Monday 27 October 2014

German Tobacco Control Demands Plain Packaging For E-Cigs

It seems that, for the German Cancer Research Centre (motto: "From science, to politics") the EU's TPD has not gone far enough in dealing with e-cigs. Not by a long shot.

In this document, they set out exactly what measures they'd like to see instead ... they being everything which currently applies to tobacco, and then some.

Click to enlarge for full wibbletasticness
To summarise, they are demanding a total ban on advertising; e-cigs to be classed as tobacco products and taxed at the same level; a ban on all flavours except tobacco; use of e-cigs to be banned everywhere that smoking is; and plain packaging. Yes, plain packaging! (How's that "domino theory is patently false" thang working out, Debs?).
Packaging of electronic inhalation products and liquids should be standardised in the following manner:  
- Unicoloured packaging;
- Text only without graphic elements;
- White reverse for the indication of ingredients and warnings in black Helvetica script; minimum font size 9 points
- Same format and opening mechanism as medicine packaging 
In order to avoid confusion with tobacco cigarettes and to prevent that products entice adolescents into tobacco consumption, a standardised form should be introduced for e-inhalation products. This form should clearly differ from cigarettes in shape and colour and should be as unattractive as possible to adolescents. Therefore, only grey or black should be permitted as colours for the products (obviously not familiar with the latest 'science' - DP).
Tobacco control being the one-trick pony that it is, naturally all of this atom-bomb-to-crush-peanut legislation is urgently required because, err, the children. The document takes a mere five minutes to read (and I do recommend you read it to understand how these truth-avoiding lunatics think) but mentions "adolescents" 30 times, "child" 25 times, "young" 13, and "youth" 9. Concepts such as common sense and basic sanity, on the other hand, are sadly conspicuous by their absence, as the section justifying a ban on e-cigs, err, everywhere shows quite clearly.
In order to ensure a preventive health protection, the population  should be protected against any pollution in indoor air. This can be achieved through the application of smoke-free policies to electronic inhalation products. E-inhalation products should not be used in enclosed public places including, but not restricted to public buildings, educational institutions, health care facilities, cultural and leisure facilities, sports clubs, pubs, public transport as well as all other facilities in which children and adolescents are present. Moreover, the inclusion of e-inhalation products in Non-Smoking Acts simplifies  the enforcement of the laws, as it is often not evident at first glance whether someone is smoking a cigarette or vaping an e-cigarette. 
Strict Non-Smoking Acts without exceptions have a greater effect on smoking behaviour – particularly in young people – than policies with exceptions. This is because smokers crave for a cigarette when they see others smoking – they even feel an urge to smoke when they see people using electronic cigarettes. Therefore, the use of e-cigarettes may cause smokers to smoke more and provoke a relapse in ex-smokers. Thus the use of e-inhalation products in non-smoking areas undermines an important side-effect of the Non-Smoking Acts: the motivation to smoke less or to stop completely.
But then, one of the authors is Martina Pötschke-Langer, a vintage tobacco control moon-howler of the first water who "fights for laws" so - it won't surprise you to know - has been working as adviser to the pharma-funded but unelected WHO since 1999, and who I'm pretty damn certain would have been front and centre during the totalitarian farce in Moscow earlier this month. She claims not to need 'science' to ban e-cigs because "we do not need a new nicotine product available on the market", so was an obvious choice as "curator of the knowledge" by Linda McAvan when she was rigging the EU's Tobacco Products Directive to drive through policies to kill off vaping for good.

Every day that the disgraceful assault on e-cigs by the tobacco control industry continues merely proves beyond doubt that it has never been about health. One day, politicians might start to notice instead of being manipulated and played by rancid self-enriching societal hooligans like Pötschke-Langer.

H/T Clive Bates on Twitter


Roger Hall said...

I'm not wholly convinced that politicians or at least those with a semblance of policy making authority are as bereft of common sense as you infer. A politician is primary motivated by popularity leading to votes and the reality of ecigs is that if they are to be allowed to succeed unabated this could lead to the demise of the Tobacco industry and the subsequent denial of all the sin taxes that tobacco provides. A politician will be sold the fact that the consequences of eliminating tobacco smoking will be the need to replace the £12 billion of UK exchequer revenue paid for by 20% of the smoking population, notwithstanding the long term affects of a depleted UK Tobacco and Pharma industry in relation to the UK's balance of payments etc. From a politicians perspective this ultimately means that 100% of the voting population will have to find the lost £12 billion pounds, whereas currently the 20% of smokers now pay this tax. So the decision for a politician focused on popularity and votes is a simple one - allow 20% of the population to willingly pay a tax that the majority don't have a problem with or somehow replace this revenue by alternative tax raising measures that will affect 100% of the voting population. Tax rises of any sort are seen as political suicide and politicians know and understand that however unpleasant tobacco smoking may be the alternative option of ecigs replacing tobacco smoking poses significant budgetary and political problems, so they are simply apathetic to the truth and no doubt justify the unnecessary smoking deaths caused by their actions as "for the greater good".

Dick_Puddlecote said...

An excellent point which I've heard before from many. It certainly could have merits, but if that's the case why do politicians seem continually hell-bent on demonising smoking so much that Imperial and JTI have both now jumped ship from the UK with all the long term effects on employment and revenues? If they start talking about taxing e-cigs you'll be proved correct of course, but that might be a way off yet.

I don't credit politicians with that much intelligence myself. I think it used to be the case that they understood the value of smoker receipts, but the new breed are straight from college to PPE and into politics, I wouldn't trust them to handle a basic Excel cash flow spreadsheet with any competence.

harleyrider1903 said...

Lets see them also point out that hospitals have been using ecig juice as a sterilizing agent for 60 years!

RobC(UK) said...

"Helvetica script; minimum font size 9 points" They really are clueless.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

They're ahead of you. Remember that nothing, nothing at all, is safe if it isn't made by pharma.

"The substances used are authorised for use in food – the physiological effect they may have, if inhaled repeatedly and daily over a long period, is unknown" (page 2)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Tobacco control seems to have decided that dictating text font size makes them look clever while also satisfying their control freak inner self.

Of course, to get to that point they usually have to produce junk science based on an entirely different font size first.

Martina's German doc doesn't even attempt that, just plucks Helvetica and 9 points out of thin air. I'm betting a tiny amount of research would find that's a pharma standard. ;)

Norbert Zillatron said...

The problem in Germany is: She and her bovine excrement are always unquestioned cited as THE authority. And she has sycophants everywhere. In the BFARM (like the MHRA) as well as the BfR (federal Institute for risk assessment). They all refer to her. And she in turn incestously refers to them. and the media are the fan for her BS. She always has the juiciest headlines.

She's the (WH)Oracle of Heidelberg.

Scientists who dare to blaphemously voice doubts are slandered and blocked on every level. Up to and including UN sanctions. E.g. Professor Romano Grieshaber. He wrote a very enlightening book about his (massacred) attempt to apply real science to the discussion about SHS: Passivrauchen: Götterdämmerung der Wissenschaft

Legiron said...

Quite clueless.Everyone knows it should be Comic Sans.

The Blocked Dwarf said...

" Therefore, only grey or black should be permitted as colours for the products"

Because no teen would ever be seen dead smoking Sobraine Black Russians?
Fashion has no doubt changed since my disco days but in my day, 80s, smoking
either Black Russians or their cocktail counterparts was a legally binding requirement for anyone of a gothic persuasion.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Again, another person makes the mistake to assume, that the public have the slightest CLUE, that where they put their cross at the ballot box, has the FIRST thing to do with what happens in real life.

You could show 100% of the population the above figures, and for 90% of them, it just WOULD not corelate with some Thursday on a grey and dreary winters day in Wigan, when they are asked to vote for the party they have ALWAYS voted for, because "Pappy and Granpappy voted for them as well."

All they are interested in, is that Labour suppported the Unions in 1918, and the Cons did not, or whatever.

OR, the "new lot" who will vote for anything that offers them a 0,00000001% tax cut more than the OTHER party.

You can NOT talk sense to the imbicile known generaly as "the voter." they are as thick as pig shit. TOO thick to even DESERVE democcracy.

(To say nothing of the fact, they are so full of anti smoking propoganda, they would probably volunteer for the extra tax even if they DI understand it.

harleyrider1903 said...

Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).
That's authorized for direct inhalation Id say..........The ingredients in tobacco are also FDA approved food additives and they are also inhaled.

harleyrider1903 said...

Hey now the kiddos who go Goth would love it! Along with Cultists.

The Blocked Dwarf said...

"You can NOT talk sense to the imbicile known generaly as "the voter." they are as thick as pig shit. TOO thick to even DESERVE democcracy."

Working on the principle that the average voter is an above average idiot, we should elect the party that gets the least votes!

nisakiman said...

I remember reading a book years ago (no, I can't remember the title) where the government was elected in a similar way to jurors called for jury service, picked at random (but vetted for a basic level of intelligence and criminal record) and with a strictly limited term of office, non-repeatable.

I remember thinking at the time what an eminently sensible system that could be. People from real life, with real jobs and having the same real problems as everybody else.

The only fly in the ointment of course would be the civil service, who currently run the show anyway and would no doubt do so whatever the form of government.