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May has been relatively quiet on the harm reduction front but there are looming threats from the WHO and the EU coming down the track that we need to stay alert for. Here is what the NNA has been up to this month, but also some preliminary information on what we fear could be a sinister and science-free attack on alternative nicotine products in the next year or so via the revisited EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD3) and the unelected WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

WORLD QUIT OR DIE DAY

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

The 31st May was the World Health Organisation’s No Tobacco Day but – once again – there was no mention of how reduced risk products like e-cigarettes could contribute to this goal. We wrote last year about how this was a massive lost opportunity, but it seems that the WHO is not interested in the proven success of vaping despite article 1d of its FCTC constitution specifically stating that harm reduction should be embraced.

very sorry

Instead, the WHO are planning to embark on a campaign to persuade governments to treat vaping the same as smoking all over the world. In a submission to the WHO’s General Assembly this month, the FCTC declared it wanted to “prioritize measures that prevent initiation of novel and emerging tobacco products, protect people from exposure to their emissions, prevent health claims being made for such products, avert their promotion, regulate the contents and disclosure of the contents of novel and emerging tobacco products, and regulate, including restriction or prohibition of the manufacture, importation, distribution, presentation, sale and use of novel and emerging tobacco products”. As usual, the FCTC is incorrectly classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco to bolster its Luddite action against innovative products which have led to astonishing declines in smoking rates in countries such as Norway, Japan, Sweden, Korea, USA, France and the UK.

The NNA added a quote to a press release by the UKVIA querying why a global health entity such as  the WHO wishes to ignore the success of vaping in favour of strict prohibition of products which are unquestionably favourable to public health. It seems that the FCTC will be looking to place as many obstructions as they can in front of successful harm reduction solutions at their Conference of the Parties (COP9) gathering in Amsterdam next year.
In all other health policy areas, the WHO supports harm reduction measures, just not when it comes to smoking, which begs the question why they are not more honest in calling 31st May World Quit or Die Day instead.

 LIFE AND SEOUL

The start of May saw NNA Trustees Gerry Stimson and Louise Ross meet Professors Choi and Kim at the Royal Society of Medicine. They had come all the way from South Korea to learn more about the UK approach to tobacco harm reduction. Gerry spoke about successful UK government policy before Louise followed up with a session on her clinical experience of supporting people to switch from smoking to vaping.

Prof Choi had personal insights into this, having stopped smoking with heat not burn products, and very much related to the picture that Louise described. The professors were particularly interested in the benefits of switching when applied to people who have poor mental health and those who live with financial hardships. Spending around 10% on vaping compared with the money they would have spent on tobacco cigarettes made them really sit up and take notice, along with the superior quit rates once smokers tried vaping.

At the end of the interview, Prof Choi asked Louise if she would be prepared to travel to South Korea to speak to government representatives, to which she replied with a resounding yes. Could our intrepid former stop smoking manager be Seoulward bound soon? We’ll keep you posted.

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE

NNA Associate Terry Walker blogged this month about his efforts at changing misguided vaping bans and how he has managed to engage with his local NHS Trust on educating them about how to treat e-cigarette use in line with government advice.

He has had some success, and reports that:
“I wrote to the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust to offer my services in assisting them in reviewing their policy to bring it more in line with latest guidance and to align with the government’s Tobacco Control Plan. Encouragingly, he replied to thank me for my message and to say he would “welcome some discussion on this for a future update of the policy” and forwarded my message to those who have the relevant responsibility.”
Terry ended his piece with a challenge to other vapers faced with similar ill-thought out policies prohibiting vaping, by urging “if you see a vaping policy that is wrong-headed, it could well be worth politely enquiring as to why. If I can do it, so can you.”
You can read about his efforts here.

If you have questioned anti-vaping policies in your own locality and received a sympathetic ear like Terry has, do please let us know. Or, if you have any other story to tell about your experiences with vaping, we would always welcome guest bloggers. Just get in touch via our contact page

Terry and Hon LikNNA Associate Terry Walker with Hon Lik, inventor of the modern e-cigarette, at the Global Forum on Nicotine in 2017

 

VAPE-FRIENDLY FIRE

The UKVIA held its second annual Forum this month which was addressed by TV’s Dr Christian Jessen and was also attended by two MPs – Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron and Conservative Mark Pawsey – along with speakers from a range of vape industry interests and policy area commentators.

NNA Chair Martin Cullip represented consumers on a panel entitled “Has the UK become vape unfriendly?” which was chaired by Pawsey and featured Andrew Green of the British Beer and Pubs Association. We reported on our blog that “there was a definite willingness from the BBPA to better inform their members about the benefits of welcoming vapers – even if only for the boost to their profits which could result – and we hope to continue a dialogue with them so that more pubs might welcome vapers in the future”.
You can read our report of the event here.

During the panel, Martin also raised the issue of the web page on vaping in the workplace at government-funded ACAS’s website. He pointed out that it was not fit for purpose, cited long outdated research and was sending entirely the wrong message to the many employers who rely on it for sensible advice. It is disappointing, for example, that an organisation which is trusted for rigorous guidance on employment matters is still describing vaping as “smoking e-cigarettes” and is not joined-up with current government guidance.

Mark Pawsey made a note about Martin’s concerns and we have since heard that the MP will be writing to the Chief Executive of ACAS to ask that the page be revisited. We will be sure to let you know if long overdue corrections are made.

.Martin Cullip speaking UKVIA ForumMartin Cullip speaking at the UKVIA Forum

 THEY NEED YOU!

Just a reminder that a new searchable resource has been created which aims to catalogue vape shops all over the country. As reported last month, the UK Vape Store Locator is “designed by a vaper who got a bit bored between Christmas and New Year 2018 and decided to see what he could do with Google maps” and intends to build a map of all shops in the UK. You can follow the project on social media here and suggest shops for the publicly available database here.

 TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

The Global Forum on Nicotine in is almost upon us and many NNA Trustees, Associates and Supporters will be in Warsaw for the event in the second week of June. The NNA poster is almost finalised and final plans are in place for a Consumer Advocacy Alignment meeting - organised by Jessica Harding and chaired by Martin Cullip - featuring academics and consumers from all over the world. The NNA is the designated charity partner for this year’s conference so if you have a raffle prize to contribute, please get in touch.

Martin will also be presenting a speech on the subject of “Challenges in communication around vaping products and the consumer outlook” at the unfortunately named ‘ENDS’ Conference taking place in London this coming week.

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.

We regularly highlight 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

.

Donate to NNA

 

April has been another fairly busy month for the NNA right from day one and through to Easter and beyond. Some eggsellent news but also some bad including a stinker of a policy proposal from Hong Kong which is no yolk (we’ll get our coats). There is a theme of education this month, though, here is a rundown of our activities.

NOT FOOLING AROUND

The second annual VApril campaign launched on 1st April and the NNA was involved in the build-up by writing a “Switch on to vaping plan” which you can read and download here. The launch took place in a building in Covent Garden which was entirely covered outside with the VApril logo and inside with the plan’s themes and graphics. TV’s Dr Christian Jessen is the face of the campaign this year, as in 2018, and he spoke at the launch alongside John Dunne of the UKVIA and NNA Chair Martin Cullip.

Snip

Martin Cullip with Dr Christian Jessen at the VApril launch

On the day, the public was invited to come into the building, view some literature about vaping, be educated about the possibilities of switching and to try some vaping products. This was far from an April Fool’s Day stunt.

This year the event has gone global with similarly branded campaigns in South Africa, France and Australia amongst other countries, and all were directing smokers to our tips for how to successfully switch to vaping if they choose to quit tobacco. You can read our thoughts on this year’s VApril campaign on our blog article here.  

ROSS ON WHY

NNA Trustee Louise Ross was customarily busy once again. At the beginning of the month she featured prominently in an article at the widely-read Ashtray Blog on why stop smoking services should be receptive to e-cigarettes and how they can go about making harm reduction a success for their clients. Drawing on her experience as head of the Leicester Stop Smoking Service, she explained how a vape-friendly scheme could operate as well as providing a helpful checklist to encourage other services to enjoy similar results. You can read her sage advice here.

Later in the month, Louise also wrote in support of e-cigarettes being sold in pharmacies in The Pharmaceutical Journal. Opposed by a researcher who contributed the usual innuendo and suspicion about safer nicotine devices, Louise set out the positive case for pharmacies to play a role in educating smokers about the potential of vaping instead.

“Pharmacists have the chance to influence smokers when conducting medicines use reviews or when they have the opportunity to give brief advice to clients when dispensing medicines. These opportunities shouldn’t go to waste.”

You can read the full debate here.

WRONG IN HONG KONG

Sadly, this month we saw an appalling policy being proposed by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Seduced by the siren voices of doom about e-cigarettes, they issued a consultation on plans to criminalise import and possession of vaping devices to which we responded, you can read it here. Combustible tobacco will still be legal throughout Hong Kong so the proposed law would prohibit safer nicotine products while protecting sales of the most harmful.

We wrote about the lack of thought which has gone into this policy and warned that a significant proportion of the 570k UK tourists that visit Hong Kong every year might be at risk of jail simply for following advice from health organisations in the UK, including our government’s Tobacco Control Plan.

“The Legislative Council may well believe that they are doing the right thing with their proposals, but criminalising possession of products designed to help smokers quit tobacco is in direct contrast to their stated aim to 'discourage smoking, contain the proliferation of tobacco use and minimise the impact of passive smoking on the public'.”

Vaping360 and Planet of the Vapes both picked up on our concerns that up to 35,000 UK tourists could be at threat, which you can read here and here.  We also published a blog article on the subject here

JAM SESSION

The 2019 Vape Jam expo took place from the 11th to 13th of April and the NNA was represented by Martin Cullip, Jessica Harding, Associate Andy Morrison and ably assisted by supporters Doug Phillips and Niamh O’Farrell. As well as one of the crew manning our stand in the Modders Block, Martin was invited to take part in a panel debate on the main stage about responsible marketing. It was a feisty affair at times which attracted a healthy crowd of vapers to hear about the practicalities of regulations and there were some very astute questions asked afterwards.

 

Vape Jam panel event

Panel event at Vape Jam

The organisers, Maria and P Vaper, once again very kindly gave us a stand and organised the raffle for us and we are very grateful for all the support from exhibitors and consumers alike at the event. It went very well, and we really enjoyed meeting so many of you there. 

There was even an opportunity for Andy Morrison to help educate a rather unusual equine visitor, who was very interested in some of our literature. 

Andy meets a zebra

SCHOOLING IN SCOTLAND

Andy Morrison was also in attendance at the 5th annual Glasgow School of Vape this past weekend, which greeted over 75 vapers in its new home of The Woods Bar in Waterloo Street. Andy reports that organisers, Eddy Black, Arthur Watson and their team pulled out all the stops to make this event another success. A wide range of vendors, old and new, supported the event along with prominent vape reviewers and Andy gratefully accepted another batch of NNA battery wraps from our good friend Jim Donaghy (Torchy the Battery Boy). Several of these wraps were distributed to vendors and customers alike.

All in all, a good time was had. Andy welcomed the opportunity to re-connect with supporters and meet many new people who were keen to discuss NNA and what we will be doing going forward. There are already rumblings of GSOV 5.1 being organised for some time in the summer of this year, so if you are local to Glasgow, watch out for that. We would like to thank the organisers for making NNA welcome. We look forward to joining you again soon.

THEY NEED YOU!

A new searchable resource has been created which aims to catalogue vape shops all over the country. Described as “designed by a vaper who got a bit bored between Christmas and New Year 2018 and decided to see what he could do with Google maps”, the UK Vape Store Locator is building a map of all shops in the UK and could do with your help. You can follow the project on social media here and suggest shops for the publicly available database here. It is not affiliated to or sponsored by industry and operates as a not-for-profit resource for vapers independent of any trade association.

PARISH NOTICE

As you may have noticed, the NNA now has a new Chair as Sarah Jakes has stepped down to concentrate on family issues after an outstanding period at the helm. We are saddened to lose her undoubted talent as Chair, but she will continue as a Trustee so we will still benefit from her considerable expertise. Needless to say, this will not affect direction for the NNA, Trustees have a very active role in running the organisation so while personnel might change, our messaging and aims will not.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

Preparations are already in hand for the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw in June, and the NNA is planning to submit a poster for the event showcasing the VApril campaign literature that we helped to produce. For the first time this year the GFN  will be supporting a charity, and we are delighted that NNA has been chosen. A raffle will be held there, with all proceeds going to NNA.  If you have any suitable prizes you could donate do please let us know.  The GFN is well-attended by consumers from around the world and we will have more news in next month’s update.

The UKVIA is holding its annual Forum on May 9th and NNA will be in attendance. Last year, former NNA Chairs Sarah Jakes and Gerry Stimson took part in a debate with Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Norman Lamb. Parliamentarians are again scheduled to be at the event this year, and we expect to be providing a speaker too which presents a good opportunity to advance the consumer cause to influential politicians and industry alike. Watch this space.

UKVIA forum 2018

Panel with Sarah Jakes, Professor Lynne Dawkins, Norman Lamb MP, Dan Marchant and Professor Gerry Stimson at the UKVIA Forum in 2018

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.

 

DONATE HERE TO NNA

 

 

 

 


As we put our clocks forward and look forward to lighter evenings in the UK, there is plenty of activity upcoming in the area of tobacco harm reduction, some good, some bad. This month’s newsletter touches on some of these happenings and NNA activity.

ACTION STATIONS!

We start with ominous news coming from the EU, where Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, who has in the past described e-cigarettes as “a danger to public health”, has been giving his thoughts about a review of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which could come as early as this year.

In an interview with Euractiv this month, Andriukaitis says that “If one uses electronic cigarettes as a method to stop smoking, it has to be managed by medical doctors and specialists, to be sold in pharmacies and not in supermarkets.”. It seems clear that he rejects the terms of the TPD and is determined to go back in time to reverse even the small concessions that vapers earned the last time the EU wanted to medicalise reduced risk consumer products. His words cannot be taken lightly considering he wields a lot of power, no matter how ignorant his understanding of the subject, especially since his deputy recently compared vaping to poison.

The NNA will be monitoring messages coming out of Brussels and you can be assured that if unwise ideas such as Andriukaitis’s begin to look like a real threat, we will be doing our best to co-ordinate a call to action to once again to head it off. Stay alert and keep an eye on our website and social media, we could be in for another arduous battle against the EU and the nefarious activists who advise them, and we’d need all the help we can muster from you to do so.

 EFVI hand

BLESS THE BRAINS DOWN IN AFRICA

The NNA’s Gerry Stimson, Kevin Molloy and Jessica Harding took part in a trip to Malawi and Kenya to spread the message of harm reduction in Africa this month, meeting with representatives of the Campaign for Safer Alternatives in Africa and THR Malawi while there.

CASA cakeThe Campaign for Safer Alternatives is launched in Nairobi

Africa presents a drastically different landscape than here; alternative nicotine products are not widely available and are out of reach for most people due to being expensive and - in Malawi - many don’t even have access to electricity. Snus seems a much more appropriate product, especially as tobacco leaves are readily accessible.  Due to tobacco presenting Malawi with 60% of its GDP, the crop is called “the green god” and any discussions on tobacco need to be very sensitive to the fact that the economy relies on it. In another contrast to the UK, there are no tobacco control measures, to the extent that many people aren’t aware that smoking is unhealthy, let alone what to expect when they stop smoking, and nicotine replacement therapy is scarcely available. It is clear that global tobacco control organisations are failing Africa and there is a real need for education around alternatives.

meeting with tobacco farmersMeeting with tobacco farmers near Lilongwe, Malawi

MAY SHE BE SO BOLD

This month, NNA trustee Louise Ross has been particularly busy. She was part of a panel talking to stop smoking practitioners, healthcare workers and commissioners about how the use of vaping could accelerate the fall in smoking rates in the Wirral. Along with Professor Peter Hajek, Dr Alex Bobak, Elizabeth Woodworth, the local stop smoking lead and the Wirral Director of Public Health, Louise helped answer many thought-provoking questions to the audience.

Louise reported that the stop smoking team were well-informed already about e-cigarettes and confident about getting smokers to switch. In the post-event discussion, some healthcare workers told Louise about the personal battles they had fought and won to get colleagues to understand the benefits of being positive about vaping. One practitioner had heard Louise talk before and had gone back to work determined to act on what she had learned, which was very encouraging.

Louise also submitted the common-sense answer to the question “should the use of e-cigarettes be encouraged among smokers?” in the Nursing Times this month. It is disappointing that anyone could disagree with this suggestion – especially amongst health professionals – but the debate-style article featured one such individual, nonetheless. You can read the arguments for and against here.

As if that wasn’t enough, Louise was also filmed by Filter giving her thoughts about the real-life practicalities of harm reduction via vaping and how she had changed her mind from being initially against but now very much in favour of e-cigarettes. You can watch the video below or at this link and hear her views on what is happening in America, prefaced with the very British “my advice to the United States, if I may be so bold”. Well worth a watch.

Louise Ross Filter vid

VAPING AND THE HOMELESS

There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes about vaping and homeless populations. Studies are being undertaken by some institutions and the NNA is active in this area with Trustee David MacKintosh holding discussions about the subject with key individuals tasked with helping those who live on the streets. There is not much we can say about it just yet but we are pleased to be consulted on what is a very important policy area.

THEY NEED YOU!

The NNA has been publicising a call for people willing to take part in a study by University College London on possible health effects of vaping or using a heat-not-burn device. Participants will have to attend one or two sessions in London but will be remunerated with Amazon vouchers and reimbursement of expenses as is customary with public health studies of this type. Planet of the Vapes has published all the details here so if you are close to London, do consider putting yourself forward.

UCL

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY

The second VApril campaign led by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is launching on 1st April and the NNA has been involved to help produce a “Switch on to vaping plan” which you can read here. By the time you read this the campaign will be well under way, but it is technically still future news for a March newsletter. You can read our thoughts on VApril on our blog article here

Are you jamming with us this year? Vape Jam 2019 takes place from the 11th to 13th of April and the NNA will again be well represented.  Martin Cullip, Bernice Evans Jessica Harding and Andy Morrison will be there so please come to the NNA stand to say hello. The organisers have once again very kindly organised the raffle for us - a big  thank you to Maria and P Vaper! We will be selling raffle tickets for prizes which - in past years - have included Frankenskull mods, Amber mods, SVA mods and many others.

Vape Jam lot 1 2018Lot 1 in the 2018 Vape Jam raffle

Trustee Martin Cullip will also be participating in a panel debate at the event organised with UKVIA. Topics discussed will include: vaping awareness; what does responsible marketing look like; and how can we get the message about vaping to the UK’s smokers. We hope to see many of you there so please swing by our stall if you are planning to attend.

Lastly, the 5th Glasgow School of Vape is taking place at the Woods Bar, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ on 28th April from midday till 11pm, NNA Associate Andy Morrison will be in attendance and you will be welcome to join him. The event aims to bring vapers together with other vapers and retailers and seeks to be a place where beginners and veterans can learn and teach. There will be a selection of Scotland's top vendors there and food (Including vegan and vegetarian) will be available throughout the day. If you require any other information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find their event page on Facebook. Please note that it is a strictly over 18s event.

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.

You can effortlessly donate to the NNA if you shop via the Amazon Smile page and select NNA as your charity:  start 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

Write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  or via Twitter @NNAlliance, or via our Facebook page if you can donate something for us to raffle or list on eBay. 

 

DONATE TO NEW NICOTINE ALLIANCE HERE

EFVI image credit Krisztian Pifko http://www.efvi.eu/


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
 

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