Flawed science, irregular procedure, unlawful measures

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

Continue reading “Flawed science, irregular procedure, unlawful measures”

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

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2014 to reflect correction of anomaly for e-cigarettes in lawyer linguist editing of the text (based on leaked unpublished work in progress document)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

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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”

Where is the humility? Where is the empathy?

He gets it, why can’t the public health establishment?

With the approach of 2014 and New Year resolutions under negotiation, my thoughts and good wishes turn to all those smokers out there who would like to stop smoking – as in stop inhaling burning particles of organic matter and hot toxic gases deep into the lungs. I hope they give vaping a try.  An e-cig is working well for my brother and I’m really glad about that – he’s smoked for about 30 years and has never intended to stop, but this has all but ended his smoking over the last nine months. Not good enough for MHRA, Brussels, WHO and CR-UK of course, but he’s pleased, and so am I.  It reminds me that there are great stories about e-cigs, about personal triumphs, lives transformed and people getting back in control.  I love these stories.

But there is a striking contrast between the often moving, thrilling and visceral human stories told by vapers and the attitude and language of the bossy bureaucrats and fake experts in public health who claim to know better. I ask where is the humility?  Where is the empathy? Some examples from them, and then we can contrast these with the words of vapers: Continue reading “Where is the humility? Where is the empathy?”

Making sense of the proposed new e-cigarette regulations

See my guest post on saveecigs: Making sense of the proposed new e-cigarette regulations

Tobacco harm reduction – a note to WHO’s expert commitee

envelope2The WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation ‘TobReg‘ is meeting in Rio de Janeiro 4-6 December.  This group is important – or it will be if WHO listens to it and acts on its advice. Its previous reports have added to understanding and pointed the way to a rational approach to regulating reduced risk tobacco and nicotine products.  However, there are rumours that WHO finds its advice unwelcome and its account of the truths inconvenient, and would like to replace it with working groups from the parties to the FCTC.  I hope that does not happen.

So I would like to write a note to the TobReg to encourage it to keep up its good work, and to keep the focus on the billion deaths WHO expects to be caused by smoking in the 21st Century.   Continue reading “Tobacco harm reduction – a note to WHO’s expert commitee”

E-cigarettes in the tobacco products directive – letter to European Commission

Letter to European Commission (sent in Oct 2013, added here Feb 2014) Continue reading “E-cigarettes in the tobacco products directive – letter to European Commission”

Tobacco Products Directive – what next?

Complicated? The Ordinary Legislative Procedure

We are approaching make or break time of the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive – the ‘first reading’ of the proposal is coming up. Here’s my take on the process.

What is the overall process? The TPD is following the ‘Ordinary Legislative Procedure‘. This is a process whereby the European Commission makes a proposal and then the European Parliament (elected MEPs) and European Council (representatives of 28 member state governments) go through a process of amending the Commission proposal and reaching agreement with each other. By the end of the process, Parliament and Council must agree or it doesn’t pass. The process has three stages in which views are batted back and forth between the two institutions: Continue reading “Tobacco Products Directive – what next?”

Reasonable people saying sensible things about low-risk alternatives to smoking (update)

Nicotine molecule
Warning: nicotine may induce authoritarian urges, warped judgements and loss of purpose

Updated 24 July 2013. Smokeless tobacco products, e-cigarettes and novel nicotine products have astonishing potential to reduce the expected one billion premature deaths from tobacco in the 21st Century.   Yet some health organisations are spreading misinformation, stoking up unwarranted fears and pretending there is much more risk and uncertainty than there really is.  So to provide some balance here is a collection of on-the-record quotes from researchers, experts and others who have grasped the important and disruptive significance of these developments. Enjoy!   Continue reading “Reasonable people saying sensible things about low-risk alternatives to smoking (update)”