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 !


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.


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

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.


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 :