October 24th, 2014

Doctors, smoking and money

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

Doctors: incentivised by payments for activity

Updated 26/10. The new NHS Five Year view was published this week*.  There was much wailing about an £8 billion ‘black hole’ in the finances, and stirring exhortation about ‘Getting Serious on Prevention‘.  The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, declared he “wants a smoke-free Britain”.

Not serious to the point of recognising that 700,000 ex-smokers are vapers, and that this massive prevention effect has happened without public spending and without the public health and medical establishments doing anything (other than trying to obstruct it).  If they were truly radical, the leadership of the NHS would recognise this consumer based strategy for its enormous potential and get to work on making it happen rather than sabotage it. Oddly, the doctors’ trade union, the BMA, has taken one of the most hostile lines on vaping.  Is that a mistake? Or could there be money involved? >> read the full post

October 18th, 2014

Professor Gerry Stimson – reaction to WHO FCTC position on e-cigarettes (ENDS)

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 14.45.06

UPDATE: The E-cigarette (‘ENDS’) final language

Statement On the Declaration of the 6th Conference of the Parties of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). 

By Professor Gerry Stimson*, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College, London and co-director of Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC) >> read the full post

October 13th, 2014

Guest blog by Louise Ross: Whose health are we talking about?

Intro by Clive Bates. You may remember Louise Ross’s brilliant first outing on this blog: Let there be light!. Louise runs the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Leicester and she was full of optimism for the potential of vaping to help smokers quit smoking.   She has carried on the mission and inspired and enthused many others.  But here, in a new guest blog,  she explains her anger and ‘speechless sadness’ at the damage caused by WHO when it published its report on ‘Electronic Nicotine delivery Systems’ (e-cigarettes) in August – criticised in full in my detailed report and letter to COP6 delegates.

The good thing is that Louise has renewed determination. She is an example to us all… and the truth will eventually prevail.

Louise Ross’s guest blog starts here… 

photo for article


>> read the full post

October 10th, 2014

Totally Wicked legal challenge to the Tobacco Products Directive e-cigarette measures


Where the hubris and ignorance of European Union legislators is brought painfully to account

On Monday 6th October, the ‘Totally Wicked’ challenge to Article 20 (electronic cigarettes) of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) passed an important milestone: the High Court of Justice – Administrative Court has now referred several questions addressing the legality of provisions on e-cigarettes to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – see Guardian write up. It’s a good moment to look at what the case involves – so here is a briefing for the non-lawyer.  >> read the full post

October 9th, 2014

Review of the FCA COP-6 position on e-cigarettes

FCA position on ENDS

Not bad. But good enough?

On 7 October 2014, the Framework Convention Alliance, the largest alliance of NGOs that attend and lobby in the WHO FCTC meetings, published its COP-6 policy brief on ENDS (e-cigarettes).  Its policy briefing sets a out a position that reflects a careful navigation through the middle ground between the pro- and anti- harm reduction factions in that alliance, while basically not saying too much that is wrong or likely to cause harm. It is a real achievement that they reached agreement at all, given how polarising this issue is within that community.  The paper is a positive contribution to the negotiations and important corrective to the stance taken by WHO. Some more thoughts: >> read the full post