July 28th, 2017

Huge FDA announcement on future tobacco and nicotine strategy

FDA’s Scott Gottlieb: “new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation”

It came as a surprise, but today’s announcement from FDA on tobacco policy is huge.  The video of Dr Gottlieb’s speech and background is available here and speech text here.

The new Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb calls for FDA to develop a ‘new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation’ and announced ‘bold and far-reaching measures’ based on ‘ a firm foundation of rules and standards for newly-regulated products’.  FDA announced it would “begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable product standards“.

FDA Press announcement: FDA announces comprehensive regulatory plan to shift trajectory of tobacco-related disease, death

Some highlights… >> read the full post

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