Cease and desist: making false claims about the gateway effect

hell
Gateway effect: maybe… but is it an entrance or exit?

I am totally exasperated by spin about the so-called gateway effect.

Unable to take any more, I decided to write to Professor Stanton Glantz and Dr Lauren Dutra, the authors of an analysis of teenage smoking and e-cigarette use based on the US National Youth Tobacco Survey:  Dutra LM, Glantz SA. Electronic Cigarettes and Conventional Cigarette Use Among US Adolescents. JAMA Pediatrics  online 6 March 2014. I hope the letter is self-explanatory. Update: reply from Professor Glantz and my response to his reply.

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MEPs – do you really want to vote for this?

Europarl
Time to do the right thing

Hundreds of politicians, civil servants, ministers and lobbyists have been busy on the tobacco products directive for more than a year. Is the result of all that work a credit or embarrassment to the European Union? MEPs vote on it today. My letter to say they should drop article 18. I sent variations to MEPs in the each of the main political groups.

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Unable to take any more, I write to Dr Nathanson of the BMA (updated)

Vinenne Nathanson, BMA
Apex of the public health establishment – but are their views on e-cigarettes coherent and well-informed?

I powered up the iPlayer to listen to Chris Snowdon of IEA (and a vaper) and Vivienne Nathanson of the BMA debate e-cigarettes  on You and Yours 21 February 2014. This was on the occasion of Vype e-cigarettes beginning an advertising campaign on TV.  Vype is made by Nicoventures, the e-cigarette subsidiary of BAT – British American Tobacco – so it is of course controversial.  I was depressed and disappointed by some of the arguments made by Dr Nathanson, though sadly these are all too typical in the public health establishment. 

… unable to take any more, I decided to email Dr Nathanson to ‘pick up on a few points’ made in the interview.
Continue reading “Unable to take any more, I write to Dr Nathanson of the BMA (updated)”

Ombudsman says rogue process beyond her brief – I say ‘look again’

Does it do what it says on the  tin?
Does it do what it says on the tin?

On 13 January, I made a complaint to the European Ombudsman about the European Commission sidestepping the treaty requirements for consultation, reasoned justification, impact assessment and scrutiny of legislative proposals when it comes to the 4,500 words of new legislation about e-cigarettes negotiated in secret in a process that has led to scientific, legal and procedural defects.  This has led to further exchanges… Continue reading “Ombudsman says rogue process beyond her brief – I say ‘look again’”

Joint declaration of the e-cigarette Industry – the regulation of e-cigarettes

Just received this sensible declaration from e-cigarette businesses, which I understand has just been sent to MEPs, in advance of the ENVI discussion today.  In my view it is more constructive and credible than the one sent by TVECA on Monday.

Update: the premier American trade association, Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA), representing 64 American-based and international companies have made their views clear via a statement circulated to MEPs.  It’s a good assessment of the issues.

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Confused e-cigarette trade association supports e-cigarette regulation it opposes

Stop press 21 Jan 2014: not only is TVECA confused, it has misrepresented its support.  The French e-cigarette trade association, CACE, dissociates itself from the letter.  BRAVO!

The CACE would like to dissociate itself from the TVECA, whose positions strongly differ from the rightful interests of the vapers and the French e-cigarette sector. […] In conclusion, the CACE is calling upon the MEPs of the ENVI Committee to reject article 18 of the draft TPD, in order to allow for a more adequate and realistic regulation, considering the needs of both the vapers and the market.

This is a letter sent to MEPs today in which an e-cigarette trade association displays naivety and a measure of contempt for its customers, whilst not apparently understanding the process it is involved in (2nd reading isn’t inevitable). Let me put a question to TVECA – all those things you list that you don’t like and make no sense… how are they going to change if the directive passes unchanged? In the courts? Continue reading “Confused e-cigarette trade association supports e-cigarette regulation it opposes”

Flawed science, irregular procedure, unlawful measures

head-in-the-sand
Faced with bad science, bad procedure and bad law, what would you do?

Here is my letter to MEPs who are members of the ENVI committee of the European Parliament.  ENVI meets on 22 January to consider the Tobacco Products Directive text (PDF).  The sections that deal with electronic cigarettes are mostly Article 18 with cross-references to other articles.  This letter is my best shot at saying what’s wrong with how the directive addresses e-cigs, please make further suggestions in the comments.

En français via Jacques Le Houezec

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Fiasco (updated): flavours allowed but flavour labelling to be banned (…no longer)

E-Cigarette-Flavors
You can’t say that! Europe poised to ban flavour labelling

Updated 7 February 2014 to include related fiasco over smokeless tobacco flavours.

Updated 17 February 2014 to reflect correction of anomaly for e-cigarettes in lawyer linguist editing of the text (based on leaked unpublished work in progress document)

Whoops! A comment left by ‘godek’ spotted the following in the text of the text of the Tobacco Products Directive as it applies to e-cigarettes:

Continue reading “Fiasco (updated): flavours allowed but flavour labelling to be banned (…no longer)”

Guest blog: Lynne Dawkins puts the Commission straight

LynneDawkins-275x257A guest post from Lynne Dawkins, one of the UK’s foremost experts in e-cigarettes and related technologies: many will remember her excellent introductory presentation at the November E-cigarettes Summit. She has just become the second scientist to dispute the European Commission’s use of their research in a letter (below). Dr Farsalinos wrote to the Commission last week say ing that it had misrepresented his science. Now Lynne Dawkins has done the same. 

Here’s the guest post from Lynne, explaining her concern…  Continue reading “Guest blog: Lynne Dawkins puts the Commission straight”

EU tobacco directive and e-cigarettes: maladministration complaint to European Ombudsman

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 19.38.59

Why complain?

There are two ways to criticise the proposals for regulating nicotine containing products, such as e-cigarettes: substance and process. Continue reading “EU tobacco directive and e-cigarettes: maladministration complaint to European Ombudsman”