Sunday 6 October 2013

Tragic Tuesday

In light of the EU's upcoming foolishness on Tuesday, this tweet couldn't have been better constructed.

Not just vapers, either. Friends and relatives of vapers - and vaguely interested onlookers - will have been watching the insane campaign against e-cigs with a mixture of astonishment and disbelief at the shameful actions of a tobacco control industry which had previously captured their trust. On Tuesday, their belief will be beggared and that trust will be lost.

Of course, some of us have always seen through these charlatans. Since my first article on e-cigs back in 2008, I've always been intrigued to see how far their adherence to pharma interests would take them before self-respect forced them to salvage their ever-disintegrating integrity.

Y'see, I've always said that e-cigs have immense potential for showing the vast majority of professional anti-smokers up as the evil, degenerate, corrupt, and damaging troughers that they are. But what I didn't expect was that they would be happy to see their reputations - and their claim to be interested in health - flushed down the drain with further weasel words and outright lies.

Consider, for example, this jaw-dropping doublespeak in a letter to the Telegraph yesterday, signed by just about every prominent tobacco-centric public health advocate you could mention.
SIR - In response to the letter (October 3) from Liberal Democrat MEPs opposing medicines regulation for e-cigarettes, we agree that e-cigarettes have significant potential to help smokers who are not otherwise able to quit smoking, by providing them with safer alternatives to smoked tobacco. It is therefore important that regulation does not stifle the growth of this market.
Well, I think we can all agree on that. But how do they plan to do this?
Currently, e-cigarettes come under a range of consumer legislation. However, we believe that some additional safeguards are required to ensure that these products are effective, deliver nicotine safely and are manufactured to a consistent quality; and that the advertising and promotion of these products to non-smokers, including children, can be prevented.
Now, please, somebody tell me how anyone in the known world can possibly not be aware that adding regulations will - without a scintilla of doubt - stifle growth of any market?

E-cigs are delivering massive harm reduction results worldwide - without costing a fraction of a percent of the cost the oleaginous signatories of this letter charge the taxpayer for their time - yet they still insist that they are caring for your health by inflicting burdens on a product which renders their own expensive and damaging brain farts laughable by comparison.

Yet again, the {cough} brilliant minds of tobacco control seem to be getting their ideas of economics from a place where no other economist has ever been before. Quite literally, they seem to be living on another planet.
The permissive medicines regulation ...
A permissive regulation? An oxymoron so historically classic as to be worthy of a plaque on the wall of the British Museum, surely?
... proposed by the British regulator, the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, will achieve this and provides a good model for other EU member states.
Let's leave aside the pathetic call to authority - in this case, others with a close relationship with pharmaceutical interests - as if we didn't see it, OK?

What they seem to be saying here is that a regulation which involves millions of pounds of investment, years of form-filling and tests, and which results in a ban on any company which can't fulfil them, is somehow a good model for "regulation [which] does not stifle the growth of this market".

This would ensure that e-cigarettes are treated in the same way as nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum and patches, and that they would be as widely available as tobacco.
That, my friends, is the whole game in a short paragraph.

Simply so they will not be more attractive than utterly useless pharma-manufactured "gum and patches". The fact that levels of nicotine in e-cigs are necessarily higher for them to be effective matters not to public health advocates ... because, for them, it's never been about health anyway.

To get to the stage of having this remarkable nonsense voted on in Brussels, we have seen some quite incredible stuff. Firstly, it has to be said, it could only work if drafted by someone for whom corruption doesn't seem to be a stranger.

It then required anti-smoking organisations behaving like the type of loon we used to see standing in High Streets, under a sandwich board, declaring that the end of the world was nigh due to some inconsequential ill he had inflated in his tiny mind to apocalyptic proportions. The police would sometimes pop into his newspaper article-papered shed to ensure he wasn't self-harming as he ranted and screamed about child-devouring aliens and giant, industry-financed robotic, curare-armed maggots under his bed.

They'd mop his brow, say 'there, there' and warn him not to keep scaring Mrs Lilyfoot at number 42, or the man with the big needle might pop round again. Before walking away laughing and advising social services to increase the dose next time they called.

But this is the kind of behaviour the tobacco control industry has been feigning in order to make the world believe that massively safer equals harmful; restriction is access; barriers to entry equal growth; regulation is permissive; prohibition is availability; and, of course, failure is success.

There is always the hope that idiot politicians will see through these - struggling for a word here, hmm .. disgusting, yes that's it - disgusting people, but the experience of sci-fi novelist Neal Asher suggests that's a non-starter.

Nope, it's just something which will have to unravel by people slowly realising for themselves that they've been lied to for a very long time. A big stepping stone towards that happens on Tuesday when the tangled web starts strangling those who spun it and millions more work out that it's never been about health.

There'll be a live Facebook chat event with the creeps on Tuesday afternoon if you're interested. Just log in and have your say here from 4:15pm. It's after they've voted, natch, but then they haven't listened to us peasants in the past couple of years anyway so it's at least consistent.


Junican said...

".......that 'public health' is a financially & morally corrupt enterprise."

That is the important thing. It would not surprise me one bit if the ecig element of the directive is a huge distraction. The 'morally (and financially) corrupt' charlatans want everyone to go on about ecigs to distract attention from the rest of the directive. Even if the ecig element were dropped, there would still remain all the rest of the 'new, improved' determinations to restrict choice and reduce competition, and to hand more and more power to prohibitionist of all sorts.
The business of ecigs in the directive is a skirmish which does not really matter to Tobacco Control, although it pretends that it matter. What is more important to them is to win the battle, which will introduce plain packaging. But what we ought to concern ourselves with is winning the war. The war is about FREE CHOICE; it is about freedom from totalitarianism and fascism; it is about the freedom of adults to please themselves and live as they wish; it is about ending the grip of propaganda and lies, especially as regards Health.
The correct attitude is to oppose the directive in its entirety.

nealasher said...

I've been considering writing a further letter about how by managing to quit with e-cigs my wife lost her smoker's cough, which would have been agonising after the operation she had. But I just know that politicians only want my vote, not my opinion.

SteveW said...

In terms of medical regulation, I thought this might be interesting (I received notification on September 3rd):

"...Totally Wicked has obtained written confirmation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that none of its current product range is a medicine or a medicinal device, and that it does not need to obtain medicines marketing authorisations for its products. Notwithstanding that, the MHRA has stated that if MEPs vote for the EU's draft Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in its current form on the 10th of September, it will require Totally Wicked from 2016 to market the same products as medicines and obtain such authorisations. In other words, it would have to seek medicines licences for products the MHRA has confirmed are not medicines. This is the clearest statement yet that currently available e-cigarette products will be banned from 2016 if the TPD passes into law.

Asking for clarity on the intentions of the MHRA, as stated by them on the 12th of June 2013 to regulate ‘nicotine containing products’ in line with the proposed EU TPD, Totally Wicked’s lawyers this week received a reply to a litigation letter of claim.

Confident of the fact that its products are not medicinal, Totally Wicked has been proven right and the MHRA has confirmed that currently, under the Human Medicine Regulation 2012, and the Medicinal Products Directive 2001/83/EC, none of the products sold by Totally Wicked as of the 22nd of August 2013 are considered medicinal, nor are they considered medical devices under the Medical Devices Directive 1993 (Directive 93/42/EEC).

As a result of this confirmation, Totally Wicked is not required to seek marketing authorisations or any other form of license for its products. However, in their reply, the MHRA stated that if the draft TPD passes into law in its current form, Totally Wicked, in order to legally sell its current product range, would be required to seek marketing authorisation from the MHRA under the Medicinal Products Directive.

Having established that none of Totally Wicked’s product range qualifies as a medicinal product, it would be impossible for Totally Wicked to obtain authorisations and as a result it would be prohibited in law from selling any of its existing products.

As Totally Wicked’s product range is broadly similar to that distributed by other electronic cigarette vendors in the UK, the logical conclusion to draw from the above is that if the draft TPD passes as proposed, there will be a shutdown of the general sale of currently available electronic cigarette products from 2016 throughout the UK.

Perversely, the MHRA also confirmed in its reply, that it accepted that conventional tobacco cigarettes are “capable” of being regulated as medicinal products, but that it does not intend to include these nicotine containing products within the proposed new regime..."

Which all seems perfectly above board and reasonable...

brianb007 said...

Some good-ish news to relate. Soubrey has been 'reshuffled' out of Health and into the MoD.

God help the Armed Forces!

westcoast2 said...

What if what they sell contains zero nic? Do these need a MA? Is a drip tip a 'medicinal product' after the TCD? A battery?

In the days of illegal CB you could buy a CB radio as long as it did not transmit on certain frequencies. The addition of a crystal transformed the legal radio into an illegal one capable of transmission. It was all in the definitions. So, some people legally sold CB radios without crystals and then separately legally sold the crystals. Some people then put the two together.

How are they defining an 'e-cigarette'?

westcoast2 said...

Another thought.

What will be the status of devices people already own? Will they be able to get spare parts?

Richie said...

Dicky,,While you act like a coward and remain anonymous because you don't want friends, family and colleauges/customers to know about your smoking views your credibilty gets shot to pieces.


I love the bit about "massive harm reduction" for E-cigs, and you have the fucking stupidity to say smoking advice has nothing to do with health.

What would the smoking bloghost loons think about "massive harm reduction" and smoking cigs?, you let the truth slip out there dicky lad,.

E-cigs should not be banned , but massive harm reduction which public health goes after with smoking issues should continue and be applauded.

It gets a bit confusing for the smokerloonies when they try and defend E-cigs but at the same time claim smoking kills is all lies....lmao.


shelldon said...

David Cameron . Does anyone believe he wants to be out of Europe?

Junican said...

Perhaps you should read the McTear versus Imperial Tobacco Case. There, Tobacco Control had ample opportunity to prove "on the balance of probability" that smoking causes lung cancer. It failed even to produce evidence, never mind convincing evidence.
You ought not to believe propaganda. It is bad for your mental health.

SteveW said...

David Cameron. Does anyone believe?

Richie said...

This perfectly describes the pro smokes lobby failure to ordinary smokers, some of the lunatics claim smoking has never done anything, some say it does,activists like Dick puddlecote hide behind a fake name whilst the hokey cokey between the two.

pro smoke lobbyists could never get an agreement where they stand on smoking issues, despite claiming to be united on issues

World opinion is solid and united, the smoking lobby is a fucking muddle, with half the activists knowing the truth about smoking and half in complete denial.

The result is silly causes like plain packs which everyone can agree on, or the octabber spite campaign, these causes change nothing and in no way hide the complete failure to promote an agreed view on smoking.

Smoking either cause massive harm or it does not, if the smoking lobby can't agree on which of these is true then Forest/pro smoke lobbyists will stay the niche lobby group that no-one has ever heard of.

The situation at the moment is Simon clark and one or two other brave foot soldiers willing to be identified unlike coward puddlecote say smoking kills on television knowing full well the loonies who infest blogland think nothing of the sort.

What a fucking mess and its all your own fault.