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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.