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.Read more
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".Read more
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