Monday 13 December 2010

EU Consultation On Tobacco - Have Your Say

Back in September, an EU-savvy friend sent me a 345 page report (yes, I read the lot) on proposed EU 'interventions' on the sales of tobacco in Europe, intended to be included in an update of the EC’s Tobacco Product Directive. It's the kind of haughty psychobabble we have come to expect from public health tax-spongers officials, ignoring evidence from anyone with even a tenuous link to the tobacco industry ...

"[...] it should be noted that any source of evidence linked to the tobacco industry should be carefully considered in the light of this industry’s long history of trying to influence tobacco control policy."
... while accepting as gospel all research put forward by those funded by pharma, the WHO, or other vested interests who could be accurately described as an industry specifically set up "to influence tobacco control policy". Even our friend, Anna 'anything for a tobacco control grant' Gilmore is soberly regarded as a paragon of impartiality in the document ... despite her income relying heavily on producing stats favourable to tobacco control funders.

It is standard heavy-handed, gleefully authoritarian fare.

The purpose of this hefty pdf was to assess the impact of a variety of EU tobacco control proposals. They were very thorough, too. It was found that tobacco industry employment in the EU (47,000 in manufacturing and 150,000 in retail) would be hit by such measures but, err, oh well.

They looked rather harder at the potential loss of excise duty that would be receivable under their plans, though. They looked at that very closely indeed, in fact, with each proposal measured for its potential damage to state coffers.

Finally, they concluded that some of the suggestions were worth submitting for consultation. Well, actually, they concluded that all of them were worth submitting, except one.

The result is this 11 page consultation document which Simon Clark has summarised into an even more precise form.

- introduce plain packaging
- enlarge the size of graphic health warnings
- ban vending machines
- prohibit the display of tobacco products, and, oh,
- ban ALL smokeless tobacco products
Additionally mooted are regulations on e-cigs, health warnings inside packets, picture warnings to be compulsory on shisha pipes, and a first move towards banning flavoured tobacco (such as menthol/liquorice) as is already underway in the US.

Now, since it's still under consultation until the end of the week, it means that YOU get to have your say. Below is a video (complete with out-takes) giving a brief rundown of the many drawbacks associated with these proposals.

As is customary, the design of this consultation is such that yer average Joe would have no clue as to how to make their view known, whilst state-paid organisations will be wading in with long responses slapping their EU counterparts on the back for such brilliant ideas.

However, Forest have organised an online response form which takes about a minute to fill in. In doing so, you would be sending a message to the EU along the lines as set out below (click to enlarge).

The closing date is Friday, but to be certain that Forest can collate your response and submit it in plenty of time, try to fill in the petition as soon as you can.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to alert your like-minded friends by e-mailing them the URL -

It goes without saying that if you've already added your voice to the chorus of common sense, crack open a nice cold one and give yourself a pat on the back from me. At the same time, you could pop over to Iain Dale's place and have a chat with some of the, err, nice people he has attracted simply by showing his support for participation in an EU consultation exercise.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

Plainly the only answer for the EU and other nazis is to ban tobacco but require all former smokers to continue paying the same amount of money they paid in tobacco taxes to the government. In fact they could pay the same amount of money they paid for their tobacco to the government. Or the same amount they paid for tobacco plus ten, er no, twenty percent.



Anonymous said...

DP - well, if they can consider that someone has died from a smoking-related disease if they gave up their five a day habit forty years ago and that smokers are also passive murderers, then why not?

Perhaps it's time to start lying to those nice HMG data collection people.

...and I still like the idea of riots :)


Anonymous said...

There's a joker in the pack here.
Spain .
Oh and by the way it's not a plain pack ,LOL.
Once the lush funds gone for the beurocrats the whole festering pile goes with it.

Witterings from Witney said...

Signed this morning DP!

@Jay and riots: Game on, when is kick-off?

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought.

The EU have no control over Tobacco Control directly. This area is under the direct control of the WHO because almost every country signed the 'Convention on Tobacco Control'. IE the Tobacco Control department of the EU is a law unto itself, and no national government can do anything about it.

Doesn't it stink?