It is Linda McAvan, the Labour MEP chosen as 'rapporteur' for the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which seeks to permanently ban snus and effectively render e-cigs useless. As rapporteur, it is her role to shepherd the TPD through its various stages of implementation. She is, as you might expect, a virulent smoker-hater and - I'm ashamed to say - British.
I mentioned yesterday that 1.5 billion fewer cigarettes are being smoked in the US in 2013 as a result of e-cig use, a figure that will only exponentially soar if allowed to blossom. The population of the EU is four times bigger than that of the US, including one million vapers in the UK alone according to the BBC who McAvan hopes to force back into tobacco use.
Despite admirable protests by other UK MEPs, most notably Lib Dem Chris Davies, it would seem that McAvan is keen to exclude debate from anyone who disagrees with her blinkered views on e-cigs, as David Dorn reports.
Linda McAvan has seen fit to appoint a known opponent of e-cigs as the curator of the "knowledge" that will be presented at said workshop. Will Clive Bates (@Clive_Bates) be there? Professor Gerry Stimson (@GerryStimson), Professor Constantinos Farsalinos, Professor Michael Siegel, Professor Jacques le Housec or Professor John Britton? Somehow I doubt it. And yet they damned well SHOULD be there.
Why? Well, simply put, each and every one of those luminaries are capable of separating nicotine from the act of smoking lit tobacco. This curator of the knowledge - Dr Martina Potschke Langer - is not. To her, you either quit (meaning become nicotine abstinent) or die. Her world is so very simple.
Where it is possible for her to distort the truth about e-cigs, she does. If she can present a biased conclusion and miss out vital information about e-cigs or their comparators, she does. Frankly, in this writer's opinion, she has no place curating this "knowledge base" for MEPs to partake of. In my opinion, she is not qualified. In my opinion, she is the very opposite of qualified for the role, as her bias is so very transparent.
Indeed, because McAvan's choice of curator is truly insane and solely designed to ignore objections.
Martina Pötschke-Langer is a spiteful bereaved East German who has dedicated her life to the eradication of anything that resembles smoking.
She was influential in achieving a ban on e-cig use in Hanover's civic offices, and considers e-cigs to be a "gateway drug" which she claims causes "respiratory irritation and dizziness" to anyone in the vicinity of someone using one. Passive vaping, to you and me.
She is also behind an atrocious article in the Mail on Sunday which claimed e-cigs are more dangerous than cigarettes which was deleted by the newspaper because it was pure unsubstantiated garbage.
Can you think of anyone who is more unsuited - in the whole of Europe - to collate evidence for or against e-cigs? Because Linda McAvan seemingly foresees no conflicting interest whatsoever.
It's a recurring theme with the tobacco control industry, isn't it? If it is looking like the public are opposed to the latest madness being proposed, democracy can go hang. They'll just rig proceedings by any means possible.
It is towards quite appalling individuals such as McAvan and Pötschke-Langer I directed this paragraph yesterday.
In effect, they'd prefer it if those
1.56 billion cigarettes continued to be smoked until the smoker quits using a cessation method approved by their global cabal.
It tells you all you need to know about the tobacco control industry. Within it are hideous hypocrites who are more interested in the 'control' part of the job, and their own self-enrichment, than public health goals they like to pretend they are working towards.
History will surely judge these evil ideologues to have blood on their hands.