Unpopular Opinion


This will probably piss a lot of people off and frankly, I don’t particularly care so, I’m just going to say it:

If a vape shop wants to sell heat-not-burn in the form of IQOS, GLO or any other HnB product, have at it. If you abide by the relevant rules and regulations, go for it.

For one, it’ll give IQOS users a broad array of places to get HEETS and the other accessories for the product, and that is no bad thing.

There. I said it. According to some, I’m now part of the fractured advocacy line that is willing to watch the vape industry burn and then dance on its ashes. IQOS has already fractured the vape community with many saying that it’s made by “Big Tobacco” so it must be bad. It actually isn’t bad. Independent science is coming, but so far it’s all good. If you believe in the continuum of risk, HnB, in general, is higher up that scale then vaping and snus. So what?

Look, heat-not-burn isn’t a new technology. It’s been around for a while, but it is only recent technological advances in battery tech that has made the product viable. The self-same battery tech that made e-cigs viable.

When PMI launched IQOS in the UK back in 2016, it did so with a lot of fanfare. Rightly so as the first market, it was sold in saw an impressive take-up. Along with that fanfare was the usual mutterings from the usual suspects. PMI didn’t pull out of the UK market, it’s been quietly gathering pace in the dedicated IQOS stores, of which there are now four of them – all in London, for now. There’s plenty of places you can buy HEETS from, and yes even some vape stores are selling them. So what?

If they are abiding by the local authority rules, and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (2016) and all the appropriate tobacco control legislation, have at it. It is entirely up to the individual store what it sells. It is also entirely on the business owner to ensure he or she is in full compliance with those laws. In Scotland, it doesn’t matter if you are an independent vape shop owner or a tobacconist, the business owner still needs to register on the tobacco and nicotine vapour products register. A similar register was due to be introduced as part of the Public Health (Wales) Bill in 2016. The very same Bill that was defeated by a throwaway comment in the Senedd. As HnB is classified as a “novel tobacco product” it’s actually exempt from the current tobacco excise duty, although there are murmurings of an EU wide look at trying to impose a tax on both e-cigs and all novel tobacco products. If the consultation on that proposal is anything to go by, the majority of respondents didn’t want an excise on e-cigarettes OR HnB.

Also, because HnB is classified as a “novel tobacco product” it doesn’t, in actuality, fall under the display ban, although many mainstream retailers will simply put the products in the same place as combustible because it is easier (and cheaper) then having a whole new display stand built, or bought from IQOS/PMI.

Speaking of the TRPR, most of you will be aware of the Private Members Bill presented to Parliament recently. The second reading was, naturally, delayed. As with a Public Bill, it has to follow the same legislative process:

Image Courtesy of the Parliament Website

Any Bill is presented to either House and at the first reading, it is simply the short title of the Bill followed by an order for the Bill to be printed. The second reading is where the fun starts as that is when the main principles of the Bill are debated. The Bill then heads off to Committee where amendments can be proposed. A report on the Bill, including proposed amendments, is then presented to the respective House, and further amendments can be proposed. There is then a debate on the Bills’ third reading.

No further changes can be made at the third reading, and the contents of the Bill, complete with amendments are debated. If at the end of the debate, the third reading is approved, the Bill heads off to the Other House (in the example image, it’s off to the House of Lords).

Should the Bill make it through the Other Chamber with few or no amendments, and receives approval at the third reading, the Bill goes back to the Commons for consideration of any amendments made by the House of Lords. If no amendments were made in the House of Lords, it goes to the Monarch for royal assent.

Currently, Private Members Bill 59 is waiting for its second reading. As with most Private Members’ Bills (originating by a serving MP, not a Government Minister), it will more than likely never get passed committee. As you’ll see here, the number of Private Members’ Bills that get as far as Royal Assent are few, given the time-span.

This is why it’ll fail because the vast majority of Private Members’ Bills fail. Even if the Bill fails, it’ll still create publicity around the issue; which is a good thing and may, indirectly, affect legislation.

There’s no reason whatsoever to not support this Bill, nor to not continue to write to your local MP (if he or she will listen), but the chances of it actually getting as far as Royal Assent is minimal.

Bill 59, as you’ll see from the draft, is merely there to strip out anything related to e-cigarettes from the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (2016). Specifically, it will seek to revoke part 6 & 7, and remove all references to e-cigarettes elsewhere in the TRPR.

This Bill will not affect premises where the products are sold.

I have used IQOS. I actually quite like it. I think it will suit a number of smokers quite well. This is a good thing. It’s called “free choice”.

Freedom of choice is what I, Dave Dorn, Dick Puddlecote, Fergus Mason, Chris Snowdon and a host of others support. None of the folks listed has, to the best of my knowledge, received any financial incentive from PMI or any other tobacco company. Unlike Fergus (who I believe was sent one by Heat Not Burn UK specifically to review), I paid for my IQOS which I later wrote about.

To openly state that anyone of those listed is in “the back pocket of PMI” is, quite frankly, talking out of their arse. If you truly believe that any of those listed, or associated with those listed, are “taking PMI money”, I have a wide variety of bridges to sell you.

Oh, if you decide to leave a comment, do have a read of the comments policy first. It’ll save us all a great deal of aggravation.


7 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion”

  1. Reblogged this on E-cigarette Speakers and commented:
    CONSUMER choice. CONSUMER options. Paul hits some extremely good points with this and is WELL worth the read, SO good, I’ll take the opportunity to use the “reblog” button.

  2. I totally agree.
    I may prefer vaping, but others might actually enjoy hnb products more. Their choice.
    When a shop offers it: Great!
    I would recommend to add snus, when it’s legal.

    1. To be honest, I don’t think Snus would end up in vape shops. Some may carry it, but it’ll be available through the usual convenience outlets for the most part. I’d have no issues if a vape shop carried it.

    2. Ditto. Folk have forgotten what e-cigs were about..THR. I will be stocking both HNB and snus products if and when they become available on top of my vape line.

        1. Yes, I suspect that if they want to give up but the HNB doesn’t do it for them, they’ll try vaping. After all, most of us tried everything else before e-cigs came along.

          1. At the very least, they’ll have a friendly, knowledgeable retailer to get either product from. I’d call that a win 🙂

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