"Government missing opportunity with e-cigarettes", says Commons Science and Technology Committee

Responding to the positive report on e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association, who runs the Freedom to Vape campaign, said: "This report is very welcome. We have campaigned for over two years for the restrictions that are placed on vapers and the vaping industry in the EU's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), to be scrapped. We are pleased that the committee agrees that there is no scientific rationale behind the restrictions in the strength of e-liquid and the size of tanks. "Public Health England has described e-cigarettes as the number one quit aid in the UK. That in itself should be a good enough reason to ease advertising restrictions. We are pleased that the committee agrees.  Continue reading

Freedom to Vape calls on the Government to scrap vape tax plans

The Freedom Association's 'Freedom to Vape' campaign has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Health Secretary urging them to abandon plans to introduce a vape tax.  In a joint letter to Philip Hammond and Matt Hancock signed by the Institute of Economic Affairs, TaxPayers' Alliance, Centre for Policy Studies, Adam Smith Institute, New Nicotine Alliance, UK Vaping Industry Association, and The Freedom Association, the Government was reminded that it "must continue to be an international standard-bearer for harm reduction public health policy".  Continue reading

UK Vaping Industry Association Forum

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the first UKVIA Forum in London on Monday 23rd April. I was on the opening panel discussing regulation. Other panellists included Chris Snowdon from the IEA and Clive Bates, who amongst many other things, is a former director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). The session was expertly chaired by Mark Pawsey MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for E-Cigarettes.  It was great to see the retail sector, smaller vaping businesses, tobacco companies, regulators, media, MPs, campaign groups and think tanks all under one roof. Continue reading

Towards a smoke free future

I had an enjoyable evening yesterday at an event hosted by the New Statesman and sponsored by Philip Morris International (PMI). How long will it take before the country becomes smoke-free? As Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affiars and one of the panellists, said, considering the definition of smoke-free is under five per cent of the population, we can say that the UK is heroin free! (The other panellists were Dr. Roger Henderson, a GP and smokign cessation expert, and Sarah Jakes, Chair of the New Nicotine Alliance. The session was chaired by Anna Hodgekiss, a freelance health/medical journalist)  Thankfully all the panellists agreed that forcing people to give up smoking is not the way to proceed. It is about giving smokers options. All the panellists readily agreed that vaping is not for everyone. Just because it worked for me, doesn't mean that someone else will want different options such as heat not burn.  Continue reading

How many councils in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire ban vaping in taxis?

The figures are better than I thought they would be. We sent freedom of information requests to the 28 councils in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that are responsible for licensing. 27 responded. Out of those 27 councils, 8 ban vaping in one way or another. They are Bradford, City of York (which currently has a ban for private hire vehicles, but not taxis. This is changing soon, though, and there will be an outright ban), East Riding of Yorkshire, Leeds (which is about to implement a ban), North Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Scarborough (which allows passengers to vape, but bans drivers), and Selby.  Continue reading