A Billion Lives Review
RYAN: This is a brilliant documentary that just held its world premiere in New Zealand and will premiere in other countries soon. It covers the outrageous amount of misinformation out there about vaping, as it relates to the tobacco industry losing money. E-cigarettes and vaping not only help people quit smoking but they can potentially save a billion lives in making the switch, thus the title. This film powerfully delivers an urgent message. It will frustrate and enlighten you to the second coming of the Tobacco industry’s lies. For decades they lied about smoking’s link to cancer and now they’re trying to snuff out its best alternative. I was so angry when this movie ended, I felt like I could chew glass.
BECKY: (laughs) I understand the feeling. This doc is incredible at not only starting the conversation about the truth of vaping, but encourages it. The information here doesn’t come across as biased; but rather as matter of fact, diplomatic and caring.
RYAN: And it’s not only tobacco. Also highlighted is the threat to the cancer “industry,” anti-smoking charities, and government tax revenues. This movie is enraging. It could shake people into action – if not only to switch from smoking to vaping, but to at least allow people to have the choice to switch. There is much corruption by authorities across the board – the businesses, the politicians, the FDA – it’s sickening.
BECKY: I’m a smoker and if nothing else, I’ve learned I cannot trust the tobacco industry or any big business involved in my healthcare.
RYAN: Since the tobacco industry used to lie about the dangers of smoking – denying their knowledge of that fact for decades before being held accountable for it – they have proven themselves untrustworthy and corrupt. How can anyone believe anything they say or those they influence?
BECKY: Watching this movie makes it obvious that the tobacco industry and out government just think we’re all a bunch of shmucks who will believe anything. It makes you feel like they have zero respect for our ability to make sound decisions about our health, based on facts.
RYAN: The misinformation they’re putting out about whether vaping is good or bad is insane. And why ban e-cigarettes? It makes no sense beyond the threat to tobacco sales.
BECKY: We’re allowed to question vaping as a viable alternative and this doc really supports that. We should have questioned smoking in the first place. We know smoking is bad, so why are they trying to take away the option of vaping?
RYAN: Vaping is potentially 95% better. Director Aaron Biebert narrates and appears in the film, which provides a great, first-hand entrance to the discussion. One of the coolest aspects of this film is that while there’s a lot of info coming at you, you don’t feel lectured to. You feel included in the conversation. It elicits emotional responses and provokes a lot of consideration about the topic; which is a great strength of any good, topical documentary. It’s an impressive debut feature from a first-time director.
BECKY: Aaron is also refreshingly Milwaukeean; sincere and doe-eyed. He seems naturally unrehearsed in his delivery, which I appreciated as a thinking and analytical person who is not receptive to preaching. I don’t want to be told what to think, and although he had a clear opinion, I did not feel any urgency from him to blindly agree with him. Instead, I saw him as a human being with an earnest interest in learning more.
RYAN: He’s real. Midwesterners are known to be welcoming and kind and he effuses those qualities.
BECKY: He’s also super cute.
RYAN: And perfectly lit! This doc has a great mix information that’s been put out there by advertisers, public speakers, talking heads, politicians – but also features interviews with experts in the vaping industry and personal accounts of people who have tried to quit smoking; and then there’s the former Winston cigarette model who carries the first third of the film. His life flipped from poster boy to anti-smoking advocate.
BECKY: He has clearly done his research. He lived it. He is such a legitimate source, hearing his story and how he’s trying to help others now is eye-opening.
RYAN: It’s crazy and almost depressing that because of all the misinformation we’ve been fed, as Americans, that this director had to travel around the world to get some real answers and uncover the facts.
BECKY: The representatives of our organizations – government, healthcare, whatever – the smoking industry truly embodies a sociopathic organization; completely without conscience.
RYAN: I also learned so much about nicotine. We think nicotine is so bad; and while it’s addictive, it’s not the killer that tar and tobacco and burning are.
BECKY: We have a right to ask questions about what we’re putting into our bodies and how healthy they are or not. And the director pops up throughout the film asking the questions I was thinking in my head. It’s just maddening to me that this film elucidates the fact that the exact people who are against our health are making decisions about it. And in an election year, where issues are more timely than ever, these are the kinds of topics we should be publicly dissecting. Learning about the government’s involvement here is almost unbelievable – at the end of the day, they make more from smoking than the tobacco business does.
RYAN: A Billion Lives is an education. It’s a wake up call. This film should shock smokers – and those of us who care about someone who smokes – into action. Like a companion piece to Merchants of Doubt, it could have a similar impact as Food, Inc. A Billion Lives is like the Fahrenheit 9/11 of tobacco. Find the facts. Learn the truth. Vaping shouldn’t be banned. Let tobacco industries and the cancer “industry” makes less. This doc should be required viewing.
BECKY: I’m going to go buy an e-cig.
Jeannie Kerswill May 13, 2016
Thank you so much for view this and understanding why we as vapers are so passionate about these products. We get called tobacco shills by most of the people in “tobacco control research” who are funded in a large part by the MSA. What is happening to us is just wrong. I was a smoker for 27 years. I have been and ecig user for 6.
Jeannie Kerswill May 13, 2016
Jasamine May 13, 2016
I am now a non smoker for the first time in 26 years. I turned to vaping as I am a performer, and got interested in the tricks… So bought a vape to learn those, and as a side effect?? Gave up smoking! I’m now down to less than 2% nicotine, and days go by where I don’t even pick it up. Do I encourage others to vape? Hell yes! Looking forward to seeing the film come to the UK.
Ashley Auliye May 13, 2016
I hope it shoes in Alaska
William Sarginson May 13, 2016
Great review for such an important message. I hope A Billion Lives is spread further and wider than it already is. It isn’t just about vaping, but about corruption and ill gotten profit. Especially with upcoming immoral regulations worldwide, it’s important that people from all walks of life know the truth, and lend us to a better future for all.
Amy Pauley May 13, 2016
With the sweeping FDA regs just imposed in the US, this should be required viewing for the entire US government. I’m looking forward to seeing this film premier in the US.
My husband and I smoked for 30+ years and tried everything we could to quit. Vaping finally accomplished that. We’ve been smoke-free for over 3 years now and have dropped our nicotine level substantially.
Lisbet Fjølstad May 13, 2016
i quit a 33 year old habit with vaping.
i could not have done it without it as i have tried alot of times before.. with no luck..
smoke free for more than 2,5years now 🙂
thanks for a exellent rewiew – i really look forward to watching this movie
Lisbet Fjølstad May 13, 2016
do you want A Billion Lives to be screened?
Follow this: https://www.facebook.com/marcovanweel/posts/211381025915298
Elaine Jeffers May 13, 2016
Thank you for reviewing ABillionLives and helping to raise public awareness of the lies and misinformation being spread about vaping: potentially the greatest lifesaving invention in centuries. If the government and the FDA quashes this innovative industry, more than abillionlives will be lost.
Your support is much appreciated, especially by those of us who have extended our lives by quitting smoking by vaping. Our fight for our right to choose continues.
Lisa Belle May 13, 2016
I am so glad for A Billion Lives movie and it’s director Briebart, this may finally put all the work us advocates have been doing in the face of so much evil corruption in the bright light it deserves. It’s time for all smokers and vapers to join hands and tell our governments their enslaved cash cow has turned bullish! We won’t be stopped, we won’t disappear into that night!
Lollylulubes May 14, 2016
Great review, thank you. A couple of points: pharma have also played an enormous part in the regulations by different countries. They wrote the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and most probably had a big hand in the FDA Deeming Regs and bans elsewhere – they have enormous influence regarding health. They are losing out with not only 95% failure rate smoking cessation medicines, but will lose more on the lucrative smoking related diseases they treat.
Nicotine outside of cigarette smoke is not addictive and at the very worst, only a weak reinforcer like coffee, if at all.
Big Pharma wrote EU anti–vaping diktat, claims Tory exMEP http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/13/lords_ecigarette_debate_vaping_tpd2_tobacco/
Is Nicotine Addictive: http://www.ecigarette-politics.com/is-nicotine-addictive.html
Experts On Vaping and Nicotine: http://www.ecigarette-politics.com/vaping-quotes.html
Luc Van Daele May 14, 2016
I’m a vaper and vaping activist for almost a decade now and reading this review I feel I missed out on something very important. In my (long) experience it is not the tobacco industry that is demonizing vaping in the public opinion, that is producing junk science, that is lying trough their teeth,… but it is public health, the health control industry that feeds on public money of tobacco taxes (what a huge conflict of interest). And that is the real scandal here people who are paid by the taxpayer to care about health sending people off to die… public health becoming a public danger. If the documentary shows the tobacco industry to be the big villain here, then Aaron was largely misinformed. I’ll judge after I’ve seen it for myself next month on the GFN in Warsaw. https://gfn.net.co/programme-2016/program
Christine May May 14, 2016
Vaping is the only way I managed to quit a deadly 47 year habit. Nothing else worked for me. I have my health back and can afford more nutritious food as well. I cannot wait to see this film. Well done guys:)
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