(1) E-cigarettes: The potential to transform the tobacco industry. Imagine a product that is possibly >99% less harmful than cigarettes, delivers a similar use experience and offers a better economic bargain— this is the proposition of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). We believe e-cigs have the potential to alter the status quo of the US tobacco market and accelerate the volume decline of traditional cigarettes.
But what does the academic literature tell us about regulating disruptive new technologies like e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products or novel nicotine products? If you want to get beyond zealous proposals for outright bans, crude restrictions and gratuitous burdens you will need to bypass the health journals and consult scholarship in academic law journals. Here are three paper that offer useful insights – none deal explicitly with tobacco or nicotine. Sadly, there is little sign that these insights have been grasped by FDA, the European Union or WHO. Continue reading “Regulating disruptive technologies – three papers”
I responded to the Department of Health consultation on implementing the EU Tobacco Products Directive [documents / consultation]. The on-line survey system accessible from the consultation page is by far the easiest way to respond. Closes 3rd September 2015.
To be candid, I find this consultation quite patronising. In the manner of putting lipstick on a pig, they are not consulting on the Directive itself – that is irrevocably fixed (albeit subject to legal action that could strike it down), but on implementation detail.
The part of the directive itself that deals with e-cigarettes (Article 20) was never subject to consultation.
Unsurprisingly it amounts to little more than pointless bureaucratic harassment – see why here. So this consultation deals only with options allowed within the fixed terms directive. I was thinking of not responding, but figured any opportunity to discourage the creation of an even bigger mess should be taken. The big mistakes were made in October 2013 – this consultation is a consequence.
My response below – questions not answered are greyed out. PS. if you respond, please give your own thoughts, in your own words, politely and constructively.
I know some people find the attack on vapers and vaping by elements of the public health establishment stressful and anxiety-inducing. I’m one of them, and I’m not even a vaper or smoker, whose health and wellbeing may in part be determined by what these people say and do. I think it is so stressful because the interaction has many of the traits associated with bullying.
Not serious to the point of recognising that 700,000 ex-smokers are vapers, and that this massive prevention effect has happened without public spending and without the public health and medical establishments doing anything (other than trying to obstruct it). If they were truly radical, the leadership of the NHS would recognise this consumer based strategy for its enormous potential and get to work on making it happen rather than sabotage it. Oddly, the doctors’ trade union, the BMA, has taken one of the most hostile lines on vaping. Is that a mistake? Or could there be money involved? Continue reading “Doctors, smoking and money”
On 7 October 2014, the Framework Convention Alliance, the largest alliance of NGOs that attend and lobby in the WHO FCTC meetings, published its COP-6 policy brief on ENDS (e-cigarettes). Its policy briefing sets out a position that reflects a careful navigation through the middle ground between the pro- and anti- harm reduction factions in that alliance, while basically not saying too much that is wrong or likely to cause harm. It is a real achievement that they reached agreement at all, given how polarising this issue is within that community. The paper is a positive contribution to the negotiations and important corrective to the stance taken by WHO. Some more thoughts: Continue reading “Review of the FCA COP-6 position on e-cigarettes”