June 21st, 2017

A critical review of an Australian anti-vaping polemic

John Maynard Keynes: “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?”

Normally, I just ignore anything written by Professor Emeritus Simon Chapman, a retired academic and noisy tobacco control activist from Australia. It’s usually just too error-laden and irritating to bother with and, on the ‘bullshit asymmetry principle‘, one could spend a whole life correcting his endless misunderstandings and mistakes. But because the Australian parliament is considering these issues, I have made an exception for his latest piece of irresponsible anti-vaping propaganda.

This was published in the Sydney Morning Herald: Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster 20 June, 2017. I hope the SMH will give some space to a credible Australian to provide its readers with a more realistic perspective.  In the meantime, here is a critique of the article, with extracts of the original in quotation blocks and a commentary below each block.  >> read the full post

June 18th, 2017

Avoiding bureaucratic destruction of the US vaping market - proposals for a new approach by FDA

Anti-proportionate regulator?

Can the impending near-complete destruction of the U.S. vaping market be averted?  A group of public health experts believes it can – though time is running out. Led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (@AGIowa) they have written to the new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr Scott Gottlieb (@SGottliebFDA) with proposals and supporting material. The focus is on what can be done by the FDA itself, without Congress amending the Tobacco Control Act.

This is the package. >> read the full post

June 12th, 2017

Pariahs, predators or players? The tobacco industry and the end of smoking

What would he do?

Given the confusion, anxiety and indignation that surrounds the role of the tobacco industry in tobacco harm reduction, I thought it would be interesting to imagine how a tobacco company chief executive might be thinking about vapour,  heat-not-burn or other low risk products. Here’s my best shot – perhaps erring on the side of optimism. Feel free to imagine differently in the comments, especially if you are actually in the industry (you are welcome to post anonymously) or are unconvinced.  >> read the full post

June 1st, 2017

Letter to European Commissioner for Better Regulation on the worst regulation in the EU - the snus ban

A damaging regulation that should not exist should not be defended in court

Eighteen of us have just written a detailed letter to Mr Frans Timmerman, the EU’s Commissioner for Better Regulation (amongst other things) drawing his attention to one of the worst regulations in the EU, the ban on oral tobacco, better known as snus. This ban is now facing challenge in the Court of Justice of the European Union (case C 151/17) by a producer, Swedish Match, and the consumer group, New Nicotine Alliance (see NNA background on the case).

The letter is available here (PDF): Lifting the unjustified European Union ban on oral tobacco or “snus” in the light of ongoing legal action

The covering email below outlines the main arguments detailed in the letter. >> read the full post

June 1st, 2017

Democrats press FDA to proceed with destruction of the vaping market - we respond

Nobody knew nicotine policy could be so complicated

Earlier in May, eleven Democrat senators appeared to be channelling talking points from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids when they wrote a letter to the incoming FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb.

Together with my co-conspirator, Sally Satel from the American Enterprise Institute, we have responded firmly but fairly with an article in Forbes: Senators’ Letter To FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Perpetuates Misconceptions About E-Cigarettes [pdf] >> read the full post