GFN: Please tell us a bit about yourself. What is your area of work?
Claude: I'm a normal citizen who happened to smoke 10 years ago, like 30-40% of the French population, until I tried a vape (a cigalike at the time) by curiosity and found it full of potential compared to smoking cigarettes. I improved my experience with, and knowledge of, vaping and "inadvertently" stopped smoking that day.
Professionally I have been in IT, and more precisely, information systems architecture, for most of my working life, I love doing my job most of the time, which is a blessing.
GFN: How did you hear about GFN? What made you decide to attend GFN 2022 and I hope this year?
Claude: I first attended GFN 2016 that was highly recommended by members of Aiduce and some of our international contacts. It was a fantastic week full of knowledge, contacts, shared ideas and projects and I tried to continue coming to meet others from different backgrounds (policies, science, consumers defense, etc.), boost my knowledge of vaping from different perspective and understand better the global landscape.
GFN: How did you get interested in nicotine harm reduction, new nicotine products, or related topics?
Claude: I was not involved in harm reduction per se, as I’ve been involved with Aiduce (French vapers association) to defend and inform myself as a consumer, to know if there was, and try to correct, any issues on products quality/security and then defend others like me against unfounded or inappropriate regulations, in France with Aiduce and working with other associations and internationally with ETHRA and INNCO. But defending my right to health and to informed choice, I spent more time helping others quit smoking and get informed on vaping online and offline, which I’ve been doing for now almost a decade. I also now represent Aiduce in normalization bodies (AFNOR standard and AFNOR certification of e-liquid, CEN).
GFN: What is your area of particular interest?
Claude: Of course vaping, efficiency to avoid smoking and safety, but also now understand better how regulations are made, how the international landscape and other people/culture handle consumer safety. I also indirectly discovered harm reduction more broadly and try to better understand its dynamic as it seems also part of other issues.
GFN: Thank you for sharing your feedback with us!