get aroused”.

The Mail said he also applied a strongly offensive four-letter epithet to one supporter of e-cigs.

The FPH, the professional body for specialists in public health in the UK, said that it “apologises unreservedly” for the comments made by Ashton, a former university professor.

“An investigation is currently underway into the matter, in line with FPH’s complaints policy,” said the organisation, which works in fields such as professional education and policy advocacy. “Professor Ashton used inappropriate and offensive language, which unnecessarily personalised a public health issue, and we do not condone its use.”


Freddie Dawson - ECigIntelligence staff

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Photo: Flickr, Tambako the Jaguar

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