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The risks and benefits of e‑cigarettes are uncertain but there is emerging evidence that e‑cigarette use may substantially reduce the burden of disease caused by smoking.

August 2nd saw the launch of a public consultation in New Zealand following a statement from the Ministry of Health:

The New Zealand Health Ministry recognises that the legal status of e‑cigarettes is confusing, that the laws are not routinely enforced, and that ‘There is emerging evidence that e‑cigarette use may substantially reduce the burden of disease caused by smoking’. Further, the Ministry of Health ‘proposes to make legislative changes that will maximise the potential benefits of e‑cigarettes and minimise potential risks to smokers and to the wider population.’

 

NNA have responded to the consultation, and you can read our full response here.

NNA (UK) strongly urge any vaper who has not submitted a response to the consultation to do so ahead of the closing date for submission - 5PM Monday 12 September 2016.

Yesterday NNA attended the National Symposium on e-cigarettes entitled "A new era for tobacco harm reduction", which was jointly organised by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK.

The symposium was very well attended with some 200 delegates including regulators, Directors of Public Health and various practitioners, researchers, consultants and representatives from numerous health interest groups and charities.

In the morning there were presentations from Alison Cox and Professor Linda Bauld from CRUK, Profs John Britton, Ray Niaura, Ann McNeill, Maciej Goniewicz (who now seems comfortable in his role of always being 'the baddy') and Peter Hajek. The afternoon brought presentations from Alette Addison of the Department of Health, Dr Debbie Robson of KCL, and finally a panel discussion which included our trustee, Lorien Jollye.

For avid followers of the vaping debate, most of the information presented was not new. However, as always with these events the real value is always in the bringing together of people, and the introduction of new people to the issues surrounding harm reduction and this event was no exception.

A range of issues were discussed, some of the more notable being the need to continue to build a good evidence base in the UK in order to be able to influence policy both here and abroad, the assertion by the department of health that the UK has already complied with the guidelines laid down by the World Health Organisation at COP6, and a plea from Dr Andy McEwen, that we take a realistic approach to research surrounding vapour products, and always involve the real experts, consumers, in study design and methodology.

Public Health England chose the symposium to launch their new framework guidance for policy making on the use of e-cigarettes in public places and work places, which can be downloaded here.

The new advice from Public Health England expands on the '5 questions' guidance offered by ASH together with the CIEH and makes clear the need for employers and the managers of public spaces to differentiate between vaping and smoking, and to support smokers who are using vapour products in order to stop smoking.

Overall, the feeling at the event was very positive towards the concept of harm reduction via the use of vapour products with very few dissenting voices. That is not to say that those voices do not exist, or that there is not still work to be done. But there were areas of broad agreement, and a willingness to at least talk about the matters on which there were differences of opinion.

In a vote taken at its annual conference the British Medical Association has called for a ban on vaping in public spaces such as bars and restaurants because of fears over renormalisation of smoking behaviour, and what they perceive as the 'risks of passive vaping'. This is despite the fact that there is no evidence at all, anywhere, that their fears have any foundation in reality.

NNA's complaint about a misleading anti-e-cigarette advertisement has been upheld by Advertising Standards Authority.

Following a question about the UK's implementation of the TPD asked by Anne Main MP (Conservative member for St Albans) during Prime Ministers Questions David Cameron responded by saying that he would look into the legislation carefully. We felt that it was essential that Mr Cameron received an independent view of the failings of this particular piece of EU legislation and together with Clive Bates, NNA associate and director of Counterfactual Consulting, wrote to Mr Cameron accordingly. You can read our letter here.

External press release from @campaign100k
 
Fatal Motion Tabled In House Of Lords To Stop E-Cigarette Regulations 
 
A member of the House of Lords has today tabled a “fatal motion” designed to stop harsh restrictions on e-cigarettes becoming law. The provisions of Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive, which come into effecttomorrowFriday, will be suspended if peers agree to the motion. (Order Paper)
 
It has been proposed by Lord Callanan who in 2013, as then leader of the ECR group in the European Parliament, led the successful vote by MEPs to prevent compulsory medicinal regulation of e-cigarettes. His move comes after the planned regulations came under intense criticism in a debate in the Lords last week.
Lord Callanan’s motion gives the Government the opportunity to address the remaining problems with the legislation. 
 
These include the: 
 
Ban on stronger nicotine e-cigarettes: Department of Health officials have said that this risks pushing vapers back to smoking. Some 252,000 vapers currently use the higher levels of nicotine which will be banned. 
 
Ban on most advertising: the Department of Health estimates that 90% of e-cigarette advertising will be banned. However, last month the Royal College of Physicians called for e-cigarettes to instead be promoted “as widely as possible” as increasing numbers of smokers falsely believe that vaping is as dangerous as smoking. 
 
Consumer advocates have welcomed the Parliamentary move: “the 2.8 million vapers in the UK will be thrilled if David Cameron takes this opportunity to remove the flaws in this EU regulation which would force so many vapers back to smoking,” said Sarah Jakes of the New Nicotine Alliance.
 
“Our network of shops are private sector stop smoking centres. The government estimates that the regulations could reduce the choice of products by 96%. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the consequences,” said Shayne Adams, of retail chain Flavour Vapour. 

Contacts:
Notes:
 
Numbers Vaping
  • 2.8 million vapers in Great Britain - up from 700,000 in 2012. (Ash Survey published 16 May 2016)
  • 9% of vapers (252,000 people) use higher strength nicotine (+20mg/ml) prohibited under TPD Ash Survey
Debate on E-Cigarette Regulation
  • The health minister said he wanted lax implementation of vaping rules. He hoped “enforcement will be more Italian than traditionally British” Lord Prior of Brampton Hansard transcript
  • The shadow health minister said it was “obvious that the Government themselves do not support them [the rules on vaping]” Lord Hunt of Kings Heath - Shadow Health Minister  Hansard transcript
Department of Health’s Impact Assessment   DH April 2016 
  • “There is a risk that due to the potential price increase and reduction of choice of e- cigarettes, people will choose to switch back to smoking” (paragraph 207) 
  • “if users can’t get the desired nicotine level from e-cigarettes they may switch to cigarettes” (paragraph 200)
  • the number of e-cigarette products on the market could fall 96% from 25,000 to 1,000 (Annex B page 74 )
  • the rules could reduce e-cigarette advertising by 90% (paragraph 176) 
  • “There is a risk that a black market will develop with potentially harmful e-cigarette products” (paragraph 208) 
Royal College of Physicians Report    RCP Report April 2016
  • "Promoting e-cigarettes... as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK” page 189 
  • forcing e-cigarette packaging to carry big health warnings is “illogical” - page 160 
E-Cigarettes Regulations of Tobacco Product Directive (Article 20) 
  • come into effect on Friday 20 May through these UK regulations
  • ban stronger e-cigarettes (nicotine above 20mg/ml)
  • ban e-liquid bottles above 10ml
  • ban e-cigarette ‘tanks’ above 2ml
  • ban most advertising

In the House of Lords Lord Callanan has put down a motion (link to text of press release) which if passed would stop implementation of the TPD in the UK. This is a critical development.

The needs of more than a quarter of a million people don't matter, according to ASH.

According to a report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) out today [link], the needs of 252,000 UK vapers don't matter because most people will only be mildly affected by the arbitrary restrictions imposed by article 20 of the TPD. That is a truly astounding attitude, especially in light of the fact that the expected reduction in smoking prevalence delivered by the entire TPD, including the tobacco provisions, is just 2% over 5 years, which in the UK translates to 183,000 people.

NNA would like to congratulate the tobacco industry on this historic day.

In a move which many thought too glorious to contemplate, the tobacco industry was finally handed the US e-cigarette industry on a plate by the FDA when the long awaited deeming regulations were announced today. They will have to wait two years though, to reap the rewards.

For years now the FDA has been fighting valiantly to resist the mountain of existing evidence which supports the benefits to smokers of switching to e-cigarettes and was forced to go to the extreme measure of funding its own studies in order to show what some have known all along - that the e-cigarette industry exists only to kill our babies. What better guardians for such an industry than the tobacco companies?

Under the new regulations the only products which will be exempt* from the extraordinarily onerous and financially crippling application requirements are those which were on the market prior to 2007. For those not in the know, that narrows it down pretty much to a cigalike type e-cigarette such as Ruyan. You know, the one for which Imperial tobacco owns the patent via its offshoot Fontem.

To ensure that none of the current products (the ones which the nicotine addled vapers suggest actually work) get onto the market to muddy the waters the FDA specifically say 'don't bother applying'. Well what they actually said was more long winded than that (499 pages) but that is the summary. The FDA anticipate that they have erected sufficient barriers to prevent modular products from being able to comply.

There was something to celebrate for the US vape industry though, they will still be able to sell lanyards and screwdrivers. Unfortunately for them, cigalike type products require neither screwdrivers nor lanyards however we anticipate that these items might find a new market with spectacle wearers.

So that's it. God bless America, the land of the free**. The US vaping industry will be dead in two years time and many of its customers will be similarly fixed in the years which follow. The beers are on you tonight Reynolds et al.

* traditional cigarettes will naturally be exempt and unaffected by these regulations.

**degree of freedom is dependent on your level of agreement with government policy

In case anyone is wondering..

***this post is satire. NNA does not congratulate the tobacco industry or anyone else who will profit from these ill founded and in terms of health, dangerous regulations.

It is with disappointment that we read the final outcome of the Court of Justice of the European Union clarifying that the revised Tobacco Products Directive, including Article 20 related specifically to e-cigarettes, is lawful. The stated goal of the revised TPD is to facilitate the smooth functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, taking as a base a high level of protection of human health.

To that end, a revision of the TPD was subsequently passed by the EC to be made into legislation by the 28 Member States. Article 20 has been classified as burdensome and disproportionate by many. The Article 20 legal challenge sought to overturn the portion of the Directive related to e-cigarettes in order to make way for more proportionate regulation of the industry which would serve public health.

The resulting ruling from the CJEU places an undue burden on the industry that is predominantly made up of small business by enforcing a cumbersome, fragmented and expensive notification system for new and existing products that meet the stringent requirements of the Directive to reach the market.

With limits on cross-border sales - i.e. some Member States are set to prohibit cross-border sale - the directive enables the Member States to ensure that the rules on conformity are not circumvented - and additional "identified and potential risks" have led to the CJEU invoking an application of the precautionary principle that, unfortunately did not take into account the risks created by the Directive.

Despite two substantive reports on the evidence, along with appropriate guidance it is disappointing the CJEU has ruled against the challenge.

Sarah Jakes, NNA Trustee said:

"The Government's own impact assessment of the directive showed that there is a very real risk that the provisions which relate to e-cigarettes will deter smokers from switching to vaping and may push some vapers back to smoking. It is a very sad day when a government is 'forced' to implement law which will harm the health of its citizens."

The judgement in full can be read on the CJEU website.

It is with great satisfaction that we read this new report from a source so widely respected as the Royal College of Physicians*. The past two years have seen a slew of ill-considered and poorly conducted research hit the headlines regarding vaping and there can be no doubt that the perception of both smokers and non-smokers will have been impacted regards the relative harms of vaping vs smoking. This report should go some-way to redressing that balance as it makes clear that the benefits of e-cigarette use has not only been positive but has helped many smokers move away from combustible cigarettes. More importantly that smokers have done this under their own steam and without intervention or cost to the tax-payer.

We hope that Public Health organisations and governments across the globe will see this, alongside last year’s Public Health England report, and use it to inform their treatment of e-cigarettes and recognise the importance of treating them as different from their burnt counterparts. In the UK alone there are 9 million smokers who deserve to be told the truth about alternative nicotine delivery devices such as e-cigarettes. Trustee and board member, Lorien Jollye says ‘The evidence is quite clearly telling us that not only are e-cigs safer than smoking but they are helping smokers. Knee-jerk fearmongering has to be put to bed and smokers need to be empowered to switch’.

With the implementation of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive looming, it is imperative that moves are made to see a review of this legislation enacted as soon as is possible. It is becoming more and more clear that the heavy restrictions on devices, nicotine strengths, and the ability for companies to actually market to their target audience is going to cost lives. This is far from the ‘light touch regulation’ the public was told it was.

 The RCP report is unequivocal in its support for smokers being encouraged to switch their habit to one which carries, at most, a mere 5% of the risk. On a subject as serious as this we need to be guided by evidence and not ideology and as such The New Nicotine Alliance applauds the RCP for this timely review.

 

*Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians. Nicotine without smoke—tobacco harm reduction. Royal College of Physicians, 2016.

Ok, vapers reading this will know that that is the pre-watershed version of that particular rallying cry..

Thanks to a friend and supporter of NNA, Chinese e-cigarette manufacturer Innokin heard about NNAs work with stop smoking services and wanted to help. We do not take donations from anyone in the nicotine industries, so the best way for Innokin to help would be to help stop smoking services help smokers to stop smoking. Even this though is not as simple as it should be, because currently there are no medicinally licensed ecigs on the market which stop smoking services could prescribe, and it's likely that any that do gain medicinal authority will be bland cousins compared to those on the consumer market.

Andy Morrison, lead for the NNA in Scotland, is assisting with a new study funded by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation (RCLCF) exploring e-cigarettes for smoking cessation with lung cancer patients.

I had a win at work today. In fact we all had a win!  Acceptance and recognition of e-cigs as being normal use devices in care homes.

While on my days off I had a message from my manager saying she'd had to do risk assessments for those residents that use electronic cigarettes and that she could have done with my help. I told her that I would look through them when I get back at the weekend. However, I decided to create one for her to look at and asked admin to send me a blank. 

During the course of Vape Jam 2, we were asked if we had a digital copy of the document we had on our stand with Vapers In Power. Below is the content with a downloadable PDF file.

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) is a registered charity, formed in 2014, which seeks to foster a mature public and organisational understanding of the potential of safer nicotine products for reducing cigarette smoking, including their safety and efficacy, and hence contribute to the reduction in cigarette smoking. To achieve this we work to:

  • advance the education of the public and organisations about ways to reduce harms associated with cigarette smoking;
  • advance the education of the public and organisations about the effects of nicotine and its uses;
  • promote scientific research into the safer uses of nicotine;
  • provide information to the public and organisations about the risks of smoking and safer ways of using nicotine.

NNA seeks an effective regulatory environment for nicotine delivery devices, which protects the public, but also ensures availability of effective devices.

NNA is non-political and no activities are to the benefit of or in support to any political party. We are completely independent of commercial interests in relevant industries (e-cigarettes, tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, etc) operating on a not-for-profit basis, free from commercial bias. Our policies and public statements are evidence-based, with a clear focus on the health of consumers and the wider public.

A board comprised of volunteers manages NNA. In addition we involve individuals and organisations — consumers, tobacco researchers, policy analysts, public health professionals and scientists, as well as members of the public - who will support and further our aims and objectives.

NNA seeks to influence policy and the regulatory framework, as well as informing the public, concerning new nicotine products through:

  • speaking at national and international smoking cessation and public health conferences;
  • briefing media on new nicotine products on a reactive and proactive basis;
  • briefing national and European parliamentarians;
  • briefing members of national and international tobacco control organisations;
  • publishing commentaries in the mass media and in professional and scientific journals;
  • making submissions in response to public consultations (eg to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice);
  • supporting the establishment of practical and sensible product standards;
  • engaging with members of Royal Colleges of medicine;
  • advising local NHS public health bodies, NHS services and third sector health organisations;
  • advising travel and transport operators and managers and owners of public venues about the use of electronic cigarettes in public places;
  • using social media (Twitter, Facebook and blogs) to enhance public understanding.

NNA provides regular updates to supporters about our work and posts news items, blogs and other information on the websitewww.nnalliance.org

Download this statement as a PDF or come visit us at Vape Jam 2 2016, Stand P65!

The NNA welcomes the news that Welsh Labour attempts to ban the use of eCigarettes in enclosed public spaces has failed. The NNA has opposed this draconian measure, which formed part of the wider Public Health (Wales) Bill, since it was first drawn to our attention two years ago. The news means that there will be no restriction of the use of eCigarettes in public enclosed spaces for the forseeable future.

The 16th March 2016 will be seen as the day the Welsh Assembly finally saw sense and opposed the plans to ban vaping, albeit in somewhat bizarre circumstances. We have been continually puzzled by Health Minister Mark Drakeford’s failure to acknowledge all the science and evidence throughout the process and his insistence on pushing ahead with the ban. There were many good things contained within the Public Health (Wales) Bill, but the ban on vaping in public enclosed spaces was not one of them and simply did not belong in the Bill.

Ultimately, the Health Minister has sacrificed an otherwise beneficial Public Health (Wales) Bill on the altar of his personal misunderstanding and vendetta against eCigarettes.He only has himself to blame for the outcome.

We would like to thank the opposition political parties of Wales for continuing to engage with us on this matter throughout the passage of the Bill, for listening to the facts and science around eCigarettes, and for ultimately arriving at what we believe was the correct decision.

We also thank the Welsh Vaping community at large for it’s continuous support in campaigning against the eCig ban, and for the support from other groups such as Vapers in Power and Save eCigs.

Meanwhile, the fight continues in Wales. In Pembrokeshire, Councillors are attempting to impose a ban on smoking (which includes vaping) in the open air of Little Haven beach. Such ill-informed decisions cannot be allowed to remain unchallenged. There is little enough evidence that smoking has any impact on people in the open air. It is therefore patently outrageous that vaping should be looked at in the same light. If nothing else, vaping should be encouraged in places such as Little Haven, not least as an alternative to smoking for the smokers. If those smokers then choose to make the switch to vaping permanent then it is a win-win situation for Public Health.

We have shown that people power CAN make a difference and sent a message to all political parties that Vapers are a power to be reckoned with.

Simon Thurlow

NNA Board Member

This was the headline on the front page of the Times on the 3rd of March: "Brussels tax hike to send e-cigarette price soaring". So what might it mean for vapers?

"I think this represents a new worldwide high point in the blending of evidence with empathy in official public health advice…"

Those were the words of Clive Bates on his excellent blog 'The Counterfactual' upon reading the new briefing for UK Stop Smoking Services from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training. We couldn't agree more.

Following an invitation from Nicola Hill, Stop Smoking Services Manager for the North East London NHS Foundation Trust, I attended their team meeting on the 19th of January to talk about e-cigarettes. In a refreshing change from my usual trog halfway across the country this one is local to me - it's good to see my local services finally taking an interest.

The meeting room was small, but packed with enthusiastic advisors from the two centres which provide services for NELFT. Discussions took place in a 'round table' setting, with me opening by telling the story of my journey from smoking to vaping, then explaining the different types of devices available and their use. There was then an opportunity for advisors to get 'hands on' with the demonstration devices I had brought with me before a lively Q & A ensued. I think we overran our allotted time by some considerable margin!

Some good questions were asked about a variety of topics, including the potential for harm to bystanders, youth uptake and long term use. On the whole the meeting was very positive, and I hope it was as enjoyable and useful for them as it was for me.

Sarah Jakes

Board Member

In a new study published in the journal Tobacco Control a group of scientists have examined how use of e-cigarettes is related to subsequent smoking behaviour, subsequently reporting that those who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes. This new study has once again garnered the attention of the media.

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