Their latest huge effort managed to sway Labour into opposing Lord Callanan's fatal motion and downgrade it to one merely expressing regret. You'd think Arnott and her pals would be happy with that, wouldn't you?
Not so, unfortunately, because it seems they won't rest until they see vaping ground into the dirt. Thanks to fellow jewel robber NT by email, you can read what ASH has been sending to MPs in the run up to the (pretty impotent) amended 'regret' motion.
Subject: Potential debates on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations in both Houses
Thank you for the support you have given for measures to reduce smoking prevalence in general, and for standardised 'plain' packaging of cigarettes in particular.
We are writing to update you about likely future debates on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations which include important measures on tobacco regulation as well as on the regulation of electronic cigarettes.
Lord Callanan's motion to annul the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) has been turned into a regret motion, and there are two other regret motions from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. A date for a debate in the House of Lords on the motions has not yet been tabled and is highly unlikely to be before the referendum recess.
In the House of Commons the application by Anne Main MP for an emergency commons debate on the TRPR was turned down by the speaker.
I attach a brief endorsed by ASH, Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royals Society of Public Health. All these organisations support the use of electronic cigarettes by smokers as an alternative to smoking. While the regulations will not force the vast majority of the products used by vapers off the market, there are important issues to be discussed with respect to electronic cigarettes which could be discussed in any debate.
If and when debates are tabled in either House we will be in touch.
Best wishes.And here is the brief that was circulated with the e-mail. Pay special attention to points 10 to 16 which show the level of contempt that ASH hold for vapers and their efforts to highlight the dangers of the TPD.
Deborah Arnott MBA FRCP (Hon)
Action on Smoking & Health
Staggered? You should be.
Remember that it is a specific term of the annual grant ASH receive that they must not use any of the cash to "support activity intended to influence or attempting to influence Parliament, Government or political parties, ... or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action".
I wonder where lobbying MPs in advance of a parliamentary vote and suggesting biased points that they can make during the debate fits in with that premise?