Saturday, 5 January 2013

E-cigarettes in The Guardian

An absolutely superb article in The Guardian on the subject of e-cigarettes by Lionel Shriver. It mentions the Tobacco Products Directive...

Why did the EU's tobacco product directive released last month propose effectively banning any e-cigs that deliver remotely enough nicotine to make them an attractive alternative to tobacco? Isn't a "tobacco product directive" reaching beyond its remit by seeking to regulate a product containing no tobacco?

It touches on the self-righteous morality of the anti-nicotine extremists...

For anti-smoking fanatics, e-cigs must be enraging. They can't clamber on to that handsome high horse, because what's to get upset about? Those plastic vapour sticks aren't gunking anyone's lungs or even stinking up the drapes. And those dreadful cheats seem to be enjoying themselves! They're getting away with something horrid scot-free! It isn't fair! They should get cancer! Imagine the dizzy swoon of indignation deprivation: what's upsetting is there's nothing to get upset about.

It even discusses the role of the pharmaceutical industry...

The pharmaceutical industry profits from popular but far less effective methods for quitting tobacco such as patches and gums, and spends more than €40m a year lobbying the EU. In the UK in 2011, nicotine replacement therapies were worth £117m in turnover, largely due to NHS freebies. It's in Big Pharma's interest to quash the e-cig, now that 7% of Europeans have tried one and in 2013 they are expected to attract more than a million Britons.

And it concludes:

You want real evil? What's truly evil is attempting to deny people addicted to a profoundly damaging substance the opportunity to transfer that addiction to a product most medical professionals rate as 99% harmless. The gathering European opposition to electronic cigarettes is the result of kneejerk cultural prejudice, puritanical vindictiveness, corporate collusion, and the unconscionable greed of tax authorities that won't be able to heap the same punitive, confiscatory, opportunistic duties on a product that doesn't hurt anyone.

Spot on. Well done to the Guardian for publishing this. We need to hear much more of the same over the next year or so if the EU is going to be brought to its senses.


jredheadgirl said...

Damn straight! Though not quickly enough, the tide is turning.

Happy New Year!

George Speller said...

The Guardian? Shome Mishtake Shurely?

nisakiman said...

A good article, although a lot of the comments were depressingly predictable, with much parroting of the TCI soundbites. The best couplet of comments were:

my sister smokes's like she's trying to suck a bowling ball through a straw ...she tries the hard to get a good pull...

With the reply:

Your sister could suck a bowling ball through a straw?

What's her number?

Made me smile, anyway...

Ivan D said...

Great post Chris and well done to Lionel Shriver. Some of the comments are a bit disturbing and the the 1 cigarette = twice the risk nonsense seems to be gaining traction. I wonder where people got that idea from?

Jonathan Bagley said...

Brilliant. couldn't have put it better myself - probably because I'm not a best selling author. I bet the Government is starting to wish this would all go away.

Steve Wintersgill said...

A very pleasant surprise to find it in the Guardian.
As for someone looking " she's trying to suck a bowling ball through a straw..." I'd suggest switching to a decent e-cig.

Jonathan Bagley said...

I've just come across a petition organised by ECITA, The ecig industry trade association. It already has almost 19,000 signatures.

nisakiman said...

Much as I support the aims of the petition, I won't be signing it as I disagree strongly with a couple of the statements in it, most significantly:

...with the concomitant risk of passive smoking for those around them.

which is a statement I'm not prepared to endorse, as I don't believe that there is any statistically significant risk from so-called "second-hand smoke".

Jonathan Bagley said...

nisakiman, she says her husband is heavy smoker, so she probably doesn't believe it. I agree it's not ideal, but she's probably calculated the article will be more effective if she throws a sop to anti smoking neurotics.

DP said...

Dear Mr Snowdon

Seems like the mainstream media are at last doing some real work instead of promoting government propaganda.

This is in no small measure due to people like yourself who have questioned the prepackaged wisdom of Big Government and its bought and paid for science-on-a-stick. And of course the web which has allowed people to find real science being discussed.

The latest wheeze - benefits for a healthy lifestyle, or else - will backfire. They are attacking their core voters (though it is Westminster council...).


Mark the X Smoker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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