July 21st, 2017

Challenging the prohibitionists - submissions to Australian parliamentary inquiry into e-cigarettes

Since 2013, UK smoking prevalence fell at three times the rate of Australia despite Australia’s plain packs and sharp tax increases. Why might that be?

Really, it should be a no-brainer!  But here is an effort to encourage Australia’s legislators to look beyond the unaccountable clique that dominate Australia’s tobacco control field, and instead to look kindly on lifting the absurd Australian de facto prohibition of e-cigarettes and other low risk nicotine products.

Let’s boil it down to its essentials: supporters of e-cigarette prohibition somehow think it makes sense to deny at-risk citizens, smokers, access to much safer products that are alternatives to the market leader and to only allow the most dangerous products, namely “tobacco prepared and packed for smoking“, onto the consumer nicotine market. Well, I guess it would make sense if you were trying to protect the cigarette trade and harm as many smokers as possible. In my view, Australia’s policy has no basis in science, ethics or compassion. The approach bears the twin hallmarks of fanaticism and incompetence, and it needs to change.

So, here at some length is my submission to the Parliament of Australia, House Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, Inquiry into The Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia [link to inquiry]

Submission #271 by Clive Bates (PDF – 30 pages)

Executive summary (1 page) reproduced below… >> read the full post

July 18th, 2017

English tobacco control plan embraces tobacco harm reduction - world first

Positive…

The Department of Health (UK/England) today released its tobacco control plan for England: Towards a smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England (PDF)

The embrace of vaping and other low-risk alternatives to smoking runs through the text. This is probably the first significant government policy paper anywhere that recognises and pursues the opportunities of tobacco harm reduction, rather than defining these technologies as a threat to be suppressed.  For that, the Department of Health and its allies deserve considerable credit. >> read the full post

July 14th, 2017

American experts call for risk-based reform of FDA regulation of tobacco and nicotine

Note to FDA – this means you!

There have been two very encouraging initiatives in the United States in the last month, both captured in the form of letters to recently-appointed FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Some of the most experienced US tobacco control experts are showing support for tobacco harm reduction and calling for a rethink of the approach to regulating low-risk nicotine products, such as vaping technologies. I see this as an emerging second front in US public health tobacco policy – one that is more pragmatic and focussed on tackling disease as effectively as possible than the established coalition. >> read the full post

July 9th, 2017

Reckless and pointless at the same time - FDA proposes NNN standard for smokeless tobacco

Just looking for our submission to FDA’s consultation? Here it is: Submission by Clive Bates & David Sweanor – PDF

But carry on below for some discussion and explanation of the chart. >> read the full post

June 27th, 2017

Time for the Government of Sweden to get behind snus and tobacco harm reduction

Stockholm Syndrome: is the Government of Sweden captured by baseless tobacco control dogma about snus?

One of the more puzzling things about snus is the reluctance of Sweden’s government to claim credit for what is by any standards an extraordinary public health achievement. So here I write to the relevant ministers requesting that they acknowledge Sweden’s success, show some leadership and promote the concept of tobacco harm reduction.  The challenge to the EU prohibition of snus brought by Swedish Match and New Nicotine Alliance provides an opportunity for the Government of Sweden to change its approach.  I wrote the following heartfelt plea, attaching the letter that 18 comrades sent sent to the European Commission: Lifting the unjustified European Union ban on oral tobacco or “snus” in the light of ongoing legal action hoping it might encourage a more constructive pro-health, pro-trade, post-enlightenment approach.  >> read the full post