A Reprieve for Vapers===Co-incidence of Interests

Dick Puddlecote (see sidebar) tweeted that Jane Ellison said ‘Addiction to nicotine, we consider harmful’. He linked to this video:

http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/108f55b8-ce6f-4773-8ff4-4b887bbf3c66

If is of a meeting of the ‘Delegated Legislation Committee’. I think that it must have been a formality since there were only about half-a-dozen people there and it lasted for only sixteen minutes. Ellison described the new regulations for ecigs and Berger (?) responded. One one comment was made from the floor.

It looks as if Vapers should be well-pleased. It looks as it the spectre of harsh regulation of ecigs in the UK has been shelved for at least five years. It looks as if NICE will have to eat its words when it said that ecigs would definitely be regulated as medicines from 2016. That is not going to happen. The new regulations merely ban the sale of ecigs to minors (under 18s) and forbid proxy buying (although how that would be enforced is another thing).

It took some finding, but you can see the actual draft regulations here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111130568

[The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015]

Even though proxy buying (over 17s buying ecig stuff for under 18s) is forbidden, there is provision for access of under 18s to ‘Nicotine Inhaling Products’, although that might be via a prescription from a doctor and might or might not include ecigs as opposed to Big Pharma nicotine inhalers. It is not perfectly clear.

I have said on numerous occasions that vapers must hold on to ‘the high moral ground’ at all costs, and it seems to have paid off. They did what they were told. They stopped or cut down on combustible fags and moved to ecigs.

It seems that even ASH (the creature of the Royal College of Physicians) recommended light regulation (in fact, I seem to have heard Ellison mention ASH as recommending light touch regulation for the time being, though why a lobby group should carry any weight I do not know).

There was even mention (I think) of the idea that regulation should not stand in the way of further development of ecigs or the growth of business in that sector.

But beware. These regulations do not directly confront the EUSSR anti-ecig demands, but they do indicate an intention not to conform to ecig industry decimation.

Of course, the anti-smoker hatred will continue, but it stands to reason that the funding must diminish and the pressure must ease. I was thinking about that earlier. It makes sense for Customs to examine cars which have been over to Belgium in case they are packed with tobacco products. Cars can hold a lot of stuff. But it does not make sense for Customs to do the same with travellers who are individuals using aircraft. The reason is that the weight restrictions on aircraft minimise the possibility of possibly illegal imports of tobacco products. What saving in duty will be gained by Customs officers being employed, at great cost, to confiscate, say, 20 sleeves of cigs, if they can justify it? Never, in all the years that I have been going to Mallorca, and bringing back cigs for my own consumption, have I ever been stopped or seen anyone else be stopped in the baggage collection hall. In fact, I do not remember ever seeing a Customs Officer in the hall.

I had an acquaintance who holidayed in in the Canary Islands, which are not subject to EU rules and have little duty, if any, on cigs. He always brought back several sleeves and was never stopped. I would imagine that the same applies to any country, such as Cambodia, where cigs are as cheap as they can be – the cost of checking every passenger is not worth the putative saving.

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Overall, it seems that Vapers are reasonably safe for the time being in the UK. The reason that they are safe is that these regulations have been passed. They are important because the burden of proof of harm from ecigs has been passed to those who denigrate them.

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Coincidence of Interests

A few decades ago, the fledgling Tobacco Control and Tobacco Companies were implacable enemies.

There seems to be some sort of ‘law’ which, over a period of time, coalesces these implacabilities and produces some sort of consensus.

I am speaking about the antipathy to ecigs, and the use of pure tobacco leaf. Both Tobacco Control (the charlatans) and the Tobacco Industry have reason to oppose ecigs. From the Tobacco Control point of view, ecigs conflict with the Big Pharma products which they are pushing, and which they are being paid to push (corruption rules, OK?); from the Tobacco Industry point of view, they want a monopoly of their mass produced products.

But there is also the coincidence of interests of politicians. Politicians can ‘flip flop’. We are seeing that now.

Tobacco companies have an interest in helping to curb the manufacture and distribution of cigs by anyone other than themselves. Tobacco Control has ensured that only ‘approved’ tobacco product manufacturers can exist. Their interests coincide.

Except that PP has destroyed the market. There cannot be reasonable competition. Thus,  the only competition must come from illicit cigs.

I still think that Tobacco Companies failed miserably when they failed to grasp the nettle. They should have told the Australian government that they would stop supplying Australia with fags if PP was enforced. The Government would therefore have to organise a supply or lose the revenue. That would have illustrated the two-faced attitude of government and concentrated the minds of legislators.

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It seems to me that the answer to creeping prohibition is ‘bring it on’. That involves not disputing. It is difficult. For example, in the UK, Forest should stop allowing itself to be used by the broadcasters. It should be a simple lobby group to represent the interests of smokers as best it can. Nothing is served by it being Media fodder. This idea is reinforced by recent revelations that trainee journalists are being encouraged not to permit ‘airtime’ to ‘people who dispute anthropogenic global warming’.

Forest has tried its best to counter anti-smoker legislation, but has never had the power and support to do so effectively. Better that it should retire. As with all persecution throughout time, only the persistence of a practice defeats the persecutors. Forest is in a catch 22 situation. It would be better if it refused to be drawn into ‘lose-lose’ situation.

Concentrate on politicians, Mr Forest, and deny access to you from the Media. REFUSE to be used.

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The coincidence of interests is quite a new thing. The coincidence of interests between Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco Control and Big Politics is hard to ignore.

 

 

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