Sunday, 22 December 2013

The catalogue of ERRORs behind Article 18

The European Commission have published their "justification" for Article 18 of the Tobacco Products Directive - The latest proposals to regulate electronic cigarettes.

You can read their justification of each part of Article 18 here :

http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/docs/fs_ecigarettes_en.pdf     (PDF)


If this is the reasoning behind the proposals, then they are totally flawed. As each and every single reason contains an error, they can only have been written by (a) the mis-informed, (b) idiots, (c) or people who are deliberately lying.



For each part of Article 18, lets have a look at the REASON and the ERROR MADE




Current Regulation 

Reason - Currently there is no EU wide regulatory framework to guarantee the safety and quality of  e-cigarettes. The application of the General Product Safety Directive is not sufficient.

Justification - 14 notifications concerning (re fill) liquids for E-cigarettes via the RAPEX system have been reported. DG Health and Consumers. Rapid Alert System for non-food products posing a serious risk (RAPEX) Brussels: DG SANCO; 2012.    http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/rapex/index_en.htm

ERROR  

-  Pure Cherry Picking. These notifications show that the system IS working. In actual fact there are far more rapex reports for "Toys" than for refill liquids, and I wonder if the Commission have actually read these rapex reports ? They are reports for incorrect labelling of liquid, not for any toxicity or health problem. The system works, incorrect labels are picked up and corrective action is taken. Evidence that the General Product Regulations work.



Concentration and Size

Reason - An e-cigarette with a concentration of 20mg/ml delivers approx. 1 mg of nicotine in 5 minutes (the time needed to smoke a traditional cigarette, which delivers 1mg of nicotine). 

ERROR  

-  Pure twisting of figures. The time to deliver is similar, however the concentration delivered is completely different (10 times different). For a full explanation of why nicotine delivery cannot be simply compared like this see my earlier post on this subject - why 20mg from ecigs is not the same as 20 cigarettes.  .

MEGA ERROR  

-  They quote some research by Dr Farsolinos, perhaps they haven't read it or perhaps they are being duplicitous - but Dr Farsolinos was identifying MINIMUM level of nicotine that is needed to work for a smoker and the Commission have now turned this into a MAXIMUM

They are aware of the work done my Dr Farsolinos, so it is a clear error of omission, or deliberate cherry picking, to leave out information like this - which completely undermines the Commission position

 ''In facts, vapers need to use such devices for approximately 30min in order to get plasma nicotine levels similar to those found after smoking 1 tobacco cigarette. In another study, smokers who were using the e-cigarette for the first time showed significantly lower nicotine absorption compared to experienced users. Therefore, we provide sufficient data indicating that the addictive potential of e-cigarettes (even the new generation devices) is much lower compared to smoking, while at the same time we proved that new-generation devices are much more efficient and probably more effective for smokers. Moreover, we have shown that there is no chance of overdose or intoxication from e-cigarette use in na├»ve users, even when a new generation device is used. Of note, an 18mg/ml e-liquid was used in both studies. I doubt if a nicotine-containing liquid with double concentration would deliver nicotine similar to a tobacco cigarette.''  - Dr Farsolinos   HERE


MEGA ERROR 

- They are happy to quote that a cigarette "delivers 1mg of nicotine", using figures from the side of a cigarette pack when it is now accepted that these figures are manipulated by the Tobacco companies and the real does can be up to twice as much whilst the amount of freebase nicotine is optimised in tobacco smoke to increase the addictive properties - making the delivery not comparable with electronic cigarettes impossible.


Reason -  The most commonly sold strength of e-cigarettes is 17-18 mg/ml and strengths of 20mg/ml and lower were shown to be effective for the majority of smokers in their cessation efforts

ERROR 

- ... and the other 40% that use higher strengths will just have to carry on smoking ! - this is pure nastiness, they know that there is a large group (40%) that need a higher strength for e-cigs to work but they will stop them from having access to this product (that is currently available) because 'the majority' will be okay - pure evil and malicious.


Cartridges and Refills

Reason - The market share for refillable cartridges and tanks varies across the EU. At this stage reliable independent studies on market shares are not available. A recent study of a stakeholder estimated the EU average of refillable e-cigarettes to slightly exceed 40%

ERROR

- Refillable e-cigarettes represent 82% of the market


From Dr Lynne Dawkins presentation to the ecig summit

Trying to pass off a known 82% as 40% to hoodwink MEPs into believing that the regulations will only affect the minority, whilst banning the overwhelming majority of devices.

Reason -  Refillable cartridges and refill bottles with liquid can be contaminated, expose users to toxic nicotine liquid and are a safety risk for children. These products also allow users to home blend higher nicotine strengths and flavour combinations.

ERROR

- Banning liquids above 20mg/ml will simply force many more people to home blend, an activity that has not caused a problem, that allows people to customise and select the blends that work best for them. That e-liquids are regulated as General Products mean that the bottles come with child resistant lids which prevents problems like THIS happening. 

Reason -  The majority of products on the market consists of disposable e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes with sealed cartridges.

ERROR

- Bollocks, see ERROR before last - same lie repeated

Flavours

Reason - Regulating flavours is important to ensure that products are not attractive to young people and non-smokers (risk of gateway into nicotine addiction et alia).

ERROR

- There is no evidence of a gateway into smoking for young people (source ASH UK) - it doesn't happen. There is plenty of evidence that the flavours make electronic cigarettes much larger incentive for smokers to switch.

Question for the Commission - Has this product, legally available from age 12 and in a completely non child resistant package, acted as a gateway ?




Reason - Flavours currently in use in nicotine replacement therapies include tobacco (approx. 50% of the e-cigarette market), mint, fruit, lemon, toffee and liquorice

ERROR

- There is no tobacco flavour NRT

I wonder if they even realise that tobacco is actually a flavour, and that unflavoured is just that - unflavoured.


With so many basic errors for every single proposal, it is easy to think that the EU want to regulate electronic cigarettes in such a way as to render them useless.

If it transpires that these people knew that electronic cigarettes were a useful tool to provide an alternative to tobacco smoking and deliberately acted to suppress this innovation - then there will come a time when these decision makers will end up in court.



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Friday, 20 December 2013

Nicotine equivalence - why 20mg in ecigs are NOT the same as 20 cigarettes



It can be very frustrating when I read that people in the EU, making laws about e-cigs, seem to be saying that liquid containing 20mg/ml of nicotine is equivalent to 20 cigarettes.

It isn't - as I will explain.

The problem comes from a lack of understanding of the subject.

People look at the side of a bottle of e-liquid and read that it contains (say) 20mg/ml of nicotine.
Then they look at the side of a packet of cigarettes and read that each cigarette contains about 1mg of nicotine

They therefore state that 1ml of liquid is equal to 20 cigs - right ?

WRONG.

Now then, it is quite normal for new e-cig users to occasionally make this easy mistake - if they ask about it on a vaping internet forum they will receive the answer very quickly.

It is, however, completely unacceptable, negligent and ignorant for someone involved in the EU policy making to make this mistake. It demonstrates, at best, a complete lack of research - at worst, false propaganda.

WHY ?

The measure of nicotine that is declared on a bottle of e-liquid IS the amount of nicotine in the liquid.
The measure of  nicotine that is declared on the side of a packet of cigarettes is NOT the amount of nicotine in that cigarette.

It is easy to find out how much nicotine is actually in tobacco - HERE - and it is at least 10 times higher than the figure on the packet.

The amount of nicotine on the side of a cigarette pack is the dose of nicotine delivered to the body.

So, to compare the cigarette figure with the e-cig figure is quite simply not comparing the same thing.

Tobacco companies and Pharmaceutical companies WILL know this, but have not taken the opportunity to educate the legislators. Any competent Public Health professional should know this as well - but have left the legislators in ignorance - either that, or the legislators have been deliberately misled.

Tobacco smoking is the fastest way of delivering nicotine. If you use 1 ml of 20mg/ml e-liquid (over several hours), then not all of the nicotine will be absorbed into the body, and also the rate of absorption will be much slower than smoking tobacco, and nicotine is relatively rapidly metabolised - so the quantity of nicotine used will not be equivalent to the levels of nicotine obtained from smoking.

The rate of delivery is important - and in fact, it is believed that the concentration of nicotine in e-liquid that is required to deliver nicotine at the same rate as smoking tobacco is, in fact, 45mg/ml

The choice of strengths is important, and for those that need a higher dose then 20mg/ml there is a very good reason why.

There is another reason why the nicotine contained in e-cigs cannot be compared with the nicotine dose delivered by a cigarette - the habit and usage pattern is different. Smoking delivers a short, sharp, fast dose of nicotine, whilst vaping delivers a lower dose over a longer time - it is different

When looking at dosages, there are 2 important units of measure, T-max and C-max. T-max is the time to deliver the dose and C-max is the concentration that is delivered. ( Cmax is a term used in pharmacokinetics refers to the maximum (or peak) ... the drug has been administrated and prior to the administration of a second dose.)

Lets have a look at T-max and C-max for nicotine delivered by smoking and by e-cig vaping





- ( source - from ecigarette-research.com)


As you can see, there is not much difference between the time taken to deliver a dose of nicotine.

BUT - there is a huge, tenfold, difference between the C-max - in this case a 16mg/ml e-cig was used.

So - to come back to my original point :

You cannot compare the dose delivered from a cigarette with the concentration of nicotine in e-liquid - and most certainly not just by doing a quick sum, in your head, based on 2 labels.

The two figures are a measure of two completely things and in any case, the pattern of usage is different again.

Anyone that knowingly tries to do a simple mathematical comparison with cigarettes and e-liquid is a liar and attempting to deliberately mislead.


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Update

- Further recommended reading on this subject:
WHY 20mg/ml E-LIQUID IS USELESS FOR MANY
by Dave K.   -   aka 'The Happy Vaper'

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Hoodwinked ! Article 18 is medical regulation in disguise (guest post)

Guest Post by 'Evaporate' - UKV member

This is a guest post by Evaporate, a member of the UK Vapers Forum, who explains why Article 18 is the same as medical regulation of e-cigs - a defeat, as if amendment 170 never happened.


 Don't be fooled, article 18 of the Tobacco Products Directive, which can be read on Clive Bate's website is the same as medicinal regulation for electronic cigarettes.

Vendors must inform the competent authority within 6 months of marketing
  -  The competent authority is the MHRA.

The information required is toxicity, emissions on heating, inhaled health effects and inter alia (meaning amongst other things) addictive effects, Also required is nicotine dosing and uptake under foreseeable conditions. 
  -  This data can only be obtained from lab experiments and clinical trials.

This is effectively market authorisation data.

This data plus manufacturing process data, also required, is normally provided on a product dossier for each product.


If the MHRA find fault, they could say the data is inadequate and does not comply with the directive, stopping marketing or removing from sale.

Section 8 requires market surveillance data and adverse reaction reporting, this is called pharmacovigilance in medicinal regulations.
Section 9 gives (Medical) authorities power to ban a device
Section 5 limits free speech


Unless MEPs realise that these are medicinal regulation they will not see they are being fooled.


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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Complain to the PCC about the Daily Mail

Following previous successful complaints to the PCC ( Press Complaints Commission)  about the Mail publishing false info about e-cigs, now is the time for another round of mass complaints about this article :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2523175/E-cigarette-smokers-inhale-MORE-nicotine-toxins-regular-smokers-Study-finds-users-unknowingly-inhaling-host-dangerous-chemicals.html

Entitled 'E-cigarette smokers inhale MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers'

The article is based on this research here:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-12-dental-hidden-health-impact-electronic.html

It is worth including in the complaint that this research HAS NOT EVEN STARTED YET.
as it clearly says, in the last paragraph "...Saxena and Li will collect saliva and oral mucosa from College of Dentistry patients who are e-cig users to determine the relative abundance of oral bacteria ... "



It is very easy to do.

First go to this page here :
http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/form.html

Enter your Name, Address and email into the form.


Then fill in the following:


Newspaper/magazine - Daily Mail

Publication Date (DD/MM/YYYY) - 13/12/2013

Headline - 'E-cigarette smokers inhale MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers'


NEXT - tick the box to say where you saw the article.

IMPORTANT - you MUST include a link to the article, or the complaint will not be followed up


The next box is where you explain why you think the code of practice has been breached.

 - It is important to note in the complaint that the article is based on research that has not even started yet



The final box asks - Please add the clause(s) you believe to have been breached

Answer :
1.Accuracy: i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.




IF YOU THINK THAT THE ARTICLE WAS INACCURATE OR MISLEADING, THEN YOU CAN MAKE A COMPLAINT TO THE PCC.

Do it. Takes 5 mins. The more the better, and ask that the Mail publish a full retraction of this article.

This dangerous, innacurate and misleading article could be quoted for years to come, if a retraction is not published.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Piss Poor Research from 'Smoke Free Manchester' - a rebuttal

Smoke Free Manchester have produced a leaflet about electronic cigarettes.

It is either the result of piss-poor research or deliberate disinformation.

The leaflet of incorrect information from Smoke Free Manchester is reproduced below.




EVERY SINGLE LINE CONTAINS AN ERROR !

So lets have a look at each line :

"Are Electronic cigarettes safe ? - We don't know"  -  Yes we do, there has been extensive research by highly qualified Doctors such as the people working at the Clearstream Project, to name just one of many.
We know that electronic cigarettes are about 1000 times less harmful than cigarettes and on a par with caffeine use.

"There is no proof they are safe" - as above. Also to note that they are used as an alternative to tobacco smoking and equally there is no proof that they are unsafe.

"The vapour may reduce the oxygen levels in your body" - completely evidence free statement, with the "may" caveat - pure propaganda.

"There is no proof that they can help people stop smoking" - False, there is plenty of proof that they provide a suitable alternative to smoking tobacco. If they didn't work then people would stop using them. In the real world the growth is exponential - what does that tell you ?

"They may irritate some conditions" - using the "may" word again. However if you do not suffer from asthma or COPD then there is no reason for a smoker not to try them.

"There is no proof that they are safe for use during pregnancy" - Same as NRT, if the alternative is smoking then it is a no-brainer (a term that appears to apply to the author of this leaflet)

"E-cigarettes are not regulated" - yes they are, there are over 15 EU regulations that apply to them and indeed it is simply not possible to launch a product in the EU without regulations applying. - Very poor research from the brain dead author.

"There is now way of knowing what you are breathing in" - Yes there is, see the Clearstream Project (above) that conducts tests on the vapour that is produced. Ask your vendor if their liquid is tested, it is not hard to find a supplier that can provide tested liquid.
Also to note that the primary ingredient, PG, is regarded as safe and has been for decades and is also the main propellant in asthma inhalers (that are used by the NHS).

ANY OTHER RISKS ?

"E-cigarettes and chargers have exploded" - as have mobile phones and laptops, indeed anything that contains a rechargeable battery carries this (small) risk - often caused by not using the correct charger or one that was not supplied with the kit. A simple search on google with the term 'mobile phone explodes' or 'mobile phone fire' will bring up many more examples than can be found for e-cigs - Is Smoke Free Manchester also calling for people to never use a mobile or a laptop ?

"Using an e-cigarette makes smoking seem okay to children" - another evidence free statement, and what research there is indicates that children are supportive of their parents using an alternative to smoking.

"Using e-cigarettes indoors undermines the smoke free message" - No it does not. It promotes alternatives to tobacco smoking for smokers.

ANYTHING ELSE ?

"Many e-cigarette manufacturers are owned by tobacco companies" - yet more feeble research. In the UK only 2 out of hundreds of suppliers are owned by tobacco companies. A tiny proportion, and one which bears no significance at all on the relative safety, or not, of e-cigs. Japan Tobacco International (JTI) which trades in the UK as 'Gallagher' have developed an HIV treatment that is already available in Japan and soon to be licenced in the USA and Europe. Would Smoke Free Manchester advise an HIV patient to refuse treatment because it was developed by a tobacco company ?


I will go on record as saying that the author of this leaflet by Smoke Free Manchester is a cretin, a fool, a dingbat - who has done little research on the subject before publication, and as a result is providing poor information to the public.






Monday, 25 November 2013

Just Like Dad - the EU Ecig Ban

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The EU - rolling back the clock to give smokers the same choice that 'Dad' had !



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Gamucci e-cig zone at Heathrow

So, I read the news that Gamucci are to run an e-cig zone at Heathrow airport.

Stupid.

In the past, Gamucci have said that they support the plan to medicalise e-cigs, even though it has taken one of their competitors over 2 years to apply for a licence and they have still not been successful.

Now they are proposing the idea that e-cig users should be segregated away from the rest of the public at Heathrow - happily throwing away one of the many benefits of using an e-cig rather than smoking tobacco, namely that they are not covered by the indoor smoking ban.

My advice to anyone thinking of buying an electronic cigarette - Don't buy Gamucci, instead get one of the others that you can use anywhere.

By the way - Gamucci were not the first to introduce an e-cig zone in Britain and Ireland.

Below is a map of the original - with the 'e-cig zone' shaded in green.







 
 
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Friday, 8 November 2013

The first time an e-cig featured in a UK mainstream TV drama

Cast your minds back to the end of 2009 and the start of 2010, a time when Gordon Brown was still Prime Minister.

Electronic cigarettes were just beginning to be used in the UK, the seed had been planted and the number of e-cig users were the original early experimenters, perhaps just a few thousand.

I have found, what I believe, must be the first time an electronic cigarette appeared in a mainstream UK television drama.

Filmed in 2009 and broadcast on the 1st Feb 2010 at 9.00pm on BBC1

Season 6, episode 5 of 'The Hustle'

 

 
 
If anyone knows of an earlier clip of an e-cig that appeared in a UK television drama, please let me know. I am also curious about the type of e-cig that is being used here.
 
At the time of filming (2009) there were just a few e-cig Vendors in the UK.
There was Totally Wicked (or Pillbox28 on ebay), Gamucci and E-Cigs (now Libero) and also starting out were iVapour and Liberty Flights.

This really was early days when the pioneers paved the way for what we have now.
 
 
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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Vype rechargeable - first impressions

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The Vype bites back.





This is not a proper review or analysis, of the new rechargeable Vype - or "Vype Reload", as it is called, because I have only just received a sample. So this is just a quick first impression of it.

My main gripe about the original Vype disposable was that I considered the battery life to be too short, so it looks like the Vype has come back with an answer - the Vype reload :

For 14.99 you get 2 Vypes - which includes 2 rechargeable batteries "to last longer when you are out and about" - and you know what ?  I think that this version of the Vype will work out.

The branding is good, the packaging is cool and if the target markets are smokers experimenting with an e-cig, dual users and social smokers then it fits the bill.
 
(Social smokers do exist and their numbers are completely underestimated. The Vype Reload would be perfect for them. Grab a couple of refills on a Saturday night and that's it for the weekend)
 
Perhaps the Vype Reload would not be at all suitable for the regular e-cig user, but it isn't pitched at us, but as a mass market product for smokers to try, I think that this could be a winner.
 
 
 
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Sunday, 27 October 2013

More from the McAvan Chatgate saga



Linda McAvan, often dubbed "the Angel of Death" or "the most dangerous woman in Europe" for her attempts for ban or restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, is in more hot water.

Following from her live webchat about the subject, which was exposed as a fake both HERE and HERE , she has published a statement on her blog to try and explain the farce.

The official EU Parliament webchat was promoted as a Q & A session for people with questions about the Tobacco Products Directive and electronic cigarettes, but Linda McAvan avoided questions from members of the public in favour of soft questions that appear to have been planted by assistants.

The statement on her blog, quite frankly, just doesn't add up.

I was made aware that online forums had suggested that I had responded to questions posted by members of staff at the European Parliament - a fact I was unaware of at the time.
Right, so it is just complete co-incidence that genuine questions were ignored and planted questions from with the EU Parliament were answered ?

Interesting to note that if she has been made aware about what the online forums have suggested about this, then she must also be aware about what else the online forums are saying about her !

The following quote from her statement shows that she knows that she is being underhand :

however I do not respond to those who pose abusive comments
The implication being that the reason that other questions were ignored was that they contained abusive comments - if this is what she is trying to imply, then she is a liar.

Perhaps she is unaware that the EU Parliament chat app has a complete record of the entire discussion available for all to see - you need to be logged in to Facebook, but it is HERE. As well as this, several people have downloaded a copy.

THERE ARE NOT ANY ABUSIVE COMMENTS - just polite questions from real people.

So for her to say there were abusive comments, when anyone can see that there are not, can only be described as a deliberate attempt to mislead and spread false information to defend her position - a position that seems to be becoming more untenable by the week.


The problem for Linda McAvan is that she has been trying to defend the indefensible - that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as medicines, when they are not medicines. They are consumer products that if left to flourish will be able to compete with and displace tobacco cigarettes and deliver a huge public health bonus. That medicalization will stifle the products and therefore defend cigarette sales.

As her position is indefensible, she appears to be using half-truths and an element of deceit (false abusive comments claims) as the only way she can proceed.

Her final comment in her statement is

 I will continue in my efforts to represent the European Parliament’s position on this issue.

Lets hope that this comment is true. The European Parliament have considered her plan to medicalise e-cigs - and rejected it.




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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Intellicig XL Clearomiser kit

When something new comes out, I love to give them a try to see what they are like.

It is really nice when they turn out to be just a little bit better than what you thought they were going to be.

It is just a clearo starter kit - but I was pleasantly surprised with it.

 
 




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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Skycig - (updated)

A short while ago, it was announced that Skycig had been bought up by an American tobacco company. This made it the second e-cig company in the UK to be owned by tobacco.

I am sure that it won't be long before the advertising and marketing begins to go up a gear.

As a shopkeeper, I have noticed that the product, Sky Start, has appeared in several wholesalers and is priced so that it can be retailed at somewhere between 9.99 and 14.99.

The price is right, for a mainstream intro-starter kit to be sold over the counter as an alternative to cigarettes.

So, I had to buy one to see what they are like.





 


UPDATE  1

[ In the above video, I did not mention that the cartomiser (SD Karto) that I used of compare with the Skycig carto is one that I have used very often, and it is with this experience that I used to estimate that it is roughly equal to a 10 pack - eg, 2 SD Kartos would last 1 day for a pack a day smoker]


UPDATE  2

I contacted Skycig via twitter, to question their claim that 1 cart refill is equal to 30cigs.

After a few replies they published a blog post HERE to explain their calculations.

The Skycig calculations are riddled with a number of basic errors.

The first error occurs when they take a reading of 0.5mg per cig of nicotine from a packet of cigarettes and compare this with the 18mg of nicotine that they say is in their cartomiser.

This is not a valid comparison:

- The figure on the side of the cig pack is that actual dose of nicotine that is delivered into the bloodstream, not the amount of nicotine in the cigarette.
- The 18mg figure for the cart is the amount of nicotine in the cart and not the amount of nicotine delivered into the bloodstream.
- Electronic cigarettes do not deliver the nicotine with 100% efficiency (estimates vary between 25-40%)

So you cannot make a direct comparison with the figure on the side of a cigarette pack and the figure on the side of a cartomiser (or e-liquid bottle)

Another error occurs when they use a "puff count" machine to compare the number of puffs obtained from a cigarette and the number of puffs taken from a cartomiser.

Smokers tend to take shorter, sharper drags. E-cig users tend to take longer slower drags - so one puff on an e-cig will probably be equal to at least 3 or 4 puffs on a tobacco cigarette
So again the figures are not comparing like for like.

For these reasons - with the errors that are part of the Skycig calculations - I stand by my claim that the 30 cigarette figure for a cartomiser is rubbish, wrong, misleading and false.

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 WHY PUFFCOUNTS ARE ALWAYS WRONG

 

 



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The BMA and football sponsorship deals.

Does BMA stand for British Medical Association or Bullshit Manipulated Advice ? I am beginning to wonder.

In an article in todays Scotsman newspaper, the BMA suddenly become self-appointed experts on the subject of football sponsorship deals and use this as a pretext to promote their misinformation and propaganda about electronic cigarettes.

Leading the charge, this time, is Dr Andrew Thomson, a GP. I didn't realise that sport, football, economics and business were all part of a GP's training, but there you go.

He starts off with a pearl of wisdom that comes from years of study to declare that :
"Sport is a healthy activity"

But, soon follows with the twisted propaganda :
Football teams “should be leading by example to encourage healthy living rather than advertising a smoking product, which contains the addictive substance nicotine”.

- Football teams have never been given the role of "leading by example" they are there for the fans to enjoy.

- They do "encourage healthy living" if they are encouraging smokers to switch to a reduced harm alternative.

- They are not "advertising a smoking product", they are advertising an alternative to a smoking product.

- They do contain nicotine, a recreational stimulant like caffeine (which also creates dependency amongst its users) - so what ? nicotine doesn't create a health issue, so what has it got to do with a doctor ?



Then anti-smoking group, ASH, steps into the fray to stir the pot - desperate to be seen as 'important' and looking like they are worried about having its funding slashed if smokers switch - they instinctively side with the GP to help stop smokers using an alternative.

Chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “There is a real concern that seeing people behaving as if they are smoking by using electronic cigarettes could normalise smoking. Tobacco companies are increasingly buying up e-cigarette businesses and could play on this.”

- Concerned about people behaving "as if" they are smoking - it is not the smoking, it is the behaviour they are concerned about - Puritans.

- Electronic cigarettes DO NOT normalise smoking - they normalise alternatives to smoking amongst smokers

- The number of e-cig companies owned by tobacco firms, in the UK, has gone from ONE to TWO whilst 99% of electronic cigarette firms have nothing to do with the tobacco industry.


It was left to Charlie Hamshaw-Thomas, director of E-Lites, to provide a dose of sanity into the article when he said :
"“The BMA are ‘experts’ without evidence playing puppet to the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda.”


Notice that the BMA are not trying to get Carlsberg out of football sponsorship - probably because they know that they would be loudly told to "fuck off" - which is exactly what they should be told to do with this.


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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Power not Truth



Today is the birthday of Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher.

How does this relate to e-cigs ? I hear you ask.

Well, I was browsing around and reading a bit about the chap and suddenly one of his famous quotes jumped out and hit me. It seemed to resonate with many of the issues surrounding the discussion of e-cigs in general, and the political process in particular.

"All things are subject to interpretation , whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth"

I take that to mean that for any given subject there are several interpretations, and that the prevailing view belong to those that have to most power, not that which has the most truth.

To my mind, this perfectly sums up the debate around electronic cigarettes amongst Politicians and the Media, and is especially correct when applied to the discussions surrounding the Tobacco Products Directive.

With e-cigs, there is the truth - and then there is the interpretation of the truth by those with the most power.

The truth is that e-cigs provide a gateway for smokers to change from tobacco smoking to a much less harmful alternative  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs provide a gateway for young people to start smoking.

The truth is that e-cigs are orders of magnitude less dangerous that smoking  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that we do not know about the total safety of e-cigs and so they cannot be recommended.

The truth is that e-cigs can provide a choice to nicotine users, in terms of the range of different devices and flavours that make them a better choice for vapers than tobacco  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs inconsistent and therefore need regulating.

The truth is that the fast growing use of e-cigs normalises the idea that smokers have a choice  -  the interpretation by those with the most power is that e-cigs glamourise smoking.

I could go on.

The truth is out there - it is how it is interpreted that counts.


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All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/friedrichn109379.html#iZlA7PJ0d2SVK9cK.99

Monday, 14 October 2013

The weasel words of Jeremy Mean !

Now, there are some people that would say that a subject with this title could fill an entire book rather than just a blog post, but this time I will just limit myself to the article that appeared in yesterdays Telegraph newspaper entitled E-cigarettes, all you need to know.

Leaving aside that the Telegraph feels that we "need to know" that Kate Moss is a fan of e-cigs and various other (perhaps, more important) issues with that article, lets have a look at the words of Jeremy Mean, the e-cig spokesman for the MHRA.

The article informs us that the MHRA wants to see e-cigs regulated as a medicine because "there is a problem with quality control" - is there ? Where is the evidence that quality control is a "problem" ?
It continues by saying that these regulations should come in by 2016, yes they should have done if everything had gone to plan, but the MHRA did not count on MEPs thinking for themselves and concluding that e-cigs were not medicines and therefore medical regulation would be absurd.

Mr Mean is quoted as saying "Our tests show that different products vary in how much nicotine they deliver" - Firstly, lets be correct here, wasn't it BATs tests that the MHRA used ? And, of course products vary in terms of nicotine, that is the whole point - people choose what works for them, but Jeremy Mean presents this as if it is some kind of problem.

More twisted double-speak comes in his next paragraph.

There are also fears that e‑cigarettes could “renormalise” smoking and promote nicotine addiction. “This is precisely why they need regulating as medicines, so that they are not sold to under-18s or targeted at non-smokers,” he says.

E-cigs do not re-normalise smoking, that is supposition, opinion without evidence - the reality much more simple - e-cigs normalise the use of e-cigs for smokers, nothing more nothing less, it really is that easy.

The double-speak gets worse when he says that they "need regulating as medicines" so that they are not sold to under 18s or targeted at non-smokers - Jeremy Mean misleads Telegraph readers into thinking that only medicines regulations can achieve this - and deliberately fails to mention the fact that the MEPs voted for amendment 170 to protect e-cigs from Mr Mean and that this amendment specifically states that sale to under 18s and marketing at non-smokers would be prohibited, without any medical regulation required.


 
 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

(10,000) Jobs saved - as MEPs vote NO to medicinal regulation.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that 200 jobs have been saved, in Blackburn, as a result of the recent vote in the European Parliament - when MEPs rejected a proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes as medicines.

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/10733599.Blackburn_e_cig_firms____delight_at_ban_failure/

Blackburn is home to both Totally Wicked and Liberty Flights, two of the largest and well established e-cig vendors in the country.

There are many issues about the medicalisation of e-cigs, health and cost are two, but lets look at jobs.

If the decision to regulate e-cigs as medicines would wipe out 200 jobs in Blackburn - just imagine what the figure would be if this figure is calculated across the whole country. Thousands upon thousands of jobs would be lost.

There are many other firms across the country that would be wiped out.

Remember, it is not just the people that are directly employed by e-cig companies whose jobs are at stake.

I am not altogether convinced that my off-licence would have survived the recession had it not been for the growth in e-cig related sales. In fact, it didn't - it is now more of an e-cig shop with an alcohol licence rather than an off-licence that also sells e-cigs.

Totally Wicked, one of the companies named in that article, supply their products to a network of shops all over the country - They are not the only ones. To give an example, another company, Ecigwizard supply to 150 shops (including my own shop). At a time when the high street is suffering, new retail stores are opening up that specialise in electronic cigarettes - these jobs would also be wiped out.

The 200 jobs that are mentioned in the article about Blackburn represents just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the total number of jobs that are under threat.

I would estimate that, as a minimum, there are at least 10,000 jobs at stake here.

The equivalent effect on employment of MEPs voting to wipe out Virgin Atlantic or JCB overnight.

In two years time, that figure will have doubled, for sure. ( The equivalent of wiping out BOTH Virgin Atlantic and JCB overnight ).

 The debate has been around 'public health' and 'harm reduction' but when one looks at the whole picture it becomes clear that any decision to regulate e-cigs as medicines would be absolutely catastrophic on so many different levels.

Medicinal regulation would be a total economic disaster for the UK.


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Name change for a new blog.

Right, so I have decided to change the name of the blog.

Out with the old ecignews, and in with mattgluggles  -  Glugglers blog.

When I started the blog, I intended to write about e-cig news, latest developments and so on - but what happened was that the 'news' was changing every day, with the latest developments in the EU, and at such a pace that by the time I had an opportunity to write about it the news had already been posted 100 times elsewhere.

Which meant that my blog became redundant.

So rather than a 'news' based blog, I have decided to change the name and the theme - it will be more on an opinion based blog - which it always should have been - where I can post my take on things that are mostly, but not always, e-cig or smoking related.


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Friday, 21 June 2013

Clive Bates discusses electronic cigarettes

Clive Bates - a former director of ASH, who has previously worked for the UN, talks about electronic cigarettes

Saturday, 1 June 2013

is Professor Bertollini a LIAR ?


Roberto Bertollini is the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative at the EU, and Chief Scientist of the WHO regional office for Europe.

For such an important position, you would think that he would know his stuff. He should do, having been promoted to such a level.

However, on the subject of electronic cigarettes, he appears to be either appallingly ignorant and incompetent or a devious liar - one of these two.

There is no other explanation - think about it - he either knows his stuff, as his qualifications would indicate, in which case he is a devious liar - OR - his knowledge falls far short of his qualifications and he is incompetent and ignorant.

The thing is, this is not just my view.

Professor Etter is someone who really does know about this subject. Why ? because he is a serious academic who bases his statements on thing like facts and evidence, you know, the sort of things that are backed up by actual research and academic scrutiny.

Professor Etter's areas of research include tobacco dependence, nicotine replacement treatments, other addictions - so he should know about electronic cigarettes, and he does.

Here is what he has to say about e-cigs and Roberto Bertollini :




Professor Etter described Roberto Bertollini's presentation as "appalling" - Bertollini "cherry picked" studies - his evidence was described in terms such as "if a student had presented such a work to me, I would have given him a very bad grade"

EU policy is being decided upon with the input of this appalling, cherry picked, bad-grade, poor student level of knowledge from Bertollini.

So Roberto Bertollini is either a devious liar or an incompetent.

Either way - with this track record - He should not be allowed anywhere near near EU Law making that affects the health of many millions of people.


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posting Hyperlinks in the comments on this Blog

I have noticed that some people are abusing the comments section of this blog.

They are posting a comment, but using part of the text of their comment to place a spammy hyperlink to their e-cig websites.

This can be annoying, because I have to waste my time going through all the comments to delete the offending posts.

BE WARNED

- if this happens again then you risk me writing blog posts ABOUT HOW SHIT YOUR COMPANY IS.

For example :

 
 
Which means - LIVCIGS ARE SHIT, DON'T BUY LIVCIGS - LIVCIGS SPAMMY SHIT DO NOT EVER BUY LIVCIGS. LIVCIGS AWFUL Livcigs don't work. Livcigs shit do not buy.

Piss off Lewis, do not spam my blog.

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Friday, 17 May 2013

Is Lord Sugar going to enter the electronic cigarette market ?


Lord Sugar has been on Twitter asking about electronic cigarettes for a few weeks now.

He is clearly interested.

Today, his son, Simon Sugar posted this on Twitter :



Just wondering if he is getting interested ? Looking like he is.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

More MEPs rush to defend common sense on e-cigs.

Well, before I start this blog post - I just want to clear one thing up.

Some people have emailed me, and PM'd on the forums to ask if I favour a particular political party - in terms  of e-cigs and the EU proposed legislation.

My only comment on this is that who I vote for is between me and the ballot box, I wouldn't have it any other way - and so whoever you vote for must be whoever you think is best - it is up to you.

We have some big supporters in the Lib-Dems, and also the Conservative Party.

The following video is from my local MEP talking about e-cigs

It saddens me that my favourite party has not represented the electorate, but favoured the tobacco companies by blocking the only product that can compete with and displace cigarettes.

I am now a floating voter - who I vote for is now, as I said,  between  me and the ballot box - you have your choice.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Chris Davies MEP - we salute you !

Well,

I was just about to write a blog post about Chris Davies MEP, and then I saw this article on Christopher Snowdons' blog

http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/politics-as-it-should-be-done.html

I couldn't have put it better myself, so rather than just repeat the same thing, I refer my readers to Christophers post - good stuff!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nikki Sinclaire MEP - We Salute You !

Lets face it, politicians have a pretty bad reputation at the moment.

However, one elected representative stands above the crowd and that person is Nikki Sinclaire MEP.

The reason I say this is that she has been able to cut through the EU bullcrap about electronic cigarettes, she has got a grasp of the situation and is fully prepared to say and do the right thing - oppose the EU ecig ban 100%

Well done Nikki - WE SALUTE YOU !

Please watch and share her video below :






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Monday, 8 April 2013

Dr Tom Riddington - a rebuttal from VTTV

Following from the awful article by Dr Tom Riddington, and my review and analysis of the errors made by Dr Riddington which I published in this post HERE

Dave Dorn from VTTV has published a video rebuttal to Dr Riddington which further expands upon the reasons why he was completely wrong in his Guardian article about electronic cigarettes




Some excellent points made. Please share this video as widely as possible.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dr Tom Riddington - Junk science and selective information


Dr Tom Riddington published an article about electronic cigarettes in the Guardian newspaper.

The awful article, by Dr Tom Riddington was one of the worst pieces of analysis about e-cigs that I have ever seen, on the subject that Professor John Britton, head of the Tobacco Advisory Group to the Royal College of Physicians recently told the BBC has the ability to save 5 million deaths in the UK alone.

Dr Tom Riddington has clearly done NO research of his own prior to writing the article in my opinion, simply quoting other peoples references apparently without actually reading the source material himself. Piss-poor performance from a medical 'professional' giving advice to the public in a national paper.

So lets have a look at the article and expose the errors, line by line.

First of all, the dramatic headline:
Watch out, e-cigarette smokers - you're inhaling the unknown  
-  Firstly there is no smoke, and secondly it is perfectly well known what is in e-cig vapour. Numerous studies have been done on the content of vapour, I could mention them all, but just to point out that Dr Tom Riddington is clearly unaware of the huge ongoing research being carried out by the Clearstream Project in Italy.

2 errors in the very title - not a good start for the Dr is it ?

The subtitle goes on to say :
Not only are these products not tested and regulated like proper medicines - they are being targeted at the young.  
- Another torrent of errors from Dr Riddington - The products are regularly tested, they are heavily regulated by Trading Standards, they make no claim to be medicines and as for 'targeted at the young' this is simply a barefaced lie, pure bullshit - If I am wrong on this, please send me a link to a UK e-cig company that is targeting at the young (I am waiting).

He goes on to describe some of the benefits of electronic cigarettes, but then his complete ignorance on the subject shines forth again as he declares
But e-cigarettes aren't a medicine
No they are not, in the same way a Salad is not a 'medicine' for someone cutting back on the fat in their food, nor is a glass of water a 'medicine' if someone has it in place of a glass of vodka.

He goes on to decry that
you buy them from a newsagent rather than get them on prescription
But of course, Dr, would I make an appointment for a prescription of coffee ? - The whole point about electronic cigs is that they are a recreational product for adult smokers and should be as widely available as possible to compete with and displace tobacco consumption amongst smokers.

More ignorance on the subject shines through here as he says
they haven't been through the same stringent safety checks as medicated nicotine replacement therapies
Instead of pointing out that they are a consumer product, not a medicated therapy and therefore are subject to even more stringent regulations than NRT, as ECITA recently described here. Failing to mention that there hasn't been a single death or nicotine overdose due to e-cigs which cannot be said for his 'medicated therapy'. As a result of the CHIP regulations that govern e-cigs and e-liquid, we are much LESS likely to read stories like this about them.

But, then again, Dr Tom Riddington appears to know nothing about CHIP regulations and how they apply to e-cigs - perhaps he should have done some research on the subject that can save 5 million deaths.

The Doctor goes on to mention the discredited FDA study that was thrown out of a Federal Court in the USA - and for the first time in the article he gets something correct as he points out that the TSNA's found in that study were at such a low level as to have no effect and at similar levels to those founds in approved NRT.

But we don't seem to keep up the flow of correct information, as he cannot resist pointing out that the discredited study found di-ethylene glycol. He could have kept the flow of good info flowing by mentioning that this was found in one single product out of several tested and that in any case, electronic cigarettes have improved out of all proportion to those available in 2009 and so the study was utterly irrelevant.

More partial information is reported by Dr Tom as he references a study that found traces of metals in e-cig vapour
researchers from the University of California examined in detail the aerosol contents of e-cigarettes. They found particles of silver, iron, aluminium and silicate, and nanoparticles of tin, chromium and nickel.

But Dr Tom has clearly not actually read the report himself and then cross referenced the findings with levels that would be regarded as safe. One person who does actually read reports and check facts is Professor Michael Siegal who provided the correct information about this on his blog showing that the levels of metals found were way below the levels that are regarded as safe.

Next up, Dr Tom Riddington provides the most absurd bit of bullshit in an attempt to smear the e-cig industry with the claim that they are targeting young people.

A comparison can be drawn with alcopops,

No it can't - lets come back to the alcopops question in a bit and first talk about they study that Tom Riddington cites in an effort to add some scientific credence to the smear. He quotes a survey from the Journal of Adolescent Health. It is quite clear, to me, that Dr Tom Riddington has not actually read this survey for himself and checked the data. 

This survey found that not a single nonsmoking youth could be found, among a sample of 228 male adolescents, who actually uses or has ever even tried an electronic cigarette. 
Lets repeat that - not a single nonsmoking youth could be found who has even tried an electronic cigarette - and yet Dr Tom Riggington is using this as some kind of evidence to back up the claim/smear in his headline that e-cigs are "targeting" young people.

A more detailed analysis by a Professor who has actually read the report can be found here.

.Ah yes, I was going to come back to the question of "alcopops" - often used by people who haven't done their research to describe a "gateway" product. Well. anyone who has ever actually worked in an Off-Licence for any period of time will be able to tell you that the number 1 top consumer of "alcopops" is actually middle-aged women - they are not targeted at the "young", they are cleverly aimed at people who want to feel young - but that is another issue, but yet another example that Dr Tom Riddington doesn't know what he is talking about on this subject.

Dr Riddington finishes off his article with a final paragraph that starts
With a little research, it is clear that we do not know the risks of using e-cigarettes

Dr Tom - it is clear to those that understand the subject that it is you who have done little research on this subject and "do not know".


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Manchester City FC ban football fan for using e-cig !


Health and Safety madness !

Manchester City Football Club have banned a season ticket supporter from their Etihad Stadium - and suspended his season ticket - for using an e-cig !

Okay, this might have been against the rules and perhaps merit the supporter being given a warning, but to put e-cig use on a par with pitch invasions and racist language is such an extreme over the top reaction that it simply beggars belief !

http://mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/14039261-health-and-safety-madness-manchester-city-season-ticket-holder-banned-etihad-%E2%80%93-smok

Idiots.

If there are any Man City fans reading this, please contact the club to tell them how stupid this is - lift the ban, re-instate the season ticket and give the chap a warning instead.


UPDATE :

The Football Club have seen sense and cancelled the ban, handed back the season ticket.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-city-fc-bosses-u-turn-2500319

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

National No Smoking Day

Today is National No Smoking Day - a day when smokers across the country are encouraged to quit smoking.

According to the official No Smoking Day website it is estimated that up to 750,000 smokers will try and quit smoking today. However, experience from the past shows that the overwhelming majority of these people will be smoking again tomorrow, with even more returning to smoking within a month.

Is there a better way than throwing away millions of pounds of public money on events such as these ?

A report (PDF) of the cost-effectiveness of National No Smoking Day found that an estimated 0.07% of smokers quit as a result, and therefore decided that the day was "extremely cost effective". Eh ?

So the measure of "extreme" success is 0.07% as far as stopping smoking is concerned.

If only there was a way to generate results that were one hundred times more successful than this 0.07% and yet cost absolutely no public money at all - wouldn't you expect this to be blasted out and promoted all the time on TV, Radio and every other form of media  ?

Well there is an answer. There is a way that smokers who don't want to quit or who cannot quit can stop using tobacco.

One person who would know the answer is Professor Gerry Stimson, a worldwide expert in Public Health.

He took to Twitter yesterday to urge his friends and followers who smoke to do this :

And then later on followed this up with :


Yes, the answer is simple.

Instead of spending a fortune of public money attempting to get 0.07% of smokers to quit, why not just tell smokers to use an electronic cigarette instead ? 

Simple really.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Do E-cigarettes normalise smoking (or cessation) ?




The are a lot of myths and disinformation in the world of electronic cigarettes, and one of the misguided statements made by people and organisations who wish to stifle the growing e-cig market is that electronic cigarettes normalise smoking. 

Recently BBC reported that :

The BMA is worried that the more people start using e-cigarettes the more it will normalise something that looks like smoking. They have called for the ban on smoking in public places to be extended to e-cigarettes.

This policy from the British Medical Association goes in the exact opposite direction to the anti-smoking campaigners ASH, who say in their report (here - PDF) most emphatically that e-cigarettes should not be included in the ban on smoking in public places.

Lets go back to the original question,

Do e-cigarettes "normalise" smoking ?

It is pretty obvious that anyone who has actually studied electronic cigarettes and looked into how and why they are used, will come to the exact opposite conclusion.

E-cigarettes normalise smoking cessation (not smoking)  -  Indeed, e-cigs normalise the process of stopping smoking tobacco in a way that is easy and familiar for smokers to do. Yes, they are still using the nicotine element, but in a way that it not harmful to others and is widely regarded as 99% less harmful to themselves.

When smokers see many other people using an e-cigarette then the process of smoking cessation is being normalised - more than that, it is the only thing that truly normalises smoking cessation in a way that is totally familiar for a smoker.

It gets better - electronic cigarettes de-medicalises smoking cessation - and this is a very important benefit. Smokers see their cigarette use as a habit or a pastime, not a medical condition - which creates a conflict when the approved methods for helping people to stop smoking use pharmaceutical treatments that medicalise something that the person does not see as a medical situation (which might explain the dismal success rates of NRT and Champix).

This "de-medicalisation" of smoking cessation with e-cigarettes further promotes the idea of normalising smoking cessation amongst smokers.

Notice that I have been talking about smoking cessation, rather than nicotine cessation (nicotine is relatively harmless) - also that I take the libertarian view that people should be allowed to smoke if they want to, but crucially, given access to accurate information about the alternatives.

Groups like the BMA appear so be spreading misinformation about e-cigarettes - and this misinformation could result in the loss of life - so it is serious - Professor John Britton has clearly stated that e-cigarettes could prevent up to 5 million deaths in the UK alone - so it is very serious, and important that accurate information is provided.

E-cigarettes do not normalise smoking, as the BMA would have you believe, they do the opposite, and to continue providing information that seems to go against the truth is, quite frankly, both incompetent and negligent.



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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Denmark rejects Tobacco Products Directive



Danish politician, Merete Riisager (pictured above), has announced that Denmark has rejected the Tobacco Products Directive.

The Danish EU-committee, had a closed meeting friday where the rejection was decided by a majority vote.

They say that they refuse to accept a ban on electronic cigarettes or snus (and also menthol and slim cigarettes - and will simply reject any such proposals.

The politicians in Denmark appear to have the backbone required to work in the best interests of their citizens.

Now that Denmark has shown the lead, will the UK government also demonstrate that it also has the backbone to do the right thing.

More details and a fuller account of this news has just been published on Christopher Snowdons excellent blog here :

http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/denmark-rejects-tobacco-products.html




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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Euro Madness - the TPD public hearing to ban e-cigarettes

Yesterday, I sat and watched the whole live broadcast of the public hearing that was part of the new Tobacco Products Directive in the European Parliament.

It was utter madness.

The meeting was Chaired by the Irish Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, and whilst much of the meeting was taken up by discussions around health warnings on packets of cigarettes, banning "slim" cigarettes and banning Menthol flavoured cigs, the meeting confirmed the plan to keep the existing ban on Snus and introduce a de-facto ban on electronic cigarettes.

The meeting started out with a speech from Reilly about the need to take action to "save lives" which was followed by a lecture from the EU Health Commissioner himself, Tonio Borg.

Borg started out by saying that there was a need to take action because new tobacco products "looked like lipstick" !

Borg went on to (wrongly) say that the EU had a ban on Snus 20 years before Sweden joined (it was 3 years) - the false statements continued as Borg (wrongly) told the meeting that there was "no evidence" that Snus reduces smoking. He was keen to stress that he did not want to "interfere with peoples choice" and proceeded to announce plans to remove the choice to use Menthol, Snus or electronic cigarettes.

There were then some questions from MEPs who did not appear to be entirely convinced. Asking about harm reduction, the first mention of electronic cigarettes, asking for evidence to support the new policies (there isn't any) and concerned that it was prohibition for the sake of it and would promote the trade in illegal tobacco.

Some more balanced questions from the MEPs including "why should we make it more difficult or more expensive for people to buy e-cigarettes?" followed by the first criticism of the 4mg limit and an MEP saying that people use e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

These criticisms were answered by saying (bullshitting) that the Tobacco Products Directive is a "compromise" directive.

Irish Health Minister Reilly explained that they are "anti smoking" and went on to explain that he was also anti low risk alternatives, followed by the bizarre statement that "we are not a nanny state, people can do as they like"   -  except use e-cigarettes (or snus or menthol) - followed by the (unsubstantiated) claim that the TPD would save 700,000 lives per year and a torrent of other errors - The measures should be implemented because "we must not harm others" with no explanation as to just how exactly an e-cig could "harm others" !

Then Tonio Borg came back - and we braced ourselves for more bullshit.

It came, as Borg used the seatbelt argument (these laws are for your own good) as he started talking more windy nonsense - he showed that he was appallingly ignorant of the basic facts, and also a liar, as he proclaimed that electronic cigarettes "give people a false sense of security" and "do harm just the same". These evidence free statements were followed (yet again) by him saying "we are not a nanny state".

Next up, it was time to hear from the "experts".

Someone from the Smoke Free Partnership droned on and on, without actually saying anything, except that it was a battle like the one between David and Goliath (with the tobacco companies being Goliath) - complete emptyness of a statement, and frankly came across as rather childish.

As the discussion returned to the subject of tobacco.

The next mention of e-cigs came from Jean King of Cancer Research UK - her attacks on the tobacco industry ring hollow when she is trying to help them by banning electronic cigarettes. She is opposed to e-cigs because "we don't know what is in them" - when asked about illicit cigarettes she said that they were not concerned as they can not be any worse that legal cigs.

So - Cancer Research UK wants e-cigs banned because they don't know what is in them, but unconcerned over illicit tobacco cigarettes because they cannot be any worse than the real ones !

But just when we thought that the lies, bullshit, waffle and disinformation about e-cigs just could not get any worse - up steps Dr Martina Potschke-Langer of German Cancer Research and the WHO, who took to the floor to tell the MEPs that :

- e-cigs can contain dangerously high levels of nicotine
- that e-cig use could result in levels of nicotine building up and up in the body until there was an overdose
- and, bizarrely, that one of the dangers of e-liquid was that people could put it in their fridge and then accidently mistake it for food and eat it !

The panel consisted of a range of anti-smoking campaigners, plain packaging campaigners and one single representative of the tobacco industry.

There was one big thing missing from the whole meeting.
One obvious thing.


There was absolutely no-one there who knew anything at all about electronic cigarettes that they want to ban. No expert knowledge, no evidence. Professor John Britton wasn't there, Clive Bates wasn't there, ECITA wasn't there - anyone who knew anything about electronic cigarettes was excluded.

It was all a depressing load of bollocks providing a window into the way laws are made from misinformation, ignorance and a complete lack of evidence.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

'Stopping' or 'Quitting' smoking with e-cigs

This is an interesting subject, and one which I will return to in more detail after the MHRA announcement that is due in March 2013.

Do electronic cigarettes help people stop or quit smoking ?

Here in the UK, the electronic cigarette industry has been very careful not to make any health claims about e-cigs. It should never be claimed that an e-cig can be used to "quit" - and this is not because it is not true (it may or may not be true) - it is because in the UK these claims are classed as medicinal claims, and any product that makes medicinal claims needs a very expensive licence from the MHRA. They are always very careful to describe e-cigs as "recreational" (which they are) but not a tool for "quitting" smoking.

But is this correct ?

Part of the problem is that people have different definitions of "quitting" - to some they feel that they have quit  if they no longer smoke tobacco, to others quitting is about stopping the use of nicotine altogether.

So there is a difference between stopping smoking and quitting.

The fact of the matter is that electronic cigarettes are very good for stopping smoking, in other words no longer smoking tobacco, and there is evidence for this HERE.

All the available evidence points to the fact that smokers who go on to use electronic cigarettes on a regular basis will reduce the amount of cigarettes that they smoke or stop smoking cigarettes altogether.

Logically, this has to be the case because the opposite scenario doesn't make sense, e-cigs are not going to make you smoke MORE are they ?

"I used to smoke 20 a day and since I started using my e-cig I now smoke 30 a day as well as using my e-cig in between smokes"  -  this is never really going to happen, is it.

Smokers use electronic cigarettes in place of tobacco, so logically they will reduce tobacco consumption.

Regardless of what electronic cigarette companies are allowed to say, the truth of the matter is that electronic cigarettes help people to stop smoking. Whether or not people then decide to go on to "quit" nicotine is up to them.

Professor John Britton, who leads the Tobacco Advisory Group for the Royal College of Physicians recently said, in an interview with the BBC -  "if all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today"

5 MILLION DEATHS saved - with so much at stake, e-cigarette companies must now have the shackles taken off and be allowed to tell people the TRUTH, that e-cigs can help you to stop smoking.

Now that people know that e-cigs can save 5 million deaths, anyone who takes steps to restrict them is guilty of a crime against humanity, and one day should be made to answer for their crimes.