Vapers Digest 12th February
Monday’s News at a glance:
COP 10 – what happened? – COP10FCTC LIVE Day Six – The reality of tobacco control – Where are the Crusades to Ban Alcohol, Marijuana & Caffeine – For the Children? – ASH CEO Deborah Arnott to retire – WHO to Censor Media on THR – A missed opportunity to end cigarette smoking – Philippines draws support at WHO conference – Consumer rights group blasts BC for “ridiculous” nicotine pouch restrictions – C-stores to bear the brunt of ‘draconian’ disposable vape ban – Romania Braces for Oppressive Excise Tax – (Day 5) Good Cop / Bad Cop – The rise of ‘Zynfluencers’: What you need to know
Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove Iron Fist
I got back from Panama City on Saturday after a great few days with some of the best people in tobacco harm reduction. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance did a terrific job of running an alternative conference to the WHO farce and it was good to speak to so many journalists who had come from far and wide.
Inside the WHO conference, who knows what went on? The meeting is so secretive that outsiders can only feed off scraps. From what I can tell, there was no success in getting the corrupt and incompetent WHO to endorse products like e-cigarettes but nor was it able to toughen its stance against them. A whole bunch of public sector troughers got a little holiday in Latin America and very little was achieved. We can perhaps call it a defensive win.
This account from EU Reporter is worth reading:
The Journal for today is here: https://storage.googleapis.com/who-fctc-cop10-source/Journals/fctc-cop10-journal-6-en.pdf
At nine pages, it is unusually long.
Please let us know if you think we have missed anything interesting.
There are still no decisions for this week posted on the Decisions page. So, we will keep watching for when those appear.
Christopher Snowdon – The Critic
Greetings from Panama City where the World Health Organisation is holding its latest conference. The 10th Conference of the Parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — COP10 is the much needed abbreviation — was meant to be held in November but was cancelled as a result of local unrest and organisational incompetence.
I am not at the conference. I would not be welcome. Aside from the delegates and a bunch of anti-nicotine NGOs, hardly anyone is welcome at the conference. The WHO has a habit of turning away journalists, members of the public and experts who disagree with the agency’s hostile stance towards e-cigarettes.
Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into “#vaping and tobacco controls” has been announced
Open for submissions now, closing Friday 29 March 2024
Please make a submission
More information herehttps://t.co/BeVj1aTQx9
— Dr Colin Mendelsohn (@ColinMendelsohn) February 10, 2024
11 years! https://t.co/hehLEgQLXr
— Phil (@phil_w888) February 11, 2024
Marijuana & Caffeine – For the Children?
Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) just introduced a program to discourage underage drinking, aimed specifically at middle schoolers (here). It’s called “Too Soon = Too Dangerous.” The chart at left, based on data from the government’s Monitoring the Future Survey (MTFS), shows that attention to early substance abuse is timely.
There’s long been a broad crusade to prohibit all tobacco and nicotine products. Local and state governments are banning vaping and e-cigarette flavors (examples here, here and here), and the FDA has rejected thousands of flavored products that were already on the market (resulting in a todal wave of illicit products).
The last 21 years have seen Deborah Arnott develop and lead ASH and the Smokefree Action Coalition which ASH coordinates, to substantial campaign successes including legislation prohibiting smoking in public places, putting tobacco out of sight in shops, and plain standardised tobacco packs. The ratcheting up of regulation has been accompanied by substantial declines in smoking prevalence of more than half among adults  and more than 80% among children aged 11-15 .
Before Deborah retires, parliament is expected to have passed revolutionary laws to create a smokefree generation; a fitting end to two decades of campaigning success. For more information on the new vacancy please visit this link.
To Censor Media on Tobacco Harm Reduction
Africa Harm Reduction Alliance
World leaders are gathered in Panama this week for the global tobacco control conference to discuss the tenth World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of the Parties (COP).
In a move reminiscent of a despotic government regime, the WHO FCTC is pushing for new guidelines to be implemented with a media and internet gag order on tobacco harm reduction.
“The proposal to keep smokers in the dark about better alternatives is ludicrous,” says harm reduction advocate, president and co-founder of the African Harm Reduction Alliance, Dr Kgosi Letlape. “To enact extreme bans on communications related to alternative tobacco nicotine products has far-reaching implications for the world’s 1.3 billion smokers.”
To end cigarette smoking – Nick Powell
The European Commission is proud of what it calls the Brussels effect, that when the EU makes regulations on the safety of consumer products much of the world follows suit, so that manufacturers can access the European market. But tobacco control has become a major exception, with Europe’s smokers at risk of being denied the most effective ways of giving up cigarettes, as the EU is not a leader but a follower of the World Health Organisation’s policies.
Here in Panama, a source told me that the delegation from the Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE, is agreeing to proposals well beyond its mandate. They have not even mentioned Sweden, a member state that thanks to oral nicotine products banned in the rest of the EU has achieved the lowest cigarette consumption in the world.
At WHO conference for endorsing harm reduction
The Philippines drew widespread support from international anti-smoking advocates amid attempts by the Global Alliance on Tobacco Control (GATC) to discredit the country for endorsing tobacco harm reduction at the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s (WHO FCTC) 10th Conference of Parties in Panama.
The supporters of the Philippines accused GATC of showing an authoritarian agenda for questioning the country’s right to endorse tobacco harm reduction at COP 10 held from February 5 to 10, 2024. GATC attempted to shame the Philippines by giving it another “Dirty Ashtray” award.
For “ridiculous” nicotine pouch restrictions
The British Columbia government’s decision to limit the sale of nicotine pouches to pharmacies only has sparked outrage from the Consumers’ Association of Canada.
The consumer group says the move, which was announced yesterday without any prior consultation with consumers, contradicts the province’s harm reduction approach and denies smokers access to a safer alternative to cigarettes.
Nicotine pouches are a type of nicotine replacement therapy that has been approved by Health Canada as a way to help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco consumption.
Of ‘draconian’ disposable vape ban – Pooja Shrivastava
The UK government’s ban on disposable vapes won’t fix anything but will only boost a surge in illegal products, thereby making matters worse- both in terms of youth vaping and irresponsible disposal, echo the chorus voices from academia, industry and convenience sector.
The government announced on Jan 29 that disposable vapes will be banned across the UK and more measures will soon be introduced to prevent vapes being marketed to children and teens.
It is already illegal to sell vapes to anyone under 18, but disposable vapes – which are often sold in smaller, more colourful packaging than refillable ones- are the “key driver behind the alarming rise in youth vaping”, according to the government.
Romania Braces for Oppressive Excise Tax | #GFNInterviews
With an estimated 7 million smokers out of a population of 19 million, the Eastern European country of Romania has a lot of work to do to help its citizens quit the deadly habit. Instead, Romania plans to enact a new excise tax that would double the cost of safer nicotine products, like vaping.
Day 5 of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s “Good Cop / Bad Cop” counter-conference to COP10 the World Health Organization’s Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control happening Feb 5 to Feb 10 in Panama City, Panama.
Guests: Dr. Riccardo Polosa (Italy), Maria Papaioannoy (Canada) and David Williams, Martin Cullip (TPA)
What you need to know – CNBC Television
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb joins ‘The Exchange’ to discuss the health concerns about Zyn, how the product has captured the market, and more.
A look back at how things have moved on or otherwise…
Accountable civil servants or third parties? – ETHRA
On 24 January, EU officials announced that the tender for the Single Framework Contract for Support Actions in the Field of Tobacco Control had been awarded to three contractors: Open Evidence (a Spanish research and consulting firm), the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP), and the University of Crete. Open Evidence reports that they will be leading the international consortium. The consortium also includes ICF Consulting in the UK, Milieu Law & Policy Consulting, Vital Strategy (sic) and SGS. The contract will last for four years and has a value of €3 million. 25% of the value is likely to be subcontracted to third parties.
The tender procedure was initiated in mid-2022 by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) and is based on the EU4Health Programme which envisages, among other things, “evaluating legislation in the field of tobacco control for possible revisions.”
Over single use vape – Tim Worstall
We would, obviously, prefer defiant teenagers to vape their way into coolness rather than smoke. At which point ASH decides that this should be taxed out of existence, this lower damage method of teenage rebellion:
Add £4 to the price of every vape to put off children from buying them, campaigners have said.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) are calling for an excise tax on disposable vapes to stop children from being able to buy them for less than £5.
The charity said adding £4 to each single-use vape, which currently cost around £4.99, would make them significantly less affordable for children while still less expensive than tobacco.
One of the justifications put forward is: