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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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).Read more
On Tuesday I wrote about Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire considering banning the use of e-cigarettes in taxis and private hire vehicles the council licenses. But what about your council?
If you live in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, don't worry, I have that covered. I sent off a freedom of information (FoI) request yesterday to all 28 councils in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that have licensing responsibilities.Read more
There was a time when we valued private property rights. As long as it was legal, what consenting adults did was no-one else's business. That's how it used to be. Now we have busybodies from Government, councils and Quangos sticking their noses in where it's not wanted.
We know that vaping in enclosed spaces is legal. We know that e-cigarettes are not harmful to bystanders. Councils should know this, although judging by its entry in last year's 'Vaping Policies in UK Councils' report, Calderdale likes to exist in blissful ignorance. It is one of those councils that sends vapers into designated smoking areas, even though it reviewed its vaping policy in September 2017 as a result of the Government's Tobacco Control Plan. Councillors are not going to be given the opportunity to discuss this policy either. But they will be discussing vaping next Monday.Read more
After reading Victoria Coren Mitchell's column in yesterday's Observer, I can see that she doesn't have a clue what she is talking about when it comes to vaping. She has her own prejudices and has either not bothered reading about the science behind vaping, or has decided to ignore it. She didn't take long to get revved up:
"In my opinion, it’s appalling that a state-funded, state-sanctioned public health body should recommend vapes to people who want to stop smoking. E-snout would probably be available on the NHS already, were it not for the fact that medical licensing requires them actually to justify health claims made on their behalf..."Read more
It is very good news that Public Health England (PHE) is being more supportive of vaping. Very good news indeed. It wants hospitals to be able to sell e-cigarettes and also it encourages hospitals to introduce vaping areas, even in private rooms for patients who are in hospital for a long time.
But the call for an easier route for manufacturers to get a medicinal licence is unnecessary.Read more
, Theresa May pledged to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. It is a worthy goal, and will be popular since nobody really likes waste, especially if it is entirely unnecessary. And at Freedom to Vape, we have a great suggestion for Mrs May as to how she can save a massive amount of plastic waste in one fell swoop.
One of the aims of Freedom to Vape is to lobby the government for removal of pointless regulations on vaping imposed by the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), one of which is limiting e-liquid bottle sizes to 10ml for no discernible reason.Read more