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While there has been a frenzy of irrational panic in the USA of late, February has been a comparatively slow month for tobacco harm reduction this side of the pond. Things picked up in the last week with a report by Public Health England into general use of e-cigarettes which we blogged about here but mostly things have been quite calm. NNA trustees were still active in some areas though, so here is an update.

TRUSTEE ON TOUR

NNA Trustee Louise Ross joined Professor Peter Hajek and Dr Katie Myers Smith of Queen Mary University, Martin Dockrell of Public Health England and other public health influencers on a tour of London, Birmingham and York. The tour was to share the findings of a Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine this month.

The events also encouraged attendees – which included Directors of Public Health, commissioners and clinicians, as well as stop smoking practitioners - to accelerate the translation of the results into practice. Martin Dockrell asked the audience to guess how long it typically takes to translate an RCT into practice. The answer is a staggering 17 years. He challenged audiences to act on the findings (that e-cigarettes are twice as likely to keep people smokefree at 12 months compared to NRT) within 17 weeks.

Dr Katie Myers Smith tweet

The panel were asked some challenging questions, and overall there was a perceptible enthusiasm to rise to the challenge. One of the recommendations made to attendees was that the new “gold standard” should be offering a vaping starter kit as one of the treatment options, which was very encouraging to hear voiced.

We encourage anyone needing more information or advice about how to mobilise good intentions and turn them into action to contact NNA via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JUUL IN THE TOWN

The All-party Parliamentary Group on Vaping met on Tuesday to discuss the industry’s role in preventing youth uptake of vaping products. As the focus was on manufacturers and retailers, the NNA were not called to be involved on this occasion but our Admin Jessica Harding attended as an observer.

Representatives of BAT, Juul and the UKVIA made up the panel and subjects discussed included age verification, branding issues and advertising. Regarding the latter, all panellists expressed their frustration that they cannot make health claims that the government itself has recommended in its various publications.

While these issues were aimed at industry, they are still concerns which will impact on consumers depending on how legislators react. We have consistently argued that legislators should be consulting consumers before making policy so we hope that any recommendations which ensue will be made available for consumer groups such as ours to comment on. Jessica felt, though, that MPs on the day made a very good effort at putting the consumer case and was encouraged that they seem to have taken the NNA’s previous contributions on board.

RESEARCHING WHAT TO RESEARCH

NNA trustee Louise Ross has written a guest blog at Clive Bates’s Counterfactual site explaining her role in the E-cigarettes Priority Setting Partnership which we highlighted here last month. Louise told us that soon after the call went out for responses she was dealing with “barrow-loads” of suggestions for research topics.

At Clive’s site she explains further about the aims of the exercise:

“Despite the thousands of research studies that have been conducted in the last few years, there is still scant consensus among the people who make decisions for their populations.

“This exercise is about inviting, prompting and encouraging people from a diverse range of backgrounds to say, very simply, what questions they want to see answered by research. It won’t be a surprise to know that there was an overwhelming number of responses, and they’re still rolling in.”

Louise has said that the responses so far have been both encouraging and exasperating in equal measure, but the initiative is helping to tease out issues that stakeholders on all sides feel need to be explored. You can read her guest article here and respond to the survey by 20th March here.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

This week we published an update from Ingmar Kurg of NNA Smoke Free Estonia on some chequered news from Tallinn. The Estonian parliament seemed to be reaching a consensus on regulating e-cigarettes sensibly before politics kicked in and the proposals had to be postponed till after new elections have taken place. However, this is a significant step forward in a country that has been largely negative before and we hope that the harm reduction delegation our trustees were part of in November has swayed a few minds. You can read Ingmar’s account of the tumultuous parliamentary shenanigans here and we will keep you posted on future developments.

Other NNA trustees are scheduled for events in Australia and Africa in coming months, so we continue to try to spread the harm reduction message overseas. We will also have a representation again at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw in June.

NNA Chair Sarah Jakes has been confirmed as a speaker at the UKVIA’s annual Forum in London in May. She will be part of a panel debating “Is the UK becoming vape unfriendly? What more can be done to ensure the UK does not stop vapers vaping?”. The environment for vapers seems to vary in different areas of the country so this will be an interesting discussion which we will cover in our blog after the event.

Lastly, it has been confirmed that NNA representatives will be in attendance at Vape Jam at the Excel Centre, London, in April where the organisers have kindly said they will be holding a raffle to raise funds for our cause. Talking of which …

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.

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

 

Vapers Online, Street, Somerset

Thank you to Vapers Online, in Street, Somerset, for hosting this charity box.  We really appreciate your support.

 

DONATE HERE TO NNA UK

 

 

 

While 2019 offers much promise for the fortunes of reduced risk products, it has been a slow start to the year. Rather like when you arrive at your place of work and pour yourself a coffee or tea before getting down to the nitty-gritty, the post-Christmas lull is a time to prepare for bigger things to come. However, the NNA has still been working towards better recognition of safer nicotine products in January. We start this month’s round-up with a small victory for common sense.

CHASTENED CHESTERFIELD

Towards the end of 2017, Chesterfield Royal Hospital unveiled a new site-wide non-smoking policy which sadly included e-cigarettes. The architects of this initiative were photographed in the local press proudly standing in front of a sign which showed that they had a paltry understanding of harm reduction and had likely not read any guidance from government on the subject.

Chastened Chesterfield

As a result, they fully deserved a place in our Challenging Prohibition Wall of Shame. However, it appears that this month they have had a change of heart, and now allow qualified vaping on-site. Sally Chadwick, nursing lead for policy change at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was quoted as saying that “The popularity of e-cigarettes has grown significantly over the past few years and the research carried out by PHE has helped us to clarify our position on them in terms of health promotion.”. Planet of the Vapes wrote more on this story, which you can read here.

While it is a shame they feel the need to be so overly cautious with e-cigarettes, it is to be welcomed that they have finally read PHE’s guidance and, presumably, will be taking down the expensive signs they commissioned before investigating the subject properly.

As a result, there will be one less entry in our rogue’s gallery and we hope 2019 will see more establishments realising that their policies should embrace those who choose to switch to safer products, rather than banning vaping despite the government’s Science and Technology Committee concluding that “there is no public health rationale” to do so.

WHO KNEW!

On Thursday Professor Peter Hajek’s A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy study was published, to considerable media interest. The study found that vaping doubles a smoker’s chances of quitting, when compared with NRT.

NNA trustee Louise Ross, a co-author on the study, writes:

Many readers won’t be surprised to see the results of this study, conducted by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), demonstrating as it does that at 52 weeks post-quit, the vapers were twice as likely not to be smoking as those in the NRT group.

The participants were recruited from 3 English Stop Smoking Services (QMUL, Leicester and East Sussex), and they had to not mind whether they were allocated to the ecig arm or the NRT arm. Anyone with a strong preference received stop smoking support with the product of their choice, but they were not eligible to join the study.

After extensive follow-up, we now have good quality results that should be enough to persuade some of those sceptics that indeed, vaping IS an effective way to stop smoking. The other good news is that the vapers in the study were less likely to report respiratory symptoms than the NRT users.

LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND

NNA trustee David Mackintosh, co organiser of the Homelessness and Addiction conference, writes:

Jess Harding of the NNA attended the Addressing Complexity: Homelessness and Addiction conference at the City of London’s Guildhall on 18 January. This event was a collaboration between the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum and London South Bank University and was intended to help bring together the latest research with those working directly with individuals experiencing homelessness.

 Lynne Dawkins Homelessness and addiction event

Dr Lynne Dawkins 

While the role of alcohol and illegal drugs were covered alongside the impacts of gambling there was also discussion on the links to smoking and the potential of effective tobacco harm reduction with individuals who are homeless. Dr Lynne Dawkins provided an excellent outline of how many groups had been left behind as overall smoking rates declined. Within homeless populations smoking rates were at 77 -90% compared to just 17% within the general population. There is strong evidence that individuals in this group have a strong desire to quit smoking, however, their attempts are often unaided and unsuccessful. Given the potential health gains for individuals and the improvements this can yield in term of addressing inequalities this is an area where alternatives such as vaping should be explored.

Masks health inequalities

It was clear that many in the audience recognised smoking as an overlooked area in terms of harm reduction work and the NNA is exploring how it can support efforts to ensure that those most at risk and in need are not left behind.

Dr Dawkins' slide

PEERS REVIEWED

This month saw the release of a report which was co-authored by two NNA Trustees, Louise Ross and our Chair, Sarah Jakes. Entitled “What is the value of peer involvement in advancing tobacco harm reduction?” it was produced in partnership with Caitlin Notley of the University of East Anglia and Sharon Cox of South Bank University.

The report discussed the importance of involving consumers – or peers – in research in order to maximise the effectiveness of research into new nicotine delivery systems and how they are being embraced by the smoking public with very little input from public health and without costly coercive interventions paid out of taxpayer funds.

It concludes that “In future, we hope to see vapers as advocates advancing the research agenda through posing new research questions. The value of peer involvement in tobacco harm reduction is that, through interdisciplinary research, equally valuing the input of ‘experts by experience’ with academic specialisms, we will reach evidence-based answers to important research questions exploring what is essentially a peer-led phenomenon, with unprecedented potential for harm reduction.”. In other words, academics should be involving vapers in their investigations or else they will come up with unrealistic or incorrect results.

We have consistently argued that legislators should be consulting consumers before making policy – or, “nothing about us, without us”, as it is termed – and often bad policy follows from poor research which does not take consumers into account, so we are glad to see health researchers taking this subject seriously and seeing the benefits of peer involvement. You can read the full report here.

BELL JARS ON THE BBC

At the start of the month Public Health England produced a video comparing the emissions from smoking compared to vaping. During a period which was a news desert, the BBC took it up and featured it prominently on their website, which you can watch here. The demonstration involved testing the take-up of substances by cotton wool from sustained exposure to smoke and vapour.

 PHE video

 

It wasn’t remotely a scientific experiment, merely an illustration of what a consumer would be subjected to with each method of nicotine delivery, but it was visually stark. Some expressed concerns about the messaging but the NNA argued that it was targeted at smokers who may have been put off vaping by lurid and sensationalist headlines in the media. We blogged about the film, saying that “there is a large body of the smoking public who would like to choose to stop smoking with e-cigarettes – and could well be successful - but will have been put off by dishonest scaremongering. It is this demographic that the PHE film seeks to speak to.”.
 
We maintained that rather than being a coercive message, it was one that simply attempts to correct misinformation about e-cigarettes and deliver accurate information which would help smokers make more educated choices: “Availability of accurate information goes hand in hand with availability of the products; it is no use having a wide range of devices on the market if smokers have been conned into avoiding them.”.
 
You can read our blog here

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

Trustees have been busy meeting with representatives of several organisations this month. An annual day-long board meeting thrashed out some future plans and there are some exciting initiatives on the horizon. It is too soon to reveal much except to say that once spring arrives there will be much to talk about on many fronts. If all goes to plan we may be inviting you to events and/or participating in activism in your local community. Watch this space.

 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.

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.

We have updated our donate page, to include all these options.

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

 

Thank you, Devon Vapour!

Devon Vapour

 

DONATE TO NEW NICOTINE ALLIANCE HERE
 

As we prepare to celebrate the new year and move into 2019, it is time to look back on a momentous year in the life of the NNA. As you will see from this round-up, it has been a very busy one but none of it is possible without you, the consumers. By sharing our posts, by making a financial donation, by giving us your time, encouragement and feedback, your support has been crucial. We hope we can count on more of the same next year. To learn how donate to the NNA and support our work, please see the bottom of this page. In the meantime, here are just some highlights from a successful year.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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