Another day, and yet more divisiveness in response to yesterdays PHE Report. You’ll remember that construction companies relied heavily on the advice of the BMA for information about vaping in the workplace, in light of the PHE Report those companies look like they may have to have a bit of a rethink.
Even in a radio interview on BBC Scotland (approximately 20 minutes in) with the BMA and Linda Bauld, the BMA representative admitted that they would “review” their stance on workplace bans in light of the evidence stating that vapourisers are substantially safer than smoking. It was, one of the many wonderful moments of yesterday’s deluge of reports.
Sadly, there are still some organisations that refuse to budge their stance and the Irish Cancer Society is one of them. You’ll remember the debacle surrounding Irish teens and “uptake of vaping” which Chris Snowdon covers here pointing out that the figures used are practically useless to base any kind of analysis on, but it didn’t stop the ICS from trumpeting it far and wide.
You would be forgiven if you believed yesterday’s PHE report might have swayed the ICS towards being more permissive on vapourisers. Unfortunately, they’ve decided to dig their heels in and flat refuse to “describe e-cigarettes as a reputable product for combating smoking”.
We know that the Irish Cancer Society absolutely love to promote the widely accepted, but mostly useless nicotine replacement therapies (see Chris Snowdon here and here), even in the brief correspondence I managed with their “advocacy officer” Eoin Bradley clearly showed their bias towards traditional methods.
Now Eoin Bradley is on record as saying:
Eoin Bradley, policy officer with the Irish Cancer Society (ICS), told the Irish Independent that e-cigarettes are “an area (which) is moving very fast.The Irish Cancer Society will be reviewing any position on the basis of new evidence.”
We know that the vapour product market is a rapidly evolving place and that science is having a tough time keeping up with it, but PHE have just handed out a big 111 page review of all the existing evidence along with views on public perceptions, the TPD, youth & “gateway” effect, impacts of bans and much more. This report builds on the review in 2014 and incorporates research published in the second half of last year and the first part of this year, so in effect it is “new evidence”.
It is this new evidence that should cause the Irish Cancer Society to review its position on vapourisers, instead –
The ICS still points people who want to quit to traditional methods, such as patches, gum and counselling, rather than vaping.
As mentioned in my post on the Irish Cancer Society, if they are intent on pointing smokers looking for behavioral support via a Stop Smoking Service, why haven’t they been in contact with the ever-increasing number of services on the UK Mainland to be able to offer vapourisers as a viable option?
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland has received a number of inquiries about the possibility of e-cigarettes being offered for sale or supply in pharmacies.
However, chemists are unable to stock e-cigarettes as they are not yet regulated in Ireland.
The pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place. In light of the ICS’s rabid endorsement of near-useless NRT, not to mention their own funding sources, the ICS are after a medically licensed product. Strange that they don’t offer this at all, it fits their “requirements” with it being licensed by the MHRA and all. But no.
The HSE has outlined that an EU Directive which has considered the role of e-cigarettes has recommended that they be regulated as a nicotine-delivery device.
New legislation is expected to be introduced next year that will apply similar rules to e-cigarettes as those already in place for tobacco products.
Unlike Cancer Research UK and Tenovus who are both now on-side (Tenovus being one of the sources cited by the Welsh Health Minister as being in support of the proposed Welsh Bill on vapourisers), and both are now coming out and saying that vaping should not be banned in enclosed spaces. CRUK has been on-side for a while and has already expressed opposition to enclosed spaces bans, Tenovus were initially supportive of the Welsh proposals and have now seemingly u-turned. Whether this will have an effect on the Welsh Bill is unknown.
It is hoped that with more and more support for vapourisers in light of the PHE report, that the ICS reviews the evidence itself, there’s only one conclusion they could come to, and in the face of two compelling infographics the Irish Cancer Society, just like Wales have it terribly wrong.
I can only hope that the closing paragraph of the article is actually happening, and in light of the PHE report on all available evidence, the Irish Department of Health takes a step back to look at the landscape and see what we all see, a disruptive technology that is substantially safer than tobacco, a viable option for those wishing to stop smoking (or just to switch, I have no qualms about smoking) and let the consumer drive not the Government, after all without any Government interference vaping has encouraged 2.6 million in the UK to switch with 1.1 million sole vapouriser users, that’s thanks to the wide availability and range of customisable experiences something that medicalisation just won’t satisfy; who will want an effective but boring product?
Come on Ireland, keep up!