The Panic of Tobacco Control

Once upon a time, the EU created some sort of directive which enabled a ban on snus throughout the EU. But the EU commissariat has no power, in itself, to create laws, therefore, there must exist somewhere in our laws, as passed by parliament, a law which states that snus is banned. I suppose that it must be contained somewhere within a law which enacted a tobacco directive. It would be interesting to find out which law contains a ban on snus in the UK. Or rather, which law in the UK contains a ban on the trade in snus.

People who advocate ‘harm reduction’ rather than ‘prohibition’ swear by snus (or, at least, did so before e-cigs appeared). The people of Sweden like snus and their lung cancer rates are far lower than other countries. Ergo, snus is a good thing. Yes? Er….. No. Snus is not a good thing because it is made from cured tobacco plant leaves. It was banned in the EU because its use was not widespread, being popular only in Sweden. Tobacco products such as cigarettes were not banned, purely because it would be politically difficult. Think of the money.

Then there is ‘smokeless tobacco’ being tobacco which is heated to release ‘the vapours’ but not burned so as not to release stuff like tar. That too is not good enough, even though it is believed to be far less dangerous that actual smoking.

So, on the face of it, we have a situation where the new tobacco products, which are far ‘safer’, are banned while the ‘dangerous’ products are not banned.

That situation is truly Machiavellian.

In retrospect, it is easy to see what has been happening.  Few people outside Sweden use snus, therefore hardly anyone will be bothered by a ban outside Sweden. Smokeless tobacco is in its infancy, and so few people will be bothered by a ban on ST. By the same logic, because e-cigs are new, few people will be bothered by a (de facto) ban on e-cigs.

The WHO and the EU have proceeded on that assumption. Because e-cig users are a small minority at a population level, it is easy to get rid of them. But they have made a terrible error. They have left it too late. They should have attacked e-cigs when they first appeared. It is too late now. They have become too popular, even if they are still small beer. That is because of the worldwide appeal of e-cigs. The appeal is not confined to one country like Sweden, nor is it in its infancy. Despite the fact that relatively few people use e-cigs at the moment, the product itself is well-developed.

In the beginning, the word ‘electronic’, as used to describe e-cigs, was a misnomer. The e-cig used electricity, but it was no more ‘electronic’ than a torch. Modern e-cigs do indeed contain ‘electronic’ components. Some of the more advanced versions have ‘chips’ and ‘micro-engineering’ to control the vapour flow and volume. It is possible for vapers to decide for themselves what levels they wish to experience.


That is what is terrifying Tobacco Control worldwide. They are gradually becoming supernumerary, as has already occurred to ASH. ASH is so yesterday – and good riddance. The real battle now is with the ultimate totalitarian fascists in the UN. Get rid of them and the totalitarian fascists in the WHO and the EU will also be destroyed. The whole organisation of the FCTC depends upon patronage, akin to the patronage of Kings in earlier eras.


These thoughts have not emerged from nowhere in my mind. I would recommend that readers consult the cogitations of Clive Bates at:

and the thoughts of Carl Philips at:


There is a serious problem, but it has little to do with stuff like tobacco and ecigs and such. It has more to do with the fact that the people that we elect as MPs are asleep. The more senior they are, the faster asleep they are. When you get to the position of PM, you go beyond asleep and enter into a dream world. This dream world is not one similar to Star Trek or something similar, in which you can destroy whole worlds. It is a world in which you can control the behaviour of  ‘standard human beings’. And when you have done so, regardless of the stultification of the human spirit that you have engineered, you will receive a medal. That is, you will receive a medal in your dream world.

But we must always remember that the politicians are amateurs. In the constituency of Cameron, did voters enquire about his expertise in anything? When he was ‘elected’ as leader of the tory party, did the electorate question his knowledge?

Our political system stinks because we are not being permitted to elect the really important people.


Finally, for tonight, it is becoming more and more obvious that taxing a small proportion of the population excessively, especially the poorest people, is not acceptable. Tobacco duties must be abolished and replaced by a tax on something else. Only in that way will tobacco cease to be a valuable commodity.




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