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

Second Reading of Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill this Friday

This Private Member's Bill has its Second Reading in the House of Commons this Friday. Introduced by Freedom Association Council member, Sir Christopher Chope MP (pictured left), its purpose is to exempt electronic cigarettes from UK law derived from the Tobacco Products Directive.  Don't get too excited, though. Private Members' Bills have very little chance of getting on the Statute Book unless they garner Government support. But the good news is that sources I have spoken to in Government see the lifting of TPD restrictions as an easy Brexit win.  Continue reading

The EU's Tobacco Products Directive helps more people to smoke

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee held another hearing this morning as part of its investigation into e-cigarettes. (Click here to read the evidence we submitted to the committee) The witnesses in the first session were Dr Ian Jones, Vice President, Reduced-Risk Products, Japan Tobacco International; Dr Chris Proctor, Chief Scientific Officer, British American Tobacco; Dr Moira Gilchrist, Vice President, Scientific and Public Communications, Philip Morris Limited; and Dr Grant O’Connell, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Fontem Ventures.  All four witnesses were excellent. They gave open answers, exactly what the committee wanted. I won't go through everything that was said as you can watch it here. Instead I will quickly focus on a comment Dr. Gilchrist made on advertising restrictions imposed on the industry in the EU's Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).  Continue reading