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

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