Sunday 8 December 2013

Trust Me, I'm A Tobacco Controller

One of Brussels' more prominent tobacco control industry NGOs has been taking to Twitter this weekend to engage with vapers on the sticky problem of a TPD which includes ridiculous terms.

You can read the threads here, but you must remember that she is on your side, right? We know this because she keeps saying it.

Amongst all the convoluted explanations as to why the EU just can't drop their stupidity and leave us all alone, was this revealing contribution.
Because, you see, at the stroke of a pen smoking would then cease to exist. There is no point in history where prohibition hasn't worked brilliantly and, well, it makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

But worry not. Monika doesn't see e-cigs going far anyway.

Apparently, vapers should take the deal on offer in the Tobacco Products Directive or it's only going to get worse.
Just in case you don't know what that deal is currently:
- Allows only single-use cartridges.  No refillable units or tanks will be permitted
- Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT
- Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification
- Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit
- Bans all advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet
- Applies onerous and unnecessary warning, labelling and leaflet requirements that may be impractical and are disproportionate to risk deterring smokers who may wish to switch
- Bans cross border distance sales (internet etc)
- Allows only electronic cigarettes “that cannot be operated or opened by children” – something that does not actually apply to cigarettes and matches!
Those are just selected highlights, by the way, see the full list here, where the author points out:
Make no mistake, if implemented this proposal bans every product on the market today and would severely limit options for future products.
So how e-cigs are supposed to take off is anyone's guess. Under the current proposals, no-one would know they exist, if they were allowed to exist at all.

Monika's insistence that e-cigs should not be removed from the TPD and regulated separately has nothing whatsoever to do with the e-cig section stalling the TPD badly. Nope, and her extensive sympathetic Twitter chats over two days have nothing to do with the fact that vapers have been heavily noticeable on social media either. This process has been three years in the making, but there is nothing suspicious in Monika being best friend of the massed ranks of vapers just 10 days before a pivotal vote. She's on your side, remember?

She revealed something else too.
So smoking bans aren't about protecting bar staff after all then, just a European and global policy designed specifically to force smokers to quit? Glad she finally cleared that up.

There was some pathos on offer though. Please have your hanky ready.
Yes. After years of accusing any member of the public opposed to tobacco control of being a paid stooge of Big Tobacco - a tactic that is still used daily by people she defends elsewhere in her charm offensive - Monika doesn't like it much when the understandable accusations are turned back on her.

Oh per-lease. Cry me a river, lady.

To be fair, she explained a lot about why the EU is so intransigent. In short, they are paid to regulate, and regulate they will do, come hell or high water. Apparently, it's up to us to find a way of not being regulated as odiously as they would prefer.

There were, however, some points made which received no reply. EU NGOs seem to have no answer to what many would consider plain common sense.

Well, quite. Sadly, that's the kind of language Brussels eurocrats will never understand.


The Filthy Engineer said...

They don't mean well in the slightest. They just know a good salary. If they were to lose they would end up on the dole. Oh bugger. We'd still end up subsidising them. Best we just hang them.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yep, that was clear in another tweet.

@Kibbster666 @Hifistud @FergusMason1 I seriously don't think anyone saw ecigs coming - not even Big Tobacco. It's a disruptive technology.— Monika Kosinska (@mikakosinska) December 7, 2013

Didn't see something coming which has been around for years before the TPD? Pull the other tone.

FergusReturns said...

That came through loud and clear in my discussion with her: "Don't dare disagree with TC advocates, no matter what they say about you."

Junican said...

What ought to be ABSOLUTELY OBVIOUS to everyone who genuinely claims to be interested in 'health' is that there was and is no genuine reason to rush into regulating ecigs. No reason whatsoever. Apart from the odd silliness, such as one battery among millions 'blowing up' (harmlessly?), no adverse events seem to have been reported. Therefore, at this time THERE IS NO RISK. The evil charlatans in TC have suggested that there is a risk by saying, "We don't know ..... " Well, neither does anyone else. That means that, at this time, there is zero risk. If there is, in actual fact, zero (known) risk, then there is no need whatsoever for regulation. Only when a risk is identified should regulation be considered. In the meantime, the normal laws of the country (and, by implication, the EU) should apply - if some harm results from this 'new' product, then the sufferer sues the manufacturer/seller.
The question then arises as to whether or not this matter is within the competence of the EU. I fail to see how there can be, unless caffeine is also within the competence (as a 'drug'). How many other common substances could be defined as 'drugs'? Water, for example? Oxygen? Nitrogen? Tea? Cheese? Cocoa? If nicotine is a drug, ALL those things are drugs.
In this case, vapers have 'the high moral ground'. In this case, the must exercise the most positive civil disobedience possible, should these proposed regulations be accepted IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM.
It is up to vapers (and I would join them myself!). It really is vastly important to draw a line. For example, Wigan Council arbitrarily banned ecigs in its enclosed places. Vapers around Wigan MUST go out of their way to DELIBERATELY provoke the Council zealots. I mean, to the extent of attending council meetings in numbers and deliberately vaping in the meeting. Create mayhem. Vapers have the high moral ground - and it would not take an army! Fifty vapers, 'lighting up' one at a time, in a council meeting and being physically thrown out of the meeting, would be headline news.
This is a case which is absolute. NO INTERFERENCE. I shall say it again. Vapers have the high moral ground. Go to Parliament and vape in the public gallery. Vape in courts. BUT ONLY FIGHT IN GOVERNMENT PLACES. Do not vape on aircraft if the airline forbids it. Your battle is with Government.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Rousing stuff Junican, and absolutely spot on!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Just to clarify something about this part:

"Only when a risk is identified should regulation be considered. In the meantime, the normal laws of the country (and, by implication, the EU) should apply - if some harm results from this 'new' product, then the sufferer sues the manufacturer/seller"

This is the biggest problem about our membership of the EU. How the EU works was explained to me with the analogy of a child's bedroom. Parents will usually say that the kid can do whatever they want in their room apart from a few 'no-nos', say, drinking, playing with matches, painting the walls etc. That's how we have always seen regulations in this country, but EU regulation is the opposite. In the same scenario, the EU way of dealing with the kid's bedroom would be to paper the walls with absolutely everything that the kid is allowed to do; if it isn't on the long list, then they're forbidden until specifically told they can.

This is referred to in these tweets:

What is sad about this is that an entire generation of UK civil servants has been indoctrinated into abandoning our traditional (and still prevalent in the US) way of dealing with regulation (ie, it is allowed until specifically prohibited) in favour of this stifling, bureaucratic mess of regulation first, ask questions later. As touched upon in another of the thread's tweets.

TomJ said...

I assumed the birds that would do for the Amazodrones would be
Some cracking air-to-air footage on the link though.

Cavalier said...

Just how long are smokers and vapers prepared to sulk,to groan,to tweet,
to mumble,to hover over keyboards,huddle over grids,wait for reason from
those who ,with high reward ,will never listen.
Are those, who feel they are treated like vermin, prepared to carry on allowing
urine to flow in their veins,rather than blood,crawl on their knees rather than stand up,grovel rather than face the funded liars and blood suckers.
Stop yacking about "peace in our time",appeasement is over,dead,finit.
Who are the top 100 anti ringleaders,what are they,can they stand some reality,have they got any lead in their pencils.
Caution,watch out for the cockroach fellow travellers who slither round mumbling,"the ban is in for EVER"...shout back MAN MADE LAWS ARE ALL TEMPORAL, MPs are NOT Gods
Anti Leveller

blowhookah said...

I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well. I really enjoy reading your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! Keep up the interesting posts.