Occasional guest contributor, Terry Walker, is back, with a round-up of his recent trip to the Global Forum on Nicotine, in Warsaw.
Following my article in the Daily Mail, I was invited to the 4th annual international conference on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, held in the top hotel in Warsaw, by the organisers (all expenses paid).
My request to meet, and thank, Hon Lik, the Chinese pharmacist who invented the e-cigarette, was granted. The conference was a huge success, with 35 presentations to 350 delegates from 54 countries.
The highlight for me was meeting Hon Lik. We chatted for 10 minutes, through his interpreter. I said we had 2 things in common; e-cigarettes, and the fact that we had both lost close relatives to tobacco - he, his father, and me, my only son.
I explained I smoked for 69 years, contracting COPD before changing to e-cigs. This resulted in my lung capacity increasing from 50% to 88% and feeling much healthier. In conclusion he said he thought I would be the first vaper to reach the age of 100.
Later we went to the press-room for a photo- op in front of 8 cameras. After the obligatory hand shake, one of the photographers said “they should be vaping”. We both withdrew our devices upon which I said “Oh yours is 3 times the length of mine”, which provoked much laughter.
Afterwards I was asked to give interviews to eight foreign correspondents, many on video. I found the day most surreal with all the attention. On leaving, the Conference Director thanked me for attending & invited me to return next year. I flew out from Doncaster Airport, with WhizzAir, the Hungarian equivalent of Ryanair and found it well worthwhile paying more for extra leg room. Home safe and sound, but rather tired.