March 24th, 2015

Latvia consults on protecting the cigarette trade by crushing e-cigarettes with hyper-regulation

Latvia within European Union

Latvia: aiding bootleggers and big tobacco

 

More pernicious creeping back to medicines regulation within the EU.  Just as a parliamentary review in one country that applies it, Canada, recommends going the other way, Latvia consults on making it mandatory. This post has my response to Latvia’s consultation, which closes 24 March.  The relevant implementing law mostly follows the anti-scientific requirements of the Tobacco Products Directive, but throws in a near total ban on vaping in public places for good measure.  However, it also goes further than the TPD by making medicine regulation mandatory for e-cigarettes, an option the Commission has indicated it believes is open under the TPD – but cannot be compatible with free movement of goods in the EU internal market or a harmonising measure. The egregious text on medical regulation is here:  >> read the full post

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March 14th, 2015

Canadian dawn

Vermillion Lakes near Banff

Some good news at last from Canada. The Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Health has produced a report, Vaping: Towards A Regulatory Framework for E-cigarettes [report PDF]. Here is my response.

>> read the full post

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March 6th, 2015

Public health experts talking sense about e-cigarettes and vaping

Public Health England recently published some excellent video commentaries on vaping and e-cigarettes by genuinely thoughtful and engaged public health experts – I have collected them here.  These are intended for an English audience, but they deserve a much wider airing because they show what public health could be like if it actually approached the subject with an open and enquiring mind, regard for evidence and an attitude of humility and empathy.

>> read the full post

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March 4th, 2015

The tobacco endgame – a critical review of the policy ideas

Tobacco Control Endgame cover

Really?

[Read this posting as a formatted PDF]

Introduction. This is the second of two pieces on the ‘tobacco endgame’.  In the first, (Are we in the endgame for smoking?I presented some data on global cigarette use to show that we are not in an endgame, at least in an endgame defined as “the late or final stages of any activity”.  This is important because if policy-makers believe cigarette use is shortly to disappear, there is a danger they will be indifferent to or impatient with policies designed to mitigate the harm caused by ongoing use.

In this posting I would like to review the policy proposals that some tobacco control activists and academics believe could accelerate the rate of progress towards the end of smoking / tobacco / nicotine / disease (or whatever it is that is to be ended). This post focuses on the set of policy proposals set out in the May 2013 supplement of the journal Tobacco Control. It’s a long post in response to a lengthy supplement, so here is a table of contents:

>> read the full post

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February 19th, 2015

Fiscal deaths ahead: European Commission wants to tax e-cigarettes

Tumescent tax officials have found something new to tax

What if basic economics tells you that raising a tax on a newer, much safer, product will lead to more consumption of an older much more dangerous product than there would otherwise be? What if the consequence of that tax was to cause more cancer, heart disease and emphysema, and to cause more people to die prematurely?  Would you raise that tax? Would you knowingly cause ‘fiscal deaths’?

The European Commission seems intent on doing exactly that.   >> read the full post

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