March 13th, 2018

Public health experts rally to support US legislative initiative on vaping

Experts send a message to Congress – do the right thing on vaping and pass the Cole-Bishop language

Just out, a statement from the National Tobacco Reform Initiative –  a group of senior figures and experts in public health and tobacco control – supporting a substantial change to the legislation governing vaping products in the United States. This statement supports what is known as the Cole-Bishop rider to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill (the rider is at section 753).  This language has the following main effects:

  1. Allows all vaping products that were on the US market in 2016 to stay on the market by waiving the requirement for ‘pre-market review’ (s.910), the most onerous and damaging regulatory burden – the same kind of grandfathering that was offered to cigarettes in 2009, when the Tobacco Control Act come into effect
  2. It does not waive other requirements under the Tobacco Control Act – for example, submission of health information, ingredients and harmful constituents (s.904), misbranding (s.903) etc.
  3. Requires FDA to develop standards for flavors and batteries
  4. Places additional restrictions on sales and marketing
  5. Requires certain warning labels and accurate labelling of nicotine content

It is very important that this passes as it solves part of the problem of establishing a proportionate regulatory system for low-risk products like vapor.

Here is the statement from NTRI and its membership.

>> read the full post

March 8th, 2018

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World - the mob behaviour of tobacco control

An update from the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Cape Town

This is an update to an earlier post about the PMI-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW). My main argument in that post can be summarised as: >> read the full post

March 6th, 2018

Tobacco control and the tobacco industry - a failure of understanding and imagination

What about the war on disease and premature death? They just aren’t the same thing.

Tobacco control activists and academics are gathering in Cape Town for the World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2018 (#WCTOH2018).  High on the agenda is the role of the tobacco industry and how to fight it (e.g. see this session:”Breaking Big Tobacco’s Grip“).

In a guest posting below, David Sweanor provides an alternative perspective they are unlikely to hear discussed much at their conference.

>> read the full post

December 28th, 2017

Regulating e-liquid flavors - is the U.S. regulator more likely to do harm than good and how would it know?

Front line in the battle to reduce smoking or trap for teens? Does FDA even know what it is dealing with?

FDA will soon request information on proposals to make rules about what it calls ‘kid-appealing flavors’ in vaping products. Inept rule-making driven by anti-vaping activist arguments and flawed reasoning could do immense harm.  This blog is to help American comrades and other interested parties to prepare for the battle ahead.  Please leave feedback, questions, suggestions etc. in the comments

Go straight to Letter and Briefing (PDF) to FDA about this subject on the Iowa Attorney General’s website. >> read the full post

November 17th, 2017

Letter to the Foundation for a Smoke Free World about money, governance, conflicts and Philip Morris International

For some, it would be better to waste a billion dollars

Go straight to letter (PDF) or cover note and letter

Update January 2018: reply to this letter from Dr Derek Yach

So, a big tobacco company puts up $1 billion over twelve years to fund a foundation with an objective “to accelerate global efforts to reduce health impacts and deaths from smoking, with the goal of ultimately eliminating smoking worldwide“. I certainly share that goal or something like it (see my ‘endgame’ scenario), and would like to see plenty of money spent wisely on pursuing that cause.  But then there is the issue of a big tobacco company putting up the money.  Should it be dismissed as the obviously flawed work of evil-doers? Or is the opportunity too important to pass over?  >> read the full post