April 17th, 2019

Bizarre FDA vaping retail restrictions more likely to do harm than good

Caught in its auto-induced moral panic about the teen vaping epidemic, the FDA has decided that it would be better if certain vaping products were harder to get hold of than cigarettes, and the ones that were easiest to get hold of should be the ones most like cigarettes – tobacco and menthol flavour. This seems entirely mad to me and riddled with the potential for unintended consequences that would increase smoking in both adults and adolescents.

Needless to say, FDA has not acknowledged or assessed possible unintended consequences – yet these are likely to overwhelm any possible benefits.

So I decided to put in a comment on the measures on that theme. First, some background then my comment.
>> read the full post

March 4th, 2019

Vaping research priorities - my top ten

Following up on the guest post by Louise Ross: What are the vaping research priorities? Have your say… I have now had my say and wanted to share my top 10 priorities.

Here is a link to the vaping research priorities survey If you have ideas, please respond by 20 March 2019.

Here are the 10 ideas I have submitted (now updated with a postscript)

>> read the full post

February 28th, 2019

Anti-vaping activists pitch unscientific fringe positions to a national newspaper

Some veterans of the tobacco control establishment have found the public health opportunity of vaping hard to come to terms with

Updated 2nd March, 2019.

An email originating from a senior journalist at a national newspaper reached me indirectly this morning. The newspaper had sent position statements from nine anti-vaping ‘experts’ asking someone (not visible to me) for a reaction to twelve ‘observations and opinions’ advanced by members of this group. The newspaper proposed to publish these in an article soon after. I thought it may help readers if I provided some responses to these twelve points myself.

>> read the full post

February 27th, 2019

What are the vaping research priorities? Have your say...

Vaping: what do we need to know?

In a hurry? Quick link to the vaping research priorities survey.

Guest blog by Louise Ross >> read the full post

January 27th, 2019

Think before you sign: a new letter attacking the Foundation for a Smokefree World

WHO Executive Board – will it see beyond the pestering of abstinence-only activists?

A draft activist letter to the WHO Executive Board is circulating widely on email networks – so widely that it has even been sent to me. It is a response to an open letter from the Foundation for a Smokefree World to the WHO Executive Board, which is having its annual meeting 24 January – 1 February, 2019.

I won’t be signing the activist letter, but I would like to suggest that others who are inclined to sign think carefully before they put their name and reputation behind this one. I recommend asking seven questions before signing:

  1. Does the letter truthfully reflect the approach of the Foundation?
  2. Does the letter truthfully reflect the approach of PMI?
  3. What is the Foundation actually doing that you don’t like?
  4. Would you be criticising what are, in fact, positive developments?
  5. Are you opposed to public health benefits if tobacco companies make money as a result?
  6. Are you joining the enemies of innovation?
  7. Are you joining a mob?

Here is the draft activist letter that I received:

>> read the full post