Gerry Stimson | 21 September 2013
New report by Clive Bates and Gerry Stimson on the Costs and burdens of medicines regulation for e-cigarettes.
What were the MHRA, the Department of Health, and their health advisers thinking when they embarked on the e-cigarettes as medicines route? The more you analyse it, the more medicines regulation appears to lead to a monstrous perversion of public health objectives.
Konstantinos Farsalinos | 18 September 2013
As I recently mentioned in a letter to the editor of Journal of Chromatography A, the way results of research are presented is crucial for the message obtained by the public and can have important implications on decisions implemented by authorities.
This is especially important in the case of e-cigarettes, mostly for 2 reasons:
Michael Siegel | 15 September 2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week that the prevalence of youth in grades 6-12 who have experimented with electronic cigarettes in the past month increased from 1.1% in 2011 to 2.1% in 2012. Among middle school students, the prevalence of past month use increased from 0.6% to 1.1%. Among high school students, past-month use increased from 1.5% to 2.8%.
Based on these results, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden proclaimed: "The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling....Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes."
Clive Bates | 5 September 2013
Today 5th September, the leaders of the main political group in the European Parliament, (a group known as the Conference of Presidents) will meet to decide on the timing of debate and vote on the tobacco products directive. The proposed text for debate, amendment and vote was only published on Friday 30 Aug and not in most languages. The deadline for amendments was on Wednesday 4th Sept.
Clive Bates | 31 August 2013
We are approaching make or break time of the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive – the ‘first reading’ of the proposal is coming up. Here’s my take on the process.
What is the overall process? The TPD is following the ‘ Ordinary Legislative Procedure‘.
Clive Bates | 26 August 2013
Not content with one humiliating climbdown this year (see its apology) , the Mail seems determined to press on for another with the ludicrous article above on 26 August. I complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the one in January (see full details here) and have just complained about this one.
Clive Bates | 12 August 2013
I have written to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee to follow up on the appearance of the Minister for Public Health (see: Write to Anna Soubry about e-cigarettes for my take on this). The aim of this is not to press the procedural points (they’re onto that!), but to argue that in this case scrutiny must be more than a formality. The directive is so poor (see ‘gargantuan dog’s breakfast‘ and ‘ negligent tobacco policy‘) that it is essential that the government’s uncritical support for it is properly challenged in Westminster, with a view to significantly improving it or starting again in 2014.
Clive Bates | 5 August 2013
The UK government has a process called the Red Tape Challenge, which has the aim of lifting unnecessary regulatory burdens on business. Within its broad remit it has a specific theme on disruptive or ‘challenger’ businesses . Its problem definition for this theme is as follows:
We understand that new business models – particularly those that involve doing things differently – may fall foul of regulations that were intended for another age, or for another purpose entirely. We want to ensure that our regulatory system is fit for purpose, and is not holding back disruptive new companies
Clive Bates | 1 August 2013
We now have health and consumer organisations, notably the disgraceful World Health Organisation, spreading harm around the world byadvocating banning e-cigarettes, a policy described as ‘nuts’ by one of the world’s foremost addiction scientists, Professor Robert West. We’ve seen it recently in the Philippines, where the medical association pressed for a ban ( Doctors beg Aquino: order e-cigs ban). There’s also been a serious outbreak in Malaysia. Although 40% of men smoke, the consumer movement thinks they should be denied by law the option to switch to e-cigarettes ( ‘Ban e-cigarettes’).
Clive Bates | 28 July 2013
I have been pretty scathing in a number of posts about how wrong it would be to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines (see, for example: The case for regulating e-cigarettes as medicines; 10 reasons not to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines ; Medicines regulation for e-cigarettes – when caution can kill - and pointed out it is probably illegal, not least because they are not medicines. I’ve also stressed the significant body of legislation that already applies to e-cigarettes , and suggested how the tobacco products directive can be amended to take better advantage of this.