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Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat! But the NNA’s coffers aren’t so please note two ways of donating via online sources at the foot of this newsletter. Plenty has been going on in risk reduction policy this month so here’s a round-up of what the NNA has been up to in November.

SIGNS THEY ARE A'CHANGIN

The highlight of the month was undoubtedly a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping calling for better workplace policies. The document made five policy recommendations, all of them positive towards vaping, the most striking of which being a call for the government to lead by example and make the parliamentary estate vape-friendly.

As you would expect, this created much media interest with articles appearing in the Daily Mail and The Sun – which quoted our press reaction at length - and many local syndicated news outlets. NNA Trustee Martin Cullip and Administrator Jessica Harding both gave evidence to the APPG’s hearings and were referenced in the report itself, which you can read in full here.

The report was launched in the House of Commons on the 20th November and NNA Chair Sarah Jakes was invited to speak alongside Mark Pawsey MP and Dr Lynne Dawkins of South Bank University. Sarah took the opportunity to congratulate the APPG on their research and spoke of her pride that this country stands out for its “unique meeting of minds between consumers, public health, politicians and industry” which is driving impressive declines in smoking prevalence in the UK. However, she also warned that there is still much to do and that unnecessary and irresponsible vaping bans are a barrier to better understanding of safer products so the APPG’s recommendation of a vape-friendly parliamentary estate could be a guiding light to other private policy-makers.

Sarah concluded by presenting Mark Pawsey with a considerate vaping welcome sign on behalf of the NNA with a promise to supply more once changes to Westminster’s workplace policy have been approved.

APPG newsletter

You can read our press release welcoming the APPG’s report here.

COURT REPORT

On the flipside, there was bad news from Luxembourg where the European Court of Justice – as expected – ignored common sense and ruled to maintain the reckless ban on snus in the EU. Basing its decision on the EU’s right to prohibit oral tobacco rather than judging on the ban’s effect on the health of EU citizens, it was a rubber-stamping exercise which will perpetuate a situation where other member states are prevented from emulating Sweden’s startlingly low smoking rate.

The NNA were intervenors in the case and NNA Trustee Gerry Stimson commented that “the snus case outcome is disappointing. We have lost this battle but will continue to campaign, we have established good links with EU snus campaign groups including #EUforsnus which will serve us well in the future.”.

In the aftermath, Gerry was interviewed by John Nicolson on Talk Radio:

 We also branded the ECJ’s ruling “scandalous” and “a blow to the public health of EU citizens” in our press release in reaction to the judgement which you can read here.

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU SMOKE-FREE

On the 12th of November, we heard the great news from the Advertising Standards Authority that marketing for vaping products will be permitted to make certain health claims as to the reduction in risk compared to smoking, their ruling can be seen online here. The NNA took part in the consultation prior to this announcement so we were pleased that our view was supported by the ASA. A review of the consultation responses is available here.

We welcomed the report by the ASA, commenting on our website that “a situation whereby public health organisations can make these claims but those marketing the products are not was clearly absurd, especially since even the most virulent detractors of e-cigarettes cannot challenge the fact that vaping is far safer than smoking”. You can read the full blog article here.

SUMMIT OLD, SUMMIT NEW

Starting a busy seven days for NNA Chair Sarah Jakes in advance of the APPG report, she was invited back to the sixth E-Cigarette Summit on 15th November to follow up on her keynote speech from last year. Her focus this time round was to call for a new approach towards vaping and other safer nicotine products.

She reminded public health delegates at the conference that “misperceptions are harmful in more ways than one. They breed intolerance, which supports restrictive policy, which in turn creates more misperceptions and more intolerance. Is it any wonder that many smokers don’t see the point of switching?”. We issued a press release on the morning of the summit and you can read a full transcript and watch Sarah’s speech here.

SJ E Cig Summit 2018

Sarah was also named as co-author of a study by University of East Anglia on the lesser relapse rates of vaping as compared to quitting by other methods. Led by Caitlin Notley, the research found that the advent of e-cigarettes means that public health needs to look at changing the way they assess the likelihood of relapse. Commenting on the research, Notley explained “there has been a lot of theorising around the process of smoking relapse after quit attempts. But all of these date back to pre-vaping times. This fresh evidence makes us question the usefulness of that understanding now that so many people are choosing to switch to vaping.”. You can read the study here.

TALLINN IT LIKE IT IS

On 8th November a delegation of tobacco harm reduction experts travelled to the Estonian Parliament in the capital, Tallinn, to share information about the potential of e-cigarettes to improve the health of the country’s smoking population. Estonia currently subjects vaping products to punitive taxes and flavours will be banned from next July. The delegation – invited by NNA Estonia - discovered that family doctors are heavily restricted on what they can tell their patients. Peter Hajek, Martin Jarvis, Karl Snæbjörnsson and NNA Trustee Louise Ross made up the group. We can but hope that their sage advice on the positive role safer products can play was heeded by leaders of one of the EU’s most restrictive member states.

Estonia parliament

PARISH NOTICES

We welcome new associates to the NNA this month in the form of Judy Gibson and Jukka Kelovuori. We are very pleased to have them aboard. By way of exchange, Sarah Jakes is now a member of the INNCO board.


We also announced this month that trustee Louise Ross has been appointed lead on mental health for the NNA, offering advice and support for staff and service users in mental health circles.

POLAND PREP

NNA’s administrator Jessica Harding now has an additional and separate role, working on community engagement for the upcoming GFN 2019 conference to be held in Warsaw in June, in order to encourage high level consumer participation. Jess will encourage consumer groups to submit abstracts for oral presentations and posters and organise the consumer exhibition stand to ensure consumer issues have a high profile. Jess is also on the Programme Committee for GFN2019. Please email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be added to the GFN consumer mailing list and with any suggestions you may have for consumer involvement.

BACK UP FROM DOWN UNDER

NNA trustee Paddy Costall spent much of this month touring the other side of the world. During his time there he met with both Charles Yates, the new Chair of NNA Australia, and Colin Mendelsohn and Alex Wodak, from the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and discussed their involvement in GFN and what the key issues are for them about KAC plans to hold a GSTHR Roadshow in Australia, in February next year.

In New Zealand Paddy met with Jan Walsh and Steve Dohmen, from AVCA, and discussed again how the involvement of NZ consumers in international advocacy might best be supported. He also had the opportunity to meet with a number of vendors and was impressed by their professionalism and understanding of the issues facing consumers. While in Hong Kong he met with Nancy Sutthoff from INNCO and others, to discuss the current state of consumer advocacy in the Asia-Pacific region. Phew!

THEY WANT YOU!

Online survey into vaping at workplaces, from Dr Charlotte Smith and Professor Jason Hughes at Leicester University and funded by CRUK. This takes about 10 minutes to complete and the survey is here:


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/vaping_and_workplaces


Dual user study, for people who smoke and vape, conducted by Professor Peter Hajek at Queen Mary University. This involves telephone interviews and giving saliva samples.


For more details on both of these please see Planet of the Vapes “Vapers Required” here.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

As things wind down into the Christmas season there is not a great deal on the immediate horizon but NNA trustees will be attending an official launch of Knowledge Action Change’s Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction at the House of Commons on the 18th December. This was released during COP8 in Geneva in October and is an interesting and useful snapshot of current regulatory approaches towards safer nicotine products around the world. To view the report and other #GSTHR resources, go to the dedicated website here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Please remember that NNA trustees give their time for free, and we rely on your generous donations to continue to ensure consumer voices are heard. Please keep your donations coming in via the donate button below, and if you can commit to a standing order or regular PayPal payment it would be gratefully received.

Last month we highlighted the option to effortlessly donate to the NNA if you shop via the Amazon Smile page and select NNA as your charity. You can support New Nicotine Alliance (UK) by starting your shopping from this link.

You can also donate to the NNA via eBay, as we are registered as an eBay charity. You can add a donation when you buy something and you can also auction something and choose to donate part or all the proceeds to us. We are always open to donated items which we can sell to raise funds too, all items would be gratefully received.

NNA eBay charity

You can also encourage your supportive friends and family to sign up as Supporters and to get updates about our work by clicking here.

 

DONATE TO NNA HERE

 

 As the nights get darker, the NNA is still working hard to focus more light on reduced risk products and we have had another very busy month. September’s news had an international feel, but with UK politicians and public health back in the swing after summer recess there is lots more to do domestically as well as elsewhere and, as you will read, NNA representatives are prominent in all of it.

OLD HANDS, NEW TRICKS

This month saw the launch of a new resource from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training (NCSCT) aimed at advising smokers how to “stay switched” using e-cigarettes. It is sub-titled “Advice for new vapers from old hands” and was produced in collaboration with the NNA, University of East Anglia and Cancer Research UK.

Staying Switched

The two-page flyer offers many tips for new vapers as to how they can continue to enjoy safer nicotine use without the harm of combustion, covering topics such as experimenting with flavours, what to do when cravings get too strong, and correcting false assumptions about frequency of use. You can view and download the flier here.

As you can imagine, the document reflects the experiences of seasoned vapers who have all been through the same journey that we hope many other smokers might successfully negotiate after reading this advice. It will be distributed to stop smoking services around the country and we were pleased to be able to lend a hand, however ‘old’ we may be.

GENEVA FEVER

KAC, led by Gerry Stimson and Paddy Costall, launched a ground-breaking new report on October 2nd entitled No Fire, No Smoke: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction in Geneva, to coincide with a major biennial tobacco control summit.

The report maps the global uptake of safer nicotine products, the global regulatory response, and set out the right to access safer nicotine products, you can read the report at the website here. Our administrator Jessica Harding assisted with distributing 200 copies to delegates attending Conference of Parties (COP8), the eighth meeting of countries which have ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. You can view the launch of the report here.

Jessica also manged to gain access to the COP8 meeting along with several other consumer representatives and members of INNCO (the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations) – until the conference decided on the afternoon of the first day to exclude members of the public, as is customary. Consumers from around the world – Jessica amongst them – then held a demonstration outside the Palais de Nations, the main UN building on a particularly pleasant and sunny autumn day in Switzerland, hence the sunglasses. Let’s hope that delegates to COP8 take on board harm reduction options and that the future may be also be bright for smokers being able to transition to safer products worldwide.

COP8 nothing about us without us

 

EXPLAIN IN SPAIN

This month also saw the first ever tobacco harm reduction conference take place in Spain and NNA Trustees Louise Ross and Gerry Stimson travelled over to Barcelona on the 19th as invited guest speakers. The event was organised by ANESVAP, the Spanish vaping consumer organisation, and MOVE the Spanish medical workers organisation in support of vaping.

We were proud to be involved in such a bold new initiative. You can watch Louise’s presentation here and Gerry’s here. We wish ANESVAP every success with future events and hope that Spain will soon also see further benefits that reduced risk product can offer for the health of their public.

MAD IN THE MIRROR

Just over a week ago, there was massive media interest in a story that tobacco company, Philip Morris, had persuaded the Daily Mirror to cover its print edition with a wraparound advert for their “Hold My Light” campaign to encourage smokers to quit. A tobacco company embarking on what is effectively a smoking cessation campaign was controversial, to say the least, and attracted many negative responses from public health organisations.

We commented on this on our blog where we argued that - while recognising that the campaign can be viewed as disingenuous while the company still sells billions of cigarettes in other jurisdictions - that “there is no value in automatically gainsaying anything industry does. If this initiative comes up short the country will have lost nothing but, if it succeeds, there will be more former smokers who will have found a way out of the habit”.

We were also very encouraged that the company chose the UK to trial the campaign, remarking that “this is a recognition that the UK is a world leader in employing risk reduction in health policy and that the future here is in non-combustible products” which we are pleased to have had a hand in by engaging with health groups over the past few years. You can read our blog, entitled “It shouldn't matter who makes safer products” here.

Sarah discussed some of the issues around the campaign with Phil Upton on BBC Radio Coventry, you can listen to that here, from 2:39 in.

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER

We also blogged this month on a letter sent by Italian consumer organisation, ANPVU, to their government to protest vastly counter-productive regulations and taxes on vaping. Italy’s Constitutional Court, incredibly, declared that “the recovery of revenue eroded by the electronic cigarette market” is a perfectly valid policy option, but we argued that “it is quite shameful that the Italian government can so blatantly put tax receipts above the health of their population”. You can read our full blog and excerpts from ANPVU’s letter here.

The NNA featured in the Filter this month too as Jessica Harding wrote an excellent long-form piece about why vaping isn’t about business, it is about vapers. She argues that when governments talk about public health, “people who use tobacco harm reduction products are and always should be at the centre of this conversation”. This should be a given but too many jurisdictions exclude consumers from policy discussions altogether, this must change. You can read Jessica’s article here.

NEWS TRAVELS FAST

The NNA made a surprise appearance in the London Evening Standard in early October after NNA Trustee, Martin Cullip, featured on two panel discussions at Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, as reported in our future news last month. His revelation that polling done by E-Cigarette Direct at the time of the Brexit referendum showed a large majority of vapers in favour of leaving the EU pricked up the ears of journalists eager for new angles on the story. It didn’t take long for this previously obscure statistic to travel down from Birmingham to be read by many thousands of weary London commuters. You can read the Standard’s Diary page here.

MC Tory conference

CALL TO THE TROOPS

We have been asked to contribute to a survey by a dental organisation to assess what their priorities should be for research into Oral and Dental Health. One of the questions is “Should dental professionals recommend e-cigarettes?”. The survey can be undertaken here, you know what to do.

 TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

Louise Ross has had a very busy month on a whistle stop tour of the north west advocating vaping to people interested in learning more, supported by Chris Baxter, Graham Entwhistle and Adam Williams. She has also met Brazilian policy-makers along with NNA Chair Sarah Jakes and has now been invited to speak at the NNA Smoke-Free Estonia Association’s forthcoming tobacco harm reduction parliamentary forum at the Estonia Parliament on November 7th.

LR Chris Baxter

            Louise speaking to public health professionals in Preston,   image credit Chris Baxter

Sarah Jakes has also been invited to speak at the launch of a new report on vaping policies in the House of Commons on 20th November, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on E-cigarettes led by Mark Pawsey MP and will also be speaking at the 6th annual E-Cigarette Summit, in London on 15th November.

Additionally, an announcement on the snus case in front of the ECJ is expected on 22nd November. For news on this follow @NNAlliance and #EUforSnus onTwitter, or join EUforSnus on Facebook, which now boasts nearly 4,000 members - astonishing for an advocacy group, even more so when it’s for users of a product which cannot be sold in 27 EU member states. We hope that sense will prevail, but expectations are low.

More news on these will be shared, as usual, the moment we receive it.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

Please remember that NNA trustees give their time for free, and we rely on your generous donations to continue to ensure consumer voices are heard. Please keep your donations coming in via the donate button below, and if you can commit to a standing order or regular PayPal payment it would be gratefully received.

There is now also an option to donate to the NNA if you shop via the Amazon Smile page and select NNA as your charity. Amazon will usually donate 0.5% of your spend to us, but until 2nd November are increasing the donation rate to 5%. You can support New Nicotine Alliance (UK) by starting your shopping from this link.

You can also encourage your supportive friends and family to sign up to updates about our work by clicking here.

 

DONATE HERE TO NEW NICOTINE ALLIANCE UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite a bit of a holiday lull in activity recently, the NNA has still been working hard on your behalf. Our August news was heavy with the NNA being featured in domestic media, but this month has a distinctly international feel to it.

MAJORITY REPORT

Back in June we reported on a petition by French consumer group SoVape to fight the EU on tax being applied to e-cigarettes and other alternative products. We also campaigned to raise awareness of the need for consumers to participate in the consultation, as part of a Europe-wide drive.

The result was tremendous, with vapers contributing in their droves. In total there were over 11,000 responses on the vaping aspect of the proposals, and 90% agreed with the statement that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products and therefore should not be subject to tobacco excise directives. It is true that public consultations can often just be a fig leaf of transparency, but this has sent a very clear message to the EU that taxing vape products is a disastrous idea and that it should think long and hard before committing to making e-cigarettes more expensive and, consequentially, less attractive as an alternative to smoking.

90% of respondents agree that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products

 The full report can be viewed on the Vapolotique blog spot, here, or on the European Commission CIRCABC site.

 

VIVA ESPANA!

On Wednesday 19th September Spain held its first Tobacco Harm Reduction conference, organised by MOVE (Medical Organisations supporting Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes).
Doctors, vapers, suppliers, researchers, scientists and advocates from many countries gathered in Barcelona to listen to experts in the field of harm reduction, and to discuss the barriers, opportunities and challenges of bringing a better understanding of non-combustible nicotine products to Spain.

 

 

 Among the speakers was former NNA Chair Professor Gerry Stimson, who drew comparisons between tackling smoking and dealing with HIV/AIDS, pointing out the loss of common sense among those who suppress a harm reduction approach.

NNA trustee Louise Ross also told the audience how greater success can come with stopping smoking using vaped nicotine, and NNA associate Professor Linda Bauld showed evidence that vaping is not leading young people to start smoking in even moderate numbers, let alone epidemic proportions.

The organisers of this event deserve congratulations for getting it off the ground and we hope it will become a regular fixture in the calendar. You can view some of the highlights of the day by checking out #THRSummitSpain on Twitter.

HONG KONG VIEWEY

This month saw two separate camera crews arrive from Hong Kong to interview vaping consumers about their experiences and how UK government policy has helped them to quit smoking. NNA trustee Martin Cullip arranged for members of the London vape meet crowd to be interviewed by Hong Kong’s most-watched news channel for a 30-minute documentary, along with a YouTuber, who has a huge following amongst the Chinese community in Hong Kong and beyond. We understand that along with being broadcast in Hong Kong itself, there are plenty of viewers of this material in London’s Chinatown and elsewhere in the UK.

The broadcasters have promised to share their resultant shows with us when they are published online, but don’t get your hopes up in case it is dubbed in Chinese.

 

Interview with Niamh

Filming with Andre, Doug, Jon and Niamh in the Edgar Wallace

If you'd be willing to get involved in things like this in the future, please contact us.

The venue for the filming was the Edgar Wallace pub in Temple which is friendly towards considerate vaping, and we were proud to see one of our vaping welcome stickers proudly displayed on their noticeboard. If you would like stickers like this for your local venue, please contact us and we can send you some in return for a modest donation.

 

 

 

 

NICE ONE! 

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recently concluded its investigations into what should be included in their scope for smoking cessation advice to practitioners. The NNA sent a detailed response to their consultation and we were pleased to see that they have taken many of our suggestions on board.

It is a hefty document but you can read our input and the responses from NICE by scrolling to page 85 here. You can view all the project documents for the Scope here.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

The WHO’s biennial global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control summit meeting takes place in Geneva in only a matter of days and NNA personnel will be making their presence felt. We are expecting vapers from all over Europe to turn up and try to promote some common sense. You can read our press release urging the UK delegation to do the right thing in Switzerland here.

The Conservative Party Conference also begins on October 1st and Martin Cullip will be appearing at two fringe panel events. On Monday he will be discussing Is Brexit a Victory For Vaping chaired by parliamentary magazine, The House, and on Tuesday taking part in an Adam Smith Institute panel entitled 1 Million Years of Life: How Harm Reduction in Tobacco Policy Can Save Lives. Coming, as it does, just over a month after the government’s influential Science and Technology Select Committee report on e-cigarettes, there promises to be heightened interest in the subject amongst MPs, researchers and party members and NNA are pleased to be able to speak to delegates at the conference of the UK’s governing party.

NNA Chair Sarah Jakes has also been spreading the word this month and was interviewed by Vapor Voice for an article to be coming out soon. We are, as yet, unaware of the exact publication date, but you will know about it as soon as we do.

NNA trustee Sairah Salim-Sartoni has also been busy advising Gloucester Stop Smoking Services on a plan to offer e-cigarettes as an option to smokers, in partnership with reputable vape shops. She has been highlighting great initiatives elsewhere and there is a prospective pilot project being suggested for October. Watch this space.

As always, next month will bring more clarity on all these developments, so check back for further updates.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Please remember that NNA trustees give their time for free, and we rely on your generous donations to continue to ensure consumer voices are heard. Please keep your donations coming in via the donate button below, and if you can commit to a standing order or regular PayPal payment it would be gratefully received.

DONATE TO NNA HERE

Huge thanks to our Associate, John Summers for raising a very impressive £223 for us with his Facebook birthday fundraiser. NNA is registered as a Facebook charity and raising funds for us on there is very straightforward - why not give it a try? Our Facebook page is here.

John's birthday fundraiser

 

It may be holiday time, but there was no rest for the NNA in a very busy month. Here are just some of the things we got up to in August.

COMMITTEE COMMOTION

The biggest news of the month came on the 17th with the much-awaited release of the Science and Technology Committee’s report on e-cigarettes. It advocated a more mature debate about harm reduction products and made a plethora of welcome recommendations on regulations, advertising restrictions and future NHS policies, as well as calling for measures to drive a better public perception of use in mental health facilities and in public places.

The NNA was well prepared for the report and issued not one, but two, embargoed press releases to coincide with its publication. You can read our welcome for the report here and our release specifically on the issue of snus here. We also published a blog on the day describing the committee’s report as a potential “catalyst for a step change in the UK establishment’s approach to e-cigarettes and other safer nicotine products” which you can read here.

In line with the widespread media coverage the report attracted, NNA representatives were busy all day with media appearances. Supporters Doug Phillips and Niamh O’Farrell spoke on BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast and Channel 5 News respectively, while NNA Chair Sarah Jakes appeared on BBC2’s mid-morning current affairs show, Victoria Derbyshire, which you can watch here.

That wasn’t the end of it, though, Sarah went on to give another 9 interviews to regional BBC radio stations and Martin Cullip also spoke to BBC Radio Scotland. They are too numerous to mention here but you can view all our extensive media spots at the day’s NNA twitter stream here.

Sarah Jakes on Victoria Derbyshire

 AND THEN THERE WAS SNUS

The Committee’s report also recommended a revisit of the science behind the unnecessary EU-wide ban on snus, instigated by the UK in a storm of ill-informed moral panic in the 1980s and adopted by the EU despite its contribution to Sweden boasting by far the lowest smoking rates in Europe.

Former NNA Chair Professor Gerry Stimson was quoted in the Daily Mail hailing the report as “a milestone for harm reduction” and “the beginning of the end for the grotesque mistake of banning snus”, and wrote to The Times, where he stated that “the health department is at war with science in its opposition to snus”, you can read his letter here.

Gerry also appeared on Radio 4’s lunchtime consumer affairs show You and Yours explaining the beneficial recommendations of the Science and Tech Committee’s report, which you can listen to here.

VAPES ON A TRAIN

Understandably, considering the committee report’s bold statements on the use of e-cigarettes in public places, there was a strong backlash on social media from those who have a scant understanding of what vaping is and why smokers are increasingly switching.

NNA trustee Martin Cullip wrote on this subject at Spiked under the provocative title “Let people vape on trains”. Martin argued that the idea should not be controversial, and that the public reaction merely reinforces the committee’s call for a more educated debate about vaping and its role for public health in the UK. He ran through the common objections to vaping in public and why they are mostly founded on misconceptions. It created quite a discussion in the comments, you can read the article here.

The case for vaping on trains

 VAPE TAX SCRAP

Following a letter co-signed by the NNA condemning a rumoured tax on vaping in the UK, this month trade association UKVIA received assurance from the Treasury confirming that there are no plans to introduce such a retrograde step in the budget.

Some might say that an anonymous Treasury source quoted in the media should have been ignored, but politics is a dirty business and it wouldn’t be the first time an absurd policy has been flown in the press to gauge reaction. Responding forcefully was a politically-expedient exercise to make it clear to government that any such tax threat will be opposed vigorously. You can read our updated press release on this issue here.

There is still the spectre of vaping being sucked into the EU Tax Directive though, and the consultation ends in only a matter of days on September 3rd. It is important – if you have not already done so – that you send a message to the EU that this is not acceptable. You can find everything you need to know in order to respond to the consultation by clicking here.

SHOP FRONT-LINE

Just this week, the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) released an advisory report on how stop smoking services should collaborate with local vape shops to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes. The guidance was produced in co-operation with the NNA and the IBVTA trade association and is a pragmatic step in assisting stop smoking services to meet people where they are at in their quit attempt, something the NNA has consistently recommended.

You can read its advice by clicking here.

LONDON CALLING

The London Vape Show took place last weekend and the NNA took part in a Speaker’s Corner event there to discuss political and advocacy issues with vapers. It took the form of two panel debates on the Saturday and Sunday. Sarah Jakes took to the stage on the Saturday to give opinions on subjects as diverse as vape taxes, public space bans and global policy towards harm reduction, while Martin Cullip fielded questions on Sunday on an equally diverse range including the future for risk reduced products in the UK post-Brexit and public perception of vaping.

Speakers Corner panel eventSarah Jakes, John Dunne, Daniel Pryor and Christopher Snowdon at the Speakers Corner panel debate at the London Vape Show

 

 IN WITH THE NEW

Sadly, former trustees Andy Morrison and John Summers have left us this month for personal reasons but will remain as associates to help with areas in which they have unique expertise. However, we are delighted to welcome new trustees Louise Ross and Bernice Evans.

Louise was formerly head of Leicester stop smoking services and is a staunch supporter of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. She is currently helping with a video to kick off an Irish Swaptober campaign. Watch this space.

Bernice is formerly of Vapers in Power and was heavily involved in garnering publicity for vapers standing in general and regional elections when the rights of vapers to speak out politically was unclear. We are very pleased to have both on board.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

Not much can be said about it yet, but we have been in talks on the possibility of a new NNA branch in another EU member state to complement NNA Sweden and NNA Estonia within Europe, along with our well-established sister NNA organisation fighting hard for legalisation of vaping in Australia. We hope to have more on this new development soon.

Coming months promise to be equally busy for the NNA. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s COP8 meeting is planned for the start of October and will see the launch of an important report written by Harry Shapiro on behalf of Knowledge Action Change. Paddy Costall, Gerry Stimson and Jessica Harding will also be travelling to Geneva for the event, as will Martin Cullip. Martin will also be speaking at two panel debates at Conservative Party conference at the start of October.

More on all those snippets in next month’s round-up.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

Please remember that NNA trustees give their time for free, and we rely on your generous donations to continue to ensure consumer voices are heard. Please keep your donations coming in via the donate button below, and if you can commit to a standing order or regular PayPal payment it would be gratefully received.

Donate to NNA button


July 2018 will be remembered for a thrilling World Cup coupled with a tremendous summer, but NNA representatives still spent many hours away from sun-loungers and couches in front of the TV. Here are some highlights from the past month.

TAXING TIMES


Last month we encouraged supporters to take part in an EU consultation on the proposal to tax vaping products. We are proud to join with consumer organisations from all over Europe with this initiative, and this month we set up a resources page to give you all the information you need to make your voice heard in Brussels. If you haven’t already done so, we would urge you to add your name to those opposing such a counter-productive and potentially damaging policy by responding to the consultation.

Vaping magazines Vapouround and Vapelyfe have endorsed the campaign, and – mirroring a common approach from consumer and industry seen in other EU states - one of the UK’s two trade associations, the UKVIA, has also lent their full support, informing their considerable membership and publicising our web page via their social media channels.

You can find everything you need to know in order to respond to the consultation by clicking here.

DON'T STOP BE-LEAVING


This month also saw another visit to Westminster to advise MPs from a consumer point of view, this time on the issue of vaping post-Brexit. NNA Chair Sarah Jakes took part in a discussion at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on E-cigarettes as to the implications for risk-reduced products once the UK leaves the EU.

Parliamentarians wanted to understand the current impact of EU regulations, along with enquiring as to which sections should be changed and how to best go about it. Sarah emphasised many areas where the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive has got it wrong with regulating e-cigarettes including the rules on nicotine strength, size of bottles and tanks, prohibition of advertising, promotions and health claims, and the absurdity of warnings on some products.

We were encouraged that the MPs present were receptive to our evidence and understand which areas require correcting once we leave the EU. You can read our thoughts on how the meeting went in our blog article here.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT


This month also saw an NNA delegation meeting with NHS experts on how to improve accessibility of harm reduction products for homeless populations.

Paddy Costall, David MackIntosh and Sairah Salim-Sartoni covered a lot of ground in the London meeting and emphasised that NNA and its supporters could be help with solutions to the challenges that homeless smokers face. Sairah’s experience as a former vape-friendly stop smoking services professional fits well with the NHS’s outlook and she spoke of the possibility of obtaining some low-cost, or ideally free, kits which could be helpful for trialling schemes in certain areas. One of the key factors which deters homeless smokers from trying alternatives is the initial cost. Our team also promised to facilitate putting the NHS in touch with their counterparts in the US where experimental projects in this policy area are already being proposed. We are pleased to be contributing our knowledge to authorities tasked with helping some of the most vulnerable in society.

SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE?


Our monitoring of web traffic on harm reduction uncovered a worrying initiative by pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, this month. Pfizer are manufacturers of competing products to harm reduction alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus, so we were alarmed to see that they are funding research “Addressing Education Related to Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Harm Reduction” while appearing to lead the researchers to conclude harm reduction is not effective as part of the award criteria. Imagine the outrage if a tobacco or vaping company were to attempt the same methods.

We consider this to be unethical, so we wrote an open letter to Pfizer expressing our concerns. They have since replied to say that they are removing the Call for Grant Applications (CGA) entry from their page whilst they “ensure accuracy and appropriateness” and that they will give us a detailed response in due course. We have not yet received this and, also, note that the emailed link to the CGA page is still active. Watch this space for updates because we are quite prepared to pursue the matter further if need be.

REPORTING ON NNA


Tobacco Reporter published a long-form interview with NNA Chair, Sarah Jakes, this month, which we were permitted to reproduce on our blog. Entitled “No Smoker Left Behind”, the article portrayed Sarah in forthright mode insisting that all potentially helpful nicotine alternative products be allowed to flourish, a mantra that the NNA exists to promote.

You can read Sarah’s frank discussion about the financial difficulties the NNA encounters (donate here), anti-harm reduction junk science, problems with EU regulations, how much she spends on home-mixed e-liquid, that speech and much more, by clicking here.

POSTER BOASTER


The NNA published a poster at GFN in Warsaw with background on how we came to challenge the EU snus ban at the ECJ. It garnered much interest at the venue and we have now published it on the website. A preview is below, just click on the buttton to enlarge and download it.

NNAPoster

Poster on the ECJ legal challenge to the snus ban presented at GFN in Warsaw

DOWNLOAD FULL POSTER

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY


Coming months promise to be equally busy for the NNA. The UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee report was expected to be published in late July, but the date of release has now been announced as 17th August. Once it becomes available, we will be sure to publicise it on our site and social media channels, as well as offer our thoughts on the committee’s recommendations.

The full decision in the ECJ snus case is imminent too. The advisory note from the Advocate General was not promising but the case is not closed until the final decision is published. It is a long shot, but we still hope the EC will see sense and that a ban which we have described as “a crime against public health” will be revisited.

Lastly, we are compiling a letter to the Scottish government regarding their confused and flawed Tobacco Control Plan which our Scottish lead, Andy Morrison, described as “schizophrenic” towards vaping. Politicians north and south of Hadrian’s Wall are on their holidays now but we will be following up our published response by asking questions of ministers in due course.

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