Monday, 25 November 2013

The EU Doesn't Understand The Word No

My, haven't those pharma lobbyists been busy!

Via Clive Bates, it seems that Brussels is trying its best to ignore October's decision by the EU parliament and bring in medicalisation of e-cigs anyway.

A document has been leaked (see here) which details dozens of clauses which the EU's pharma sock puppets plan to insert into the tobacco products directive seemingly out of spite. As Bates describes:
Basically, the Commission has tried to smuggle in as much medicine-style regulation as possible, and then added the most restrictive commercial aspects of tobacco regulation on top – thus imposing the worst of both worlds for this most promising product. There are one or two acceptable things in the new draft, of course, but the very bad things listed hugely outweigh them all.
Now, my new gadget arrived at Puddlecote Towers on Saturday, this is the saucy little devil here.

So, for those who don't know much about vaping, let's measure how this one product would be affected by product-centric aspects of the EU's daft proposals.
- Allows only single-use cartridges.  No refillable units or tanks will be permitted.
Fail. Mine would be banned because it has a tank which holds {gasp!} a whole 3ml of liquid.
- Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT.
Unless watermelon is a flavour allowed in pharma gum, my current favourite would be gone. Yes, watermelon, and you're laughing why?
- Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification
27mg here because it gives a satisfying kick. Knock it down and I'll be ordering more baccy from the milkman.
- Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit.
Lots of little bottles instead of one big 30ml one, then? Of course, that's if I can find where to buy them because ...
- Bans all advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet.
I buy online. Without websites promoting their products, that's out the window too. This, naturally, also means that any smoker who is curious about e-cigs and wants to try them as a replacement - or even to quit - won't have a Scooby where to look.

It kinda looks like none of this is about health, doesn't it? That's probably because, as I have said many times before, anti-tobacco (and now anti-vaping) has never been about health. None of it. Only pharma profits.

As Bates describes:
Make no mistake, if implemented this proposal bans every product on the market today and would severely limit options for future products

This does seem to give us a better understanding of the EU in general, though. France said no in a referendum on the EU Constitution in 2005, they were ignored; Holland also said no on 2005, they were ignored; Ireland said no to the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, they were told to vote again and come up with the 'correct' result.

The EU, it seems, simply doesn't understand what 'no' means, in any European language. Why the hell should they be bothered what you, the people, think? They have a plan and they're going to stick with it.

Please do go read Clive Bates' article in full and consider his suggestions for objecting to this illiberal and dictatorial behaviour to your elected rep. Whether you are a fan of e-cigs or not, this is symbolic of the problem we have with gutless politicians and their mesmerised idiocy in the face of the public health Mafia in general.

I'll be badgering my local politicos again, the poor souls. Cos you see that lovely bit of shiny up there? Out of my cold dead hands, you shitehawks.


Charioteer said...

We wonder if an expert fact finder could research some statistics on
Pharmacuetical Nicotine Replacement Sales 2007-2013 including
over the counter and NHS prescription costs.
The rapid decline since the E Cig boom would be most interesting
especially as the target for the drug cartels are the very type who
have flocked in their thousands (1.4 million) to the vaping craze.
The low tax return on E Cigs naturally has politicians clammering on board the anti E-Cig bandwagon. Of greater interest will be the
fightback by the Vaping Collective (writer falls of the stool laughing)
Never mind my little e comrades ,don your fur coats and wooly hats
join the whimpering fag set in the gutters and back yards.
Chariot of Fire

Junican said...

Wheels within wheels within wheels. No one in the WHO, the EU or Tobacco Control in general can be trusted. We have been right to label Tobacco Control as an Industry, even though we might have been a bit 'tongue in cheek' when we did so. The reason is that it has been an organisation consisting of employees who are paid to do their jobs. It may be 'government' (in a broad sense - including local authorities) which is paying their wages, but it is tobacco control which makes appointments and gives employees their instructions. When it is not government which is paying, then it is the tobacco control departments of organisations like CRUK, and even the National Lottery, to say nothing of Big Pharm.
I fear that vapers have no chance. The army raised against them now includes tobacco companies. Are these people going to allow vapers to become the spanner under the wheels which causes the derailment of the gravy train?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"even though we might have been a bit 'tongue in cheek' "

Tongue certainly not ever in cheek here. It's always been an international enterprise backed by state funding (ASH founded with state money and workforce, for example), but is now a giant which attracts cash on a monumental scale. There is no 'David' about tobacco control, they are a bona fide Goliath.

"The army raised against them now includes tobacco companies"

It may be fair to say that tobacco companies wouldn't make too much noise against regulations which give them the edge over small suppliers, but there is no way that EU rules can be termed as being backed by tobacco.

The proposals above kick the living crap out of every product currently available, including ones owned by big tobacco.

Vapers have every chance. There are so many now that a tipping point is being reached. No matter how much disinformation being shared by the tobacco control industry and their pharma toffs, the e-cig revolution has reached to every social class. They're toast if they don't stop telling such ridiculous lies. :)

maxlimit said...

if they read any comments section under newspaper articles they'll see the public dont believe a word of the BS spouted by pharma shill charities or the PH 'experts' touting for funding like streetwalkers on crystal meth

Junican said...

Dick, my friend, I do hope that you are right. The problem is that, like smokers, the consumers of ecigs have been left out of the discussions and even ignored when they voiced their opinions. Thus, consumers, aka vapers, do not exist as far as TC is concerned. The 'regulations' are made behind closed doors and issued as a proposed directive. It simply is not possible, in the EU, for the proposed directive to be dismissed out of hand. TC will direct the debate. Some horse-trading will occur. Some elements will be dropped, but the one's that TC REALLY want will be passed.
Ask yourself why it is that snus is still banned, except in Sweden. Ask yourself how it is possible for any individual country to accept a ban on snus while Sweden is excepted. How can that be? It is totally illogical. Any country which wishes to permit trade in snus should be able to do so.
Think about the euro. The UK 'opted out'. How could that happen? Why should not other countries, if they feel that the Euro has buggered up their ability to control their own economies, opt out of the Euro? It seems SO simple to me - issue your own currency, but accept Euros at a given exchange rate. In other words, each country could organise itself in such a way that, internally, it operates its its own currency, but its tills, cash machines, etc, are capable of accepting either currency.
For some reason that I do not understand, politicians in the EU seem to be very lax. Only a few are prepared to actually question the directives and refuse to accept them. Remember Milton? She thought that the UK had to comply with the Framework Convention merely because the UK ratified it. That is what happens when MPs do not know the meaning of the word "Treaty". There must have been many MPs in the House who could have corrected her. Why did they not?
It is for the above reasons that I fear that vapers do not have a chance. A 'directive' (agreed by quid pro quos) will appear. A Minster will stand up in Parliament and propose it. It will be passed. Then regulations will appear stating that eliquids may only be produced in 'approved factories'. At first, only a small 'duty' will be levied upon them, but that will increase over time, in line with the fall in tobacco consumption. The future is already mapped out.

Frank J said...

Does the revised draft have to go back to the Parliament? Or would they now go straight to the national Parliaments? The French and Dutch votes were the results of referenda which they overcame by confining the next vote to respective Parliaments (representative democracy, wonderful, eh?)

Planet of the Vapes said...

Shared!! This is just... scandalous what they are doing!

Philosophecigal said...

Mr Puddlecote has many figures on NRT increased sales over the last few years. Annual growth rates have been approx. 3.5% but are expected to increase to 4.5% by 2018. Pharma companies are wanting to protect their markets and take the ever booming market of the E-cig. Why spend millions on an answer when you can restrict one and be given it on a plate?
Sales of E-cigs are overtaking NRT products, hence the noticeable push lately on television of adverts for NRT.

JonathanBagley said...

Dick, 10mg per unit means no bottles at all. That is 0.5ml of 20mg/ml liquid. I reckon my cartridges take over 1.5ml, so barely a third of a refill. What will be on sale are disposable cartridges, each containing 10mg of nicotine. I consume about 600mg of nicotine a week, so that's 60 cartridges. The going rate for disposables is £2 a cartridge, so the cost would be £120 a week. Compare that to £5 a week for my current use, mixing my own liquid and £23 a week for buying Belgian Golden Virginia from my local supplier.