A guest post from Robert Innes, Associate of NNA

#Hypocritical / #Misguided / #Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive / #Nauseating / #Erroneous

It is ironic, is it not, that the recent #COP8 meeting of The World Health Organisation Framework Convention for Tobacco Control should result in a flurry of accusations that members of the vaping community were using ‘violent’ language and tactics in their approach to vaping advocacy. This being an example: “But the problem we’re facing is that the interference from tobacco giants in public health efforts is becoming increasingly vicious in that they are now using the tools and language of tobacco control advocates to push their dangerous agenda”.


 Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, the Head of the Convention Secretariat seems to be talking about the tobacco industry. In fact, it is the vaping and tobacco industries, with emphasis on vaping, that is being referred to.

You may be wondering what this has to do with Dundee City Council's regulations on smoking and vaping: Geneva and Switzerland are a world away are they not?


Everything contained in the Dundee City Council’s regulations begins with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (WHO FCTC) More of this later…

A Quick Word on Violent Language:
I cannot speak for the tobacco industry. I do not have any connection to them whatsoever, nor do any of the organisations that I am familiar with, for example, The #New Nicotine Alliance UK (NNA UK) or the #International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations. (INNCO) These organisations represent vaping consumers on both a national (UK) and international level. They do not receive funding from the tobacco industry.

Yet, here they are, among others, being accused of using ‘violent' language in their advocacy. Indeed, they are being accused of, “…using the language of Tobacco Control…” OK, so ‘give a dog a bad name… Now sit back and have a good think about, #Hypocritical / #Misguided / #Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive / #Nauseating / #Erroneous, as these adjectives apply to Dundee City Council’s regulations on smoking and vaping.

Hypocritical: The hypocrisy here is mind-blowing. It is alright for Tobacco Control to use ‘vicious tools and language,’ but not vaping advocates. (I cannot speak for the tobacco industry). Here Dundee City are forcing regulations on their workers that can only be described as nasty, cruel and vicious.

But the hypocrisy of these regulations does not just end at the above. You see, the Council threaten their workers with penalties for ‘smokvaping’:  "Penalties which might even affect the worker's pension."  The Regional Council, Tayside, have £56.3 million tied up in tobacco stocks – now, it must be noted that Dundee are the City Council, not the Regional Council, but, pension funds are often, ‘pooled.’ 

It would be very interesting to hear what Dundee City Council have done with their pension funds.

Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive: You will note that these ‘vicious’ adjectives are much the same in meaning: Repetition is one of the main ‘tools’ used by Tobacco Control in their efforts to persuade unthinking individuals such as, apparently, those who make up most of the Dundee City Council.

So, what does Dundee’s smokvaping policy amount to…?

  • No smokvaping indoors or outdoors while at work
  • No smokvaping during working hours (even walking
    down the road.)
  • No distinction between smoking and vaping.

Please note that this attack is unfair on smokers as well as vapers. It is cruel, nasty and punitive to both.

#Misguided / #Erroneous: The Council have offered, repeatedly, the reason for their action. They do not want their employees to be negative role models for young people. Instead, the Council are being a negative role model, teaching them, through example, that being #Hypocritical / #Misguided / #Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive / #Nauseating and #Erroneous is perfectly acceptable.

And as for ‘misguided,’ Dundee have been made patently aware that smoking and vaping are to be treated separately, and differently. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) take a very clear stance on the issue. They state that, “The use of smoking terminology should be avoided when referring to e cigarettes… make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking and the evidence for the relative risks between users and bystanders.” Now, how does this compare to Dundee Council's position which states… “In this policy the term smoking means smoking in any form and by any means, the use of e cigarettes and using any other form of substitute smoking device.”

And yet Dundee Council claim to have ‘consulted’ COSLA. Perhaps a quick reference to a dictionary should be prescribed for the ‘honourable’ councillors.

Consult: to seek advice or information from; ask guidance from.

Ignore: to refuse to show that you hear or see (something or someone)

Dundee claim that they ‘consulted,’ leaving people to think that their policy is the result of, or, was influenced through this consultation. It makes the policy look legitimate, endorsed by COSLA. This, to me, is dishonesty…. dishonest… Do I have that in my sub-heading?  No!  Add, #dishonest

And it continues…

COSLA advise that councils should… “support smokers to stop smoking and stay smoke free – an enabling approach may be appropriate in relation to vaping to make it an easier choice than smoking.” Now, compare this to Dundee City Council’s stance… “The Council makes no distinction between ‘conventional’ smoking and use of e cigarettes. Any prohibitions involved cover all these activities.”

COSLA want smokers to choose (as do vapers). Dundee Council though have a prohibition agenda. (NOTE: This is nothing new for Dundee… In 1908, Stewart and Edwin Scrymgeour of the Scottish Prohibition Party were elected to Dundee Town Council) Prohibition must run in the political blood in some places.

And it, still, continues…

Not only do Dundee City Council imply they have the backing of COSLA, they pull the same stunt, with relation to vaping, with unions. A council spokesperson stated that, Dundee City Council had consulted unions. Again, an attempt to make it look as if the Council had union backing. But no. A spokesman for the UNITE union stated, “This is an attack on people who smoke. It’s not an easy thing to give up – and not everyone wants to either.” (Oh dear! He used the word, ‘attack… violent language: Tut, tut) The GMB stated, “We will vigorously defend any members who fall foul of this. Members should be able to choose what they do in their own time without fear of reprimand.”

From Geneva to Dundee:
But the real villains behind this appalling prohibition are the WHO FCTC. and their co-conspirators in the EU. What Dundee have done is right in line with the advice being issued from these quarters. They have failed in their attempts to get a large number of people to stop smoking through, #Hypocritical / #Misguided / #Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive / #Nauseating / #Erroneous policies:

Bullying, intimidation and deceptions have all failed, and their recourse now is to enforce by producing even more, #Hypocritical / #Misguided / #Cruel / #Nasty /#Punitive / #Nauseating / #Erroneous policies.