In a break from the norm, and mostly because I’ve been busy with homey type things, the following post is a collaborative effort between Rhydian Mann and myself (in blue). Do read on.
As many of you will no doubt be aware, the UK implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive is coming whether we like it or not. September 3rd saw the closure of the official public consultation on the majority of the implementation regulations. Today saw the publication of additional ‘guidance’ under Article 20 section 5. Specifically all about the advertising portion of Article 20. Continue reading “Advertising under the Tobacco Products Directive”
Back in August I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Nicky from the Harrow Stop Smoking Service to talk about all things vaping. Talking about the devices, reasons for using them, differences, experiences and all that. It was a really good positive meeting and could quite easily have gone on for far longer than the time allotted.
The recent event was a heavily condensed version of that meeting with a guest speaker, Jessica Harding and myself. It was publicised as a ‘Stop Smoking Service Annual Update Meeting’ which would include the latest information on vaping, with an emphasis on the PHE Review. This post will include commentary from Jessica (in blue) along with both our thoughts and impressions on the event and those who attended. Continue reading “Engaging the Professionals”
There are currently 73 MEPs in the UK. Elected every five years (although I don’t actually remember the last MEP election). Being involved in Europe means the UK needs a lot of bodies to “fairly” represent the UK in matters being discussed in European committees, councils and so forth.
Over the last few years vaping has been placed under an increasingly magnified microscope, every single aspect from safety through to perceptions have been heavily scrutinized. The consumers, that is US, have been deliberately lumped into the same bracket as smokers and subsequently have been treated no different to smokers. We’ve had scare stories about “cancer causing chemicals” and have been told that vaping is a “public health threat”. Continue reading “Thoughts, Ramblings, Opinions, the Return”
Late last night various tweets were being posted by the media with previews of today’s papers front pages from i, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror and The Times. All four were based on an impending publication from Public Health England (PHE), but as is the norm for the media, the headlines didn’t actually reflect the contents of the publication.
I’ll admit to being a little wary of today’s news based on those previews alone, despite assurances from Lorien Jollye that the report from PHE was actually a very very good thing. As with anything related to vaping and smoking I’m very cynical and the preview headlines all had a common theme which sadly led me to believe the wrong thing. Continue reading “New PHE review, divisive media reports”
To be honest I wasn’t going to write about my trip to Birmingham and the Vaper Expo, but having now had a chance to reflect and sleep on the occasion I’ve changed my mind. There are few things I want to go over, most of it good and some of it not so good, all my opinion of course! Continue reading “A trip to the NEC”
It has definitely been an interesting few days all said and done. A televised debate took place over the weekend on vaping which kicked off the usual shenanigans with many folks sending the usual tweets to the person on the negative side of the debate. Of course, this was aired on Fox which has a certain reputation for being a little unusual, to put it mildly.
Continue reading “Research and Vaping Concerns, Valid or Not?”
The walls are closing in
In a rare moment, I came within a hairs breadth of totally losing my shit on social media recently. Not just a minor spat, but full on warp-core style meltdown. Not aimed at anyone, just endless frustrations boiling over.
There has been a lot going on in and around the community recently, mostly centred around diacetyl and AP in liquids. Well respected names are being called out in a public display of shaming. Yes it is disappointing that diacetyl and AP are still being used, and even more so that juice makers are either hiding or lying about their test results, but that’s not the main reason for the almost melt-down.
No, the cause of this is in fact nothing to do with the industry or community. It is how we are perceived. We have local and State governments declaring that e-cigarettes are equivalent to tobacco. We have these same governments tying vaping into smoke-free laws preventing vapers from being able to vape inside, and some are even looking to ban their use outside. Some are even banning the use of the devices in vape stores.
It is utter insanity, but there is no end to it. In the US alone, many states are proposing or passing legislation that goes further than the FDA deeming. The UK is divided with England, Wales & Scotland all taking substantially different approaches. The EU is a mess and down under is just shambolic.
A few things have hit home for me recently. There is the disappointing lack of support for the Article 20 Legal Challenge especially from the EU countries. There is the consistent head-in-sand attitude of many vapers, the divide between the on-line communities and the in-fighting.
There are some vapers who win raffles and competitions that decide to sell or trade their prizes. To be honest, I have no real issue with it as such, but many do and I take issue with that. For years I tried to win big prizes (non-vape related) only to have the intention to sell or trade it later. This kind of infighting needs to stop, if nothing else all it is doing is dividing the community even further when we desperately need a united front.
We have many organisations across the globe that are out there doing their damnedest to ensure that vaping as we know it is protected and yes even regulated so that it is safe for all. The New Nicotine Alliance is one such organisation but they have a disappointing level of support.
Let’s be honest, if an organisation said to you “We have the support of 300 people” would you take them seriously? Unlikely. Would you be more willing to listen to an organisation that said “We have the support of 30,000 people” ?
Probably. At last count the Article 20 Legal Challenge had the support of 33,437 across the EU. There are 2.6 MILLION vapers in the UK alone! There is over 10 MILLION worldwide!
Looking at those figures alone makes me feel pretty despondent. Every time legislation is passed that is anti-vaping, it feels like a crushing defeat.
Each jurisdiction that goes down is another lemming in a migration poised to go over the cliff unless we stop the momentum. Those of you sighing in relief that this isn’t your backyard would be smart to step up your game ASAP to get out in front of this. It is almost certainly coming to where you live.
Dangerous precedents are being set in the US with a huge 70% tax on liquids AND devices putting vaping on a par cost-wise to cigarettes! At least one store is going to close because of this.
Wales (UK) are looking to ban the use of vapor products in public places, England have said they have no intentions of doing that. No doubt other US States and the UK will be looking at this with an eye on doing the exact same thing.
I’m not going to give up, far from it. My time and efforts are now going to become far more focussed. I’m already a nuisance to my local MP, I’m going to be even worse now. I’m going to bug my local NHS trust and GP surgery. I’m going to bug anyone and everyone who has even the smallest amount of power or influence. I’m going to encourage as many as I can to support the New Nicotine Alliance. I’ll get medical professionals to join M.O.V.E and finally, I’m going to hound the shit out of everyone to SUPPORT THE ARTICLE 20 LEGAL CHALLENGE.
In case you haven’t seen them:
[widgetkit id=”4″ name=”Supporting”]
In the famous words of Mr Dave Dorn:
Don’t stock up, man up and fight!
Let’s turn this small gathering into this:
It is long past time that every vaper stood up and did something. I believe. Do you?
It is very rare for me to post something whilst I’m still incredibly angry after reading an article. But in this case, I’m going to make a bloody big exception.
For a while now the anti-vapor organisations have been setting a pretty dismal standard in their attempts to either discredit vapers or the vapor market. It seems that there is nothing they won’t do, no low they won’t stoop to.