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Anti-prohibition news from over the world

Collected live from our allies' blogs.
Note: All opinions expressed below are those of the authors only, not necessarily TICAP's.


Published on 2016-05-24 23:13:28.
Website: Frank Davis

Last night I started watching E-cigarettes: Miracle or Menace? on BBC iplayer, but somehow lost interest after about 15 minutes. Thinking back on it this morning, I thought that some things had seemed rather implausible about the programme. They had … Continue reading →

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The Extraordinary Extent Of ASH Lobbying

Published on 2016-05-24 20:56:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Last week Guido highlighted what we in this corner of the internet already knew; that ASH lobbies the government with money government, erm, gives to ASH.
Arnott is not averse to using cash to influence government policy – our cash. ASH waged a half-decade campaign, involving top Civil Service officials, to introduce plain packaging. In a string of emails between Arnott, Hunt, the Department of Health’s top ranking official Andrew Black and surprisingly the PM’s Chief of Staff – Ed Llewellyn, the organisation appears to have broken the department’s rule on the use of its grant money. The Department of Health rules, as stated in November last year, prohibit government lobbying at the taxpayers’ expense: “Funding applications from voluntary sector organisations are assessed against a number of criteria, but Departmental policy clearly states that grants will not be awarded if there is any indication within the application that some or all of any funding awarded will be used to support political activities, including political lobbying activity.”Between 2011 and 2015, ASH received a whopping £745,650 in taxpayer funded grants from the Department of Health, their £200,000 grant last year was specifically for assisting the department to implement the “Tobacco Control Plan” (page 22). In that same period, documents seen by Guido highlight 74 separate incidents of lobbying contact, reaching as high as the PM’s office. Taxpayer grants form by far the largest donations given to ASH, and it would appear that they have been used to lobby the government against the Department of Health’s own regulations.74 different instances of Deborah Arnott using a direct line to the Department of Health to promote plain packaging? Wow! Were those opposed to the policy afforded the same facility? Well of course not, it's just Debs and her buddy Andrew carving up the democratic process.

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Last Call For The #IEAVapeDebate

Published on 2016-05-24 16:47:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, tomorrow night the Institute of Economic Affairs are hosting a debate to discuss the recently-installed provisions in the EU's Tobacco Products Directive and their effect on the vaping free market. Here's the blurb.

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Why Anecdotal Evidence Proves that Electronic Cigarettes ARE Helpful for Smoking Cessation

Published on 2016-05-24 10:54:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

One of the widest scientific misconceptions about evaluating the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation - and one promulgated by anti-vaping groups and health agencies like the CDC and FDA - is that anecdotal evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that electronic cigarettes can be effective in helping smokers to quit smoking. In fact, this is a widespread fallacy. The truth is that the abundant anecdotal evidence of e-cigarettes helping many smokers quit is actually sufficient evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes are helping many smokers quit.

How can this be the case? Haven't we all been taught that anecdotal evidence is not sufficient? Aren't more rigorous research designs necessary to draw a conclusion that e-cigarettes can help some smokers quit? Since anecdotal evidence that a drug helps improve a medical condition among some patients cannot be used to conclude that the drug is an effective treatment, how can anecdotal evidence that many smokers have quit using e-cigarettes be used to conclude that e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation for many smokers?

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Doctors disagree with Sally Davies about alcohol

Published on 2016-05-24 08:51:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Not much pick up in the media for this, which is a shame because it looks as if CAMRA have finally done some worthwhile research...

GPs disagree with Chief Medical Officer’s statement that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption
The majority of GPs disagree with the Chief Medical Officer’s statement that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, according to research undertaken on behalf of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

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Pink Cadillac de Ville

Published on 2016-05-23 23:20:45.
Website: Frank Davis

I’d just walked into the car park when I caught sight of it. It may as well have been a flying saucer. But it was actually a pink Cadillac sedan. It’s not often you see pink Cadillacs anywhere, never mind … Continue reading →

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Is this the end for Aseem Malhotra?

Published on 2016-05-23 14:41:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Aseem Malhotra has been begging for his comeuppance ever since he started spouting his scientifically illiterate, factually inaccurate rubbish four years ago. He has suffered setbacks before but today he went too far, even for the 'public health' racket. Even his old buddies at Action on Sugar such as Simon Capewell and Jenny Rosborough have finally had enough. Public Health England, the Faculty for Public Health, the Royal Society for Public Health, the British Dietetic Association and more have all lined up to mock his latest headline-grabbing initiative.

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Europe’s Natural Borders

Published on 2016-05-22 23:10:56.
Website: Frank Davis

With the EU referendum barely a month away, my attention is being drawn more and more to Europe and all things European. The question we are being asked is: Do you want to be a sovereign nation state (Leave), or … Continue reading →

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TPD: Hamsterkauf jetzt!

Published on 2016-05-22 20:21:34.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.

Netzwerk Rauchen rät zu TabakvorrätenAm Freitag ist die novellierte Tabakproduktrichtlinie der EU (TPD 2) in Deutschland in Kraft. Das heißt: Demnächst gelangen die Die TPD2-konformen Tabakwaren in den Handel und verdrängen die bisherigen. Bei sich schnell verkaufenden Produkten wie populären Zigarettenmarken dürfte es bereits in ein paar Wochen der Fall sein. Netzwerk Rauchen e.V. rät zu Hamsterkäufen der bisherigen Produkte.

Denn es werden sich für Tabakgenießer vor allem drei Punkte zum Negativen ändern:

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The Harm Of Plain Packaging

Published on 2016-05-22 18:58:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Along with death and taxes, the one thing you can be certain about in this world - because tobacco controllers routinely lie - is that any anti-smoking policy promoted by tobacco control will be designed for a completely different purpose than the one they pretend it's about when they lobby politicians.

We saw this with the smoking ban where all the talk of protecting bar staff evaporated once the law had been passed; then it became how wonderful it will be to drive down smoking rates. It was nothing about health but all about denormalising and shaming smokers.

Likewise plain packaging. As I've mentioned before, once the law took effect in Australia, all mention of stopping children smoking disappeared in favour of how brilliant this would be for forcing smokers to quit (in fact, the stats on child smoking were deliberately ignored).

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Lord Ralph Harris

Published on 2016-05-21 23:04:17.
Website: Frank Davis

My attention was today drawn to the late Lord Ralph Harris: An economist, and director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and founder of the Bruges group, he also became chairman of Forest. He was chairman of and the prime mover in … Continue reading →

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Cultural War

Published on 2016-05-20 23:11:37.
Website: Frank Davis

Chris Snowdon on The Tobacco Products Directive: …HMRC says the illicit tobacco market has risen by 24 per cent in the last five years. It currently amounts to £2.1 billion in lost tax revenue. Such figures are only guesstimates, however, and … Continue reading →

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The Real Deal; A Fatal Attraction

Published on 2016-05-20 11:01:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

There's been a bit of misguided excitement of late about an Early Day Motion on the subject of the negative effect of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) on e-cigs.

I say misguided because EDMs are the laziest possible thing an MP can do, they mean absolutely nothing and will achieve nothing. I have met MPs who have been unaware that they have even signed them because EDMs are such a low-level priority that they leave it up to their staff to handle; the political equivalent of routine filing. So irrelevant, in fact, that many MPs have a policy of refusing to sign them no matter the subject for the understandable reason that they are utterly pointless but could rebound on a politician if something changes in the future and their name is on a document supporting a cause which could harm their career.

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Plain packaging is ASH's problem now

Published on 2016-05-20 09:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

So plain packaging in the UK crossed its final hurdle yesterday when the courts ruled it to be legal. From today, cigarette packs will be designed by people who hate smokers.

Plain packaging is ASH's problem now. They are the ones who spent years lobbying for it (with taxpayers' money, natch). They are the ones who made wild claims about it 'protecting' children. Now that it is reality they will be keen to lower expectations with the usual 'no silver bullet' film-flam (see also: the sugar tax). They will want to change the subject and move on to their next crazy idea.

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Ekelalbum Schachtelteufel

Published on 2016-05-19 20:16:09.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.

Wenn aus Ernst Spaß wirdLiebe Leser, liebe Tabakfreunde,die EU führt ihren nächsten Feldzug gegen alle Tabakliebhaber. Die „Raucherquote“ will nicht wie geplant und wie gewünscht sinken, die Textwarnhinweise auf den Verpackungen nimmt schon lange niemand mehr bewusst wahr. „Kombinierte Text-Bild-Warnhinweise nennt man im Amtsdeutsch, was jeder spontan als Ekelbild erkennt und bezeichnet. Mindestens  65 Prozent unserer Tabakverpackungen  werden ab sofort mit schauerlichen Gesundheitspornos bedruckt, die uns nun endgültig jeden Spaß an der Freud verderben sollen. Die Methode ist alt und offenkundig: Abschreckung. Die EU behauptet, die dort abgebildeten Leiden erwarten jeden Raucher, wenn nicht das eine, dann gewiss das andere. Wir können also bangen, ob wir impotent werden oder doch lieber unfruchtbar.

Zu  dieser, mit Verlaub gesprochen, auf kindlichen-aggressiven Vorstellungen beruhenden Kampagne, die der deutsche Gesetzgeber mit Freude in hiesiges Recht umgesetzt hat, gibt es dann aber doch das eine oder andere Wort zu sagen. Leute erschrecken mag ja ein großer Kinderspaß sein, und als Erwachsener fährt man ja vielleicht auch mal auf dem nächsten Jahrmarkt mit der Geisterbahn oder verschenkt einen Kastenteufel an Menschen mit Humor. Ansonsten hat ein derartiges Verhalten unter Volljährigen nichts zu suchen und gilt zu Recht als unreif, sofern nicht gerade Halloween ist, aber das haben wir ja nur einmal im Jahr.

Mündige Konsumenten anzulügen und zu täuschen, das ist dann allerdings nicht mal mehr ein schlechter Scherz, sondern schlicht unseriös und unwürdig. Keines dieser Ekelbilder erzählt uns eine Wahrheit, bestenfalls eine halbe, und die ist bekanntermaßen ebenfalls eine Lüge. Es gibt drei „Gruppen“ von Bilder, jedes Jahr erscheint eine neue. 2018 bringt die EU dann das berüchtigte Bild mit der hellen und der schwarzen (angeblichen Raucher-) Lunge. Dieses Bild ist längst als Lüge enttarnt. Kein Pathologe kann beim bloßen Anblick der Lunge feststellen, ob die betroffene Person geraucht hat oder nicht. Daher war man im Dienste der „Wahrheit“ so frei, diese zweite Lunge einzufärben, damit jeder sieht was sonst niemand sieht, einfach weil es nicht existiert. Aber in einer abgehobenen Scheinwelt zu leben scheint auf die geistige Gesundheit eine ungünstige Auswirkung zu haben, sonst kämen unsere EU-Bürokraten, und nicht zu vergessen auch die in Deutschland, nicht auf derart märchenhafte Ideen.

Damit aus Ernst wieder Spaß werden kann, haben wir die erste Staffel der Ekelbilder in diesem Kastenteufel-Album zusammengestellt. Mit Platzhaltern zum Selbsteinkleben, online betrachten kann sie jedermann auf www.ihr-uns-auch.EU. Dort gibt es noch mehr interessanten Lesestoff rund um die neue Tabakproduktrichtlinie TPD2 und weiteres Aktionsmaterial, so z.B. demnächst einen Ekelschutz für ihre Tabakdose.

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Draw A Line Here

Published on 2016-05-19 17:07:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Operation Oh My God That's A Lot Of Work is well underway at Puddlecote Inc and it's been all hands to the pumps of late, hence the sparse content here this week.

I did, however, manage to sneak out to attend Forest's Battle of the Brands event at the Churchill War Rooms on Tuesday night accompanied by a couple of regular readers here. And very good it was too.

After the initial reception, one of the dark rooms where Churchill's top level aides planned how to protect Britain from the extremism of a tyrannical dictator was lit up by a short film describing how the extremism of the modern day tyrannical dictatorship - that of self-serving 'public health' tax spongers - is irrelevant, contemptuous of the public, and arguably counterproductive.

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Why is the American Cancer Society Lying to Its Members About the E-Cigarette Regulations?

Published on 2016-05-19 10:42:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In an urgent action alert, the American Cancer Society (through its Cancer Action Network) is encouraging its members to write their federal legislators and demand that Congress not strip the FDA of its authority to regulate electronic cigarettes.

The "suggested" letter which the ACS pre-populates for its members states: "Congress should not strip FDA of its oversight authority when electronic cigarette use by high school students has jumped to 16 percent in a very short time... ."

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The middle-aged booze 'epidemic'

Published on 2016-05-19 06:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The Daily Mail claimed that 'Half of middle-aged British men classed as problem drinkers' over the weekend. I've written an article for the Spectator explaining why this is piffle.

It turns out to be based on a survey of just 476 people. The assertion that ‘more than half of those surveyed believe it will have no impact on their health’ is based on an even smaller number: just 160 people.

To put those 476 people into context, there are more than eight million men aged between 45 and 64 in the UK. Claiming that ‘Half of middle-aged British men classed as problem drinkers’ (the Daily Mail) and ‘Half of middle-aged men drink too much’ (the Telegraph) on the basis of such a small sample is a stretch, to say the least.

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The Treasury's War on the Poor

Published on 2016-05-18 10:37:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Suzanne Evans has made a nice little video about regressive sin taxes. Filmed in the Westminster Arms - UKIP's spiritual home - it features some quotes from me. Check it out.

The policy paper that accompanies the video is worth reading. Good on them for pursuing an issue that paternalists of all parties often ignore.

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American Lung Association Disseminates Negligent Medical Advice About Vaping

Published on 2016-05-18 00:06:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

The president of the American Lung Association yesterday disseminated negligent medical advice regarding vaping through a tweet that included advice from six physicians.

Each of these six physicians provides negligent medical advice regarding smoking cessation using electronic cigarettes.

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American Lung Association and CVS Health Campaign Downplays the Importance of Smoking in Preventing Lung Cancer

Published on 2016-05-16 23:28:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Ad Looks Like Big Tobacco Ad from the 20th Century 

The American Lung Association (ALA), with primary financial support from CVS Health (CVS), has initiated a campaign called "Lung Force." The campaign features a video ad with the theme of "Anyone Can Get Lung Cancer." Although the ad cites the fact that lung cancer incidence among women has increased over the past decades and mentions radon and air pollution as causes, nowhere in the ad is smoking even mentioned.

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ASH's Mask Slips Into The Gutter

Published on 2016-05-16 08:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

That didn't take very long, did it?

On Saturday I wrote about how the Lords had identified the TPD as an appalling piece of legislation but that no-one in the tobacco control industry would care, least of all ASH.
Nope. ASH didn't study e-cigs with any degree of objectivity when they first arrived on the scene. In fact, in 2010 they demanded that the devices should be compelled to be deemed as medical products or banned entirely in an MHRA consultation response. This should never be forgotten; ASH sway with the wind so their current supposed "supportive" stance towards vaping is purely a convenient position of least resistance, I wouldn't put it past them to jump to an opposite position the moment they think the wind is changing. They are certainly no credible friend of the vaper. Indeed, I understand that they are cheerleaders for the TPD which was being unanimously ridiculed during this Lords committee. Speaks volumes doesn't it?Well, whaddya know!

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FDA is Defending Deeming Regulations from Well-Placed Criticism By ... ... Lying

Published on 2016-05-16 00:00:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Last week on The Source, a Texas Public Radio news show, a spokesperson for the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) was confronted with a very solid and well-placed criticism of the agency's e-cigarette deeming regulations. The host asked her how she could defend these regulations in the face of uniform statements by vaping companies that "this is so onerous that this is going to drive them out of the business."

In response, the CTP spokesperson defended the regulations by stating: "It's important to remember that we're talking about products that kill people."

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The Lords Realise It's Not About Health

Published on 2016-05-14 21:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

It seems that, yet again, e-cigs are having the effect of proving that the tobacco control industry has little regard for health.

This time though, it is the House of Lords whose eyes are being divested of their scales. On Tuesday, a Lords committee saw Lord after Lord stand up and tell the government that the EU's Tobacco Products Directive was variously - and I quote - "nonsense", "absolutely absurd", "madness" and "bonkers".

You can read the whole thing in Hansard here if you haven't already, and I urge you to do so, because this was a government representative - in this case Lord Prior of Brampton - getting a right good kicking for the stupidity of people like Anna Soubry in not speaking up against the TPD when they had the chance.

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Plain packaging working well then?

Published on 2016-05-13 12:42:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

An article at The Conversation shows a graph that will be familiar to readers of this blog but has rarely been seen elsewhere. The graph is designed to show the efficacy of tax rises in reducing (legal) cigarette purchases but it inadvertently shows the rise in consumption that took place as soon as plain packaging was introduced.

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Brexit The Movie: Sort Of A Review

Published on 2016-05-12 21:49:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

As mentioned yesterday, I attended the premiere of Brexit The Movie last night along with 1,699 others in a sold out Odeon Leicester Square.

The film has proven to be as divisive as the debate that surrounds it, with reports in just about every news outlet reflecting their previously entrenched views about the referendum. About the only unbiased report I could find today was in the IB Times, although Vice published a fun piece of half-satirical flim flam which captures the pre-screening atmosphere quite well.

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First Lawsuit Filed Challenging FDA Deeming Regulations

Published on 2016-05-11 18:09:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Yesterday, the first lawsuit was filed which challenges the legality of the FDA’s electronic cigarette deeming regulations. The suit was filed in the D.C. District Court by Nicopure Labs, a maker of vaping devices and e-liquids. The complaint alleges that the FDA deeming regulations are in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the First Amendment.

There are three claims under the APA:

1. The FDA has interpreted the term “tobacco products” way too broadly and in a way which is inconsistent with the Tobacco Act.
Nicopure points out that the FDA has construed the term “tobacco product” so broadly that it includes not only e-liquids which actually do contain nicotine, but also batteries, wicks, electronic displays, and glass vials, which do not contain nicotine and are not derived from tobacco or any constituent of tobacco.

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The Wrong End of the Telescope

Published on 2016-05-11 17:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Tonight I shall be donning best bib and tucker and attending the premiere of Brexit: The Movie at the Odeon Leicester Square. Red carpet deal, the lot. I'm rather looking forward to it as you can imagine from the teasers.

Brexit: The Movie - Trailer from WAGTV on Vimeo.
Do the people of Brussels know their Eurocrats? A tiny teaser of BREXIT THE MOVIE! pic.twitter.com/7Hwkww17zE— Brexit:The Movie (@BrexitTheMovie) May 2, 2016

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EU e-cigarette laws savaged in the House of Lords

Published on 2016-05-11 13:48:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Yesterday saw the nearest thing to a parliamentary debate on the Tobacco Products Directive the UK will ever see. Thanks to Matt Ridley, the House of Lords was able to hear a quick blast of truth before this ridiculous EU legislation comes into force.

It would be nice if politicians could pay attention to legislation before it's signed, sealed and delivered, but anyway... enjoy. It's long but I've highlighted a few gems.

Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016
10 May 2016 Volume 771

4.30 pm

Moved by

Viscount Ridley

That the Grand Committee takes note of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/507).

Viscount Ridley (Con)

My Lords, first, I apologise for springing this debate on my noble friend the Minister, in particular, at such short notice right at the end of a Session, but he will appreciate why this is an urgent matter. In 10 days’ time, the EU tobacco products directive may become law through a negative statutory instrument recently laid before this House. I emphasise right at the start that I have no problem with most of the regulations—just the parts relating to e-cigarettes and vaping, which are essentially Parts 6 and 7. My Motion is a little vague on that; the original draft was a little more specific.

As noble Lords will know, it has long been my view that the directive scores an own goal by bringing in measures that would discourage the take-up of vaping and thereby drive people back to cigarettes or prevent them quitting. However, it is not just I who take that view. Increasingly, it is the view of Public Health England and of the Royal College of Physicians, whose recent report on this topic is, I think, a game-changer in this debate. So I am here, at the 11th hour, to help my noble friend prevent a historic mistake being made, or at least to raise the issue. In passing, I note that I have nothing to declare: I own no shares and take no income from anything related to vaping or smoking.

The horrific death toll from smoking—100,000 of our citizens die every year—has, I suspect, touched the lives of many in this Room. It is the biggest cause of preventable death on a scale that is hard to comprehend: it is a Hillsborough every eight hours. It is a scourge that deserves the very best of technical ingenuity and policy-making skills to solve.

Vaping offers, as the Royal College of Physicians said, a great opportunity to apply to smoking the principle of harm reduction—an idea pioneered in this country. When people behave in harmful ways, how do you stop them? You can punish them in the hope of deterrence, as we do with murder and fraud; you can hector them, as we do with alcohol and sugar; or you can try to offer safer alternatives, which is how we tackled HIV infection and heroin addiction in this country in particular, and it is how I believe we should now deal with tobacco. In the case of addictions, where people find it genuinely very hard to resist temptation, harm reduction surely makes sense.

Britain is probably the world’s leading vaping nation. Virtually all of South America has banned the practice entirely, at the behest of the tobacco industry. In America, it is largely demonised and quite a lot of people do not know what it is. Almost all the 2.6 million vapers in Britain are smokers or ex-smokers, and the quit rate for those who try vaping is faster and greater than it is with nicotine replacement therapies or cold-turkey cessation. In other words, this is a public health revolution, and it is costing the taxpayer nothing. By saving smokers a fortune, rewarding entrepreneurs and averting ill health, it is boosting the economy.

However, we have before us a piece of legislation that strangles that breakthrough in red tape. It is the product of big-company lobbying and back-room deals in Brussels. It is legislation which last month the Department of Health admitted, in its impact assessment, risks increasing, not reducing, the amount of smoking. I hope in his remarks today that the Minister will be fully candid and accept that this part of the directive is a mess which does not deserve defending but does need ameliorating. I have alerted him already to three specific matters on which I seek clarity.

First, given that the Royal College of Physicians last month told the Government that they should promote vaping to smokers “as widely as possible”, what new, emphatic and unambiguous statement will the Minister make in support of vaping?

Secondly, given that the department estimates that the tobacco products directive rules will ban 90% of advertising that would have helped to promote switching, what budget has the department specifically set aside for a public information campaign to encourage smokers to move to vaping, as the royal college and Public Health England both want?

Thirdly, given that the regulatory burden that the department is about to place on the industry is so extreme that his officials estimate—at least, this is the only estimate in the impact assessment—that the number of notifiable products will be reduced by 96%, from 25,000 to possibly as low as 1,000, what expenditure will the department make specifically to reduce the cost of the onerous testing regime on the industry?

I would ask the Minister to avoid repeating the erroneous suggestion his officials have been making that any of the £13 billion of public health benefits that his department surmises will come from the tobacco products directive [Where the hell did this figure come from?! - CJS] would be the result of Article 20, or Parts 6 and 7 of these regulations. In the table set out on page 45 of the impact assessment, the department has not been able to quantify a single benefit from vaping regulation.

Let me put this in a little context. At the beginning of this decade, attempts to reduce smoking were stalling. We had taxed the habit to the point where the main beneficiaries were black market traders, we had barred smoking from every public building, and nicotine patches were proving unpopular with smokers. Then along comes a technical breakthrough, thanks to a man named who I have met named Hon Lik, working in central China. It was something that gives a nicotine hit in the same fashion as smoking but is far safer and cleaner. It is a fantastic piece of luck, or rather ingenuity. As the Prime Minister told the other place in December, vaping has now helped more than 1 million people in this country to stop smoking altogether.

How safe is vaping? We know that concentrations of harmful and potentially harmful constituents such as carbonyl compounds, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other constituents are in the order of 1,500 times higher in cigarette smoke than in vapour. A well-controlled trial has recently been carried out by Dr Grant O’Connell and colleagues working for the vaping manufacturer Fontem Ventures. They asked 15 smokers to give up altogether for five days, 15 to vape only for five days, and another 15 to mix vaping and smoking for five days. They measured the harmful and potentially harmful constituents in the urine, blood and breath of each group, and the results were striking. After five days, the vapers’ carboxyhaemoglobin levels—an indication of how much carbon monoxide they had in their systems—had dropped by 83%, which was an even bigger drop than in the cold-turkey cessation group, whose levels dropped by 75%. Even the dual users had seen a drop of 23%. The amount of carbon monoxide they exhaled had halved in both the vapers and the cessation group. Much the same was true for all the other biomarkers except, of course, for nicotine. [Contrast this scientific evidence with the pitiful claim of the prohibitionists that we 'just don't know' what's in e-cigarettes - CJS]

In other words, in terms of harmful constituents vaping is almost indistinguishable from not smoking at all. Both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians agree that it is much safer than smoking. As far as we can tell, nicotine addiction without smoking is about as dangerous as caffeine addiction.

Vaping is therefore a public health triumph that the Department of Health has, to its extreme shame, done its utmost to block. In 2010, the department’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, tried to ban vaping devices completely. In 2013, the agency—which is financed largely by the pharmaceutical industry—tried to insist that every e-cigarette should be licensed as a medicine. This would again have amounted to a de facto ban. After six years of trying, the agency has so far only managed to license one e-cigarette, which is still not available to the public. If the Department of Health had had its way, there would not be 25,000 varieties of vaping product on the market today, but zero. The only winners of the Department of Health’s policy prescriptions would be undertakers.

Thankfully—and my noble friends will know how painful it is for me to say this—the European Parliament voted down the folly of exclusive medicinal regulation, but it did not vote down the rest of Article 20 of the tobacco products directive which, in that wonderfully undemocratic way, is now being forced upon us. The truth is that these regulations were scripted in Brussels by pharmaceutical companies desperately trying to protect the sales of their widely unloved nicotine replacement therapies. What we have before the House is still a piece of legislation that is not fit for purpose. When even the Department of Health says that it risks increasing smoking, we know that we are facing a moral responsibility as legislators to review this in great detail. It most certainly should not just be nodded through.

It is no defence to say that some regulation is required. No sensible person would argue against us knowing what is going into e-liquids and what comes out in vapour. Potential toxins should be tested, as happens with food, cosmetics and other consumer products. But as the department admitted in an Answer to a Written Question, far more adverse incidents are reported by doctors about pharmaceutical nicotine replacement therapies than e-cigarettes. At most, a bit of tidying up of the testing process was needed.

Let me put three more questions to the Minister. The Royal College of Physicians describes the big warning labels that will deter smokers from using vaping devices as “illogical”. Does the Minister agree with the royal college on this?

Secondly, the ban on stronger vaping devices—the ones most likely to wean heavy smokers into vaping—was criticised two years ago by a dozen scientists writing to the Commission, which ignored their advice. Economists now predict that 105,000 extra deaths every year across Europe will result from the ban on stronger devices. Does the Minister agree with this estimate? If not, what is his estimate?

Thirdly, the directive proposes that, to cut down the risks of children starting smoking, it is necessary to create a minimum cigarette packet size of 20, yet it imposes a maximum size for vaping devices. This miniaturisation will raise prices and generate more packaging waste. Where is the logic in making the most successful substitute to tobacco more difficult to use?

The Minister has a choice. He can blame Brussels and say this is now a good reason to quit the EU in order to help people quit smoking—a lot of the country’s vapers, who are natural libertarians, are beginning to take that view and to dream of the day after Brexit when Britain abolishes the tobacco products directive and goes back to pioneering the virtual elimination of smoking and its replacement by something much less harmful. Or, if the Minister does not wish to turn this into a referendum issue, he can have a quick rethink and try to alter the implementation of the directive. We have a statutory instrument before us, about a third of which is devoted to stifling an exciting innovation that is saving lives. I beg to move.

Lord Brabazon of Tara (Con)

My Lords, I thank my noble friend Lord Ridley for raising this issue today. Like him, I intend to concentrate solely upon e-cigarettes and vaping. I have no views whatever on the rest of the directive.
Unlike my noble friend, I must declare a major interest in this subject, in that I smoked 20 cigarettes, a packet, a day for the best part of 50 years. I tried a number of different ways of giving up—patches, chewing gum and will-power, none of which worked—until two years ago when I took up using an e-cigarette. I have not had a cigarette since. I am pleased to hear of the health benefits my noble friend has described, which I hope I am now enjoying. I am also pleased that I now have the endorsement of the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England in my course of action. It is, I believe, recognised by the Department of Health as the number No. 1 tool for helping smokers give up.

I do not know whether my noble friend has the figures—I do not—but I would estimate that 99% of people who smoke e-cigarettes are those who are trying to give up, or have given up, smoking real cigarettes. I cannot believe that anyone would start using an e-cigarette if they had not smoked an ordinary cigarette beforehand. Maybe some people have, but I do not know.

I can also tell the Committee that it is extremely good for the pocket, as well as the health, in that 20 cigarettes now cost something like £9 a packet, a large amount of which goes to the Treasury of course. I was spending £9 a day on cigarettes, whereas now I use a nicotine liquid, which comes in a 10 millilitre bottle, costs £5 and lasts me a whole week. So it is very good for my pocket.

I understand that nowadays a large proportion of cigarette smokers come from the lower-income categories of people and therefore it would be of great benefit to them if they were able to give up smoking cigarettes. I hope my noble friend can confirm that the type of nicotine liquid I use—which is 1.1% in 10 millilitre plastic bottles—will not be banned by this new regulation.

This directive was dreamt up in 2012, quite a long time ago before I—and, I suspect, most people—had heard of e-cigarettes. Like a lot of things that come from Brussels, it has not been adapted to the facts, including the fact that e-cigarettes are now recognised as a good thing. I hope my noble friend can assure me that he will do all he can to limit the damage that this directive might have on people who are trying to give up smoking.

4.45 pm

Lord Callanan (Con)

My Lords, I, too, pay tribute to my noble friend for introducing this debate. I have a great sense of déjà vu because I was one of the people in the European Parliament that he referred to, who helped achieve the original decision against this directive’s restrictions on e-cigarettes. I was also the shadow rapporteur for my group and part of the European Parliament negotiating team that sat until about 11.30 pm in the Berlaymont, with the Commission chairing the meeting and the Council on the other side of the table, thrashing out the messy compromise that we see before us now in the tobacco products directive. Again, I have no difficulties with the vast majority of the directive; my concern was with the articles on e-cigarettes.

Before I started working on this, I had no particular knowledge of the subject. But when any dossier is placed before you, the first thing you do is read the various publications available and listen to all the lobbying and advice and you are also contacted by constituents. I was first alerted to the issue when my email inbox started filling up with literally hundreds of emails from people all over the country—and, indeed, Europe—concerned that these magical devices they had used to give up smoking were going to be banned or severely restricted. Together with a number of MEPs from all sides—including members of both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party in the UK—we started a campaign to improve the directive.

I have to say that we were not particularly helped by Department of Health officials. I tried to speak to Ministers many times to find out who was behind the restrictions and why there was such a campaign against something which so self-evidently provides great public health benefits and harm-reduction measures, but I never got a clear answer. I was pointed to a recording of a former public health Minister [That'll be Anna Soubry - CJS] appearing in front of the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons. When she was asked why she voted for this directive on behalf of the Government, she turned to her officials and said “I think the e-cigarette provisions were removed from it, weren’t they?”—which showed a worrying lack of understanding of what she was voting for on behalf of the Government.

Nevertheless, we ended up with this directive. It was a messy compromise and it is very badly worded, but it is a lot better than it could have been had we not campaigned on it. My noble friend Lord Ridley is quite right to point out the somewhat murky role of various pharmaceutical interests in the production of the directive. When I asked questions in the Commission and the Council—it seemed to me self-evident that these devices were brilliant for reducing tobacco smoking, which I thought was what we all wanted—I asked why they were even in the directive in the first place, given that it is called a tobacco products directive and e-cigarettes are not tobacco products in any sense of the word. The answer I received many times was that this was argued for by the pharmaceutical industry, which would have an awful lot to lose if e-cigarettes supplanted or replaced nicotine patches and gum. I do not know the truth of that, but it seems that it was very successful in getting what it wanted.

I completely agree with all the points made by my noble friends, but I have two additional points to make. First, on advertising, the Royal College of Physicians has a proud history at the heart of tobacco control. Since its first report, Smoking and Health, in 1962, it has been an intellectual leader in the field and is worth listening to. When the headline on the press release on its latest report states in bold,

“Promote e-cigarettes widely as substitute for smoking”,

one would hope that the Government would get the message that its 21 world-renowned authors are trying to put across. But we would be wrong if we thought that, for the regulations that the department wants us to approve are not about the promotion of e-cigarettes but about the suppression of information about them.

Paragraph 176 of the department’s impact assessment forecasts that the EU rules will reduce e-cigarette advertising by 90%. How are smokers supposed to hear about e-cigarettes? In paragraph 167, the department nonchalantly claims that cutting advertising will in fact not reduce the number of smokers switching to e-cigarettes. We have heard this old argument many times before—not from health officials but from tobacco company executives trying to pretend that advertising smoking would somehow not increase the amount of smoking.

The messages that we give really matter. In the complex decisions that smokers make every day about whether to smoke or consume nicotine through much cleaner forms, their perceptions of the relative risks of these products are crucial. The Royal College of Physicians, Public Health England and Action on Smoking and Health have all raised deep concerns about how smokers perceive e-cigarettes to be much more risky than they actually are. It is very interesting that Action on Smoking and Health should now say that, because I recall that that was not the message that it was giving when we dealt with the directive.
We are certainly not going to give that message by banning 90% of advertising, nor by insisting on e-cigarette packaging carrying big health warnings, which is what the Government are asking us to approve in these regulations. The Royal College of Physicians described the imposition of these warnings as “illogical”, bearing in mind that nicotine patch boxes do not have to warn of the dangers of nicotine.

Much of the problem stems from media reporting of junk science. The worst example was a headline in the Telegraph in December, which screamed:

“E-cigarettes are no safer than smoking tobacco”.

It was a nonsense report based on, as I said, junk science.

The second point that I want to raise concerns novel tobacco products. A number of new products have been introduced in this category, particularly products called “heat-not-burn”. These are very interesting developments, and a range of other alternative products is also in development. Some of the ones coming to market contain tobacco, but they work by heating it and not burning it. The absence of combustion is key. We all know that, as my noble friend Lord Ridley has said, harm from smoking comes primarily through the toxins produced by the burning of tobacco. In 1976, Professor Michael Russell wrote:

“People smoke for the nicotine but they die from the tar”.

That was reflected in the title of the recent study by the Royal College of Physicians on e-cigarettes, Nicotine without Smoke. With such technological developments, and a new regulatory basis with the introduction of the TPD, are the Government looking at the opportunities to be had from the available range of products, in addition to e-cigarettes, as part of a harm reduction agenda in the new tobacco control plan?

This is truly a terrible piece of legislation, and I plead guilty for the part I played in helping to produce it in the first place. However, it is not too late to undo some of that harm and to help encourage the taking up of e-cigarettes and, consequently, a reduction in tobacco consumption. Instead of trying to restrict e-cigarettes, the Government should in fact be trying positively to encourage them.

Earl Cathcart (Con)

My Lords, these regulations, or the directive, directly affect me, my health and indeed my well-being. I started smoking before I was a teenager, building up to about 50 cigarettes a day. I tried every trick in the book to kick the habit, but nothing seemed to work. I knew that it would kill me—that I would be gathered by the grim reaper before my time—but I just could not stop. I could not kick the habit.

Then, two summers ago, I was in a taxi in a traffic jam. I was chatting to the driver and at one point I said, “I do wish we could hurry up because I’m dying for a fag”. He turned round with an e-cigarette in his hand and said, “Have you tried one of these?”. I said, “No. What is it?”. He explained that he had tried them and had not smoked a cigarette since. He kindly wrote down the details for me to google, but he insisted that if I tried e-cigarettes I must try the strongest ones I could get because, if I did not, I would not get the necessary nicotine hit and would be back on fags in no time at all. I took his advice about using the strongest nicotine—2.4%—and I have not looked back. I have not had one puff of tobacco since two summers ago, rather like my noble friend Lord Brabazon. So they do work and they do help people to stop smoking.

As we have been told, there are 2.6 million people vaping in the UK. Of those, 40% are, like me, ex-smokers and 59% are dual users who both vape and smoke. The Committee will agree that a single vape is better than a single drag on a fag. Interestingly, only 0.2% of under-18 year-old non-smokers have tried vaping, although continued use is negligible. Research conducted by Cancer Research UK found that smokers who vape are 60% more likely to quit than those who use will-power or over-the-counter nicotine products. These statistics demonstrate that vaping is used almost entirely—99%—by current and ex-smokers. Sixty-one per cent of them say that the sole reason for vaping is to stop using traditional tobacco products.

So why have we got this directive and these regulations? Our masters in Brussels believe that vaping could provide a gateway to smoking and that these tough new laws are necessary to protect non-smokers, particularly children, from using e-cigarettes. However, as I have tried to explain, there is no evidence of this. Ninety-nine per cent of those vaping are current or ex-smokers like me. As to children, as I said earlier, only 0.2% of under-18 year-old non-smokers have tried vaping. There is no evidence that vaping is a gateway to tobacco and no evidence that vaping products influence children.

As vaping is estimated to be 95% safer than smoking, you would think Brussels would want to encourage it. Where does Brussels get its evidence that vaping is harmful? I do not know. Has it been got at by the tobacco lobbyists, who have seen their sales of traditional tobacco fall, or by the pharmaceutical industry, as my noble friends Lord Callanan and Lord Ridley have already suggested?

Brussels is banning advertising; e-cigarettes must carry health warnings; and nicotine strengths are to be restricted. To my mind, restricting nicotine strength to 2% will be particularly damaging, but I would say that, as I still use the 2.4%—as do about a quarter of e-cigarette users. By taking up vaping, I hope to keep the grim reaper at bay for a little longer. I hope that when I run out of my 2.4% nicotine supply and I am forced to use the weaker nicotine, I do not switch back to smoking. That is the danger for many e-cigarette users. Perhaps by the time I run out of my 2.4% nicotine supply, stronger nicotine may be available on the black market, with all the dangers that that will entail.

I would like to use one or two quotes to back up my previous assertions. The Office for National Statistics has said:

“E-cigarettes are almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers

Full article

Gosh, No Idea

Published on 2016-05-10 17:56:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Yesterday I saw a tweet which fair astounded me.
Wonder why these harm perceptions just keep going in the wrong direction? Gosh, no idea :( #UKCTAScpd pic.twitter.com/1nqHTl4HLt— Linda Bauld (@LindaBauld) May 9, 2016
Bauld is no doubt referring to those in her industry who like to spread misleading information, junk science and lies about e-cigs, and she is correct to do so.

However, the world's prime promoter of such things - Mad Stan Glantz - has been a star in the tobacco control industry firmament for a very long time. Bauld and the rest of the UK tobacco control community have known he's a weapons grade lie machine for decades, but have been quite happy to let it all go without comment.

Glantz has been falsifying data and producing jaw-dropping junk research (like this, for example) since many of the current crop of career tax-sponging anti-smoking prohibitionists were in nappies, yet not one of these fine upstanding 'experts' and 'scientists' has ever bothered to pull him up on any of it before.

So there is some vague hint there by Bauld that some tobacco controllers like Glantz have been a bit naughty, but that'll be all it is; a vague hint. To make it any more than that would - quite rightly - call their own expertise and impartiality into question.

@CaeruleanSea His previous junk has been very useful to PH people. They can't suddenly admit that he's a clown.— Christopher Snowdon (@cjsnowdon) May 7, 2016
Of course they can't, they've feasted on his crap for years and actively encouraged him. And that includes Robert West who produces the Smoking Toolkit study that the slide in that tweet is taken from.

The hypocrisy is staggering enough on its own, but let's consider something else. Y'see, for a long time the tobacco control industry has considered bans on the use of tobacco as being a prime tactic in the 'denormalisation' of smoking. Read World Health Organisation documents and public bans are regularly praised as being instrumental in making smoking unacceptable in the eyes of society.

Here's a good explanation of the concept.
Smoking restrictions, in addition to protecting non-smokers from the harms of environmental tobacco smoke, can contribute to denormalisation because they reduce the acceptability of smoking (Albers et al. 2004;Department of Health and Human Services 1991); in fact, some commentators regard smoking restrictions as the most effective way of denormalising tobacco use (Bell et al. 2010a;Brown et al. 2009). Many countries have now adopted legislation that bans smoking in work-places, restaurants and bars (Mackay et al. 2006) and, more recently, bans in outdoor spaces have also been considered (Chapman 2000; Bloch and Shopland 2000; Thomson et al. 2008;Colgrove et al. 2011). One mechanisms through which smoking bans can contribute to denormalisation is by reducing the general visibility of smoking. One study finds an association between the frequency with which youth observe smoking in different locations and the perception that smoking is socially acceptable; the authors conclude by recommending smoking bans specifically as a means of reducing the social acceptability of smoking (Alesci et al. 2003). Smoking bans in bars and restaurants also help undermine the association between smoking and exciting life-styles promoted by tobacco marketers (Hammond et al. 2006). Thus, smoking bans help establish non-smoking environments as the ‘norm’ (Brown et al. 2009). In addition, introducing smoking bans can in itself express and promote a negative attitude towards smoking and contribute to its denormalisation. As Glantz suggests, ‘clean indoor air legislation reduces smoking because it undercuts the social support network for smoking by implicitly defining smoking as an antisocial act’ (Glantz 1987, my emphasis).Yes, that's the same Glantz in case you were wondering, 29 years ago!
The ways in which such bans are communicated can contribute further to these effects. For example,Chapman and Freeman emphasise that smoking bans on flights are announced in a way that emphasises that smokers are addicts:
At the start of every airline flight to, from and within Australia passengers are warned via onboard announcements that smoking is banned in-flight and, evoking memories of warnings given to schoolchildren about toilet-block smoking, an added warning is given that they must not smoke in aircraft toilets

Full article

FDA Regulations Present an Imminent Threat to the Safety of the Public: Urgent Changes are Needed

Published on 2016-05-10 15:39:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

While I have already argued that the FDA deeming regulations pose a long-term threat to the public's health because they will result in the removal of most vaping products from the market (so cigarette sales will continue uncontested), today I explain why these regulations pose a substantial immediate threat to the public's health.

As of August 8, 2016, no new vaping products will be allowed on the market. Because the FDA considers virtually any change in a product to constitute a new product, this means that the deeming regulations will essentially "freeze" the vaping market as it exists on August 8. From that date forward, not only will companies not be able to introduce new products but they will also be unable to make changes in their existing products. Such changes would require a substantial equivalence (SE) determination (which is unlikely because few, if any products are similar to a predicate product on the market in 2007), an SE exemption (which is unlikely because the company cannot show that the product is essentially the same as a predicate product on the market in 2007), or a new product application (which will be prohibitively expensive for most companies). Moreover, these regulations will discourage companies from undertaking any revisions to their products. Several companies have already decided to freeze their inventory and discontinue their innovation research and development.

Full article

Where next for vaping? The debate.

Published on 2016-05-10 13:32:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I've organised a panel discussion at the IEA to discuss where next for vapers and the e-cigarette industry after Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive comes into force. The event will be held on the 25th May, five days after the TPD comes into effect, and we've got a range of speakers who will be affected in different ways.

You would be very welcome to join us. Details below.

In recent years e-cigarettes have flourished in Britain under a free market. Light touch regulation, low barriers to entry and strong competition have resulted in choice, value and innovation. That could all change from May 20th when new EU regulations are introduced. Under Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive, most forms of advertising will be banned and limits on product size, strength and capacity will come into effect. Retailers and manufacturers will be faced with new bureaucracy and restrictions.

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