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Monday, 18 November 2013

Why I wont sign the Save ecigs letter Mark 11 and how I might

There was a huge uptake on my innocent blog about the personal reason I wouldn't sign the Save e cigs letter. It was suggested I send the people/person who set it up MY letter. I don't know who this is - and I do hope I have hurt no feelings. Basically, as I said, the letter is great! If it were not upsetting just in small part to dual users and smokers (who might be considering vaping) I would promote it with all my heart and mind. Whoever wrote it did so with the most noble intentions.

Because my blog Why I won't sign went out so far, I need to publicly explain why I'm so uneasy about vaping, us vapers and smokers as a whole.

This is how I think the Save ecigs letter should read. This is only my opinion. I think this way, it comes across much stronger and without the tearjerker emotion - the appeal of the "cheeeldren" and Second Hand Smoke that Tobacco Control has always used to turn society one against the other, father against son, children against parents, mothers against their children, teachers against parents, all of society against the smoker in a most personally ugly way. Everyone becomes righteous by the power invested in them by Tobacco Control.

But we need to remember who Tobacco Control is and how devious they have been in their mission. Trying to placate them is not the way - no need to mention the "cheeldren" or imply SHS. They are going to keep shooting at us (vapers) on only one issue. Electronic cigarettes are a substitute for smoking. They normalise smoking.

This is mine from a recent blog - "Vapers are sitting on the fence, dangling their toes on the side of anti-tobacco. We really need to wake up to the truth of their world drive to eradicate smoking in every way possible, by any means. If we are not aware of their nefariousness in doing so, we will be taken by surprise/are taken by surprise when vapers are simply considered smokers. In that capacity we will be invisible, discounted and politically disemboweled.

I'm not holding my breath that we will be considered any differently than smokers and vaping will become simply NRT."

Many, many times before, I have pointed out that Tobacco Control has lied to us all about SHS. They have used it as a weapon themselves and weaponised society too. They intend to make the world a tobacco free planet, so that nobody smokes.

Our weakest point is that vaping is a kind of smoking. We cannot avoid this accusation - it is the weapon that will be used against us because any kind of smoking-like-habit is not what Tobacco Control desire.

In affirming that smokers have the right to smoke without persecution or our negative judgement, we strengthen our position that vaping fulfills us because it is our kind of "smoking" and we should have that choice too, just like smokers are legally entitled to smoke if they choose.

I feel very strongly that the habit of smoking, whether it is tobacco or vaping, is the "right" that needs defending by us all. Smokers should not put down vapers and vapers should not put down smoking. I wish there was some way we could unite. We need to be working together somehow - but how exactly, escapes me. The only idea I have is that both vapers and smokers should demand a review of the insane smoking bans that have come about by Tobacco Control ideology at the expense of good sense. We need to repeat over and over to ourselves, as we click our red shoes together like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz that "Smoking is normal".

So here is the letter I would sign because it is true. 

Jane Ellison MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health
Department of Health,
Richmond House,
79 Whitehall, London,
London SW1A 2NS

Dear Minister,

Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive

For 1.5 million people in the UK and 12 million people throughout the EU, e-cigarettes have and continue to provide a viable alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.  They have enabled smokers to leave smoking behind, either on a full or part-time basis.

However, we are genuinely concerned about proposals to amend the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that could see e-cigarettes only being allowed on the market if they are authorised pursuant to Directive 2001/83/EC (the Medicinal Products Directive).

As you will be aware, a cross party majority of MEPs from across the European Parliament, including UK Conservative and Liberal Democrat MEPs, recently voted against the medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes.  Whilst we are obviously delighted by the result, we know that this vote is only one part of a wider process.

As far as we are aware, it is still the policy of the Department for Health to support the medicinal regulation of electronic cigarettes.  We clearly hope that the Department of Health will listen to the wishes of the democratically elected European Parliament and not the wishes of the unelected and unaccountable MHRA.

We hope that the UK Government will join with their colleagues in the European Parliament in rejecting the medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes.  France and others have already made their reservations clear so the UK would not be alone.

Why is this important?

It is vital that you understand that e-cigarettes are not a medicinal product; users do not see themselves as ill or in treatment. They are adults who have made an informed decision.

Thousands of smokers every year try and fail numerous times to quit using conventional nicotine replacement therapies (NRT).  This is unsurprising as NRTs are proven to have up to a 95 per cent failure rate.  We know first-hand how depressing this is.  However by switching to e-cigarettes, to date, 1.5 million smokers have cut down the amount of tobacco cigarettes they smoke or stopped completely.  This is something that should be celebrated and encouraged, not a cause for concern.

E-cigarettes are though not some form of more effective nicotine replacement therapy they are completely different.  E-cigarettes are an alternative to smoking.  Users must be allowed the freedom to find the correct device and nicotine level that suits their needs, there is no one size fits all e-cigarette, there is no one flavour that suits everyone, there has to be flexibility, there has to be innovation.  These are the very reasons why the e-cigarette is proving so popular.  Medicinal regulation by its very nature will take all this away.  Medical regulation will control and quantify dosage, control and quantify administration, control and quantify the device.  Medicines have to be monitored by medical practitioners, there can be no room for individuality, for finding the right flavour, strength, and device, plus medical regulations cast the shadow of shame and disease on people who are not ill.  It pours more shame on people castigated for a habit.  Ultimately, medicines regulation, as the MHRA has made clear on several occasions, will lead to a ban of all currently available e-cigarettes.  We urge you to look at the difference between what medicines are, and what a recreational device is – look beyond the entrenched view that just because it moves people away from smoking it must be a therapy.

E-cigarettes are simply an alternative to smoking, they deliver clean nicotine – without the tar, carbon monoxide, and volatile hot gases of cigarettes – and as a way of taking nicotine they are pretty near harmless to health.  

E-cigarettes are safe.  By contrast tobacco cigarettes according to your department’s own figures kill 700,000 people each and every year throughout the EU and policy makers are not proposing to ban them.  

We urge you to support the proportionate and robust consumer regulation of e-cigarettes that won the support of MEPs from across the political spectrum on the 8th of October.

The law of unintended consequence in this situation, if you continue to support medicinal regulation, will be to see thousands and thousands of e-cigarette users going back to smoking tobacco cigarettes.  As a Health Minister you may not like to read this, but it is the truth, and you and your colleagues in the Department of Health need to be aware of this.  If you vote for medicinal regulation in trilogue more people will smoke and you will be promoting smoking.

Yours sincerely