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Licensing e-cigarettes: opportunities and risks

by Alison Cox | Analysis

12 June 2013

348 comments 348 comments

It’s been an interesting few days for smokers intent on stopping their habit.

E-cigarette

Electronic cigarettes are to be regulated as medicines

Last week saw welcome new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – the first to recommend that licensed nicotine-containing products (NCPs) can be used to help people cut down on the amount they smoke (as well as to help them stop entirely).

Today the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has made its long-awaited announcement of its intention to license NCPs such as e-cigarettes, which have – until now – fallen outside both medical regulation and NICE’s guidance for quitting and cutting down.

This is good news. We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.

So we think it’s a great idea to bring e-cigarettes within MHRA licensing.

The ideal solution?

One thing everyone interested in reducing the toll of tobacco can agree on is that e-cigarettes are a controversial issue. Our recent blog article on the topic covered some of the unanswered questions about e-cigarettes, and generated a lively discussion in the comments section.

In the article, we raised issues about the contents of e-cigarettes, their safety and their long-term use.

But it’s important to get the balance right: it would be wrong to give the impression that there are no risks at all – hence the call for light-touch regulation and monitoring. Yet it’s important to remember that using these products is almost certainly safer by far than smoking tobacco.

In the debate about e-cigarettes it’s not the product safety that’s most hotly disputed, but their potential impact on a smoker’s motivation to quit, and on the progress made so far in reducing the UK’s smoking rates.

Tobacco is by far the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world. Smoking accounts for one in four UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases – including those caused by exposure to second-hand smoke.

The good news is that quitting smoking significantly reduces the chances of developing one of the fourteen cancers related to tobacco use. The sooner you quit the better, but it’s never too late. But nicotine is highly addictive and many attempts to quit smoking fail.

Some argue that e-cigarettes are a huge opportunity to wean smokers off a deadly product by offering a nicotine “hit” without them having to inhale tobacco smoke.

The argument goes that, in a free market, consumers will always choose a safer product over a more dangerous one – so the better e-cigarettes can replicate cigarettes, the more they will spur a mass move away from tobacco smoking with little need for further public health interventions.

This is after all what we all want – an end to the death and disease caused by smoking.

Fatal attraction

But as well as this promise, e-cigarettes have several potential theoretical downsides:

  • what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco;
  • using e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas could potentially give smokers less motivation to quit smoking the rest of the time;
  • and their use in smoke-free places and in marketing images could have a knock on effect of ‘renormalising’ smoking, by confusing or contradicting the messages about the harms of smoking. This could undermine public health efforts to deter young people from taking up smoking.

At this stage we simply don’t have the necessary evidence to be able to say with any confidence which of these arguments – if any – is correct. But we have plenty of experience to warrant some caution.

A market flaw?

Sitting above these opportunities and risks is something we’re extremely wary of: the fact that the big tobacco companies are investing in NCPs.

For example Nicoventures – the company that owns one of the first of these types of products to be put forward for MHRA licensing – is owned by British American Tobacco, one of the four companies that control over 90 per cent of all global tobacco sales.

In a future post, we’ll be exploring the issues of conflicting interests that arise from this dual corporate ownership of cigarettes and their potential nemesis.

But for now, we’re remaining mindful of the first principles of internationally agreed public health guidelines: “there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict of interest between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interest”.

Watch this space.

Alison Cox, Tobacco Control Lead


    Comments

  • Susan Brew
    30 November 2013

    There is NO evidence that e-cigs are proving attractive to young people who would not otherwise try tobacco cigarettes.
    There is now substantial evidence that e-cigs are effective at helping long-term smokers to quit smoking.
    There is NO evidence that e-cig users who have quit smoking are even tempted to revert to smoking – let alone that any have done so.
    Yes there should be regulation to prevent young people buying e-cigs, but there is substantial evidence to show that any regulation that goes further than that will damage the progress made by the e-cig industry.
    Further regulation is not necessary, as the trading standards act and other consumer protection legislation already in place will be sufficient to ensure that e-cig construction, as well as cartomiser and e-liquid contents are as stated on the packaging. Nicotine may be a dangerous substance, but we don’t insist on further legislation for other dangerous substances such as bleach and alcohol. Warnings are already on all e-cig and e-liquid packaging.
    Why is the tobacco industry investing in e-cigs? Because they can see the writing on the wall for tobacco. Already a 1% decrease in cigarette sales in the USA because of e-cigs. That is HUGE!!!
    Stop opposing e-cigs and start getting behind them.
    Please stop talking as though vaping were as bad as smoking – it is orders of magnitude less dangerous to both the user and the bystander.

  • Change photo randy cox
    29 November 2013

    Very nice blog. Its interesting to read. And my opinion, Electronic Cigarette is a good alternative choice for the smokers to quit off from their health defects.

  • brainyfurball
    13 November 2013

    I think I got my hopes up too soon with regard to ASH. Yes, they are acknowledging that young people are not being attracted to e cigs and yes they are hinting that e cigarettes are not a gateway to cigarette smoking – I am afraid that they are playing clever in that they recognise that the arguments being presented for medical and/or tobacco regulation are lost. So they say that the above are not happening, BUT, they now argue that we are unaware of the unseen dangers so e cigarettes must still be regulated.

    Well, yes they must, but not under the banner of medicines and not as tobacco products. There is a need for regulation – e cigarette regulation. There is a precedent for this type of situation and that was with the advent of the motor car, where, in trying to regulate them, the powers that were, did so under horse and cart legislation.

  • RobbieW
    4 November 2013

    Will CRUK ever engage with users?

    e-cigs could be greatest public health prize in a generation, why on earth do CRUK support a de facto ban.

    The only logical reason is to support the profits of their major benefactors – shame on you CRUK, is there no one within CRUK with the moral courage to make a stand against this?

  • brainyfurball
    2 November 2013

    More good news. ASH have just said that, “Among children regular use of e-cigarettes is extremely rare. Children who
    had heard of e-cigarettes were asked about their use and knowledge of them. What little use that is reported is confined almost entirely to children who currently smoke or used to smoke.”

    And a great deal more. Has ASH realigned itself? Has the tide begun to turn?

    http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf

  • Robert Innes
    25 October 2013

    Thanks for the link Alan. I m copying your comment onto my fb page. Hope you don’t mind. Good point Brian.

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    Recent smoking rate statistics have recently been updated to the end of September .

    Shows a number of things
    1 e-cigs useage in cessation attempts increasing at an ever faster rate (exponential)

    2 Traditional NRT products reducing at about the same rate

    3 E-Cigs now overtaken NRT overall in smoking cessation

    see http://www.smokinginengland.info/latest-statistics/

    People are choosing what they think is effective without any assistance from CRUK, NHS UKGovt Public Health .

    change your standpoint CRUK

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    sorry bad link … its in Letters The Editor … 3 rd letter down entitled Better Than Tobacco

    http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21587764-armenia-ecuador-e-cigarettes-azerbaijan-3d-printing-germany-machiavelli-bon-jovi

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    ASH and CRUK seem to believe this point of view as put forward by Ms Arnott (ASH) see http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21587764-armenia-ecuador-e-cigarettes-azerbaijan-3d-printing-germany-machiavelli-bon-jovi–(scroll down to 3rd letter)

    This is a tissue of half truths and disinformation of which Ms Arnott has expertise

    “Investment Analysts” believe costs will be” minor”- to whom? this simply reinforces that only big players will remain and only in a medicinal market SME would disappear. This would be a far simpler option for Govt to regulate BUT is it in the Public interest? , will it genuinely promote an increased move away from tobacco cigarettes ? The answer to both of these Q is a resounding NO

    One area where I could agree with is for there to be a 2 tier Licensed and Non-Licensed approach . Licensed e-cigs could be promoted and advocated by NICE ,NHS etc this would benefit current smokers . However unlicensed ( but regulated) should remain for those who wish to continue their relatively harmless (to them or others ) activity .

    Do the typical arguments about glamourising,re-normalising,encouraging children,gateway effects etc etc which have zero factual evidence disappear with medicinal approval ?

    I really do wish that CR UK will revisit their position and use scientific not ideological argument over this

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    14 October 2013

    When they bang on about, “think of the children”, what about the children of smokers. These parents could be vaping instead of smoking. Poorer parents who smoke, would have more money to spend on their children. It seems that CRUK and other anti-smoking groups and charities like to pick and choose which particular children they will think of.

    Most of us have children and grandchildren, whether we’re smokers or vapers, we want what’s best for them. Should my grandchildren ever start smoking which I hope they don’t, I would hope that e cigs would be freely available to them so they could switch to a safer alternative. I’m sure any caring parent or grandparent would want that.

  • brainyfurball
    8 October 2013

    Just read this on Yahoo News:

    Cancer Research UK said it is the toxic cocktail of chemicals in tobacco smoke that kills half of all long-term smokers.
    The lack of tobacco in e-cigarettes means they are “almost certainly” a much safer way of getting a nicotine hit than smoking cigarettes.

    Do you think the message has got through, or is it just egg dripping off their faces.

    Thank you! Thank you everyone who has contributed here… Now a new battle begins against the tobacco companies.. And hopefully CRUK will be on our side this time.

  • brainyfurball
    8 October 2013

    YES!

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/133-a-triumph-for-vapers-smokers?fb_action_ids=239457522872673&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1422997987918994%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

  • reply
    John
    8 October 2013

    HOORAY ! Thanks Robert for the info.

  • Liam
    7 October 2013

    You are Robert Innes and I am Spartacus.

  • brainyfurball
    7 October 2013

    Just noticed that my posts are now showing as brainyfurball. (My daughter invented that one many years ago when computers were young) I am Robert Innes.

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    7 October 2013

    But I’ll bet you make an adorable and cuddly brainyfurball (at least in your daughter’s eyes.)

  • brainyfurball
    7 October 2013

    Robert Miller, good of you to point this out. Compare this statement to what ASH, CRUK and the rest were saying in 2008. The following is from Chapter 8 of the document, Beyond Smoking Kills…(Endorsed by,
    BMA,
    QUIT,
    Royal College of General Practitioners
    Royal College of Midwives
    Royal College of Nursing
    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
    Royal College of Pathologists
    Royal College of Psychiatrists
    Royal College of Physicians
    Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
    Royal College of Radiologists
    Royal National Institute of Blind People
    Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
    The Stroke Association
    Scottish Public Health Observatory
    South Asian Health Foundation …

    This is taking up too much room. The list is endless.

    They said…

    “Currently pure nicotine products are not attractive to smokers as direct replacements for cigarettes as they
    do not mimic the speed and intensity of nicotine intake that a cigarette provides. Regulation difficulties inhibit the development of more efficient and effective pure nicotine products. As a result, the most toxic nicotine products – cigarettes – are barely regulated while the safest products – medicinal nicotine – are highly regulated.

    If they are to compete with tobacco products, pure nicotine products must be sold on equal terms or better: pricing should favour pure nicotine products over tobacco. Public education is also needed as many smokers (and health professionals) have a poor understanding of the relative safety of pure nicotine products including nicotine replacement therapy.”

    The document also gives its definition of a ‘pure nicotine’ delivery device’ and the e cig fits neatly into it.

  • brainyfurball
    6 October 2013

    It is becoming more and more obvious that e cigarettes are beneficial in the war against smoking. Indeed, they are the most exciting development ever to have taken place. Is the silence of our medical practitioners further evidence of a powerful bullying culture inherent in health services?

  • Robert Miller
    4 October 2013

    You said in the article above:

    ‘what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco’

    Why would anyone would go back to smoking tobacco when they can enjoy an electronic cigarette that is better for their health and probably cheaper? E-cigs neither taste like or smell like smoking tobacco, they are simply a safer way to consume nicotine. The logic you applied in the statement above would mean that anyone who ever had a problem with alcohol in the past wouldn’t be able to enjoy a soft drink or a warm beverage ever again!

    Your organisation should throw it’s full weight behind e-cigs. Millions of people in the UK have found that they help them stop smoking cancer causing tobacco and the sooner you realise that they are a force for good the better!

  • Robert Innes
    3 October 2013

    The tree is beginning to fall. OK so I am just a single worm gnawing at a tiny root – keep gnawing fellow worms. http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1526#more-1526

  • Robert Innes
    1 October 2013

    If it was my comment, “The tobacco industry are evil – they make money out of the suffering of ordinary folks the world over.”I was referring to the people behind the industry making profit from the suffering of others, then pointing out that CRUK, ASH and the rest are no better.

    However, I could not agree more with what both yourself and Mike have had to say.

    Just out of curiosity, (this is for anyone) have you any particular view on the following?…

    I have been thinking about the concerns of some people that some regarding the relationship between Pharma and CRUK and Pharma and the tobacco industry.

    Some comment, here and elsewhere, has hinted that there might be some sort reward or financial incentive for a charity, like CRUK, to adopt the stance it has. My question is, does it go deeper than just this? For example, CRUK collects a massive amount of money to do research, which is fine, but what is the end result, who benefits from this research? Well obviously, the pharmaceutical industry – and they have been given this fee of charge from a charity. This goes to the industry’s profits and therefore on to the shareholder. So, Joe Public spends £10 which pays for £10 worth of research, the results of which gets handed to a pharmaceutical company who make a drug, where they have saved the costs of research, which increases their profits, which they pay out to shareholders. Cosy! Then, along comes the e cigarette which the pharmaceutical industry is not too fond. To object directly would be too obvious so it pays some of the wealth it has been gifted, to get others to front its campaign? Cosy, if this is what is happening.

    As for a relationship between Pharma and the tobacco lords is it …? …Big tobacco are worried. For years they have been making people ill. For years, Pharma has got society to pay dearly to try to make those people better again. Cosy! Then along comes the e cigarette (which Pharma would have loved to invent and medicalise – by claiming it as a medicine) which threatens this relationship. Now Pharma and Tobacco, big as they are, realise the advantages they have gained over the years by working together and have no desire to stop, so,….

    Big tobacco buys into the e cigarette market while its pal, Big Pharma, gets the e cigarette medicalised. The only real player left after this will obviously be the tobacco company. Now here is the sneaky bit. Big tobacco makes its product less and less appealing – aided and abetted by legislation. More and more people resort to cigarettes. More and more people become ill, we are back to square one and so every one (of our main players) lives happily ever after – Even Joe Public continues to pay his £10 to CRUK and feels very good about it, blissfully unaware of what is going on.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    2 October 2013

    This is what is scary. The e cig market will end up as a carve up between big tobacco and big pharma if certain people have their way.

    The fact that I as a customer, not patient I should add, am perfectly happy with the quality and safety of the e cigs I buy at present doesn’t seem to matter. No one asks our opinion. It’s all being decided by people who are driven by greed, I’m thinking of Dalli who included e cigs in the TPD. Or ideology, those that want a smoke free world and dislike e cigs because it looks like smoking. Or those who think nicotine addiction, which is no different to caffeine addiction is some big sin. We’ve all come across those type of people on different forums. They’re extremists. Most people have common sense and will agree, harm reduction not quit or die is the way forward.

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    2 October 2013

    Robert: That’s a very cynical view of the current situation. Unfortunately, I can’t find any evidence that would prove you wrong. I didn’t use to be this cynical until I began advocacy work in this area and observed how opponents of tobacco harm reduction used logical fallacies, guilt by association, card stacking (omitting information that doesn’t match their theory), name-calling, and other propaganda techniques to drum up popular support for their fear-mongering viewpoint. I agree with Brian, that it is scary that, should the governments proceed in the direction they are pointing now, the market for e-cigarettes will be protected for the tobacco companies. And Pharma will continue to profit both from repeat customers who relapsed after using their smoking cessation products and from the diseases developed by those who were unable to escape from smoke by inadequate treatments from Big Pharma and inadequate substitutes from Big Tobacco.

    And he is absolutely right that nobody asks his opinion. Consumers need to have a seat at the table when regulation of products they use are being discussed. Both the regulators and the manufacturers think they know best what we need.

  • Mike
    1 October 2013

    This stinks more than the propaganda ads you’ve made using donation money given to you in good faith to fund cancer research, my blood was boiling when I saw you using children to read the scripts given to them saying things like “I like this one because it’s pink” and “I like the pictures!” etcetera.

    I didn’t start smoking because I thought it looked cool, or because of the shape/colour of a cigarette packet, or because it had a picture of someone with throat cancer on it, I knew fully well that they caused death and disease too. I started smoking through experimentation, because it was easy to steal the odd cigarette from my parents packet, also because cigarettes were so cheap and it was easy to fool the staff at the petrol station that I looked 16 at the time. I also experimented with weed, LSD, magic mushrooms in my youth too and none of them came in a shiny packet or had “nice” scary pictures on them either.

    You have it totally wrong why you “never smokers/anti tobacco campaigners” say smokers start, the gateway arguments etcetera. Rather than dream up excuses of why you think children and adults start smoking tobacco, your kind should research why smokers really start.

    The only real way to get people off of tobacco is to continue to price it out of their and their kids range while keeping inventions like e-cigs that work to replace the habit to a much safer one.

    An average e-cig starter kit costs around £30, through self regulation the suppliers said 18+, they use child safe bottle caps, chip compliance and pharma grade ingredients, existing trading standards laws ensure they provide good quality products, education of good safety practices when charging batteries, for example not leaving them unattended, in the sun, how to clean the contacts go a long way to ensure minimum venting incidents occur too.

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    Aha! If you post and it is waiting for moderation it does not appear when you return to the page. You have to load the page THEN RELOAD and it pops up – sorry everyone!

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    I have posted a response twice now but it looks like it has been moderated out. The language is ok. No individual has been slighted = I can only assume that we are getting too close to the truth for CRUK’s comfort. I will wait till tomorrow before trying again.

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    Elaine, Derrick, John – this is something which has been missing from this and other blogs. I hate to think of the effect on our culture and society which has resulted from the no-smoking campaigns over the last few years.

    I have been horrified at the vilification that victims of tobacco have had to suffer. I have watched normally reasonable people turn into animals at the mere mention of cigarettes. Of course tobacco is evil, but the people who are hooked on cigarettes are not.

    The tobacco industry are evil – they make money out of the suffering of ordinary folks the world over. So what if millions suffer and eventually die if they are making money? CRUK, ASH and the Pharma industry, and others, are now no better – they are prepared to see millions suffer and eventually die in order to protect their products; their positions and status.

    I do not think that the fact that their dishonesty, their double standards, their vicious attitude which will continue to rub off on the whole of society will worry them one little bit

    You have added a new and important dimension to the debate – well done!

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    30 September 2013

    I appreciate the compliment, but I do disagree with one thing that you have said. “Tobacco is evil” is an idea that was planted 30 or so years ago at the start of the propaganda campaigns to eliminate all forms of tobacco from the face of the earth. (Look up “Godper blueprint”.)

    The true enemy isn’t people and it isn’t a product. We need to keep in mind that the true enemy is “morbidity and mortality”, aka “disease and death.” The plain fact is that all tobacco products are not created equal when it comes to the potential for imposing disease and premature death. There is a ton of evidence showing that inhaling smoke (from any product, not just tobacco) has a negative impact on lung health. Many people don’t know that cigar and pipe smokers (most of whom do not inhale) have 50% of the smoking related disease rates as cigarette smokers. If they inhale, risks are about equal to cigarettes.

    Smokeless tobacco at one time did impose risks of head, mouth, and neck cancers. However, growing methods and methods for curing tobacco have changed. Modern western smokeless tobacco (ST) products such as chewing tobacco, dip, and moist snuff do not cause lung disease and, in the words of nicotine toxicity expert Dr. Neal Benowitz, “The lack of increase in common cancers in lifelong ST users indicates that nicotine is not a general cancer promoter.” Surprised? The head, neck, and cancer rates are highest among cigarette smokers.

    As for heart attacks and strokes, Benowitz said, “Meta-analyses showing increased risk of MI and stroke in ST users are heavily weighted by CPS-I and CPS-II, which are older US studies with many methodologic problems. More recent Swedish studies and an NHANES study indicate minimal if any increased risk of CVD with ST.” These observations do not apply to ST products from Asia and Africa which often contain additional ingredients known to cause disease.

    Sweden, where a type of moist snuff called snus has become popular, has the lowest smoking rates and lung cancer rates of any country in the EU. Smokers who switched to snus have no higher rates of “tobacco related” disease than former smokers who gave up all use of nicotine. I put quotes around “tobacco related” because the real situation is that these diseases are attributable only to smoking. The “public health” propaganda campaign has gradually substituted the word “tobacco” for “smoking” in policies and in practice.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    1 October 2013

    Tobacco is a just a plant so I don’t think it is evil. Tobacco companies well may be evil but so are the people who would stand in the way of harm reduction through some misguided ideology. Especially when they are making money out of other peoples misery.

    I have read parts of the godber blueprint. These people want a smoke free world. They’ve indoctrinated everyone from politicians to doctors to those ends. E cigs have put a spanner in the works for obvious reasons. I think they just wish e cigs would go away or wish they had never been invented. Which is why they want to limit their popularity and make them ineffective.

    I do not wish to live in their squeaky clean smoke free world. It would be a hell on earth for many of us. I enjoyed smoking and now I enjoy vaping.

  • Tom Gleeson
    29 September 2013

    “So we think it’s a great idea to bring e-cigarettes within MHRA licensing.”
    However when it comes to canabis;
    “It is not for Cancer Research UK to comment on the legal status of cannabis, its use or abuse as a recreational drug, or its medical use in any other diseases”
    Double standards?

  • Southern Vaper
    29 September 2013

    No matter how they wrap it up they are playing with my health and my freedom of choice………..I will not back anyone who decides they will tell me I have no choice.

    I also believe its wrapped up as it is to appeal and make the general public that dont know about ecigs get behind their decision when if they wrote what is really behind it which is £££££ not anyones health do we think it would be backed by the unknowing.

    I have heard of people saying I tried them but it has been proven that they are not good so the cherry picked, made up and often dramatised info is working on those who dont really know about them.

    After CRUK said they are a good thing and now really with the ban (or at least banning of anything that will work for people) it can only show one thing its all about the money or at least about the revenue losses.

    I am appalled CRUK have the standing to make point and back what they said in 2008 but choose not to why?????

    DO THE RIGHT THINK CRUK

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Spot on Derrick! Now we are getting to the heart of the matter.

  • Derrick
    28 September 2013

    It’s interesting how the official bodies (CRUK, MHRA, BMA) keep talking about continuing to denormalize smoking. The smoking ban was introduced on the grounds of the dangers of passive smoking, which is why it applies mainly to indoor areas. They are now saying the real reason was to denormalize smoking, and demonize smokers, so they can treat vapers in the same way. Now the public have got used to the smoking ban, and many people don’t understand that e-cigarettes don’t emit smoke, they’ll probably get away with extending the ban to e-cigarettes. It’s outrageous.

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Elaine,what a wonderful, beautiful insight into the reality of this issue. (taking the economics and politics out) Thank you for this powerful contribution.

  • Elaine Keller
    28 September 2013

    * what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco;

    Actually, if well meaning “public health experts” would stop and talk to some vapers instead of exclusively to each other, they would learn something astounding. Using an e-cigarette with a pleasant flavour (instead of one that tastes like tobacco) extinguishes the liking of tobacco flavour and for many of us eliminates all urges to smoke, even if we later stop using an e-cigarette. For the sake of an unproven theory (that pleasant flavors attract and addict children) you would quash the first known method of getting rid of those life-long urges to smoke that continue to plague the majority of ex-smokers.

    * using e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas could potentially give smokers less motivation to quit smoking the rest of the time;

    Seeing e-cigarettes used in nice, comfy smoke-free areas gives conventional cigarette smokers the motivation to “come in from the cold” by switching to a product that could save their life!

    * and their use in smoke-free places and in marketing images could have a knock on effect of ‘renormalising’ smoking, by confusing or contradicting the messages about the harms of smoking. This could undermine public health efforts to deter young people from taking up smoking.

    If you are complaining that you will no longer be able to insult, denegrate, and torture former smokers for the sin of having been a smoker, don’t look to me for sympathy. Face it. You went overboard. You did not merely “denormalize” smoking, you demonized smokers. When it wasn’t enough to just banish them into the elements, out came the plans to kick them out of their homes, deny them employment, and take away their kids.

    If you want to get across a message about the harms of smoking, use actual communication and education methods rather than punishment. The more you punish, the more some folks will dig in and consider every word out of your mouth to be a lie. After all, look at the prevarication going on, just in these three bullet points. Start telling the truth about vaping, and maybe smokers will start believing what you tell them about smoking.

  • reply
    John
    29 September 2013

    Elaine Keller is absolutely spot on. I could not of put it better myself, i would of given 10 thumbs up if i could !

  • Gary
    28 September 2013

    18 months ago I had 7 strokes in 10 days. The doctor told me that if I had been a smoker I would be dead. I had been using an ‘e-cig’ for three months previously.
    E-cigs DO save lives. To regulate them is irresponsible.

  • Derrick
    28 September 2013

    Mick’s comment explains excellently why CRUK (and other official organisations like MHRA and BMA) are doing the wrong thing in advocating the medicalisation of e-cigarettes. It also explains why they are taking this route – to continue gaining short-term funding for extremely worthy research.

    The trouble is that these are the people that policy makers are listening to. Nobody seems to be listening to us – the people who are actually helping themselves to lead longer and healthier lives. I started vaping about 6 months ago, after smoking for about 45 years, and almost immediately stopped smoking. I just tried them out of cusiosity, with no intention of stopping smoking! I was able to choose the most appropriate devices and liquid to do this – something I would not be able to do if they become medicalised.

  • Gordon Beard
    28 September 2013

    Superbly crafted response Mick … deffo should be spread as far and wide as possible

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Mick. sorry!

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Well said Mark. This should be shared all over the web!

  • Mick
    27 September 2013

    Allow me to paint the picture from someone involved in a manufacturing basis in the ENDS industry. My business produces E-liquid inside the EU.

    As such I have many EU directives ranging from the obvious health and safety to general consumer goods to obey and I do so. I also have both VAT and other taxes including capital gains to pay and I do so. In addition I also donate 4% on every sale to Irish Cancer research on one of our retail websites, I have not had the heart to pull the plug on that but I will withhold judgement until the end of October. We donate anonymously as ICR (Irish cancer Research) are opposed to e-cigs.

    I however will not put Irish, British and EU citizens lives in jeopardy due to the actions of a small number of folks in these organisation fearing the plug will be pulled on grants and donations they receive from large pharmaceuticals if they do not do as they are told.

    I understand your position CRUK and I sympathise but this is neither ethical, not does it serve you well…you must realise you are making an enemy of the future winners in this industry? Why on earth would you want to destroy future cooperation?

    I will consider (If you dropped this silly game) arranging a meeting with major UK vendors where the discussion would revolve around donations to CRUK and many if not all vendors and manufacturers as ex-smokers would applaud that notion.

    Otherwise you will suffer great harm in this battle and I cannot abide by that eventuality. We need to conquer this family of diseases and you are not helping now, you are part of the problem, you must accept that first.

    Either way if forced to demonstrate my products can do something they are not designed to do and cannot do (address nicotine dependence) then I will move my company, 10 jobs this year and 40 next year along with my donations, considerable fair play and a host of revenue for government out of the EU and sell my products direct to customers and vendors. Your belligerence will increase awareness and sales… be my guest, your paymasters will not be happy at the outcome anyway.

    I do not want or need to be put in this position but as an ex-smoker myself I will also not stand idly by whilst smokers die around me like flies and you as a charitable resource investigating these maladies side with those who make the most profit from the status quo and do so knowingly because I will not consider incompetence as being a valid argument in this matter. What you engage in here with politics and commercial interests is truly immoral and unethical.

    I would also like to point out that when this war is won, and it will be by those who see the reduction in smoking, the reduction in harm that these products bring, Then in the aftermath questions will be asked about the professionalism and actions of medical doctors within CRUK and the MHRA and I for one will be seeking a review by the BMA to inasmuch as possible apply a removal of license from those that clearly did not have the patients care at heart or concern. You cannot both play ball with the bad boys and retain the title of medical doctor at the same time.

    Anyway I meet with many of my competitors and colleagues at the e-cig summit in London on the 6th December… if you want to come along then get your act together.

    I cannot speak for other manufacturers or vendors but my gut feeling is that both they and I am sure the organisers would be both astounded and delighted were you to turn up. I also believe that vendors and the industry can offer a product that removes the dangers of cancer and cytotoxic compounds in general. I also believe we are the natural replacement for the friends you currently have. Plus we would work with CRUK and we have enthusiasm and real belief that the plague of cancer that kills almost 30% of all humans on this planet can be resolved scientifically.

    Please consider changing heart now…this industry will be worth billions in the very near future, we can help, please allow us to do so unhindered.

    Why do you need to increase the incidence of cancer through your actions?

    Were you to join with us to fight these diseases together we would be many times more effective than the experience of gums and patches which combines at the moment just short of placebo effect. They don’t work, I know it, you know it Pfizer knows it, even the customers know it despite the marketing dollars.

    You are also aware these products are designed that way…they re designed to fail, you know this yourselves…what on earth are you doing?

    Remember that oath… the words you undertook at the outset… Do you remember it? Let me refresh your memory

    “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

    Did you all mumble those words whilst looking at your watch?

    What part of that is difficult to understand CRUK? Should you really be embarrassed into acquiescence to good over harm?

    At what point did protecting your funding for short term gain come before destroying an industry that kills millions? You are destroying your own bedrock of support and by the time this passes to law you will have alienated you own supporters, that cannot be a good thing for any of us.

    I feel embarrassed that those who undertake a project with so much promise are also members of the same species that now seek to do so much harm… shame on you, shame on me for letting you do this.

  • dan
    26 September 2013

    Quoting Cancer Research UK – “”More attractive and efficient pure nicotine products which contain only nicotine and not any other tobacco constituents are needed for heavily addicted smokers. Currently NRT is regulated as a medicine and its availability is restricted. These barriers to product development and must be removed…”

    You’ve got your wish… now you want to ban it?

  • Orb Skewer
    26 September 2013

    I have E-mailed a link of this page, and all its comments (which I ‘screen printed’ in case any go missing) to my UKIP MP.

  • aires
    26 September 2013

    we all know why the goverment want to ban ecigs –

    According to the latest numbers because of the people that already switched from traditional cigarettes to the electronic cigarette, the UK Government is losing out on around £25 million pounds a week! thats a £25 miilion loss every single week! and the US goverment is losing around £125 million pounds every week too! This is serious money and in a time of recession this is a reason for concern.

    http://electroniccigarettebud.co.uk/why-the-laws-on-electronic-cigarettes-might-change-in-us-and-uk/

  • Gordon Beard (@GordonAlanBeard)
    25 September 2013

    If you are disorganised like me you may not be aware that a new blog appeared today on here advocating the TPD and of course focussed on Plain Packaging and has virtually ignored e-cigs in this rabble rousing blog to gain the innocents to support the TPD proposals . New blog is here http://t.co/8N8LqjPBB0, in no way do I wish to detract from this frankly fantastic blog and this should keep on going as long as we feel it should

  • robert innes
    25 September 2013

    Exactly Gordon! Would you, if you are on other forums, draw attention to what is said on Beyond smoking kills. The sheer scale of double standards and hypocrisy is mind blowing. Added to this, anyone looking at what was said then to what is being said now can only draw one conclusion as to the motive – and it is not saving lives.

  • Gordon Beard (@GordonAlanBeard)
    25 September 2013

    @Robert Innes

    How on earth could they advocate in 2008 as per

    http://www.ash.org.uk/beyondsmokingkills

    What scientific or other evidence has emerged since then

    for any change in policy ? Just look at how many orgs

    supported the reports conclusions .

    The only thing that I can think of is that the impact of e-cigs were not considered in terms of replacement of ineffective NRT to many users and ultimately the very existence of advocacy bodies like ASH and sadly I must include CR_UK in that .

    The number of negative comments on here re CR_UK fundraising efforts is mirrored on some of the various forums I belong to. Why is CR_UK doing its level best to alienate a substantial number of former contributors?

  • robert innes
    25 September 2013

    GREAT NEWS! CRUK have changed their stance on e cigarettes! OH NO! This was in 2008, before e cigarettes were an issue.

    More from Beyond smoking kills. http://www.ash.org.uk/beyondsmokingkills

    Chapter 8 Alternatives to smoking.

    Develop a strategy and an appropriate regulatory structure to improve the acceptability, attractiveness and accessibility of pure nicotine products for use as an alternative to smoking for those who are currently unable or unwilling to quit.

    Encourage commercial development of pure nicotine products designed for long-term use as a replacement for smoking.

    Develop a communications strategy to counter public misunderstanding of the health impacts of nicotine. This should promote nicotine replacement therapy for quitting and encourage the longer term use of pure nicotine products as alternatives to tobacco.

    Tax pure nicotine products at the lowest rate of VAT.

    Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of providing pure nicotine products free on prescription to smokers
    for as long as they are unable or unwilling to quit.

    Increase investment in research into the long-term impacts of nicotine.

    NOTE:” Pure nicotine products are products which, like the current medicinal products on the market, contain only
    nicotine and not other tobacco derivatives and which offer heavily addicted smokers the rewards of nicotine
    at a greatly reduced health risk.” So e cigarettes DO fall under this definition, except that they are not medicinal.

  • RobbieW
    25 September 2013

    Hello CRUK

    27 more comments since September the 18th

    27 – against medicalisation
    Zero – for medicalisation.

    Where are all your supporters CRUK?, if you are correct and your policy really is the best option why is every comment against you?.

    Stop this dangerous nonsense and engage.

  • Mike
    25 September 2013

    Really saddened that CRUK seem to support the move to force many people to switching back to smoking the cancer sticks, are you worried that if less people smoke that means less money coming into funding cancer research?.

    As mentioned the proposed regulation will not make it easier to obtain the safer alternative we all know today, it will ban the useful devices, Mr Mean has confirmed they will not get a marketing authorisation.

    This regulation will give the whole market to tobacco and pharma companies, it will put cigarette look-a-like devices into the hands of 12 year old+ children, these devices will be REDUCED to the same useless effectiveness as NRT such as gum and patches pushing e-cigs from 90% effective to 7% quit rates.

    I have been smoke-free for 1 year now thanks to having a proper e-cig device, I successfully started at 36mg/ml nicotine and have reduced that down to 18mg/ml over time, the vast range of devices (batteries, atomisers, cleromisers, tanks et cetera) gave me the ability to tailor the e-cig to my preferences and my needs, the diverse variety of flavours has been wonderful and refreshing and helped too. My health has improved, I noticed positive changes within days of switching.

    Vaping will not normalise smoking, it can only normalise vaping and help others see there is a clear choice to making the switch to a much safer and healthier alternative, it’s not a gateway to smoking but one away from smoking.

    I do not want to be forced to switch back, I never want to go back but the proposed regulation will force me and many back to an unhealthy lifestyle of smoking and reduce our lifespan by many many years, the 4mg/ml expensive B.A.T. tampon/cig-a-like will not work for us as well as many others who will try them, this directive if passed will be a death sentence for millions for generations to come.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    25 September 2013

    Too right. If you took a walk down our local high street, you would see no end of people smoking, some of them quite young. These are potential e cig users. E cigs must be attractive to them as they are to us at present, so they make the switch to a healthier alternative.

    I conclude that smokers lives are so cheap that anti smokers are so willing to risk peoples lives because of some silly bias, “It looks like smoking” or it means less money or profits for certain companies or groups.

  • Gordon Beard (@GordonAlanBeard)
    25 September 2013

    @robert innes We are still reading even if not writing , genuinely this is still a very active useful blog record of responses to ill thought out proposals . To you and indeed any other contributors keep it going …… it will make a difference …..eventually!

  • Liam
    25 September 2013

    300+ comments agreeing with CRUK’s position from 2008 and we are just overly negative and don’t deserve further response.

    Sickening.

    By any chance did your big pharma spnsors have a word with you between then and now to get you to change your position CRUK?

  • robert innes
    25 September 2013

    I have come across this eye opener…” BEYOND Smoking Kills:”(October 2008) presented by ASH and part funded by CRUK.(Note the date) The paper is endorsed by just about every health body in the UK. (Or, too many to mention.) http://www.ash.org.uk/beyondsmokingkills I would like though to draw your attention to one little gem.

    In section 8, entitled, “Alternatives to Smoking we find, “…Smokers are addicted to nicotine but are harmed by the tar and toxins in tobacco smoke. It is therefore, possible for smokers who are currently unable or unwilling to quit to satisfy their nicotine craving at much lower risk by switching to pure nicotine products (which, like the current medicinal products on the market, contain only nicotine and not other tobacco derivatives). Although these products are not 100% safe, they are many orders of magnitude safer than smoking. (Now for the ‘good’ bit.) The article continues… “Currently pure nicotine products are not attractive to smokers as direct replacements for cigarettes as they do not mimic the speed and intensity of nicotine intake that a cigarette provides. Regulation difficulties inhibit the development of more efficient and effective pure nicotine products. As a result, the most toxic nicotine products – cigarettes – are barely regulated while the safest products – medicinal nicotine – are highly regulated. If they are to compete with tobacco products, pure nicotine products must be sold on equal terms or better: pricing should favour pure nicotine products over tobacco. Public education is also needed as many smokers (and health professionals) have a poor understanding of the relative safety of pure nicotine products including nicotine replacement therapy”

    Oh boy! Talk about a U turn! Talk about hypocrisy! Talk about double standards! This is before the huge take up of e cigarettes. They use the argument 2…orders of magnitude safer.” Now they ignore it. Then it was ok to complain that,…

    “Regulation difficulties inhibit the development of more efficient and effective pure nicotine products.”

    Now, because it is not the product they support, it is all change.

    This is an absolute admission that regulation will strangle the e cigarette industry. Here they acknowledge the disadvantage of regulation on their own product – Dogs in the manger, and they will try to take down any competing product, even if it results in the death of thousands.

    “Regulation difficulties inhibit the development of more efficient and effective pure nicotine products.” Comment CRUK, please!

  • RobbieW
    25 September 2013

    CRUK, not only does your support of MRHA proposals pose a grave risk to the health of smokers and vapers, it also poses a serious risk to your organisations reputation and indeed it’s future.

    Please reconsider with this in mind, even if the prevention of cancer is no longer your main priority, surley the continuation of CRUK is.

    Do not put our health and your livelihood at great risk by refusing to face the enormous errors in your position.

    Remember, if you get your way ALL EXISTING PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED.

    Stop & think, do the right thing

  • shaz
    25 September 2013

    Alison, “In this light, and looking at the whole picture, we think the assumptions being made about the impact of the proposed level of MHRA “market authorisation” are overly negative.”

    The cost per product licencing is on record from the House of Commons Library and its beyond the range available to the SMB i.e estimated at £2 Million per MA and therefore sold lock stock and barrel to Pharma/Tobacco industry.

  • Southern Vaper
    25 September 2013

    people are still interested and still listening Robert I, I just feel so let down by CRUK as I have said before my wife worked for CRUK, I also used to give to the charity regularly.

    I say used to as I will not support them now in any regard and I do have people in my family effected by cancer.

    CRUK wake up and get talking or at least take part in your own blog……………..think about your stand point and do the right thing.

    People will be saved by Ecigs and far more than any other fund raising to further research etc there is no need to research this just put your name to standing up against what will be for most a ban by the medicalization of something that is not medical by definition.

  • Orb Skewer
    24 September 2013

    Since being able to leave tobacco behind using electronic cigarettes (numerous fails using *approved* NRT) I have had my eyes opened-CRUK will never recieve another coin from me-you people at CRUK are making a healthy living (a killing-pun intended) off the back of the suffering and misery of other human beings, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves-karma will pay you a visit-you can be ‘rest assured’ of that.

  • shaz
    24 September 2013

    “We hope that clears things up! Alison Cox
    Cancer Research UK”

    Alison, billions of plastic looking cigalikes are a pharma/tobacco/tax inspectors/marketeers dream but not a product that actually works, if you are so convinced that this is the way forward, why are majority of all the successful quit/vapour user user using liquid e-juice/ a tank and a battery. The ones who use the cigalikes are also buying cigarettes to smoke at home/car etc.

    Your not curing cancer with this / your not curing copd with this, your endorsing the status quo, of try /fail /try fail. and destroying the one chance we have of seeing the end of tobacco cigarettes in your and my lifetime.

  • robert innes
    24 September 2013

    Yep, I’m doolally, its there. lol

  • robert innes
    24 September 2013

    Have just read the entries above. Thank you Linda and thank you RobbieW. I realise the futility of continuing but it is not in my nature to give up. I think I will continue to post even if I remain the only contributor and the only reader of the blog… However, my guess is that more than a few are taking an interest here, notwithstanding missing entries. (My last contribution was awaiting moderation and it looks like it was ‘moderated.’ All I really did was point out that CRUK’s cousins and sisters Stateside were not declaring conflict of interest. Well ok! I’ll come clean! I did end by saying that maybe I should issue a challenge to all who agree with medicalisation here in the UK to declare conflict of interest, but decided against this – one might do it – maybe even two.

    Oh! And another reason for continuing is that in the not so distant future we will be able to post… “told you so!”

  • Linda
    24 September 2013

    How interesting my reply to you Robert has gone missing!

  • Gordon England
    24 September 2013

    Good video explaining why medical regulation of e-cigarettes is a very bad idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?sns=tw&v=wTHGsTPklY4&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DwTHGsTPklY4%26sns%3Dtw&app=desktop

  • Linda
    24 September 2013

    Robert, In my opinion they will pursue the decision they have made,not because they are ill informed, but for some other reason,and that I believe, is that they are trying to please the pharmaceutical companies that provide them with funding,and who want to continue selling their drugs to sick people, and of course their useless Nicotine Replacement Therapies. If they took the RIGHT stance then they wouldn’t need so much support from the pharmaceutical companies as many millions of lives would be saved from people giving up smoking and changing to vaping ecigs.

    Like you, and millions of others I will not be forced back to smoking. I will continue to use ecigs, even if it means getting my supply from the black market. However that will not happen, because as we know the MHRA do not have a leg to stand on legally. Then CRUK will have lost many of their supporters. And I for one will make sure they are exposed by any means I can

    Remember CRUK ignorance is no excuse.

    And Robert we have not lost interest by not communicating with them, as we are educating and informing many many people all over the world. They will be the losers.

  • RobbieW
    24 September 2013

    Linda, that is precisely what CRUK hope we will do, lose interest and then allow them to pursue their ill informed policy.

    I for one will not be forced back to tobacco without a long hard fight. This is literally a life and death topic for many of us.

    CRUK’s reputation is rapidly declining due to this stance, hopefully continued pressure will encourage a brave soul in CRUK to do the right thing.

    Rmember CRUK, if you get your way ALL EXISTING PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED.

    Stop & think, do the right thing.

  • Linda
    24 September 2013

    Robert, I really think its best to ignore CRUK from now on. You have tried and tried, along with others to educate them. They obviously have no brains,manners or compassion otherwise they would have at least replied to yours and many others posts. I think all your hard work has exposed them for what they are. If these are the people carrying out cancer research,then god help us.
    I for one Robert would like to thank you for all the time and hard work you have put into trying to inform CRUK. The sad,upsetting thing is it appears that you have been bashing your head against a brick wall.
    Best wishes to you Robert and all ecig users

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    24 September 2013

    I agree with you Linda. All I can do is vote for politicians who understand what it will really mean if e cigs are classed as medicines. That includes the EU elections as well as the UK elections.

    As far as I’m concerned, politicians can promise to spend a fortune on the NHS and anti smoking polices, but what is the point if they are going to force people back to smoking.

  • RobbieW
    23 September 2013

    “Costs and burdens of medicines regulation for e – cigarettes”

    Very informative report by eminent individuals ( Clive Bates & professor Gerry Stimson ) here;

    http://nicotinepolicy.net/documents/reports/Impacts%20of%20medicines%20regulation%20-%2020-09-2013.pdf

    Their conclusions;

    We conclude that medicines regulation for e-cigarettes will:

    Destroy the existing supply chain and most businesses
    Create a de facto ban on most products
    Make e-cigarettes harder to buy than tobacco cigarettes
    Favour the cigarette industry
    Induce significant legal risk
    Create high and unnecessary barriers to entry for firms and products.

    In short, medicines regulation focuses on creating a better medicinal product, whereas the public health is served by having better alternatives to cigarettes.

    With such views coming from people with such impeccable credentials it is indefensible for CRUK to remain silent and maintain a position that will cause many thousands of deaths.

    ALL EXISTING PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED.

    CRUK, stop and think, do the right thing

  • robert innes
    20 September 2013

    For goodness sake! Where does it stop? As if Michael Siegel’s original revelation was not enough, he uncovers more,here….

    http://news.cancerresearchuk.org/2013/06/12/licensing-e-cigarettes-opportunities-and-risks/#comment-13479

  • robert innes
    20 September 2013

    For TCD read TPD. I wonder where I got that one?

  • robert innes
    19 September 2013

    There might be another reason Robbie. These people tend to live in their own enclosed little part of the world. They only speak to each other, so they create then reinforce the views that they have developed together. it rarely crosses their minds that they might be wrong.

    With e cigarettes, well, they perhaps equated this with tobacco smoking, and this, aided and abetted with an arrogance and sense of self-importance grown in the ‘tobacco wars,’ and the fact that they previously held the moral high ground resulted in a premature verdict not based on scientific fact, but of out and out prejudice.

    The silence we are seeing on this blog bares testimony to the possibility of this.

    You are right! CRUK, stop and think, do the right thing.

  • RobbieW
    19 September 2013

    What is strange is that CRUK is full of qualified and intelligent people, most if not all must agree with us, so why support a policy that is de-facto ban on e-cigs?

    There must be money and fear involved, that is the only reason why all these bright people supposedly support a policy that will throw away the greatest public health prize of a generation.

    Remember CRUK, if you get your way ALL EXISTING PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED

    Stop and think, do the right thing.

  • robert innes
    19 September 2013

    I too have begun to encourage others to take a look at this site. It is an example of the strength of the position we hold and the weakness of CRUK’s stance. If it had not been for CRUK’s response, or lack of it, I do not think I would have taken the issue so seriously.

    And chin up folks we are winning in the courts. Added to this, as Clive bates has mentioned in The Counterfactual, the legal position for the TCD is very weak indeed, in fact, the MEP’s pushing it through have been advised that there is not a legal base for much of it. This advice coming from their own legal people.

    http://www.clivebates.com/
    Making Bad Law…….

  • Linda
    19 September 2013

    I give a monthly donation to CRUK by direct debit. Tomorrow I will be cancelling it as you are sentencing more people to death with your support for medicalisation of ecigs. I belong to a group which supports a hospice and many of the families I have recently spoken to,and directed to this site are appallled at the ignorant stance you are taking. From now on I will also suggest that those who donate to you may prefer to give their donations to another cancer charity. But then again you probably don’t care,as yourselves and big Pharma are hand in glove with each other.
    You are so rude in not having the manners to reply to the people who have posted on this site.

    Remember we reap what we sow.

  • reply
    Adrian
    19 September 2013

    Linda – I totally agree that CRUK are being rude in continuing to ignore this vitally important issue. I have shared a link to this blog on the website for the Vape4Life campaign website to make sure as many vapers as possible get a chance to see how wilfully ignorant CRUK are being on this matter.

  • RobbieW
    18 September 2013

    319 comments so far

    For medicalisation – 3 ( all from the CRUK )

    Against – 316.

    CRUK, does this not at least make you question the wisdom of your current stance.

    Stop and think, do the right thing

  • RobbieW
    18 September 2013

    Still no response CRUK?.

    More and more evidence every day that tears your current position to threads.

    Remember, if you get your way – ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED.

    Stop and think, do the right thing

  • robert innes
    17 September 2013

    More good news:
    Ban considered as trial tests if vapour safer
    September 15, 2013

    Australia: “As part of its anti-smoking reform agenda, the previous Labor government committed more than $1 million to a pioneering study that, by 2015, will determine whether or not e-cigarettes could be utilised to phase out traditional cigarettes altogether.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/ban-considered-as-trial-tests-if-vapour-safer-20130914-2trj1.html#ixzz2fAwv513K

  • reply
    Kylie
    17 September 2013

    I am shocked that NHS Trusts are using NICE guidance & advice from the medical council to ban the use of of e-cigarettes onsite.

    e-cigarettes have been a great success and currently it is costing the NHS nothing!

  • robert innes
    17 September 2013

    Brilliant, RobbieW!

  • RobbieW
    17 September 2013

    Three German courts today ruled that e-cigs are not medicines, this now means that there have been 7 court cases in Europe with the same outcome – e-cigs are not medicines.

    So why do CRUK support a policy that tries to make them a medicine?.

    If you get your way ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED. Stop and think, do the right thing

  • robert innes
    16 September 2013

    A major and growing arm of the regulators is the argument that young people are taking up e cigs. For example, the conclusion to one study was stated as, “E-cigarette use among South Korean adolescents was relatively common. Continuous monitoring and measures to prevent e-cigarette use is needed.” We are seeing more and more of this. However go to http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/124-regulatory-authorities-focus and you can see how the facts are being twisted and misrepresented.

    I give no apology for just passing on links. I am no researcher, mathematician or scientist.

  • robert innes
    16 September 2013

    Well said John! One consolation is that regulators have always lost in the courts. I am not sure about procedures but I hope that everyone is a member of a trade organisation. I also hope small businesses can survive long enough… And there is perhaps, the issue of compensation against all who have been have been negligent in their research and have contributed to losses in the industry, and also compensation for loss of life. It would, I think this be dependent on establishing if it is criminal negligence. If the tobacco giants can be sued, who knows!

  • Robin
    16 September 2013

    Dear writer of the above article,

    It should be apparent to you by now that the thousands of people who use ‘e-cigarettes’ and those that work in the industry (such as myself) will think you’re article is about as ‘ill informed’ as it gets. The ‘negatives’, ie it looks like a real cigarette, are so way off the mark it’s comical. When I mean way off the mark, I mean the article has no statistics outlining the amount of ex tobacco smokers who are now enjoying a relatively harmless pastime, rather than smoke tobacco, this is not mentioned at all. It’s like the writer of this article is ‘chicken licken’, warning us of insignificant dangers and causing consternation about nothing. In the absence of fact, the writer has resorted to a sort of ‘scaremongering polemical diatribe’, that is simply reactionary and rhetorical, why?

    Dear article (above) writer,

    Please write to me and tell me that you’re sorry for writing such an ‘ill informed’ article or please just shut up and stop writing such stupid and ignorant articles.

    Kind regards,
    Robin

  • reply
    John
    16 September 2013

    Robin, its for people like yourself i feel most sorry for, your business is being hijacked. Companies like yours i believe provides a great public service and basically saves lives and should not be so scrutinized by such small minded and greedy people that only care for what goes in there wallet and not beneficial to public health whatsoever.

  • reply
    John
    17 September 2013

    Great post RobbieW and pleasurable to read, hopefully there will be justice after all !

  • Adrian
    16 September 2013

    It is also worth pointing out that many committed vapers will simply flout the regulations and instead turn to a grey/black market in order to continue vaping as is their right. This will criminalise hundreds of thousands of people overnight, with the distinct possibility of harm being done to public health, since black market goods will by their very nature be entirely unregulated.

  • reply
    John
    16 September 2013

    CRUK wont listen despite all the facts that Robert Innes and other bloggers have pointed out. CRUK will continue to support the MHRA without sharing any real fact as to why.

    My friend was told to put his ecig away whilst he was waiting for a train, this is disgusting, he wasn’t smoking he was vaping, so he should not of been treated this way. CRUK should be fighting on our corner allowing ecig companies to supply without heavy restriction and us vapers to feel free to vape anywhere. “If all smokers became vapers, then in approximately 5 years over 5 million lives would be saved”, thats the statistics i read based on the so called non regulated ecigs currently available for sale.

    CRUK wants ecigs to be regulated so the big tobacco companies will have the market for themselves, I do find it interesting that imperial tobacco has bought a Chinese ecig factory, no doubt getting themselves ready for the new regulations.

    Its quite clear everyone’s opinion on this blog who oppose the new regulations wont be counted, we are being blatantly ignored. You cant win against such corruption, i only hope more and more people read this blog because its such an eye opener.

  • Liam
    15 September 2013

    I see from the 9th September post in cancer news Alison Cox has not taken in a word of what has been written here.

    “MHRA licensing will help ensure they are safe, they aren’t marketed to children and the long-term health impact of this form of nicotine use is monitored”

    No Alison, it will do nothing of the sort as you have already been told.

    What it will do is drive competition and innovation out of the market which has been making rapid inroads into smoking prevalence without a penny spent by government or charities.

    Oh, and like NRTs they will become available to 12 year olds if medicinal regulation goes ahead.

    The regulated pharmaceutical answer to a consumer product question can never and will never work. It can only ever produce standardised, bland and unattractive products. We have had 20 years of the pharma model for alternatives to smoking, with millions continuing to die each year. Why do you want another 20 years of it? So another 100 million can die? How “safe” is that Alison?

    Smoking rates have been on the decrease in recent years but in the same period countries that have embraced reduced harm tobacco alternatives have HALF the smoking prevalence rates and have the benefit of the associated health gains.

    How did the banning of products like snus on safety grounds actually work out? Fact is the banning of it has led to millions of unnecessary deaths already. And you party to repeating that mistake.

    Frankly your stance on this and your apparent unwillingness to take on board the information you have been presented with here disgusts me. It goes completely against the stated aim of your organisation. Your support of medicinal regulation for a consumer product will kill and what is more it will kill for more than the other work of CRUK can possibly hope to save.

    Get informed on this topic CRUK and change track before it is too late.

  • RobbieW
    14 September 2013

    “We are pleased e-cigarettes will be regulated in a similar way to other nicotine-containing products such as gums and patches, and still be readily available to those smokers who want to use them. MHRA licensing will help ensure they are safe, they aren’t marketed to children and the long-term health impact of this form of nicotine use is monitored,” she added. – CRUK

    It’s as if they have not done the least bit of research on the subject, either that or there are ulterior motives at play.

    The only groups that will benefit from the medicalisation of e-cigs are the pharmaceutical or big tobacco industries, everybody else is a loser, and many like myself may end up being the ultimate losers.

    CRUK’s refusal to engage and their blind adherence to a policy that will cause us to lose a once in a generation public health prize is inexplicable.

  • Brian Nightingale
    14 September 2013

    I was very pleased to see a new e cig shop open in shopping centre in a local town. It appears to be very popular. CRUK were nearby trying to raise money for cancer research. How ironic.

  • robert innes
    14 September 2013

    Did not realise I had already provided the link where you see the above research torn to shreds. But, here it is again.

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/130-60-millions-de-consommateurs2

  • robert innes
    14 September 2013

    This is the latest from Cancer Research UK. E Cigarettes can be as effective as nicotine patches at helping smokers quit, according to new research. We covered the research, and NHS Choices had a detailed analysis of the evidence.http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/news/archive/cancernews/2013-09-09-E-cigarettes-as-effective-as-nicotine-patches

    The headline here, “E-Cigarettes as Effective as Nicotine Patches.” But, the headline presented by The American Council on Science and Health is, “Ground-breaking study supports e-cigarettes’ superiority over nicotine patches. And this for the same study?

    BUT HERE IS THE IMPORTANT POINT…

    “…one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand in Christchurch (and the author of ACSH’s soon-to-be-released study, “Nicotine and Health”), had this to add: “Nine out of 10 smokers using e-cigarettes were enthusiastic about them and would recommend them to a friend. This is in contrast to medicinal nicotine products. The results obtained were despite the fact that the e-cigarette brand we used for the trial which began 2 years ago was low in nicotine compared to today’s brands. If we repeated the trial with today’s brands, smokers would have obtained three times as much nicotine as they did in this trial, …”

    Alison Cox fails to point this out in her comment that the e cigarettes were low strength.

    The VERY REASON for the outcry by vapers about regulation is the fear of regulation of strength.

    The VERY REASON for the outcry by vapers about regulation is the stultifying of development and production of newer, better products.

    Cancer Research have presented this paper as justification for their position, in fact, if you read it carefully, it completely undermines it.

  • robert innes
    13 September 2013

    When I was 12, Superman, Batman and The Hulk were my superheroes. The villains, I can hardly remember. Today I have a new set of superheroes, Clive Bates, Josefok, Michael Siegel and Dr farsalinos. The villains? I leave that for you to decide for yourself.

    I used to be swayed by articles claiming this or that about e cigarettes, and I was worried – but I needn’t have been – along come my superheroes and sweep my fears away… just as they have done , once again, here….

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/130-60-millions-de-consommateurs2

  • Linda
    13 September 2013

    All will come to light.!! ” What goes around comes around”

  • robert innes
    13 September 2013

    I had a post submitted Sept 13. It highlighted, among other things, the payments made by Pharma to American charities – where is it?

  • RobbieW
    13 September 2013

    Still no response to make CRUK?, you know this policy will kill millions but you will not engage in the debate.

    Disgusting and dangerous behaviour.

  • reply
    Adrian
    13 September 2013

    It seems CRUK’s hands are well and truly bound on this issue. Just shows that when one scratches the surface of this liberal democracy we suppose ourselves to live in, the real powers-that-be are shown to be the corporations who are the paymasters of the politicians and public servants alike.

  • robert innes
    13 September 2013

    The tobacco industry has been accused of all kinds of malpractice in its efforts to maintain profits. I find it deeply disturbing that the very people who have, in the past, been frustrated by this immoral behaviour now appear to be using those same techniques in an attempt to suppress the fledgling e cigarette industry.

    Via the media we have been subjected to a constant barrage of downright lies, manipulative and unsubstantiated comment, the encouragement of pre-existing prejudice, and an on going, rapidly growing list of half-truths.

    It should however be no surprise. In one of the links I have already posted here, it is pointed out how cancer charities supporting fatal regulation of e cigs in the US are receiving huge handouts from the pharmaceutical giants. Have they declared this in their submissions to the various authorities…? No they have not.

    What is happening in this country? I would love to know.

    There is no doubt in my mind that regulatory creep has occurred big time in some of the very organisations set up to protect the public. How can we tell..easy!

    If a body dedicated to saving human lives takes up a position where it will inhibit the production of a product that will save millions of lives… there is something very, very badly wrong.

  • RobbieW
    11 September 2013

    Summary of why CRUK’s policy will result in death for many

    – Clearly e-cigs need some form of regulation, this could be achieved by relatively simple modification of consumer protection laws.

    – Regulation as a medicine is fraught with difficulties, e-cigs are not medicines, this has been confirmed by the MRHA, how can a product which is not a medicine be successfully regulated as a medicine?. Put simply medical regulation will result in the removal of all current products from the market place to be replaced by product that are orders of magnitude less attractive to smokers and vapers.

    – My own situation will be shared by over a million people ( and growing ) in the UK alone. If e-cigs are medicalised I will no longer have a means to obtain my nicotine without smoking tobacco. This leaves me with 50% chance that I will die earlier than I would have had e-cigs remained available in their current many and varied form.

    For CRUK to support the medicalisation of e-cigs is a shameful act, the ongoing refusal to engage with us on this is a cowardly and shameful act.

    Is there no one within CRUK with the moral courage to do the right thing?

  • robert innes
    8 September 2013

    Missing post: I know that this contains shocking information about some American Cancer charities, but is this good enough reason to refuse to include the post? Again, could be gremlins in the system, if so, again, I apologise. If something is being excluded, is there not some way you can say that this is happening, at least till the system is running smoothly.

    However I have kept a copy of the post so no harm done.

    Re post…

    “But it’s important to get the balance right: it would be wrong to give the impression that there are no risks at all – hence the call for light-touch regulation and monitoring.”

    Sleight of hand: It sounds so logical does it not. This statement slipped into the original article. And logical it is – too much so!

    Drinking water, it can easily be argued, is far more dangerous than e cigarettes. Of course, you might argue, not in this country (possibly) Not bottled. (perhaps)
    This though is not the case with e cigarettes – the only dangers found have been tiny, tiny quantities of this or that then publicity has be generated to blow everything out of all proportion – so much so, safe equates to dangerous. It would seem that the word ‘safe’ is now redundant.

    There is however, one curious aspect of EU law which takes into account something called common usage – thank goodness, because using common usage, e cigarettes are, ‘safe.’

    Typical of the myth making is the following, posted only two days ago. it is a load of ‘tosh’ but skip through it anyway then take a very close look at the list of references at the end.. Most references are 2009, some 2010, and one at 2011. What year is this?

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/lifestyles/fda-investigating-safety-e-cigs/nZmbz/

    Now have a ‘squint’ at some of the more recent evidence, (Evidence that was easily available to the writer of the above) and also some ‘stuff’ of general interest. Pretty random I am afraid.. Just Googling as I go along…)

    http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2012/09/interview-electronic-cigarette-heart-study-doctor-konstantinos-farsalinos.html

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=853

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1351

    http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/michael-siegel.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23196369

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/127-no-adverse-effects

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091104/Propylene-glycol-in-e-cigarettes-might-keep-us-healthy-says-researchers.aspx?page=2

    And oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! This one is a real shocker.

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/anti-smoking-groups-that-opposed.html

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/electronic-cigarettes-commentators-fail.html

  • robert innes
    7 September 2013

    “A powerful preventive against pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory diseases may be promised by a brilliant series of experiments conducted during the last three years at the University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital. Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson last week was making final tests with a new germicidal vapor—propylene glycol—to sterilize air.

    If the results so far obtained are confirmed, one of the age-old searches of man will finally achieve its goal.

    This venture gave promising results, but all such research lapsed for another decade. Within the last few years, several research groups (notably the University of Pennsylvania’s new Air-Borne Disease Laboratories) again began testing various sprays. Many chemicals were found to kill airborne micro-organisms quickly, even in concentrations as low as one gram of chemical per 500 cu. ft. of air.

    Trouble was that all these air germicides smelled bad, or were toxic, or irritated the respiratory tract. Dr. Robertson’s propylene glycol vapor is odorless, tasteless, nontoxic, non-irritating, cheap, highly bactericidal.

    Its discovery was accidental. Dr. Robertson and his colleagues were trying out another possible germicide—a detergent or “soapless soap” (similar to Dreft, Aerosol and other products widely sold for household and industrial use). Water solutions of the detergent were only mildly effective, so the researchers tried solutions of detergents in propylene glycol, which is a sort of thin glycerin.

    Results were much better. Then the researchers found that the propylene glycol itself was a potent germicide. One part of glycol in 2,000,000 parts of air would—within a few seconds—kill concentrations of air-suspended pneumococci, streptococci and other bacteria numbering millions to the cubic foot.”

    If this gets further substantiation, e cigarette smoking should be encouraged in ALL public places because of the health benefits they offer. Talk about the old arguments being stood on their head!

    Link as above: http://www.lakeneosho.org/Ecigs/Page5A.html

  • robert innes
    7 September 2013

    On a lighter note I just have to post this. lol.

    http://www.lakeneosho.org/Ecigs/Page5A.html

    Ha ha! However does this make the e cigarette a medical device? Answer, ‘No!’ It is a cleaning agent for domestic use. lol.

  • robert innes
    7 September 2013

    “But it’s important to get the balance right: it would be wrong to give the impression that there are no risks at all – hence the call for light-touch regulation and monitoring.”

    Sleight of hand: It sounds so logical does it not. This statement slipped into the original article. And logical it is – too much so!

    Drinking water, it can easily be argued, is far more dangerous than e cigarettes. Of course, you might argue, not in this country (possibly) Not bottled. (perhaps)

    This though is not the case with e cigarettes – the only dangers found have been tiny, tiny quantities of this or that then publicity has be generated to blow everything out of all proportion – so much so, safe equates to dangerous. It would seem that the word ‘safe’ is now redundant.

    There is however, one curious aspect of EU law which takes into account something called common usage – thank goodness, because using common usage, e cigarettes are, ‘safe.’

    Typical of the myth making is the following, posted only two days ago. it is a load of ‘tosh’ but skip through it anyway then take a very close look at the list of references at the end.. Most references are 2009, some 2010, and one at 2011. What year is this?

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/lifestyles/fda-investigating-safety-e-cigs/nZmbz/

    Now have a ‘squint’ at some of the more recent evidence, (Evidence that was easily available to the writer of the above) and also some ‘stuff’ of general interest. Pretty random I am afraid.. Just Googling as I go along…)

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=853

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1351

    http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/interviews/michael-siegel.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23196369

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/127-no-adverse-effects

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091104/Propylene-glycol-in-e-cigarettes-might-keep-us-healthy-says-researchers.aspx?page=2

    And oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! This one is a real shocker.

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/anti-smoking-groups-that-opposed.html

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/electronic-cigarettes-commentators-fail.html

    http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2012/09/interview-electronic-cigarette-heart-study-doctor-konstantinos-farsalinos.html

  • Liam
    6 September 2013

    So you’ve had 3 days to “moderate” my last post that of course contained nothing to cause offense.

    Shall I just add it to the missing list?

    If anything needs moderation here it is CRUK’s willingness to go along with the tobacco industry that wants its competition regulated into oblivion, not the well reasoned and heart felt responses you have had from the people that will likely be killed by this.

  • robert innes
    6 September 2013

    Lessons to be learned??

    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v97/n491/a01.html

    British health bodies should consider “changing the climate in the U.K.” and turning public anger against the tobacco industry, he said.

    The BMA said it was asking whether it should encourage tobacco litigation by those harmed by smoking and whether criminal proceedings, or even corporate manslaughter charges, should be considered.

    The BMA staged the meeting, which it said was the first of its kind in Britain, in conjunction with an antismoking lobby group and two U.S. legal experts with experience of antitobacco lawsuits.

    Bill O’Neill, a second BMA spokesman, said the tobacco industry had implemented a sustained and sophisticated legal and public relations strategy to avoid liability for smokingrelated diseases.

    “Lawyers and scientists in the pocket of the industry deliberately steered others away from particular research avenues. The record must be set straight,” he said.

    The tobacco industry’s own body, the Tobacco Advisory Council, was unavailable for comment.

  • robert innes
    6 September 2013

    OOPS! Post has gone again! Pity,it provides substance to the arguments against regulation and provides counter arguments which tear right into much of CRUK’s original comment. I am unaware of any breach of etiquette in the post and am disappointed it is not appearing, but I am also beginning to feel a sense of justification and confidence in our campaign by its omission. Granted, this may be gremlins in the system so I will wait a few hours and repost as I have kept a copy.

  • robert innes
    6 September 2013

    Apologies CRUK. It would seem that the gremlins are still at work.

  • robert innes
    6 September 2013

    There is a post missing so it would seem that you are still having technical problems – I say this because there was nothing in the post to cause offence, except perhaps there were a number of links which tore CRUK’s arguments to shreds. however, I kept a copy. here it is again. You have my permission to delete this comment if you decide to post.

    Licensing e-cigarettes: opportunities and risks revisited: 1.

    “We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.”

    Well there is a mouthful! Light touch? Hmm! Look at the following for ‘light touch.’ Actually, the MHRA call it ‘right’ touch. Now ask yourself, is this light? I do not really need to say any more….

    http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/comms-ic/documents/websiteresources/con297583.pdf

    “Safety, quality and effectiveness… restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s…” now let me see… To examine what this supposed risk is based on go to…

    http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/?p=516

    Having read this; do I really need to say any more?

    Cross promotion, under 18’s. What rubbish! Not convinced…?

    http://roar.uel.ac.uk/1875/1/2013_Dawkins_e-cig_survey.pdf

    This is heavy going, but unlike CRUK I am prepared to make comment with substantial back-up. However, if this is too heavy, try…

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/new-study-documents-effectiveness-of.html

    http://www.vipelectroniccigarette.co.uk/blog/mhra-advice-backlash-the-e-cig-gateway-argument/

    http://www.vipelectroniccigarette.co.uk/blog/the-re-normalisation-debate-and-why-e-cigs-do-the-opposite/

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1262

    “We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.” What a load of rubbish, and yet this is what underpins the whole of CRUK’s stance.

  • Linda
    6 September 2013

    CRUK please listen to what Robert Innes is saying to you, because he speaks for Vapers worldwide. You could set a good example if you wanted by saying “after researching the subject of ecigs further, we realise they are safer than tobacco, and can save millions of lives. We therefore do not agree with them having medical status”.
    Please do the right thing.

  • robert innes
    5 September 2013

    Professor John Britton of the Royal College of Physicians told the BBC:

    “If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.”

    Well, well!

  • robert innes
    5 September 2013

    Breaking news: a new study by Dr Farsalinos has been presented today at the European Society of Cardiology annual congress in Amsterdam. Electronic cigarette: no adverse effects on blood and oxygen supply to the heart.

    More information…

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/127-no-adverse-effects

    Another myth dispelled.

  • robert innes
    5 September 2013

    Licensing e-cigarettes: opportunities and risks revisited: 1.

    “We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.”

    Well there is a mouthful! Light touch? Hmm! Look at the following for ‘light touch.’ Actually, the MHRA call it ‘right’ touch. Now ask yourself, is this light? (Or right)

    http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/comms-ic/documents/websiteresources/con297583.pdf

    I do not really need to say any more….

    “Safety, quality and effectiveness… restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s…” now let me see… To find out what this supposed risk is based on, go to… http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/?p=516

    Having read this; do I really need to say any more?

    “Cross promotion, under 18’s.” No evidence for this! Not convinced…?
    http://roar.uel.ac.uk/1875/1/2013_Dawkins_e-cig_survey.pdf

    This is heavy going, but unlike CRUK I am prepared to make comment with substantial back-up. However, if this is too heavy, try… http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/new-study-documents-effectiveness-of.html (In truth this is more back- up than comment.)

    http://www.vipelectroniccigarette.co.uk/blog/mhra-advice-backlash-the-e-cig-gateway-argument/

    http://www.vipelectroniccigarette.co.uk/blog/the-re-normalisation-debate-and-why-e-cigs-do-the-opposite/

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1262

    “We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.” This is unsubstantiated, and yet this is what underpins the whole of CRUK’s stance.

  • RobbieW
    5 September 2013

    “We’ve now said all we’re going to say re. our position on the MHRA ruling, and will not be commenting further except to reiterate it: We believe that, on balance, looking at all the evidence, history and context, that the regulatory framework proposed by the MHRA is the right approach at this time” – CRUK, 5th July

    You have had 2 months to review your position, if you have spent that time wisely and you truly do want to stop people getting cancer you must reverse the above statements. Do not engage with us if you do not want to but please, please do the right thingand change your policy

  • robert innes
    4 September 2013

    John. thank you for the comment. I am no regular blogger (as you can tell by some of my dafter comments) but like everyone here, I see the sense in fighting for a free market in e cigs. Am I imagining things or has the original CRUK post been altered? I stopped reading it weeks ago. However I do note CRUK’s concern about tobacco entering the e cig market – well! It is because of the promise of regulation they are here – they are the only ones with the finances and wherewithal to test and present their product to meet regulatory demands. Far be it that CRUK can restrict tobacco’s influence, they are virtually making certain that big tobacco will either be a major player or, that e cigs will die a death, leaving big tobacco free to distribute their cancer sticks – Well, that will ensure the CRUK remains an influential employer for a good few years to come, and that big, bad pharma can continue to enjoy conning people into thinking that their product can help them out of the trap.

  • reply
    John
    5 September 2013

    Robert what you say makes alot of sense. I think the ultimate goal of these potential new regulations have been designed to take the product out of current ecig companies and give it to the big tobacco companies since they are going to be the only companies to be able to afford to meet the new regulations. Current ecig companies will be forced to close, there employees left without a job and the ecig market left with a limited choice. Why would CRUK favor the new regulations, when this is only beneficial to the companies that have profited from manufacturing cancer sticks ?

  • RobbieW
    4 September 2013

    EU TPD vote postponed until October, a rare outbreak of common sense.

    CRUK, this gives you an extra month to change your position, be brave and save millions of lives.

    Not exactly a difficult decision is it?

  • kylie
    4 September 2013

    E-cigarettes are the way forward, after two days of using them I never went back to a traditional one. I feel healthier and smell and look alot nicer.
    It will just be another way for the government to tax us on something else.

    http://www.escape-pens.com

  • reply
    John
    4 September 2013

    I find it gratifying that this blog is still getting positive comments in favor of electronic smoking.

    Electronic smoking is more affordable for the consumer, more profitable for the retailer, 99% safer therefore less drain on the NHS and charities such as CRUK can focus more attention and funds on cancers less related to smoking.

    Compared to smoking tobacco, electronic cigarettes are overall better for the economy and public health, rather than banning or heavily regulated ecigs, i would like to see tobacco banned altogether.

    Robert innes, RobertW, Brian Nightingale and all other regular bloggers, please continue to fight for what is obviously beneficial to us all. Thank You !

  • Liam
    3 September 2013

    Having just read your press release lauding the fact the NHS stop smoking service where the author of this blog posts states that “Tobacco is a lethal product that kills half of all long-term smokers, so helping smokers to quit is an incredibly important job. The quality of the services are world leading and this research shows just how successful they’ve been.”

    The article lauds the fact that one in 3 (270,000 out of 788,000) users had quit for 4 weeks, but just 20,000 has quit long term. 20,000 out of 788,000 for a national programme is abject failure both in terms of reach and most importantly success. More than that will quit in any given year with no help at all.

    How much does this programme cost? Millions.

    How much does smokers switching to e cigs cost? Nothing.

    Here are some facts.

    Smoking is the number one preventable cause of cancer.

    Prevention is better than cure.

    4 week quit rates bear little correlation to year plus quit rates as witnessed by the figures from your own press release.

    When given e cigs, smokers who did not want to give up reduced their tobacco intake and quit at rates higher than achieved by any pharmaceutical or counseling intervention. That rate in one study (Polosa, Morjaria, Caponnetto, et al.) is 40% at 2 years.

    There are around 9 million smokers in the UK.

    CRUK has over £300 million to distribute annually.

    The stated aim of CRUK is to reduce the number of deaths by cancer.

    Given those facts instead of being party to regulating rapidly innovated safer alternatives to smoking out of the market CRUK’s money would be better spent sending each and every smoker in the UK a free, high quality, e cig kit and several months supply of liquid.

    The quit rate from the 2 year study for non motivated quitters using e cigs exceeds the 4 week quit rate for motivated quitters on the NHS programme.

    My neighbours use the NHS service. They only actually managed to stop smoking after I gave them e cigs. How many more of those quitters the NHS service claims credit for are actually now non smokers due to e cigs?

    If 9 million smokers were all sent e cigs and 40% quit long term as studies show is entirely likely, 1.8 million premature deaths could be avoided by just one year’s of CRUK funding.

    Tell us CRUK, what are you spending your money on this year that will save 1.8 million lives?

    “Together we will beat cancer”

    Only if you stop batting for the other team, CRUK.

  • Liam
    3 September 2013

    “Watch this space”

    Indeed.

    We’re watching.

  • RobbieW
    3 September 2013

    CRUK, the next plenary vote at the EU is scheduled for the 9th of September.

    You have a short time to review your position and change your policy, if you do it quickly enough you may be able to influence the vote and save lives.

    If you do nothing and leave your policy unchanged you will have effectively undone all the good work you have carried out over the years, do you really want to be part of a decision that will end up in the deaths of millions?

  • Andy
    26 August 2013

    I think that I will just add CRUK to my growing list of attempted murderers. E-Cigs saved my life, and now you want to reverse that process?

  • RobbieW
    23 August 2013

    The standing and reputation of CRUK has been badly affected by their ill-informed decision to support the ban on all existing e-cigs. This is a decision that will cost millions of lives in the UK.

    It is not too late to change your mind, is there nobody in CRUK with the moral courage to defy the Pharmaceutical industry and the MRHA. It is a move that CRUK must make if they are to remain a credible voice in the fight against cancer.

    Like many others, I now make a point of never contributing to CRUK as your support of the ban will kill millions of people.

  • robert innes
    19 August 2013

    Apologies for the mistakes above but I am totally ‘knackered.’ I am 67 years old and have just finished playing indoor hockey – hard work when you are giving 40 odd years away to the next oldest – part of the legacy that ecigarettes have to offer me I suppose. I thought I was about finished but e cigs have given me a few more years playing to look forward to – I am a tad past my prime though.

  • robert innes
    19 August 2013

    Thank You Henry. And Robbie W, I entirely agree. When you look at the other items issued by CRUK you see a body devoted to conquering cancer. What I have come to believe has happened is a knee jerk response to e cigs because they ‘look’ like cigarettes and the whole routine and atmosphere surrounding ‘vaping’ seems to be so very closely related to smoking, and therefore, evil. Nothing can be further from the truth. The paradox here is that vaping and smoking are almost identical, and yet that similarity only extends as far as, let us say, the relationship between that of a horse and cart to a Massarat (cannot spell that) Jaguar. They both require roads; they are both forms of transport; both have seats, wheels, and seats.. but you cannot possibly say that the two are in the slightest comparable.

    Henry, we want you to re-enter the debate. I, and I think I speak for everyone, but there is no desire to humiliate either yourself or CRUK. You are however important players in this contest, and, as I have said I believe, you believe that you are doing the right thing.

    A change of heart now by CRUK, I believe, might well result in the saving of many, many lives. Please return to the debate. This issue is perhaps more important than all of the research being done by CRUK and more important that any that will be done.

  • Henry Scowcroft
    19 August 2013

    A couple of weeks ago, we moved this blog to a new hosting provider. I’ve just checked in the moderation queue and spam filter and there’s nothing there, but it’s entirely possible that comments held in moderation at our old hosting didn’t make it across. I’m not sure if there’s a way to rescue these, I’ll check with our IT department.

  • RobbieW
    19 August 2013

    Although extremely misguided, I still believe that most of the staff at CRUK do genuinely want to reduce death and suffering.

    If that is the case then the missing entries ( including an earlier comment by myself pointing these out ) are the result of an IT glitch and not heavy handed censorship.

    CRUK, I know you don’t want to discuss your position any more but could you get your IT guys to look for the missing entries?

  • robert innes
    19 August 2013

    Quite a few missing. Where for example is R. Bird’s comment, and I quote, in part where he points out that it would be N.I.C.E if people would stick to facts…

    “Age 57years……………………………FACT
    Smoker 40years………………………FACT
    Vaper 8months………………………..FACT
    MHRA supporter. NO……………….FACT
    CRUK supporter. Never again!….FACT

    Save millions of lives by doing some RESEARCH and NOT
    supporting MHRA.
    Wake up and smell the coffee! But only if its safe and legal.”

    I am hoping the missing posts are just a glitch and not intentional in order to underplay the interest that this post is STILL generating. The most popular post in the history of CRUK – but where I made that point just over a week ago is missing – along with quite a few others.

  • robert innes
    19 August 2013

    A few entries missing for July and August? A glitch?

  • RobbieW
    19 August 2013

    CRUK, you are organisation who’s main aim is to prevent death & suffering.

    Your support for the medicalisation of e-cigs will mean that an opportunity to save 5 million lives in the UK will be lost. It is a shameful policy that is only justifiable if the profits of large corporations are your main concern

  • R.Bird.
    13 August 2013

    I keep hearing lost of BS that implies e-cigs are a gateway to smoking!
    They are a gateway OUT of smoking.
    Time to relax and puff away on my new e-pipe, using vanilla custard at 18mg, down from my original 24mg.
    I can can breathe so much easier now, even walking is now a pleasure.

  • robert innes
    14 July 2013

    Interesting pingback. Emphasises the NHS ‘fatal’ mistake – “stop smoking or suffer a terrible illness and / or die.” Where is the stop smoking, start vaping, enjoy life and live long?

  • robert innes
    13 July 2013

    “… imagine an alternative product (E-cig) that enjoyed many of the advantages of the first product (tobacco cig)but was not in any significant way known to share any of its disadvantages. You might think this would be welcomed and everyone would recommend switching from the first of these products – the one that might well kill you – to the second, the one that will not.
    Well, you might think that. But you would be wrong. No wonder despair occasionally seems the most sensible response of all. There are times when public life in this country is throttled by so much stupidity that there’s no room left for even a modicum of hope…”

    Just a taster from…
    http://www.thinkscotland.org/todays-thinking/articles.html?read_full=12229

    And another (I like this analogy for the excuse that e-cigs will attract children)

    “…the playing of paintball should be banned for fear that its popularity will persuade people with no great interest in paintball that they should (somehow) purchase real guns and embark on a killing spree in their nearest shopping centre.”

    Nothing new in this article but it is interesting and to a degree entertaining. It is also encouraging as it demonstrates how the word is spreading.

  • hints
    13 July 2013

    The good news is that quitting smoking significantly reduces the chances of developing one of the fourteen cancers related to tobacco use. Smog is increasing, we are talking about PM10 and PM 2.5, 10 microgr of Pm10 / cubic meter increases the incidence of 22%. Lung cancer can also be secondary to other tumors. Open fires like firepleces used as heating especially burning coal are incresing the incidence. Age is important, the most are od people. Lung cancer has in incidence of 2% so practically 80% increase is equal to1.6%. If you quit smoking the incidence is dropping slowly and after 10 years you’re have an increased probability. Vapor or better fog, this is the chemical name for it, with particles in it nicotine, glycerine and propylene glycol do not show to produce tobacco damage in the lungs. I advise you to read Pub Med where you can find many articles about e cigs. Let’s not forget that tests gave way to Vioxx. Thanks for your attention

  • S-E-Cigarettes
    12 July 2013

    just absolutely typical example of the government and legislative bodies not helping the industry, the consumer or the economy.
    much discussion on the subject of health here
    http://www.s-ecigarette.co.uk/article/the-health-implications-of-vaping/

    but regardless they are a great technology and the consumer should have the option and a free market to maintain competition and standards.

  • robert innes
    12 July 2013

    In fact, the attitude of those who wish to restrict e-cigs is, in itself a glowing reference for e-cigs.

    Because Tobacco control has been under the auspice of regulatory bodies and because the various charities and interest groups have only / mainly dealt with same (with the exception of the tobacco companies who are the ‘baddies’) they have failed to develop a mindset which can embrace, harm reduction or, continuing use of nicotine.

    This particular mindset will, as has been pointed out over and over again, results in failed methods, use of failed products in pursuit of a failed policy and a policy which is in direct contradiction to their own stated aims.

    Their aim is to save lives through research and the development of strategies and materials to achieve the saving of lives. The policy is to pursue tobacco control, at the expense of all else, thereby causing death and suffering. The policy contradicts the aim.

    The policy has to change, and if not, questions will be asked of them, not least, “My husband / son / daughter died through being a smoker after repeated attempts to stop. I have now found out that there was an alternative open to them which would have prevented this. Why did you not help us? Why does your organisation not support something which would have saved them?”

    And a word of warning! As time goes on the clamour will grow. It is inevitable. CRUK have to be aware of the weakness of their position, and things will only get worse. The hypocrisy which can be seen by comparing aims and policy will become more and more obvious to more and more people – time to change.

  • Brian Nightingale
    12 July 2013

    There’s tobacco control and tobacco harm reduction. We should be replacing TC with THR. TC is I believe quite evil in its quit or die approach to smoking. THR is a much better approach to public health. Sweden has lower rates of smoking and lung cancer because of snus. Unfortunately snus is banned elsewhere in the EU. E cigs also provide an opportunity for THR. The time has come to get rid of the TC dinosaurs and stop funding them with taxpayers money.

  • reply
    John
    12 July 2013

    Thank you Shuhel for the e petition link to prevent the classification of e-liquids containing nicotine as a medicine as defined by the MHRA http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51572, i have forwarded it to the two e cig companies i have used Skycig and CigEz, i have asked them to put it on their website or facebook, i know CigEz has put it on their facebook page already. The more votes the better i say !

  • robert innes
    12 July 2013

    I have been doing my homework and have realised what a mistake it is to harp on about vested interests, and to be overtly rude to those others who have a different viewpoint to the one I hold. The reason this is a mistake is that it clouds the real issues and detracts from the argument.

    If I can change, so can others. Wouldn’t it be ‘NICE’ (Have not lost my sense of humour) if CRUK had a change of heart and re-entered and responded to the real concerns of the ordinary / everyday / non-expert / vapers here on this blog ‘WHO’s’ only vested interest is their own health and also a desire to promote the wellbeing of others through the protection and promotion of a revolutionary, new life-saving product..

  • Shuhel
    12 July 2013

    Sign the this petition to stop this nonsense.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51572

  • robert innes
    11 July 2013

    When you read about this committee, or that, making recommendations to ban or control e-cigs, it is very easy to become despondent – don’t! At this stage of the struggle, the organisations that control, or at least influence those committees, have all the power. Organisations like, WHO, and perhaps, NICE, have been subjected to regulatory creep – pharma has ‘got its people in there.’ Not to worry.

    Unlike ‘normal’ cigarettes, e-cigs and their supporters are on the moral high ground. It is coming as a shock to many who, without giving it any thought, oppose e-cigs for no more reason than some supposed, superficial similarities. There are similarities – just not the ones being presented. Not to worry, we are in the right.

    Not to worry, all of the evidence collected so far supports the vapors’ position. As time goes on, that body of evidence is growing. More and more eminent scientists and lawyers are joining our ranks. We win the court battles, we win the media arguments and our ranks are swelling.

  • robert innes
    11 July 2013

    Can these decisions be challenged yet? I read about it in the Wall Street Journal. Looks like they class e-cigs as ‘normal’ cigarettes when they want to, and then as medicine when it suits them. They are neither

    In the newspaper Mitch Zellar of the FDA also describes e-cigs as the ‘wild, wild west.’ Then the story adds, ‘ but most scientists also believe e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional smokes.’

    This kind of writing demonstrates the imbalance and ignorance that exists with regard to the difference in safety between smoking and vaping. Zeller is quoted using this effective and emotive metaphor. It is then countered with a weak understatement. It should read, ‘Nearly all scientists who have commented on the subject are of the opinion that e-cigarettes are a far safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.’ or something like it.

  • Brian Nightingale
    11 July 2013

    I have just read that the EU have voted to class e cigs as medicines. I hope the illegality of is challenged. It seems that some MEPs have completely ignored us along with MHRA and WHO. They won’t be ignoring us when it comes to the next European election. My wife and myself will make our business to vote.

  • robert innes
    10 July 2013

    Look carefully at the negative ‘clicks’ Someone is listening!

  • John
    10 July 2013

    A small amount of anti-freeze was found in one e cig product (not lethal amount), to say that all e cigs could be potentially dangerous because of this finding would be discriminating.

    Some manufactures had put horse meat in some of the food containing beef, but to of banned or recalled all beef because all manufacturers might of used horse meat would of been discriminating.

    This is a case of one rotten but not harmful apple, that has spoilt the reputation of a product that can help save lives. Have all e cig manufacturers have there products tested to ensure high standards and guide them to how there products should be labelled, but to declare e cigs as a medicine is ridiculous and way too costly for the majority of good e cig manufacturers, leaving them without a business.

  • robert innes
    10 July 2013

    Today. 10th July 2013: Professor Robert West of University College London – called countries that have banned electronic cigarettes “nuts.” on http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/

  • John
    10 July 2013

    Come on CRUK, open your eyes and see that what the MHRA are doing is over kill. Be the voice of the consumers and act within the interests of public health. E cigs are safer than real cigarettes that’s a fact, so should be encouraged and welcomed. This new ruling will certainly discourage e cig users and will most probably drive them back to smoking.

  • robert innes
    10 July 2013

    Can I suggest that everyone clicks on the following two contributors names. This will carry you through to their web pages where you will find a real wealth of organised information. This will be useful in the event of this blog being closed down.

    Fergus Manson.
    &
    josefOk.

  • robert innes
    10 July 2013

    It is a comfort to be part of a blog like this, particularly when the host has chickened out. It is so reassuring to someone like me who knows so little about the topic and who has such limited blogging experience… Thank you all. (And thank you Henry!)

    An example of the benefit of being here is that I too had read the antifreeze scare story and was concerned by it. However Fergus’s comment has cleared things up for me.

    Isn’t it ironic that a blog set up to damage the e-cig industry through lies and misinformation has become such a source of facts, information and comfort.

    Thank you all.

  • Southern Vaper
    10 July 2013

    its just a media ploy to do what the hell they want and they have the likes of CRUK believing it too.

    Sad really sad that CRUK have chosen to ignore those effected and in effect have taken the same stance as the government which is that they couldnt care less for our health

  • Boyer
    9 July 2013

    Fergus, Thank you for the clarifications. And I would guess that this is the same study I have seen around under various formats, presentations… trying to show that this is indeed quite common. I even believed it (although not much concerned though). So… it seems that yes… whatever tests done cannot show any big concern. That’s a problem indeed for many, and would explain the total absence of supporting statistics in any official discourse on the necessity to regulate e-cig.

  • Fergus Mason
    9 July 2013

    “Some texts here and there do show big differences between some juices, some laced copiously with ethylene glycol”

    Ah no, not quite. ONE FDA study from 2009 found traces of ethylene glycol in ONE cartridge from a batch of 18 imported from China. It wasn’t at a harmful level and it hasn’t ever been found in any other test of e-liquid or cartridges.

  • reply
    John
    9 July 2013

    Both the FDA and MHRA will say anything to get their own way, and its not for the interest of us consumers on this matter.

  • reply
    John
    9 July 2013

    I am most surprised with the view that cancer research has with agreeing with the new policies that the MHRA will implement. I would think that they would disagree with the mandatory new changes, the rule of classing e cigarettes as a medicine should be an option for companies that want to supply the NHS with a stop smoking device. Why would my e cig be banned when it has certificates such as SGS, ROHS and CE and containing ingredients found in food, but real cigarettes containing thousands of harmful chemicals remain legal.

    I would of thought cancer research would support, e cigarette companies since they help to prevent one of the countries most common cancer deaths. Independent testing should be implemented to ensure e cig products reach a high level of standard and are labelled correctly, that i agree with, instead a lot of the e cigarette companies will be squashed since they will never afford to be MHRA certified and consumers like me, that could not stand to use nicolites and intellicig products will be forced to smoke real cigarettes again. This makes no sense, i would of expected cancer research the charity i and most others support to support us !

  • reply
    John
    10 July 2013

    E liquid containing Nicotine, should be readily available to buy as Coffee containing caffeine or drinks containing Taurine, The only difference should be that e liquid containing nicotine should be age restricted. The MHRA ruling is both contrary to policy and discriminating,

    Scientists have gathered enough evidence to prove that e cigs are at least 95% safe, with no reported e cig related illness, so the heavy policies the MHRA has ruled is ridiculous, and once more even more ridiculous that CRUK has supported this.

    Companies like BAT dont care for public health and have scare mongered the public, and are one of the main instigators in all this. They are the Puppet Masters and the government, MHRA and CRUK are the puppets used to wipe out the competion so the big companies can cash in.
    I will never use a device made by BAT out of principle and because they perform poorly.

  • John
    9 July 2013

    I agree some independent tests should be carried out in the U.K to ensure a higher standard. The MHRA will kill both the majority of e cig companies and the people using the soon to banned devices.

  • Boyer
    9 July 2013

    Robert,
    I think you may get it right. They probably did tests, studies… but the results were ‘disappointing’, nothing to scare everybody. I did find a doc finally from some test research done in Canada some years ago which concluded that… well… some study may need to be done… :)
    Some texts here and there do show big differences between some juices, some laced copiously with ethylene glycol (ie basic anti-freeze, resold at £4 the 10 ml… good profit!) which is nasty. So that may be where the regulation should come in, like for food standards, to try to ensure that nobody put real nasty stuff in the e-juice for short-term profit.
    But the call for regulation at the moment seems as everyone put it a dubious plan, at best a knee-jerk reaction to something they do not know what to do with, at worse a plan to buy time for the large tobacco companies and the billions of £ in tax the government collect.

  • vereybowring
    9 July 2013

    One this charity really wants to have a good hard think about.

    Sir Francis Jacob QC, former Advocate-General to the European Court of Justice describes the proposed ban on e-cigs as “an unreasonable measure which is liable to be annulled as being contrary to the principle of proportionality and/or the principle of non-discrimination.“

    So one of the top experts in EU law says all these attempts to make e cigs a medicine are illegal.

    Got a smart reply handed to you from pharma to that, or still going to stick with having your fingers in your ears shouting “Lah, Lah, Lah” ?

  • John
    9 July 2013

    I have just read everyone’s comments and just want to echo the majority of what every said. I think its a disgrace that e cigarettes are going to be regulated by the MHRA, i don’t believe they are a medicine but a healthier alternative to smoking real cigarettes. If you ask me this is a case of backhanding, squash the smaller companies and line the pockets of the big companies. I can only hope someone with the power will stop this for the sake of all vapers out there trying to kick the deadly habit of smoking !

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    Or ‘the’ instead of, ‘a’ Night, night folks!

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    ‘Significant’ and not ‘significance’ in the comment above – time for bed I think. lol.

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    Boyer, a significance of part of your comment has just dawned on me. “… but so far I was not able to find any health body having actually done a proper research on e-cigarettes.”

    You bet your bottom dollar that they have been putting every resource available into finding some real danger inherent into e-cig use, it is just that they have not found any. You cannot really publish something dramatic about nothing.

    What you can do though is bat the onus back to the other party – “Find evidence it is safe.” They demand. And just how do you evidence something is safe? It is a downright impossibility.

    You can find evidence that it is not safe… huh? That is exactly what Pharma, CRUK, and the rest of the gang have singularly failed to do.

    So the ball is back in the oppositions (our) court, so we return serve. Trouble is Jockavich (How the hell do you spell that? We’ll just call him Henry – is not returning serve.)

    (Oh! And therefore my earlier comment about the song, ‘There’s a hole in my bucket.’ So not just a jibe at ‘poor Henry )

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    Is it true that Harpal Kumar will earn £220/230,000 per annum for a part time position? I would be very caring with an income like that. However, on the other hand, if I thought that there was a danger a policy could backfire on my charity I might be tempted to do something about it. … because I cared of course – nothing to do with the money.

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    been to the Doc’s. Had a nice wee chat. She offered me antacid, “Peppermint or aniseed?”

    “You’d better be careful,” I responded. “You’ll have all the teenagers after it.”

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    While I am here. I have to visit the doctor today. I am actually looking forward to it. I will be able to tell her that i have not smoked for six months now (I always exaggerate slightly) and I think I am going to enjoy re-educating her with regard to e-cigs. I hope I can work in the analogy of the lifeboat somewhere along the line…. Oh!… Good morning Henry!

  • robert innes
    8 July 2013

    Boyer. I realise that you are sympathetic to the e-cig cause, but you make a fatal mistake with the use of the word, ‘burnt.’ A major part of the argument rages round this very word, and especially its connotations.. A tobacco cig is ‘burned’ and this action creates the dangers we know to exist with smoking. Vaping is different with no burning taking place: No danger. Many people outside the e-cig community are unaware of the difference.

    Having said this, I for one, welcome your contribution. This debate is one that affects all users of e-cigs. There are obviously experts taking part but please do not let this deter you from ‘putting your bit in’ as well. All the best…

  • Fergus Mason
    7 July 2013

    “The liquids (propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin) plus the various flavourings are burnt and inhaled.”

    No, they are not. They are EVAPORATED and inhaled. It’s very different.

  • Boyer
    7 July 2013

    A lot of discussion and regulators coming in… but so far I was not able to find any health body having actually done a proper research on e-cigarettes. The liquids (propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin) plus the various flavourings are burnt and inhaled. What do they bring?
    I am pretty disappointed that health authorities are already talking about regulation, restriction, etc. without knowing what they are talking about.
    Let’s be serious and start looking at this in detail before making any recommendations.

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    Re Josef0k (Dr David Upton) First class article and so easy to read and understand. A must for a beginner like myself. (And the people at CRUK) I repeat your link.

    http://www.eccauk.org/images/pdf/addiction.pdf

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    I have been toying with a shocking thought, one that has grown as this blog has progressed. It goes something like… (and there is no reference to CRUK here)

    If Pharma are prepared, (evidenced by what we are told in this blog) along with their big tobacco bedfellows to see people dying so they can make a profit, surely it is just as feasible that they already have cures for ‘incurable’ conditions but are sitting on them because they would loose out financially. The morality, or lack of it, is the same. The precedents for this type of behaviour abound in the worlds of finance and industry.

  • vereybowring
    6 July 2013

    Don’t expect any answers folks, as they said they wouldn’t.

    After all they are far too bust having carefully, and not too deeply in case if damage, stuck their fingers in their ears and are shouting Lah,Lah,Lah, we can’t hear you since research is not the strong point of this research charity. Get over to Macmillan and give them your donations – I know many people they’ve actually helped.

  • josef0k
    6 July 2013

    Just a brief observation regarding the Cochrane Studies you referenced, Henry.

    The types of participants that were included were ‘men and women who smoked and were motivated to quit.’

    To ignore the entire non-motivated group in… how many did you say… 150 trials involving 50,000 people… seems to me to be missing a fair few.

    Speaking as a vaper that had no intention to quit smoking and was stunned to realise that, since taking up vaping I had not smoked a single cigarette (despite them still sitting there, inches away from my fingers) I wonder if you had considered e-cigs in relation to those not motivated to quit? What impact would medicines regulation have on that group? What would be the result on that group if, as has been the case since 2004, e-cigs were able to make significant inroads without medicines regulation?

    Even ignoring those that may take the medicinised e-cig route (just for sake of argument) the non-motivated are a significant smoking block, right?

    Bear in mind that under CURRENT regulations, any NCP that makes a claim would become ‘medicinal by presentation’ and thus be usable, if approved, within an NRT strategy. No need for the proposed ‘medicines by function’ regulation, perhaps?

    Maybe? Perhaps? Maybe? Worth considering? Perhaps?

    Here’s a trial where ALL participants had NO intention to quit…

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066317

    Also worth considering? Maybe?

  • josef0k
    6 July 2013

    Spreading this…

    (Dr David Upton)
    http://www.eccauk.org/images/pdf/addiction.pdf

    Has some interesting points to make regarding the effectiveness – with assistance – of NRT products.

    Just goes to show that there are other conclusions to reach from NRT data.

  • josef0k
    6 July 2013

    Well spotted, Robert.

    Shame on CRUK.

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    If you are not going to respond here, tell me, what do you actually do to fill your day. Looking at the responses to other blogs, I would say you have rather an easy job.

    Government’s Spending Review – our reaction…. 1 reply
    The tobacco industry’s role in smuggling needs scrutiny… 1 reply
    Free Yourself! World No Tobacco Day 2013… 0 replies
    “There are immediate wins” – protecting science spending in austere times… 0 replies
    A sad day for public health – standard packs and the path ahead… 48 replies
    A Queen’s Speech to speed up progress against cancer?… 0 replies
    Government must put children’s health before tobacco profits… 0 replies
    Clinical trials and Parlamentary tribulations… 0 replies
    Misleading ads and public distrust – wising up to the tobacco industry… 2 replies (Interesting intro here. “As we revealed last week, almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the public don’t trust the tobacco industry to make believable and independent arguments about how to reduce smoking rates. Now apply the level of distrust felt by the e-cig community against CRUK)
    Cancer care in the NHS in England… 2 replies.

    OH! Nearly forgot…..

    Licensing e-cigarettes: opportunities and risks… 212 replies.

  • Ken Hardy [neptune]
    6 July 2013

    You may remember the joke about the marching army, where all the soldiers were out of step except one.CRUK believes itself to be that one soldier. Do you not see that if ALL comments disagree with your stance, it would be wise to reconsider? YOU are right and EVERYBODY ELSE is wrong? To me that is the classic definition of a Jehova Complex. Three years in the future when people are dying as a direct result of your actions, and your so-called “Charity” has collapsed from lack of donations, and you sit in the gutter contemplating your navel, and wondering how you can get a job, perhaps then you will realise that we were not so stupid after all.

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    New study. Published 18th June. You can download the PDF here.

    http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/6/2500

    Good bedtime reading for Henry.

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    Good one Gordon. Worth reading. (Do you hear that Henry?) From you document … http://www.europarl.europa.eu/eplibrary/Electronic-cigarettes.pdf
    Since this has been designed for MEP’s, it is simple and easy to understand.

  • Gordon England
    6 July 2013

    The case for regulating e-cigarettes as medicines
    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1351

  • robert innes
    6 July 2013

    Oops! Sorry for the duplication.

  • Fergus Mason
    6 July 2013

    Henry’s not going to discuss CRUK’s position on the proposed ban any more. Fine.

    But I am:

    http://ecigssavelives.co.uk/is-this-charity/

  • Liam
    6 July 2013

    “We’ve now said all we’re going to say re. our position on the MHRA ruling, and will not be commenting further except to reiterate it: We believe that, on balance, looking at all the evidence, history and context, that the regulatory framework proposed by the MHRA is the right approach at this time.”

    Isn’t that just a polite way of saying la, la, la, I’m not listening, la, la, la?

    Your position supports the decimation of the burgeoning e-cig industry and handing it over to the very same tobacco industry that knew it was killing its customers over 60 years ago. The very same tobacco industry that despite knowing that and having billions at its disposal didn’t have the means to attach a heating element to a battery and vapourise liquid nicotine and deliver that product to its customers.

    The tobacco industry has had 60 years to come up with something better. They never even tried. Pharma has had 30 years and have only produced overpriced, largely ineffectual and in the case of champix downright dangerous products while every year MILLIONS die of smoking. Now there is a new player in town they want it regulated out of existence and you are supporting that.

    At current growth rates by the time the MHRA proposals come into effect there will be millions of vapers in the UK. How many of those will it take going back to tobacco to wipe out any and all possible gains of this legislation?

    Look at the name above the door next time you walk into work. Think about what you are there to do. And then reconsiders your stance on this subject.

  • josef0k
    5 July 2013

    @V – This is the second time this week that the Western Pacific WHO office have made silly claims – and reported by an unquestioning media. Whither faith in a public health body?

    Shameful.

    And they really think they know best.

    Lavender-perfumed, the lot of them.

  • robert innes
    5 July 2013

    I do not wish to detract from the observation of ‘v’ above but…. As I have said previously, I am no scientist. In fact my real interest in this subject has been primarily due to coming across CRUK’s article and the fact that I have succeeded in stopping (miraculously) due to trying out a Tesco (10 motive – I am not an e-cig snob. lol) product. Now, googling like mad, in my kangaroo style, have come across….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/29/sweden-smokers-option-snus

    “Why then does the EU still ban the export of Snus to other EU countries? The answer, as documented in an insightful book by Christopher Snowdon, lies in a combination of stubbornness on the part of anti-tobacco campaigners and the vested interests of the pharmaceutical industry.

    The UK was the first country to ban oral snuff in 1988 amid concerns over mouth cancer, and this was followed by an EU-wide ban on new oral tobacco products in 1992. When Sweden joined the EU in 1994, it demanded an opt-out from the ban which allowed Swedish companies to continue selling Snus within its own borders. The EU was forced to oblige, as if it had not done so it is highly likely the Swedish referendum on EU membership would not have passed.

    The health justification for the ban was subsequently weakened after numerous studies found that there was no significant correlation between Snus and mouth cancer. The way Snus is prepared significantly reduces the levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines, meaning that despite the popularity of the product Sweden has one of the lowest mouth cancer rates in the EU”

    Although, not a direct response to the blog about e cigs, the debate about snus does have a direct bearing on the direction the e-cig debate is taking.

    But more interestingly, now that CRUK have ‘butted out’ (Good pun don’t you think)of this blog, but have promised not to close it, perhaps we can use it for our own ends (not such a good pun) …Thanks Henry!

  • V
    5 July 2013

    Dr Florante Trinidad, technical officer at “Tobacco-Free Initiative”-WHO Western Pacific Region, suggested that electronic cigarettes are more dangerous than tobacco. He mentioned: “The most dangerous thing about this product (e-cigarette) is that the nicotine goes directly to the lungs while regular cigarettes have a filter. With this delivery device (the electronic cigarette) the nicotine goes directly to the lungs.”

    This is a previously-unheard statement. For the first time, a WHO official is publicly and directly suggesting to e-cigarette users (vapers) that it is safer to go back to tobacco cigarettes.

    ANY comments cancerresearchuk???

  • Weedman
    5 July 2013

    e-cigs save lives.

    Simple.

    In fact it is such a no brainer that it is hard not to believe in a conspiracy theory from those who want them regulated.

  • robert innes
    5 July 2013

    “…despite the fact that many of you who have commented disagree with us.”

    If memory serves me well, the word many should read, “ALL.”

  • Fergus Mason
    5 July 2013

    “The £300m we spend on cancer research every year comes directly from the generosity of the UK public”

    Expect 1.3 million members of that public (and growing) to be a good deal less generous in future. I refuse to subsidise an organisation that is apparently trying to kill me.

  • Fergus Mason
    5 July 2013

    “We have our own concerns about how the market is developing – in particular the investment of the tobacco industry in e-cigarette businesses.”

    This statement is at best incoherent and at worst dishonest. If you’re really so concerned about tobacco companies entering the e-cigarette market then why are you supporting a regulatory approach that will hand them the entire market on a plate?

    Currently I use three devices on a regular basis. One is from Innokin, one from Sigelei and one from Joyetech. None of these is made by a tobacco company, and all will be banned under the proposed regulation. If you and MHRA get your way then in 2016 the only e-cigarettes available will be Intellicig and Nicolites. Intellicig is owned by BAT. Right now they have a small market share, because they’re not very good. Medical regulation isn’t exactly going to do them any harm, is it? In fact it will increase their profits massively one way or the other, as some vapers turn to their dreadful product and otehrs give in and go back to smoking.

    As has been repeatedly explained to you – without effect, it seems – the “cigalike” products that MHRA will license are ineffective. We’ve all tried them, found them wanting and moved on to better things. Why would I want to give up my current equipment in favour of an overpriced, inferior medicalised product? And don’t even think of telling me that it WON’T be inferior, because I’ve already tried it and I can assure you it is. If it wasn’t inferior I’d be using it, and I’m not. Nor are many other vapers. That, of course, is why BAT are one of your allies in supporting this legislation – a fact you’ve been very quiet about. Why is it that you, with all your concerns about the tobacco industry, are siding with it while we – the users – oppose it?

    You are not listening to us when we tell you that medicalised products are not what we want. Don’t expect US to listen to YOU next time you ask for money.

  • reply
    samoensmark
    5 July 2013

    Fergus mate, I sympathise and agree with all you have to say, but it is very clear that this goes way beyond reason and analysis. Once again it isma regurgitiarion of the same arguments we have been trying to hard to highlight as ungrounded, patently ignoring the difficult questions we have to ask, and harping on about the irrelavent in order to justify what is simply a self interested ideological stance. This wilfull ignorance can suggest nothing less. I think that we are now just wasting our breathe, whilst we stillmhave any lets move on to the next batlle. My head hurts from banging it against this particualr brick wall.

  • RobbieW
    5 July 2013

    So basically, we have listened to you, we can not put forward arguments that refute your points but we have decided to support the MHRA anyway.

    You will have blood on your hands,CRUK should be ashamed of itself.

  • Fergus Mason
    5 July 2013

    “We believe that, on balance, looking at all the evidence, history and context, that the regulatory framework proposed by the MHRA is the right approach at this time.”

    Then you can forget about ever getting another donation from me again.

  • robert innes
    5 July 2013

    Oh dear! Henry, please…? (Reminds me of the song, “There’s a Hole in my Bucket.” In which case you are no longer Henry but play the role of Lisa.) You provide stats for people who have gone to the doctor and sought advice and help to assist them in quitting smoking. (And, as I stated earlier, the quit rate after one year is not impressive)

    The debate about e-cigs however involves many people who do NOT wish to move away from nicotine, but DO want to avoid the dangers inherent in smoking, as well as some who wish to stop completely. I see that you carefully avoid any comparison of the success rates for smoking cessation via e-cigs and those for NRT’s. (And, not being a scientist, I do not know them – I am sure though, that they will soon be provided.)

    What I do know is that ‘big tobacco’ and ‘bad pharma’ are literally quivering in their boots at the innovation and take up rates for e-cigs. Their attempts to achieve control of the market are proof of this, so, any weak statistic provided by you, or any other, does nothing at all to support that point of view in the face of hard reality.

    You say, “If evidence emerges that the way the market is developing is failing to create an environment that will reduce the burden of tobacco on our society, we will of course speak out”

    The evidence you refer to has already emerged. Yes, and you are clearly speaking out. You are speaking out and advocating action which will work against the development of a product which will reduce the burden of tobacco on our society!

    I will repeat my earlier quote from Michael Siegel…“It is now clear that electronic cigarettes are reduced harm products (compared to conventional cigarettes). Anyone who continues to claim that there is no scientific basis for such a claim is either lying or living in a secluded cave without internet access.”

    I am reading your post and writing this during my lunch break, but before I finish, may I add that I appreciate your promise not to take the blog down and I will apologise now for any rudeness which has been presented in earlier posts. (Which is not to say I will not be rude to you again in future.)

  • josef0k
    5 July 2013

    Henry,

    “We’ve now said all we’re going to say re. our position on the MHRA ruling, and will not be commenting further except to reiterate it: We believe that, on balance, looking at all the evidence, history and context, that the regulatory framework proposed by the MHRA is the right approach at this time.”

    This goes far beyond poor form, considering the influence of CRUK and the public perception that you have their wellbeing at heart.

    If you are unwilling to engage, point by point, with those members of the public that have the means and the inclination to read your blogs and statements, particularly those that have, over the years been supporters of CRUK… then shame on you.

    It seems you have better things to do… but I’m sure you can understand if I view this as a ‘head in the sand’ approach.

    Speaking personally, I am qualified in a relevant pharmacokinetic science, have read all of the MHRAs proposal documents and stated evidence… I have been through the ‘right touch’ documents and have scoured through NRT facts and figures without merely cherrypicking those that support my point of view… I have read through clinical trials, and relevant UK and EU laws and regulations… I have read each and every MHRA consultation response, whether from public health bodies or the hundreds and hundreds of members of the public that provided their own, personal stories and experiences… and I have taken into account vested interest, as any rational person would.

    I’m also a vaper. Which I guess is a valid reason to bat aside my point of view.

    Anyway… in short, I have pertinent and relevant experience, have studied and familiarised myself with all the MHRA-referenced material, EU TPD material, and far more besides and have not relied on anyone else’s conclusions or recommendations without first investigating thoroughly the veracity of their claims.

    I’ve spent the time and effort that this topic demands, given the impact such decisions can have on people’s lives.

    Have you?

    I would guess not… for the simple reason that the vast bulk of the evidence should lead an open mind, sans agenda, to disagree with your conclusions regarding the MHRA proposal. For proposal it is. It will fail as a ‘ruling’ if the EU TPD differs substantially from it and should that not be the case, it will fail under legal challenge if an attempt to enforce it ever comes into place. Thank god.

    Governments and public health bodies make mistakes. They are not so infallible as to enjoy the luxury of refusing to question their own point of view nor the decisions they make nor the evidence they are presented with.

    The internet contains all that you need. Should you be unable or unwilling to put in the google-legwork, please contact me and I’ll gladly help.

    One good spot to begin, would be the articles written by Clive Bates, whose credentials are shown here [www.clivebates.com/?page_id=209] and whose articles are indexed here [www.clivebates.com].

    I’m afraid I cannot be of assistance with respect to intransigence.

    Good luck to you!

  • Henry Scowcroft
    5 July 2013

    Here’s some further clarification about the statistics we posted above. In Cochrane paper we linked to you can find the following table: “Table 1. Nicotine replacement therapies available in the UK”. This shows that, on average, across all the studies, 100 out of every 1,000 quitters who didn’t use NRT were still quit when the study finished (Which was between 6 months and two years later, depending on the study). But when you look at 1,000 quitters who did use NRT, then 161 were still not smoking after at least six months.

    But getting support – such as that offered by the NHS Stop Smoking services – can make a big difference. When people had intensive support but no NRT, 150 out of 1000 stayed quit. But when people had support AND NRT, 240 out of 1000 stayed quit at the end of the follow-up period.

    Secondly, apologies to Dave J – your original comment got stuck in our blog’s spam filter, along with several others. We’ve published it now, sorry about that. To address a couple of your direct questions:

    The MHRA have confirmed to us by email that “the intention is the abridged process could be used, and clinical trials will not be required to support the efficacy part of any application”. They also highlighted the following document, “Right-touch regulation”, which has more detail about their thinking in case you hadn’t seen it.

    You also ask ‘What you will you be able to do, if the cost of licensing for small vendors is prohibitive?” We have our own concerns about how the market is developing – in particular the investment of the tobacco industry in e-cigarette businesses. If evidence emerges that the way the market is developing is failing to create an environment that will reduce the burden of tobacco on our society, we will of course speak out
    and seek to change things, just as we have over the years regarding tobacco advertising, smokefree legislation, and – currently – standardised tobacco packaging. We take this very seriously – as we’ve said repeatedly, we want to see a world free from the awful negative effects of tobacco.

    Which brings us to our final point: We’ve now said all we’re going to say re. our position on the MHRA ruling, and will not be commenting further except to reiterate it: We believe that, on balance, looking at all the evidence, history and context, that the regulatory framework proposed by the MHRA is the right approach at this time. We appreciate those of you who have posted comments disagree with this stance, and you’ve clearly outlined why you do. We will however, not be closing comments on this thread – despite the fact that many of you who have commented disagree with us, we respect your right to do so, and we acknowledge your comments and opinions on the matter.

    Henry
    Cancer Research UK

  • robert innes
    5 July 2013

    josef0k brilliant!!… CRUK are you awake yet? Since (CRUK) seem to be unable to read would someone please point out the above post and read it to them – Oh! Better have someone else there to explain what it means. (Despite the fact that it is beautifully written)

  • josef0k
    5 July 2013

    Henry…

    Truly, I can understand where you’re coming from. As I’ve said, it can seem like a marvellous idea to shift electronic cigarettes under the medicines umbrella and into the NRT program. You know, I know, and the MHRA knows how effective they are as an NCP in luring smokers away from tobacco and keeping them away. I realise how CRUK and other public health bodies, alongside the MHRA simply cannot wait to grab control of them and finally have an effective weapon in the NRT strategy. None of us are dumb here… we can all see the potential benefits.

    But that’s what’s blinding you. Gleaming and glowing harm reduction strategies. It’s what is keeping you from truly understanding reality… and it’s causing you to be careless and wilfully ignorant and treat the public as idiots. You may think you know best… but you simply do not.

    I can already hear you sighing benevolently at that last sentence without giving it any thought. And THAT’s the problem… you are NOT listening and you are NOT thinking and you are NOT acting (either as an individual or an agency) with any independent thought or ability.

    All you can see is ‘harm reduction’ and you are trotting out the same complacent, patronising views, as though the MHRA and ‘public health bodies’ are some form of benign parent dealing with stupid children as though they cannot understand what’s in their own interests and must be looked after and patted on the head for behaving.

    Your view… and the intentions of the MHRA… are DANGEROUS… to my health, and to the health of potentially millions of UK citizens… and the sooner you have the presence of mind to even consider that, the better.

    I care about this because your blundering could kill me.

    Please read that sentence again.

    Electronic cigarettes are safe. They really are. Not one person on the planet has died using them since 2004. In that time 900,000 UK citizens have died from smoking cigarettes. Could they be even safer? Of course… but get some perspective.

    They do not suffer from quality concerns and they are regulated. UK and EU law governs every compound and component in an e-cig. The nicotine, glycol and glycerine used is primarily sourced from the same companies that supply pharmacies and hospitals. Is there room for improvement across the entire industry? Of course… but stop thinking they are unregulated.

    There have been a number of tests, studies, and clinical trials that testify to their safety, quality, usefulness, growing popularity and success. Not to mention an absolute TON of anecdotal evidence from thousands of actual users that the MHRA and yourselves (yet again) continue to utterly ignore.

    However… the one single reason why medicinising nicotine and electronic cigarettes will not work… are the preoccupations with efficacy.

    And why?

    Tobacco cigarettes are not ‘dosed’ medicines… and neither are electronic cigarettes. E-cigs work because they act in a similar way to tobacco cigarettes not just in being able to administer nicotine in variable quantities to suit individual need and desire, but also in terms of choice of flavour, choice of device, and in mimicing the behavioural, visual and sensory stimulation of tobacco cigarettes.

    The instant you try to limit the ‘dose’ of nicotine, you immediately break the similarity an electronic cigarette has with a tobacco cigarette and it is the similarity in sensation that is the key to it’s success.

    Each individual user knows when they have received sufficient nicotine whether from a tobacco or electronic cigarette and if they have not, they will light another cigarette or vape a few more puffs, respectively. With each of these products, they are able to self-regulate their nicotine intake and not be reliant upon dosage ratios over time determined by factors and equipment beyond their control. As a result, both of these products are able to satisfy the nicotine requirements quickly, easily… and efficaciously. It is why they are so popular and one reason why current NRT products, despite their efficacy of dose etc, fail so abysmally… not just in terms of successful quit attempts… but in the PERMANENCY of those quit attempts.

    The goal here is to break the tobacco habit, right? NOT the nicotine habit! So don’t become confused and concerned about dosing nicotine. Dosing nicotine is of NO CONCERN to CRUK. Stopping smoking IS.

    As soon as you interfere with the ability for people to self-regulate their nicotine intake (as they can with cigarettes) you destroy the one thing that would move them over to electronic cigarettes… and the one thing that would KEEP THEM THERE.

    And please, do not be so mealymouthed in your goals… don’t let the shining star of harm reduction blind you… don’t be satisfied with the few that will quit smoking using a medicinised e-cig… aim to allow e-cigs to destroy tobacco smoking entirely.

    Also… while you might, by using medicinised e-cigs, lure some smokers away from tobacco cigarettes, perhaps even permanently… you will also consign and condemn others to stick with tobacco cigarettes where they would otherwise shigt to e-cigs. Those will be people you are directly responsible for through supporting the MHRA proposal. 50% of them will die. Because of you.

    So… sure, some people can use NRT products to quit smoking. Sure, some people will use medicinised electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, too. But the truth in the effectiveness of NRT products isn’t ‘quit attempts’ it’s ‘quit permanency.’ Any NRT product that is hamstrung by dosing nicotine will NEVER be as effective as a non-medicinised e-cig. Fact.

    The Royal College of Physicians has already pointed out that ‘the current regulatory system… favours the most dangerous tobacco products over those that are less hazardous, while imposing the strictest restrictions on medicinal nicotine.’

    That you support this regulatory view and restriction is, quite frankly obscene and utterly beyond the remit of an organisation attempting to alleviate cancer… which NO electronic cigarette causes.

    Don’t forget that according to the MHRA ‘a body of evidence is emerging that suggests that nicotine, while addictive, is actually a very safe drug.’

    So what the hell are you doing trying to restrict the nicotine in electronic cigarettes, while leaving the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes freely available. One causes cancer, the other doesn’t.

    Moreover, one causes cancer, the other – without any restriction, regulation, or interference – has the ability by design and use to attract smokers away from cancer-causing tobacco cigarettes in their millions.

    Sort your priorities out.

    Fulfil your prime objective.

    Don’t force me back into tobacco smoking with your blinkered, harm-reduction-fettered obstinacy and idiocy… because by doing so, you may kill me.

  • Graham
    4 July 2013

    I think that you are misinformed on how this will affect the progression from smoking to vaping (that’s the cancer free alternative). It’s called a block. I put down a cheese burger and go for a salad, but McDonald say’s no! He wants to put salt in it and charge more.. I urge you, Just for a moment…. think…. Support us like you promised..

  • Charlie (@CharliesVapeS)
    4 July 2013

    PS,you gotta follow the money on this one. BAT revenues down £256 mn in Western Europe and Americas. Research cited by MHRA? done by BAT. Five of 11 committee members have declared interests in big pharma. Think the MHRA is going to listen to 1200 users of electronic cigarettes?

    PPS, EU regulation of electronic cigarettes? google John Dalli.

  • Charlie (@CharliesVapeS)
    4 July 2013

    PS 1.5 billion fewer cigarettes smoked in 2013?

    http://au.businessinsider.com/chart-e-cigarette-growth-2013-4

    Maybe cause to rethink taking off the shelves pretty much every vaping device currently available in the UK?

    Please think again!

  • Charlie (@CharliesVapeS)
    4 July 2013

    An awful lot of damage has been done to public health by the MHRA announcement and also CRUK’s support for this badly thought out proposal. Millions of lives at stake, Please understand the MHRA proposals WILL remove devices that are keeping a lot of people from lighting up cigarettes. Please please listen to some of these tiny voices. We feel like ants under the global footprint of big Pharma (aka MHRA) and big Tobacco (BAT did the research cited in the MHRA decision). We are trying to be heard and not many people in power seem to be listening….

    And as far as the EU’s TPD goes, it’s a joke to anyone following the allegations against John Dalli.

  • robert innes
    4 July 2013

    Hopefully, this is my final word: It has occurred to me that the contributors to this blog have something in common – something that is completely lacking in CRUK’s original article and responses. It has nothing to do with e-cigs; It has nothing to do with any ability to analyse and debate scholarly articles; it has nothing to do with scientific training and skills – What all of the contributions demonstrate, what is lacking in CRUK’s response is….. sincerity.

  • Southern Vaper
    4 July 2013

    I think it is clear what we think as users and also clear that the smokescreen and mirrors has been seen past by us the users, but I find it not so by those that can make a difference and I do think that CRUK does fall into a category of people that will be listened to as we vapers are not even though we are those that will be effected by the change.

    Its the same in all manner of things get them classed one way and once in the grasp it is then easy to change the boundaries and in effect leave the people with no say.

    I have lost every confidence in CRUK which is a shame as it was something I and my family supported given we have cancer within our family. As I said before my Wife even worked for CRUK and she too is appalled at the stance you have taken.

    You say that you will be monitoring it, but lets face it once done there will be very little that you can do if it turns out to be as we suspect and even though we now see the evidence from the horses mouth as it were as to the outcome of this move.

    Do you not see that our concerns are valid

    I will write to you in 2016 when this is all gone through with the simple words “I TOLD YOU SO THANKS” and if my fears are not true I will pledge a months salary

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    Another study..
    http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/index.php/french-study-shows-significant-health-improvements-for-smokers-using-electronic-cigarettes/

    As a taster i have copied a tiny part of the content…

    Heart rhythm decreased;
    Carbon monoxide levels decreased in every case, and reduced to zero for vapers having stopped smoking;
    For those subjects who switched from smoking to vaping, weight gain was less than is usually noticed following smoking cessation;
    Both forced vital capacity (FVC) and maximum expiratory pressure per second (MEPS) – both very significant measures for sufferers of asthma, COPD and other lung impairments – improved (and/or were stable, in the case of MEPS) with the use of the electronic cigarette.

    As Michael Siegel pointed out recently:

    “In my opinion, electronic cigarette companies which are claiming that use of their products reduces the health risks associated with cigarette smoking are making factual statements for which there is plentiful scientific evidence.”

    and

    “It is now clear that electronic cigarettes are reduced harm products (compared to conventional cigarettes). Anyone who continues to claim that there is no scientific basis for such a claim is either lying or living in a secluded cave without internet access.”

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    And just to back up what so many above have been trying to tell you, read: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0066317
    So there has been a study. Ok, so there is no control group but this is adequately explained. I would also like to point out that the device used was, by today’s standards, underpowered; very old fashioned, and the nicotine content was extremely low. (Eg my device uses 16 mg cartridges.) Taking this into consideration, and the fact that the participants were people who did NOT want to quit, the results are quite impressive. In fact, compared to the study published by the Cochrane Collaboration, they are a phenomenon. Your recommendation is a study of people who wanted to quit, and yes, just look at the result – abysmal. In short, puffers, gums and sprays amount to no more than a sticking plaster approach to the problem. Sticking plaster? Ah yes! you have tried that as well!

  • Southern Vaper
    3 July 2013

    thats the sad fact, I went from 25 a day to zero overnight so that is a testament as to how much they work and tbh dont want to go back but as the proposals stand I will probably have to.
    Problem is the people that are making the decisions are looking at one thing ££££ and wrapping it up in something that people including those with a little bit of clout will buy into ie that ecigs are dangerous etc etc with very little or no facts. The ones making the decisions are those that will be impacted financially I cannot understand why this has been allowed in law as it is totally biased. Yes you could answer that I am biased as a user too and frankly I am but I at least have a understanding of the impact that this will cause and knowledge of the products.
    As I have said before I cannot understand why a CRUK even think this is a good idea given what they stand for.

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    3 July 2013

    By the way, CRUK – at the moment I’m a ‘duel fueller’…… however, if it came to the crunch and I had to decide between losing access to the few cigarettes I now smoke and losing access to my e-cig and fruit flavoured liquids, the choice would be a simple one…… take the cigarettes but DON’T take my e-cig. However, if I lose my e-cig and flavours of choice I’ll be back to 30 cigs a day in a flash.

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    3 July 2013

    Personally I feel that instead of just engaging with those who will profit from the regulation of e-cigs as medicines, CRUK needs to engage with those who use them, to understand fully WHY trying to force the square peg of a consumer product into the round hole of a medicine is a potentially disastrous move.

    Pharma and the health industry to date have never seemed to demonstrate any real understanding of smokers, and seem to labour under the impression that all smokers are intent on quitting. For me, this contributes to the relatively poor success rates of Pharma’s NRT products.

    The number of smokers who have switched to e-cigs without Pharma’s intervention demonstrates that private industry has succeeded where Pharma has failed…. and have delivered a product that many smokers are happy to use. It won’t suit ALL smokers but it’s not intended to. Some people prefer red wine to white – we all have our personal preferences and this is no different.

    E-cigs are not a ‘treatment’ or a ‘medicine’ as we don’t regard ourselves as ill. It’s a revolutionary technology and concept which many smokers have taken to without the intervention of Pharma or BAT. Why? Because the developers and innovators behind these products understand their customers and listen to what the customers want…. and they deliver it…..

    It is the DUTY of organisations such as CRUK to engage with the end users of these products in order to develop a full and thorough understanding of them BEFORE they decide to throw their hat in with MHRA to support a proposal which will ultimately destroy the very thing that could reduce the risks of traditional smoking.

  • Southern Vaper
    3 July 2013

    the way I see it is this, there is no doubt that the tobacco companies and pharma companies have a lot to loose and no doubt have already seen that loss, but lets not be under any illusion here the government also looses. They often say that smoking costs the NHS which I agree it does but never how much taxes are gained via smoking. Even my own local councillor and ex-mayoress highlighted this fact. So why wouldnt they want these under their control.
    The MRHA have just found a excuse that 90% of the public that dont understand what a e-cig and also various bodies including yourself will accept as a valid reason for the move. Whilst leaving all us with our freedom by the wayside.
    Do they really have my health in mind well this move clearly demonstrates they dont.

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    I think that those who advocate regulation should be aware that we are aware of what is happening here with the attempt to regulate e-cigs.

    I would never dream of pointing a finger at CRUK and accuse them of any form of corruption – something far more insidious is happening here. This post and the two previous posts by myself are an attempt to highlight what is going on, to see how you are being manipulated, and to give you the opportunity to think, then retreat ; to escape from the corner you have been backed into.

    “…as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefits.”
    George Stigler, “Can Regulatory Agencies Protect the Consumer?” in The Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation (1975)

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    “…in utility industries, regulation has often been sought because of the inconvenience of competition.”
    Richard Posner, “Natural Monopoly and Its Regulation,” 21(3) Stanford Law Review 548 (Feb., 1969):

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    “the pressure on the legislature to license an occupation rarely comes from the members of the public . . . On the contrary, the pressure invariably comes from the occupation itself.”
    Harold Demsetz, “Why Regulate Utilities?,” 11(1) Journal of Law and Economics (Apr., 1968)

  • robert innes
    3 July 2013

    “We are absolutely not, as some of you have suggested, ‘sponsored’ by the pharmaceutical industry”

    That’s fine, but it is not direct sponsorship which concerns me. I would like to share with you the words of Woodrow Wilson. He is talking about government but it the principle he is presenting which I consider to be important…

    Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom: A Call For the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People (1913)

    “If the government is to tell big business men how to run their business, then don’t you see that big business men have to get closer to the government even than they are now? Don’t you see that they must capture the government, in order not to be restrained too much by it? Must capture the government? They have already captured it. Are you going to invite those inside to stay? They don’t have to get there. They are there.”

  • Adrian
    2 July 2013

    Henry

    Your response is measured and informative but it deftly sidesteps the main issue under discussion, either wilfully or unwittingly.

    While we who have commented so far have no doubt that Cancer Research is sincerely dedicated to the eradication of this terrible disease, the issue under discussion on this thread is the proposal to unnecessarily place a consumer product which its users KNOW without any doubt, is highly effective in the cessation of smoking tobacco, under medical regulation. Such regulation as is planned will, without any doubt whatsoever, lead those currently freed from the distinct possibility of dying from any number of smoking related diseases, back to the smoking of cigarettes, whether they are in plain packaging or not.

    The issue of electronic cigarettes must be a curve ball of monumental proportions for anyone dedicated to seeing people give up smoking tobacco. Since they mimic so closely the action, sensation and look of smoking, it is hard to believe that they are not, in fact, cigarettes.

    But let us be under no illusions here: electronic cigarettes are not cigarettes. Until that fact is fully grasped, we vapers will be at loggerheads with those who wish to see them medicalised.

    While many of us would be in favour of light touch regulation, which does, in fact, already occur with regard to scrupulous vendors and manufacturers, the proposals as they stand make no sense whatsoever all the time traditional cigarettes remain on the shelves of shops up and down the country.

    This is an emotive issue and rightly so, because those of us who now enjoy nicotine without the fear of ‘is this the one that kills me?’, know only too well how effective electronic cigarettes are. To throw away a golden opportunity like this would be pure madness. Have courage and help me, and millions like me, toward the likelihood of a cancer-free future.

    Thank you.

  • robert innes
    2 July 2013

    Even the term ‘quit’ has to be looked at closely. One week, two weeks….. and do they start again? I used to ‘quit’ smoking 20 times a day. Since starting on e cigs 5 months ago I have never smoked. The percentage of people like me succeeding in stopping smoking long term is very, very high indeed.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    3 July 2013

    The small percentage of people who do successfully quit smoking using NRTs, have to in the end go cold turkey and rely on willpower. I would suggest that these are the people who genuinely want to quit. People like my daughter who no longer wanted to be a smoker.

    For the rest of us who really don’t want to quit, but want a safe alternative, e cigs are answer. E cigs cost the taxpayer nothing. The same cannot be said about NRTs. It’s time the NHS stopped paying for failure. It’s just a gravy train for pharma. Is it any wonder they want to get their hands on e cigs.

  • Dave J
    2 July 2013

    Yes, Henry, but how many people who try to quit smoking and use NRTs, do actually end up quiting smoking?

    The percentage figure is VERY, VERY low, I understand. So tossing in the figures you have is very confusing and misleading for people.

    Please explain what is meant by “increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70% And how is that actually measured? Without such an explanation of the methodology used, the figures are meaningless.

    No, really, they are.

  • Dave J
    2 July 2013

    Just to let Cancer Research know – there is a problem with your comments on your blog site – twice in the last week I’ve tried to upload some comments, and unless they’re shorter than say ten lines, they do not appear, and no error message is displayed.

  • Dave J
    2 July 2013

    Just a brief reply to Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research. You say:

    “… NRTs increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70%”
    Yes, but where is the actual data, and how was it interpreted? Of course we can all use statistics for our own ends, especially when a research body is dependent on funding often from the organisations its reporting back to, whether government or otherwise. But your figures are virtually meaningless unless explained in detail. In fact, the question really should be, what percentage of those giving up and using NRTs, actually did end up quiting for good? The figures, I understand, are VERY low. Your figures are therefore so ambiguous that they are, I imagine, a little insulting to the intelligence of the readers of your comment.

    You also say:
    “We look forward to seeing the results of similar robust studies and analyses of data on e-cigarettes, so that we can better understand their effectiveness.”

    Err, well absolutely no one I know, who has started using e-cigarettes EVER return to smoking. I literally have never heard or known of ANYONE.

    How does that fit with industry figures for the effectiveness of NRTs?

    And on a slightly different point – ecigs are not an aid to quitting nicotine per se. Vapours don’t claim that. If we want to use nicotine, we should be allowed to.

  • robert innes
    2 July 2013

    I will respond in time, BUT the very first thing I noticed was… ” NRTs increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70%, regardless of setting.” Hang on! What is the rate of quitting? 1% 2%…. That is the important figure. When you read comments like this, you know you are being duped. This from the ‘respectable’ Cochrane Collaboration? Hmm!

  • Fergus Mason
    2 July 2013

    “when looked at from a societal/population-wide point of view, the available evidence shows that these products are extremely useful for some people, some of the time, in helping them quit smoking.”

    Yes – about 5% of people, which is the rate of tobacco abstinence after one year. Hardly stellar, is it?

    “We look forward to seeing the results of similar robust studies and analyses of data on e-cigarettes”

    But why? You might as well carry out studies and analyses of bubble gum. E-cigarettes aren’t an NRT. They are not a smoking cessation product. They are an ALTERNATIVE to smoking.

    “We hope this clears things up.”

    Frankly no, it doesn’t. You haven’t said a word about why you support the MHRA proposal to effectively ban e-cigarettes – and, make no mistake, that’s what it is. Nor have you said a word about the concerns raised here by vapers and the clear evidence that, if all that was available was a small range of inferior cigalikes, many if not most vapers would return to smoking.

  • Henry Scowcroft
    2 July 2013

    Thanks for the continued comment and debate, we are listening to what you’re saying, but we want to clear up a couple of things:

    Firstly, several of you have said that existing nicotine replacement therapies ‘don’t work’ – a completely understandable thing to say from an individual perspective, since patches, gum and the like don’t work for everyone. However, when looked at from a societal/population-wide point of view, the available evidence shows that these products are extremely useful for some people, some of the time, in helping them quit smoking.

    For example, a large, independent review of 150 trials, involving over 50,000 people, published by the Cochrane Collaboration last year, concluded that:

    “All of the commercially available forms of NRT (gum, transdermal patch, nasal spray, inhaler and sublingual tablets/lozenges) can help people who make a quit attempt to increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking. NRTs increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70%, regardless of setting. The effectiveness of NRT appears to be largely independent of the intensity of additional support provided to the individual. Provision of more intense levels of support, although beneficial in facilitating the likelihood of quitting, is not essential to the success of NRT”.

    We look forward to seeing the results of similar robust studies and analyses of data on e-cigarettes, so that we can better understand their effectiveness.

    Secondly, several of you have asked us to clarify our relationship with pharma companies.

    We are absolutely not, as some of you have suggested, ‘sponsored’ by the pharmaceutical industry. The £300m we spend on cancer research every year comes directly from the generosity of the UK public, and this is spent on research to find ways to understand, prevent, diagnose and treat cancer – you can read our full annual accounts on our website here. However, since we don’t have the financial muscle to bring our discoveries all the way through large-scale trials – which can cost millions on their own – we inevitably rely on the pharma industry to translate the experimental discoveries our researchers make, into effective treatments or diagnostics. Without industry’s cash and reach, these discoveries would never benefit the patients that need them. So we do license the scientific discoveries made in our labs to pharma companies to develop further – prostate cancer drug abiraterone is a stand-out example of this.

    We also work with pharma to bring their experimental drugs to patients in the NHS (for example through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres around the UK). In such cases, they often provide drugs for these trials free of charge. We also team up on projects like our Stratified Medicines programme.

    To be completely transparent, it’s worth mentioning that many of the researchers we fund are also supported by pharma companies, for example to run trials of new treatments. This is entirely proper, and a function of the fact that we fund some of the world’s leading experts in their fields. But we do absolutely rule out supporting any research project or other endeavour that is also funded by the tobacco industry.

    Finally, we also play the role of ‘critical friend’ to pharma – for example, we’ve written previously about how they need to make drugs affordable so the NHS can pay for them, and for the need for transparency over clinical trial data. We hope this clears things up.

    Henry Scowcroft
    Blog editor
    Cancer Research UK

  • Fergus Mason
    2 July 2013

    “it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking and the many grave health risks that go with that. This is certainly not an outcome we’d want to see, and we wouldn’t support this move if we genuinely thought it was likely.”

    I’m still waiting for a more substantial reply about this point, Alison. You see, it ISN’T far from clear at all; the people who use e-cigarettes are TELLING you that, if the current range of products is wiped out and all that’s available is the likes of Nicolites and Intellicig, they WILL go back to smoking. What you seem to be missing is that we all have experience of the sort of products that MHRA are looking at granting licenses to, and almost without exception we hate them. Vaping isn’t about cigalikes that are only available in tobacco flavour, so the products that will be available are not the ones we want. That means we’ll either illegally import liquid and build our own atomiser coils, or we’ll return to smoking. Bearing this in mind, how can you still support the MHRA proposal?

  • robert innes
    2 July 2013

    Re: Pingback above… I note that Alison’s blog is recommended. I too recommend it, and the comments it has generated.

    Still time for an appropriate response.

  • robert innes
    2 July 2013

    From your new blog, Our Campaign to Encourage Earlier Diagnosis of Cancer… “This is simply unacceptable – thousands of deaths every year could be prevented if cancer were diagnosed and treated earlier.”

    Your stance on e-cigs ” …is simply unacceptable – thousands of deaths every year could be prevented if…” (you changed your position)

    Come on.. an appropriate response is needed!

  • robert innes
    2 July 2013

    Come on CRUK! It only took you a week to respond to the advice of MHRA despite the fact that your reasoning, and MHRA’s is miles apart. Sue’s post and link above (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/1197 ) highlight what our Government is begining to think. People have pleaded for; have begged; have demanded a response from you and, to date, none is forthcoming. The single biggest step forward in cancer reduction in the history of the condition and Cancer Research UK is prepared to block it? Come on CRUK!

  • RobbieW
    2 July 2013

    Please CRUK, we need you to change your views, if enough of us who really want to reduce cancer rates come together and fight these proposals we have a chance to SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES. It is likley that this single policy change will prevent more cancer deaths than all of your other initiatives.

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    1 July 2013

    Alison Cox – why are you now seemingly ignoring the comments and questions posed here?

    If you write a blog such as this to support a proposal which will potentially lead to unnecessary deaths, you have a duty to respond to the questions and comments raised in response to your stance on this issue.

  • robert innes
    29 June 2013

    Read: http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/

    Glycerol causes Lipoid Pneumonia – MHRA rubbishes report.

    The WHO scare that e-cig users can overdose through overuse. Rubbished by the MHRA.

    The MHRA state that e-cigs are NOT a gateway to smoking; that there is little use among children and that where it happens, the child is already a smoker.

    Smoking is not going to be renormalised because of e-cig use think the MHRA

    …and more. Have a read.

    And just to remind readers of some of the arguments you have made…(I do not think the MHRA agree)

    ” We’ve wanted to see e-cigarettes come under “light touch” regulation for some time – as it could ensure their safety, quality and effectiveness, restrict marketing that risks cross-promoting tobacco smoking, and stop them being sold to under-18s.

    So we think it’s a great idea to bring e-cigarettes within MHRA licensing.”

    “…what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco;”

    “…and their use in smoke-free places and in marketing images could have a knock on effect of ‘renormalising’ smoking, by confusing or contradicting the messages about the harms of smoking. This could undermine public health efforts to deter young people from taking up smoking.”

  • Geoff K
    29 June 2013

    Please do not force me back onto cancer sticks…I have tried the patches pills and sprays..I have found out that these have a 96% failure rate and then i found a e-cig, Within a week i was down to 0 cancer sticks..

    Open your eyes and look at what real people are telling you.

  • robert innes
    29 June 2013

    Seventeen days now and still no reasoned response to the arguments and questions posted. Is this because there are no answers? Is this because CRUK recognises that they have adopted an unjustifiable position? Is it because they are afraid to admit that they are just plain wrong?

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    28 June 2013

    I found this interesting in respect of the MHRA – do you really want to pin your colours to the MHRA’s mast, CRUK or do you want to put health, ethics and a bit of common sense before pharmaceutical company profits?

    http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/1197

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    29 June 2013

    I read about the fifteen MPs who say the MHRA are linked to pharmaceuticals. This why they want e cigs classed as medicines, which is what we already knew. The number of deaths due to the drugs they mentioned will be nothing next to the number of deaths that will eventually happen if the MHRA get their way on e cigs.

  • Dodderer
    28 June 2013

    On 12 April 2013, you said “Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the public distrust the tobacco industry to present believable and independent arguments about how to reduce smoking rates, according to new Cancer Research UK figures published today ”

    The MHRA proposal to regulate ecigs relies on research done by British American Tobacco – which must be distrusted – especially as they will be the first company to seek a medicines licence

  • Dodderer
    27 June 2013

    GSK are launching their new ‘oral strips’ today at the UKNSCC.No formal efficacy trials were required as they’re so similar to existing products.The safety trial revealed that over 80% of the sample could not remain abstinent for the 3 month trial despite behavioural support.

    The safety trial started in 2007 – the MHRA approval took 18 months.

    Your figures suggest there have been over 600,000 smoking related deaths since the trial started.

    Hello

  • RobbieW
    26 June 2013

    “I thought this point was worth repeating. I just hope that the fact the blog is still running is indicative that a change of position is on the cards.”

    I suspect that Allison and most of CRUK staff do agree with us but to stray from the party line would be a career limiting move

  • robert innes
    26 June 2013

    “Although it is worth praising CRUK for not closing down this thread in the face of sustained opposition, I really do hope that CRUK are seriously considering their current position, you have the opportunity to save many thousands of life – DO NOT WASTE THE CHANCE”

    I thought this point was worth repeating. I just hope that the fact the blog is still running is indicative that a change of position is on the cards.

  • RobbieW
    26 June 2013

    I also think another response is appropriate, all of the points that CRUK have made to support the MRHA position have clearly been shown to be misleading at best.

    Although it is worth praising CRUK for not closing down this thread in the face of sustained opposition, I really do hope that CRUK are seriously considering their current position, you have the opportunity to save many thousands of life – DO NOT WASTE THE CHANCE

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    26 June 2013

    I would like to see another response from CRUK given the additional comments since Ms Cox’s last response a few days ago. This issue and the strong feelings around it will NOT go away any time soon. The lack of scientific and plausible evidence offered up so far in defence of CRUK’s seemingly blind support of the MHRA proposals clearly does not sit well with an ever-growing number of people who want some answers.

  • Dodderer
    26 June 2013

    “What sort of people are we dealing with here?”

    If you look at the incidence of lung cancer by EU country on CRUK’s own site, you will see male incidence in Sweden is half that in the UK.

    They oppose even when the evidence is clear.

  • Bongobry
    26 June 2013

    Well, seeing as the pharmaceutical-funded MHRA based their ill-informed decision on biased research conducted by British American Tobacco, it’s no wonder e-cigs were given a bashing recently. Big Pharma and Big Tobacco have the most to lose from e-cigs in their present form, and sadly the MHRA is in bed with both parties. At what point will they actually start to promote saving lives – as is their purpose – instead of tarnishing the reputation of this life-saving device for the sake of boosting their own funding? Pathetic.

  • Dave J
    25 June 2013

    Glad you commented about that Fergus. I wrote a long comment a few days ago but had trouble uploading it, which mentioned the point you make. It really is key, isn’t it? If they’re not absolutely certain, it’s playing a dangerous game. It demonstrates very clearly, as you say, a very important thing about their inability to take a responsible approach. In fact it’s worth saying again:

    Cancer Research UK: “… it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking”

    So WHY on earth support MHRA if a change in the law on ecigs would have unpredictable and potentially risky results, when leaving things as they are clearly would not.

    What sort of people are we dealing with here?

  • Fergus Mason
    25 June 2013

    “As it stands, it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking”

    This comment by Alison Cox shows a dismayingly poor approach to the issue. CRUK are supporting a move despite being “far from clear” whether or not it will kill several hundred thousand people. Personally, before I supported any proposed legislation I’d want to be absolutely certain that it WOULDN’T result in a death toll about equal to a nuclear bombardment of Manchester.

    It’s clear that leaving e-cigarettes under existing consumer protection regulation is NOT going to force users back to smoking, so why are Alison and CRUK being so cavalier about the risks of the MHRA proposal? Faced with one alternative that has a “far from clear” chance of killing 650,000 or so people, and another that definitely won’t, I wouldn’t have thought it was actually a difficult choice.

  • robert innes
    25 June 2013

    Re: The ‘pingback above.
    This is a joke, surely! “The NHS offer excellent advice on stopping smoking?” It then argues that we should use patches or gum or other products designed not to work. (I wonder why pharma has not come up with a nicotine coated dummy tit) Yes ‘excellent’, and one might be the lucky part of this programmes tiny 1 – 6/7% success rate. The rest of the document seems to think that creating a sense of terror by describing the horrors of cancer people will stop… sorry but it just does not work….. Oh! Alison’s blog is also mentioned…..

    Had another look.. this is the conventional help used by the NHS to help people stop smoking… As I said, “its a joke!”

    Now though, the ‘joke’ is a joke no more with a REAL alternative – and Cancer Research UK (and pharma pals) want to cripple the movement. Disgraceful!

  • Gordon Beard
    25 June 2013

    Another slant on the over regulation of e-cigs reducing their uptake

    Currently vast amounts of cigarette related litter all over the place , outside of houses,hospitals,pubs,places of work et al .
    E-cigs are curing that problem of cigarette butts , cellophane and empty packets disposed of in an irresponsible manner

    The topic quite rightly has focussed on health but there are a lot more unintended consequences of over regulation I have started with one as mentioned above .

    There is also the economic impact on the less well off who in all of the studies seem to form the majority of current smokers . Why target them who can ill afford not to discover a healthier and substantially cheaper route to survival .

    I will note bore the reader with any more none -health related impacts but that have a negative overall result for society.

  • Ben
    25 June 2013

    By over regualting these products and forcing nessecatating large funding for these products to be ‘tested’ and approved they are being forced into the hands of tobacco companies.
    If people are not smoking tobacco and reducing there cancer risks what is not to like? If nicotine alone is not harmful then why are people so against its use? Sign the EU and UK petition to have your voice heard click here

  • Dodderer
    25 June 2013

    Mya – this may also help your Dad – Professor Siegel is a very respected tobacco control expert

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/for-some-electronic-cigarettes-are-only.html

  • josef0k
    24 June 2013

    Ms Cox,

    As mentioned by Mark Entwistle above (amongst others), please take the time to read the following article regarding gateway effects…

    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1262

    … and reconsider your stance.

    Regards,

  • mark entwistle
    24 June 2013

    Alison Cox, thank you for your reply as inadequate as it may have been. The above replies have done a good job of dismantling it and showing it for the empty gesture it is. Despite all real evidence to debunk the asserions made by MHRA you choosen to align yourself and your organisation with idealogues who have no reasonable grounds on which to object to the use of personal vapourisers. I would like to draw your attention to the Clive Bates (www.clivebates.com) as he articualtes these arguments so much better than me and can link you in to all the proper science on this issue. I urge you to take a look as I feel your support of the MHRA genuinely puts lives at risk.

  • Dodderer
    24 June 2013

    ASH’s ‘Beyond Smoking Kills’ – Cons of medicines regulation of pure nicotine products (2008)

    “Potentially bureaucratic and inflexible.
    Costly to develop faster acting new
    products under current system so would
    lead to high prices to consumers.
    Time consuming to get products to market.
    Products likely to be limited to prescription
    only in the first instance, which would limit
    access.”

    Can you provide science-based evidence that ASH were wrong?

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    24 June 2013

    The fact that goals 1 and 2 are being achieved already without regulation and without the involvement of the pharmaceutical or health industries should be something organisations such as Cancer Research should be applauding and supporting.

    I’m utterly dismayed at the fact that they now want regulation which will reduce an innovation which is evolving and improving and has proven to be something many of us find effective, enjoyable and a viable alternative into yet another pointless pharmaceutical NRT product which will have us all back puffing away on death sticks is outrageous.

  • robert innes
    24 June 2013

    And how much of a ‘travesty. The following is a statement from Cancer Research’s own documentation.

    “Our Goals.
    In 2007 we set ten ambitious goals that we aim to achieve by 2020 with the help of our partners. To find out more visit
    aboutus.cancerresearch.org/who-we-are/ourgoals

    1. people will know how to reduce their risk of cancer
    2. The number of smokers will fall dramatically
    3. people under 75 will be less likely to get cancer
    4. cancer will be diagnosed earlier
    5. we will understand how cancer starts and develops
    6. there will be better treatments and fewer side effects
    7. more people will survive cancer
    8. we will especially tackle cancer in low income communities
    9. people with cancer will get the information they need
    10. we will continue to fight cancer beyond 2020.

    Think closely about Cancer Research UK’s stated position on e-cigs and then their goals, particularly, 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9…

  • Sue Fletton-Dean
    24 June 2013

    It would be an utter travesty if a charity set up to prevent cancer had some part in causing people to go back to smoking (which is KNOWN to cause so many unnecessary deaths) by supporting the proposed regulations.

  • Gordon Beard
    24 June 2013

    The above link did work finally … the same theme surely applies to all charities in whatever field they are no longer able to operate with true independence, so can not be expected to provide anything much more than what the current government propoganda wish them to portray . I am not trying to continually clutch at straws with my responses to you simply trying to understand why Cancer Research has adopted the stance it has.

  • Gordon Beard
    24 June 2013

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/this-isnt-ending-world-hunger-its-just-a-sham-8663821.html

  • Gordon Beard
    23 June 2013

    independent.co.uk/voices/comment/this-isnt-ending-world-hunger-its-just-a-sham-8663821.html … via @IndyVoices

    I include the above article for reference, maybe expains the problem that charities are having to have a truly impartial objective view on matters . Apologies yet again if my link does not work

  • robert innes
    23 June 2013

    The above is for Mya

  • robert innes
    23 June 2013

    This discussion has turned from scientific and technical debate to something personal… GOOD! This is what the issue is about. It is about life and quality of life. It is about real people. That is not to say that the contributors are not important, it is just that you and your Dad are much, much, much more important. I do not know you but all the best and my, and many others thoughts stay with you. xx

  • meansaban
    23 June 2013

    Let’s go through what you have said Alison.

    You said this -“What we can say for certain is – The products will continue to be available over the counter in shops other than pharmacies (specialist shops, supermarkets, corner shops) – same as cigarettes, gum and patches”

    Well not according to an email response from the MHRA who said this “In line with NRT products it is our intention to make these products as widely available as possible to give consumers easy access to them, but as these are novel products there may be some cases where the additional safeguards provided for by a P legal status may be more suitable” Hmmm I wonder how many ‘some cases’ they mean?.

    You said this – “We can confirm that securing MHRA market authorisation for e-cigarettes would involve an “abridged” licensing process and would not require new clinical trials”

    Wrong!! The lovely people at the MHRA in their IA don’t quite say that as you can see below, I wonder how many ‘howevers’ there will be? –

    “Our MA cost estimates assume that applicants would not have to conduct expensive animal and post-market-
    authorisation human clinical trials to satisfy MHRA that the risks to health from long term inhalation of ENDS vapour are acceptable. However,this may not be the case and MHRA assessors might ask for these additional trials. The one-off costs of conducting these additional trials would probably run into several hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

    You said this – “The market authorisation will be issued according to the product presented -there are no mentions of specific restrictions on shape, colour, format etc”.

    We already know that the Mean machine has said that nothing on the market now would get authorization and to complete the set, the EU Commission say this –

    “Consumers would have a more limited choice, but a higher degree of health protection, In particular NCP with characterising flavours are unlikely to be authorised under the medicinal products’ legislation.“.

    You said this – ” At present the draft EU tobacco products directive proposes a minimum limit of nicotine dose to require a product to fall under medical product licensing. Those products delivering doses below this amount would not need to go through the licensing process. That does not mean products above or below this level of dose will be banned”

    Oh how lovely of them and did you know the Council of Ministers lowered that limit on Friday? Now it’s an amazing 1mg!!!!

    Now, I have gone through your points and answered with quotes taken from the EU or the MHRA, straight from the horses mouth! Can you see why are worried?

  • meansaban
    23 June 2013

    Alison, please read this and also look at the research Dr Farsalinos has completed on e-cigs.

    http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/why-e-cigarettes-should-not-and-cannot-be-regulated-as-medications

  • meansaban
    23 June 2013

    Mya, I hope you can persuade your Dad, good luck and hopefully Robert’s link above can help a bit. Cancer Research, is this what you want and Mya’s Dad isn’t the only one. How many more have been put off in the last two weeks by the scaremongering tactics of the MHRA or by listening to the advise of so called ‘public health experts?

    In the public’s eyes e-cigs are now dangerous and as bad as fags and that’s exactly what the MHRA wanted. I don’t think Cancer Research wanted this outcome but because you took the word of Jeremy Mean and his cohorts without studying the research yourself, this is the end result….it’s bloody disgraceful!

    Oh yeah, one more thing, so far in the EU the three committees that have voted have all voted not to regulate e-cigs as medicines. They have listened to the evidence and us and see it’s wrong and obviously illegal. Why can you not do the same, listen to us, talk to us, talk to the MEP’s like Rebecca Taylor or Chris Davies who have studied this and come out against med regs.

    If the MHRA get their way by the end of 2017, the market will be dead apart from cigarette lookalikes that will be as useful as patches or gum. The e-cigs and liquids we use will be gone as Mr Mean has already said they are no good even though none of them were tested. Check their research if you don’t believe me. Doesn’t it make you wonder why we are all making such a fuss, if the e-cigs we use were of such poor quality surely we wouldn’t be here?

  • robert innes
    23 June 2013

    Mya, go to the following link and print it out – then show it to your Dad.

    http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/?p=300

    And of course this is also an object lesson to Cancer Research UK about the nature of ‘caring.’

  • Gordon Beard
    23 June 2013

    http://www.iea.org.uk/publications/research/sock-puppets-how-the-government-lobbies-itself-and-why

  • Gordon Beard
    23 June 2013

    dont know why I ever post a link? Can someone yet again help

  • Gordon Beard
    23 June 2013

    Yet another take on charities is given in this article with enclosed pdf . here http:www.iea.org.uk/publications/research/sock-puppets-how-the-government-lobbies-itself-and-why

    I am not anti-charities but with articles such as this it makes you think ” Is there much truth in this” my conclusion is I cannot pass comment on that until further studies are undertaken . In the meantime I cannot recommend further support until extensive studies are undertaken and will require draconian measures to rectify .

    An equally nonsensical reply regularly delivered on a regular basis by organisations we thought that we could trust.

  • Mya
    23 June 2013

    Time for a personal story that might explain my earlier angrier post. My Dad is 67 years old. He is uneducated and the only thing he reads is the national newspapers. He smoked 30 cigarettes a day until he required a nebuliser to breathe. In fear it was going to kill him, he turned to a doctor for help and was prescribed nicotine patches. These patches caused an allergic skin reaction so he was given nicotine inhalers instead. He has been using these for 8 weeks now but told me the other night he can’t do it any more – he is a smoker and needs to smoke. He agreed to try an old cig-a-like product I bought over a year ago, when I first started vaping. He didn’t even realise there was any nicotine in it (even though there were 22mg cartridges in the pack) and said it wasn’t for him. He did however enjoy my vaping gear and it gave him satisfaction. But guess what? He is too scared to use one full time because of what the papers and tv have said about there being ‘dangerous chemicals’ in them. I tried to explain that there were more chemicals in the nicotine inhaler he was using but what’s my word against the word of the media, and organisations like yourself. He is returning to smoking cigarettes and I am crying as I write this, knowing that a lack of public support for vaping by proported health promotion organisations has affected his decision. And he will die because of it.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    23 June 2013

    Mya, my wife first tried e cigs a few years ago. She has an autoimmune disease and was desperate to quit smoking. I should add her autoimmune disease is not smoking related as it runs in her family. It is either genetic or contagious.

    She unfortunately allowed herself to be swayed by the media and others who said they were not safe. She even tried those inhalers which proved to be useless. Lets face it you might as well buy a box of straws and suck on them, they would serve the same purpose.

    Desperate to quit smoking by the new year, she had another look at them in more depth and concluded that they were much safer than smoking tobacco. She even persuaded me to switch to them. Your father may try them again. The technology has improved a lot since she first tried them. Without any interference from vested interests, they should by rights continue to improve.

  • josef0k
    22 June 2013

    There’s an unspoken facet in your assertions. A product may be safe, licensed and regulated as a medicine (and as such monitored and tracked as you mention), not marketed at children, and of evident and widely-accepted health benefit in regard to a specific harm risk (in this case, tobacco-smoking)… but useless if it either doesn’t work in practice or people simply do not use it.

    It would be fair and true to describe current NRT products in this way despite the vocal support of august bodies and generally-accepted perception.

    Others will, I am sure, take you to task on your stated assertions, so I shall try and put another point to you, if I may.

    Can I ask why CRUK (or any august body) did not advocate a twin-tracked route with regard to electronic cigarettes? One that allowed current UK and EU law to continue to regulate e-cig related products and liquids but also offered a pathway for the development and manufacture of related products and liquids that could be tested and licensed as a medicine and thus form part of a future (and hopefully more effective) NRT regimen?

    Bearing in mind that current electronic cigarettes are not ‘unregulated.’ They are governed by a myriad of UK/EU laws and regulations (such as the Poisons Act and CHIP regulations) that concern every aspect of their manufacture, component, sale and distribution. It would take a single piece of legislation to restrict sale/marketing to minors to address your stated concerns towards children and one which the industry would, I am certain, gladly accept as many voluntarily adhere to this restriction as it is.

    A dual-pathway approach such as this would facilitate the manufacture, licensing, regulation and distribution of electronic cigarettes through the NHS in the manner you appear to approve of, thereby hopefully increasing the efficiency of the NRT program as a whole and knocking a sizeable nail into the coffin of tobacco smoking (which is what we all hope for).

    Almost as importantly, such an approach would not negatively impact the ability of the wider industry to continually innovate, or restrict/ban manufacture of any nicotine-delivery device unable to precisely deliver the dose/dosage rates that will be required by the tenets of an MHRA license and yet desired by recreational users.

    Not all electronic cigarettes are ‘cigalikes’ (and thus with cartridges that lend themselves more easily to specific and guaranteed dose/dosage ratio restrictions).

    More importantly – and rarely considered or mentioned – not all users of electronic cigarettes are concerned predominantly with tobacco-smoking cessation.

    Many vapers are interested in maintaining access to nicotine but in an alternative way to burning tobacco leaves. To many (if not most) vapers the health benefits bestowed by electronic cigarettes are a heaven-sent SIDE-EFFECT of using an alternative nicotine delivery mechanism… and as such they WILL return to tobacco smoking should they be unable to obtain the level of nicotine they desire through any future MHRA-approved electronic cigarette.

    I would strongly argue that the same mindset exists amongst the bulk of current tobacco smokers in that it is the nicotine level that tobacco cigarettes offer that keeps them smoking despite the obvious, and deadly consequences.

    Further, as awareness of vaping alternatives and acceptance levels rise (as they surely will) tobacco smokers will switch to electronic cigarettes… but NOT if their desire for nicotine has been restricted by transferring the entire electronic cigarette industry into the straightjacket of medicines regulation, no matter how well-meaning.

    The current MHRA proposals (and unamended EU TPD) suffer from tunnel-vision in this regard.

    I know how attractive the prospect of shoehorning such a powerful NCP tool as electronic cigarettes into current NRT can seem but there really are other aspects of the vaping revolution to think of if we are to truly see the demise of tobacco smoking in the UK.

  • Gordon Beard
    22 June 2013

    The above post June 22,2013 at 6:45pm by robert innes

    Well done sir , I was also looking through reported balance sheets on a previous occasion … interesting reading especially on minimum renumeration to CR-UK employees.

  • robert innes
    22 June 2013

    My posts have reappeared. Being moderated? If so, apologies!

  • robert innes
    22 June 2013

    Oh dear! Another entry taken down – ah well! OK without any comment whatsoever, may I direct readers to YOUR OWN SITE for an interesting read before they ask if there is any commercial connection between yourselves and pharma.

    http://clinicalpartnerships.cancerresearchuk.org/cdp-team/

  • robert innes
    22 June 2013

    Do you not think it is a little ironic that this debate is taking place at the same time as the finger of corruption is being pointed at the Care Commission and at the highest levels of The Department of Health itself? You have been asked on more than one occasion to declare Cancer Research UK’s connections to the pharmaceutical industry. – A simple denial would do.

  • Fergus Mason
    22 June 2013

    And while that change of name is being considered, perhaps you could also think about this: There is no reason to believe that e-cigarettes might cause cancer, so why are you holding forth on the subject? Given that you’re the CANCER Research Society, apparently non-carcinogenic objects would seem to be a bit outside your remit.

  • mawsley
    22 June 2013

    Do you think it would be possible to change your name from “Cancer Research” to “Cancer We Have Misguided Unsubstanciated Opinions About Vaping Not Based Upon Research”?

  • Darth Vapour
    22 June 2013

    Surely the makers of the devices would be able to state Their pv are Not to be used with liquids containing nicotine and therefor be exempt from any regulation? I can go to a shop selling goods that are blatantly designed for smoking cannabis that is Not legal! I could also choose to vape various ‘herbs’ with my pv-There are in fact attachments available for pv designed purely for this purpose…. What regulations would there be for those who choose to vape herbs of flower petals etc? I could also choose just to vape pure unflavoured VG available for next to nothing from boots etc, how would legislation affect this as it wouldn’t be a NRT?

  • Dave J
    22 June 2013

    There are really some excellent comments here. Not just excellent because I agree with them, but because they are well put and outline the key potentially negative aspects of the MHRA and CRUK’s position and attitude. The problem is that MHRA and CRUK just keep carrying on, and in effect their responses don’t really ever address these key concerns of vapers and smokers which is based on experience and knowledge of these devices. It is, in a way, like talking to a brick wall. MHRA and CRUK ‘listen’, then ignore and carry on with their existing opinion. Public consultation? Democracy? I don’t think so.

  • robert innes
    22 June 2013

    You asked for evidence and I supplied a rather large reading list. Obviously, my comments about ‘honesty’ and about the position of Cancer Research UK. debarred the post – fair enough! On the topic of ‘evidence.’ How is it possible to find evidence that something is safe? You can only find evidence of the opposite… something the opponents of e-cigs have been desperately trying to achieve and something where they have singularly failed.

  • meansaban
    22 June 2013

    “But it’s not true that there is absolutely no risk at all in NCP use. So we think it makes sense to bring such products into the well-established monitoring system provided by MHRA licensing, to track incidents of adverse reactions and the long-term health outcomes. We want users to have confidence in their products’ quality and safety, and – crucially – we want there to be reasonable restrictions on their marketing and sales to children.”

    Alison, most of us have been using for a long time and we are all fine, much healthier than we were before we stopped smoking. No has been killed or been hospitalized, do you think we are all stupid enough to continue if there was a problem.

    We are a very responsible community, something the MHRA like to dismiss, and believe me if there was a problem with bad liquids or equipment, it would been known and would be reported to the relevant authorities.

    Ok, have a monitoring system to track adverse reactions and studies will eventually tell us of any long term health outcomes if any. The trouble with studies is the MHRA and anti movement have a habit of ignoring any data that goes against their wishes, this has to change. They have no problem including over twenty pages of research by BAT though, work that one out! By the way the BAT research was on a RUYAN e-cig from 2010, how crazy is that? Why did the MHRA include that, other than the fact it fitted their goal? It would be like testing a car for safety and instead of testing a brand new car, you used one made 20 years ago…..absolutely pointless!

    We users have absolute confidence in quality, so who are you talking about?

    Restrictions on marketing and monitoring and research can all be done without taking the medicines route, can you please explain why they can’t?

    The ideal solution is to regulate by claim, if a company wishes it’s e-cig to be a medicinal device they can follow that route, if not, they don’t. It leaves everyone happy, doctors etc can prescribe and we can continue as we have been. There is no reason why this is not acceptable and many MEP’s agree with this route

    At the end of the day though, this is illegal as has been shown in Europe and the USA and will of course be shown here if the MHRA don’t change their course.

    Cancer Research can really make a difference if you’re brave enough to start asking questions of the MHRA and this misguided policy. The views stated here are valid and you need to investigate them. Please give us a chance.

  • meansaban
    22 June 2013

    Alison, We will remember what you have said here and come 2017 when there will be nothing on the market except big tobacco and medical e-cig devices that are as ineffective as current NRT, we will be in touch. I hope you will give us your word here and now that you will do the decent thing and resign from your post and apologize to the millions who will have suffered because of your support for Jeremy Mean.

    We can’t afford to risk listening to you and your vouch for the MHRA’s good intentions because when you’re wrong, and you will be, it will be too late. There will be no turning back.

    I ask you to at least listen to us as much as you listen to Jeremy Mean, surely our side of this argument is worth listening to? It seems you have blindly taken in everything the MHRA have said and that is so misguided as the MHRA have an agenda to finish what they started in 2010. Visit some forums, talk to us, ask for our experiences, ask about quality and ask about our fears.

    We are the experts here but we seem to have been ignored, why is that? Why on the MHRA expert panel was there no representation from our side? We are not stupid, we know what’s happened here – we’ve been shafted!

    You need to do your own research now, you need to ask the MHRA about the risk of costly failure which even they mention in the IA. Do you really want to risk millions of vapers being forced back to smoking? Do you really want a to see a product that can help so many be reduced to something as bad as NRT? Do you really want to give the tobacco companies free reign in a market that was created to escape their clutches?

  • steffijade
    22 June 2013

    I have always thought of cancer research as a worthy cause and have happily donated in the past. Given your stance on e-cigarettes I can no longer justify offering any support, financial or otherwise to cancer research. Rather than blindly accepting the corrupt motivations of the MHRA, you need to delve beyond their cherry picked data and see the results that vaping has for ordinary people at zero cost to the government. I expected better from cancer research.

  • Liam Bryan
    22 June 2013

    If this was true:

    “What we can say for certain is:

    The products will continue to be available over the counter in shops other than pharmacies (specialist shops, supermarkets, corner shops) – same as cigarettes, gum and patches.”

    Perhaps your stance would be justifiable.

    But it isn’t.

    Lots of people have said why.

  • Southern Vaper
    21 June 2013

    The problem is and as a vaper everyone is different in their needs to stay off smoking.

    Im sorry but you really should do some research into what works for people and what doesnt with regards to PVs (personal vapourisers) as what is intended thus far WILL push us back to smoking.

    I agree that no one wants children starting and there is no evidence of this happening in fact quite the opposite, the only young people that tried them and stayed with them in a survey were actual smokers anyway so I see this as a good thing. Those who did try them but were not smokers didnt continue to use them.

    There is many ways to skin a cat ie no doubt legislation could be bought in to make them illegal to sell to the under 18s much like cigarettes without effecting the choice of products available. The electrical safety is already covered by our laws.

    The licencing for the products at the immense costs involved will push all working and aiding products out of the window due to it not being cost effective or plausible to do so and we will be left with cig-a-likes which tbh I dont want to use and also would not cut it for me anyway.

    I once again urge you to do some research of your own as what they intend is a way of ruling the market, removing what is already out there and working, replacing it with substandard equipment and all done under the blanket excuse of them trying to help people. To be frank you appear to also have be brainwashed into seeing this as a good thing without doing any research of your own. There are forums out there for vapers and no doubt you would be encouraged to join and see for yourself why we choose what we do and welcomed into using it to ask your questions straight to users of e-cigs( i use that loosely as I dont see my kit as a e-cig at all as it bears no resemblance to a cigerette in any way)

    The reason for this move is a easy one to see the MRHA is chaired by people with vested interests, the research used was carried out by
    BAT to back up the move and the people already under going licences is tobacco and pharma company…………..if you havent guessed it yet its control of the ever increasing market and profit in a increasing market.

    Why is it increasing because in its current form it works in the form we will be pushed into it wont

  • robert innes
    21 June 2013

    I would like to draw attention to just two things you say. (The other commentators will tear the rest of your arguments to shreds.) I am content to look at the language of dishonesty.

    “But it’s not true that there is absolutely no risk at all in NCP use.”

    Very clever. Here you make the comment that lies behind the headlines, “Watch Out e-cigarette smokers – you’re inhaling the unknown.” The Guardian. ” “Do not touch e-cigarettes, say lung experts.” World News. …and on, and on, and on.

    Hang on! What exactly do we mean by ‘risk?’ You say ‘absolutely no risk at all.’ Very little under the sun involves ‘absolutely no risk at all.’ But enough from me. Here you are! Have a read! Look at what lies behind the lies. (Sorry! Had to write that!)

    https://www.ersnetsecure.org/public/…entation=59718
    But abstract author Christina Gratziou, Chair of the ERS Tobacco Control Committee, issues press release misrepresenting her own abstract’s findings by claiming: “Experts warn that e-cigarettes can damage the lungs”
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas…-ewt083112.php
    http://www.ersnet.org/news/item/4494…products-.html

    News media repeats and further embellishes unsubstantiated claims in Gratziou’s press release
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249784.php
    http://www.sciencecodex.com/experts_…he_lungs-97689
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0…-in-study.html
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…hens-tell.html
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…addiction.html
    Mike Siegel: Electronic Cigarette Opponents Fail to Disclose Relevant Conflicts of Interest to the Public
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…s-fail-to.html
    Mike Siegel: More Conflicts of Interest Being Hid by Electronic Cigarette Opponents: Funding of their Organization by Big Pharma Not Disclosed
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…ng-hid-by.html

    ECITA responds to Christina Gratziou
    Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Science’ by Press Release: Mail Online reports “Electronic cigarettes ‘could damage your lungs’ as they cause less oxygen to be absorbed by the blood”
    http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/?p=300
    ECITA letter to Mail Online
    ECITA letter to Express.co.uk
    ECITA letter to Huffington Post
    http://www.ecita.org.uk/docs/Letter_…ost_060912.pdf
    Carl Phillips: Christina Gratziou is a liar
    http://antithrlies.wordpress.com/201…iou-is-a-liar/
    Watch Christina Gratziou deceive news reporter about e-cigarettes and her abstract’s stated findings without revealing her conflicts of interests http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5v0…ature=youtu.be
    Mike Siegel: Researcher Who is Unsure that Smoking is Any More Hazardous than Vaping has Hidden Her Big Pharma Conflict of Interest
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…t-smoking.html
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…-publicly.html
    Mike Siegel: European Respiratory Society Hides Multiple Financial Conflicts of Interest in Statement Opposing Electronic Cigarette Use
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/…ety-hides.html

    You say, “…one reason we’re concerned by the influence of the tobacco industry on the entire debate is their enormous corporate muscle, and their vested interest in maintaining demand for tobacco products. Let us assure you, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the impact of their move into the NCPs market.” I note with alarm that you completely fail to mention the influence of ‘Bad Pharma. Let me ask (again). Is there a conflict of interest here? Has it been declared?
    Two little points…

  • RobbieW
    21 June 2013

    “So, looking to the future – will every single product on the market now still be on the market in 2016? Probably not”

    The MRHA have been quite categorical about there being no current products available which achieve their “quality and efficacy” standards. For the cigalike products currently available this may be the case, but these are normally just a initial stepping stone to better quality products, it is ironic that if the MRHA get there way these types of product will be the only one available ( in a tasteless and sanitised version of course ).

    I currently vape on equipment that costs about £40, it’s a low to middle quality variable voltage device, you can buy even better gear and spend about £300 on a single device ( precision engineering, highest spec stainless steel, top quality glass, fantastic quality electronics ). But the MRHA has stated that it does not meet quality standards !!

    “s it stands, it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking and the many grave health risks that go with that. This is certainly not an outcome we’d want to see, and we wouldn’t support this move if we genuinely thought it was likely. ”

    This means you really do not understand the PV market because that is exactly what will happen, the smokers will try the sanitised version and think “hey, this could work!!, I just need something a bit better”. The problem is that there will not be anything better, so guess what, another failed effort to get off tobacco. As it stands I see myself lapsing again when my stockpile runs out.

  • Dave J
    21 June 2013

    “But it’s not true that there is absolutely no risk at all in NCP use. So we think it makes sense to bring such products into the well-established monitoring system provided by MHRA licensing, to track incidents of adverse reactions and the long-term health outcomes. We want users to have confidence in their products’ quality and safety…”

    So, is the same process being planned for tobacco cigarettes?… no, thought not.

  • Sue FD
    21 June 2013

    I, for one, am utterly dismayed at the potential consequences of the proposed regulations. A consumer product has delivered what the tobacco, health and pharmaceutical industries have consistently failed to deliver for decades…. a viable alternative – a CHOICE for the smoker.

    The free market has delivered something which has proved to be popular with many smokers and the innovation and improvements are, as has been said, rapid. For it to be suggested the million or so smokers who have switched to vaping are too stupid to know if the devices they’re currently using are effective is truly outrageous. Do you seriously think we’d be parting with our cash and returning to the retailers we know and trust time after time because we’ve purchased something from them that isn’t effective and we don’t like????? Hmmm I think not!

    It appears to me that because the ‘health industry’ clearly doesn’t really have a firm understanding of either the product or it’s appeal, they want to control it through regulation. If these proposed regulations go through there’s a VERY real danger that an effective, innovative concept will be reduced to yet another pointless, expensive pharmaceutical NRT failure.

  • Fergus Mason
    21 June 2013

    “We still believe that innovation and product development to create attractive alternatives to smokers is an important part of the mix in harm reduction strategies.”

    So how do you reconcile this with your support for medcal licensing? The current life cycle of a typical e-cigarette design is less than a year, because innovation is happening at a very fast pace. When manufacturers are faced with the requirement to spend £2 million on a new license every time they upgrade their product, what do you think is going to happen to the rate of innovation? The only companies who will be able to afford these costs are the big tobacco companies you claim to be so concerned about. Up to now they have been effectively frozen out of the market, because the model of rapid innovation by small manufacturers is not one they are well suited to compete with. They’re becoming interested in e-cigarettes because ill thought out proposals like this threaten to distort the market into one they can dominate.

  • Jon Holland
    21 June 2013

    BAT have spent over £2m so far on their efforts to get their ecig licensed (just 1 product) & have not succeeded yet. That is one product so how is a small business that sells a couple of hundred Eliquids & nothing else going to be able to afford to stay in business.

    This industry innovates at a very fast rate, new products hit the market every 2-3 months this level of competition drives continual improvement of the product, the consumer decides what works best for them & that helps the direction R&D goes in. The people who work for the likes of the MHRA don’t have a clue about the private sector where people have to run efficient cost effective competitive businesses with profits that are less than the potential cost of a single MA.

    For the record I work in the private sector but not in any Ecig related business.

  • Gordon England
    21 June 2013

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/the-electronic-future-of-cigarettes/277057/

  • Gordon Beard
    21 June 2013

    sorry link skills poor please can a kind soul oblige again!!

  • Gordon Beard
    21 June 2013

    Alison you state that if we believed for one minute there would be a mass return to smoking we would not support the proposals.

    Interesting proposition – what about if you and CR-UK are wrong .I can only speak for myself I do not wish you CR-UK or indeed the MHRA to have the power or influence in the first place but having said that I probably would return to cigarettes .

    You really need some further guidance on current and future market trends ,your blind assumption that there will be sufficient products freely available is totally unsupported by any evidence in the Public domain as you partly mention in your blog .

    The consequences of a few MA approved devices brought to market by the BIG players will totally stifle innovation and pleasure in what is after all a recreational product . Please read http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/the-electronic-future-of -cigarettes/277057/

  • Dave J
    21 June 2013

    Alison,

    Thanks for your reply. (A bit about me: I am a vaper and have been for 4 months. I do not smoke tobacco anymore. I do not sell or import any e-cigarette or vaping product. I live in the UK.)

    I think there are very many areas in your reply where it is clear that your argument is far from logical or supported by evidence. I will pick out just a few, the ones I think are the most important.

    You say: “… we think it makes sense to bring such products into the well-established monitoring system provided by MHRA licensing, to track incidents of adverse reactions and the long-term health outcomes. We want users to have confidence in their products’ quality and safety, and – crucially – we want there to be reasonable restrictions on their marketing and sales to children.”
    However, all the reasons you give about quality and safety of NCPs are potentially outweighed by the key issue – the possibility that regulation and licensing, despite what you say later in your post, will mean far, far fewer people switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes. So I really cannot see how your reasoning for licensing is justified, when the absolute key thing is getting as many people as possible off tobacco. So your mention of such things like adverse reactions, etc., are irrelevant (yes, I do mean irrelevant) when it could jeopardise shifting millions off tobacco.

    And why not look for evidence of safety etc., before making e-cigarettes into medicines? Wouldn’t that be the sensible thing to do and support?

    You say: “As it stands, it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking and the many grave health risks that go with that. This is certainly not an outcome we’d want to see, and we wouldn’t support this move if we genuinely thought it was likely.”
    Yet, here’s the thing: you don’t know if the MHRA framework would or would not shift people back to smoking – therefore what is the supporting evidence for your agreement with MHRA? As far as I can see, Cancer Research UK does not have any evidence, yet it is willing to accepts MHRA’s opinion.
    You are not looking at this logically. It is a poor argument you provide, with respect.

    You quote the MHRA “achieving a level playing field between big and small businesses”
    Yet the move would necessarily mean that big business would dominate the market. That is a fact.

    You say: “In this light, and looking at the whole picture, we think the assumptions being made about the impact of the proposed level of MHRA ‘market authorisation’ are overly negative.” I find this very patronising. It is a careful and level-headed approach that is being taken by those opposed to the MHRA’s stance. If anything, it is MHRA and Cancer Research UK who are demonstrating a cavalier approach to this issue, despite the professional and medical gloss being presented.

    You also say: “The products will continue to be available over the counter in shops other than pharmacies (specialist shops, supermarkets, corner shops) – same as cigarettes, gum and patches.” Until when? Until the small importers and vendors are unable to afford the vast development and medical registration costs that big companies can afford? Whereafter the small seller will be out of business as he or she will not be able to afford the costs.

    You say: “We can confirm that securing MHRA market authorisation for e-cigarettes would involve an ‘abridged’ licensing process and would not require new clinical trials.” Please tell us where you received such information, and why it was not in the MHRA statement. This is supposed to be a transparent process involving the future health of millions of people.

    “Let us assure you, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the impact of their move into the NCPs market.” And what you will you be able to do, if the cost of licensing for small vendors is prohibitive? You will not be able to do a thing to stop tobacco companies dominating the e-cigarette market, making profits out of people’s addiction, channeling the profits to foreign shareholders and using profits from NCPs to fund their drive to increase tobacco smoking in the far east. Is Cancer Research UK happy about that?

    Finally you also say: “there are unanswered questions about the impact of e-cigarettes on individuals’ motivations to quit, and the impact on reducing overall smoking rates in the long-term. We want to understand better the risks and opportunities.”
    This is very obscure. Do you mean quit tobacco, or quit nicotine? The distinction is important. If a consumer wishes to use nicotine, then he or she should, in my opinion, be able to use it. Or are you saying the most important thing regarding NCPs is their ability or not to help people quit nicotine? Some people choose to use recreational nicotine. They should be allowed to do so. And it seems to me, the people who currently do so, vapers, are all quite happy with things as the are. Much of this issue seems to concern people like yourselves looking for a problem where none exists. Meddling is the familiar term for it. This is evident is references in your post to marketing to children. When vapers read this they are appalled. It simply does not happen. Your comment regarding this shows perfectly your total lack of knowledge and experience about e-cigarettes. Have you ever smoked or vaped? It is the same with flavouring, as if this was ever designed to attract children to e-cigarettes. It never was, and is not the case. Such flavourings are directed at making the product attractive to smokers who want to switch to ecigarettes and existing vapers. To bring such factors into the argument demonstrates a poor understanding of the industry and detracts from any authority Cancer Research thinks it may have to influence the debate. Such comments regarding children are warping the debate and pumping out propaganda which could discourage some smokers to switch to vaping.

  • Fergus Mason
    21 June 2013

    “We don’t see MHRA licensing as a barrier to effective products being available and we will be monitoring the situation closely.”

    But we DO, Alison, and we are the people who use the products. We know what e-cigarettes are effective in avoiding smoking, because we’ve spent time and money finding those devices. We also know what will be available in 2016 if this proposal comes into effect; it will be Intellicig (owned by BAT) and Nicolites. Both use prefilled cartridges; as consistent dosage seems to be something of an obsession of the MHRA it seems likely that anything else they license will use prefilled cartridges too. If devices like that are all that’s available then, yes, people WILL return to smoking en masse.

    “there are no mentions of specific restrictions on shape, colour, format etc”

    Ah, but what about flavours? Are MHRA going to license anything that isn’t either tobacco or menthol flavour?

  • Dodderer
    21 June 2013

    The MHRA are already backtracking:

    “In line with NRT products it is our intention to make these products as widely available as possible to give consumers easy access to them, but as these are novel products there may be some cases where the additional safeguards provided for by a P legal status may be more suitable.”

    If you read the new NICE guidelines properly,it says it’s OK to use NRT long-term even if there is no intention to ‘quit’. Have you researched the motivations of OTC NRT users?

  • Matthew Jaffe
    21 June 2013

    Is it true BAT are the only ones going for MA certificate, and originally quoted by MHRA the costs would be £95,000 to get the product to market? Very reasonablr I hear you say.

    Now how much have BAT actually paid to not even get there yet? Yep £2,000,000 (2 Million pounds). How many (as MHRA say) small businesses can afford that amount of money FOR ONE PRODUCT?

    That is just for clarity. Just so I know what the expected cost for each product to reach the market?

  • Mya
    21 June 2013

    Every response I read from organisations about this issue appears to talk only about cig-a-like products when there’s a significant number of us who vape on devices that look nothing like cigarettes. No one is going to hand me a Vamo over the counter at Boots. My minimum nicotine is 12-18mg strength e-liquid. It’s kept me off cigarettes for over a year now, when all else failed. The 4mg that’s being discussed as a limit is a joke – you say they won’t be banned but who will be able to afford the license to sell them? Only big pharma and BAT. Well done MHRA. The government sponsors will still get their profits whilst free market consumerism is trodden on yet again..Health of the nation – what do they care?. Hmph.

  • Alison Cox
    21 June 2013

    Thank you for all your comments so far. We just want to start by saying we very much welcome your input and thoughts, and this has been a useful process for us. We published these articles to share our rationale for supporting the MHRA licensing decision, but also to give people a public platform and opportunity to air their views and debate the issues.

    This is clearly an issue many of you feel strongly about, so we’re pleased to be part of the debate and glad that we share a common cause in the fight against tobacco with so many of you

    The first thing to say is that reducing death and disease caused by smoking is a major priority for us, and we do absolutely see the potential of e-cigarettes to help achieve that. Everyone here agrees that the risks of smoking outweigh – by several orders of magnitude – using any nicotine containing product (NCPs).

    But it’s not true that there is absolutely no risk at all in NCP use. So we think it makes sense to bring such products into the well-established monitoring system provided by MHRA licensing, to track incidents of adverse reactions and the long-term health outcomes. We want users to have confidence in their products’ quality and safety, and – crucially – we want there to be reasonable restrictions on their marketing and sales to children.

    It’s understandable that people feel so passionately about a product that has helped them escape the deadly habit of smoking, but some of you seem to have assumptions and fears about negative outcomes from the MHRA announcement that you’re presenting as established facts. As it stands, it’s far from clear whether this regulatory move will, as some have suggested, lead inevitably to vapers being forced en masse back to smoking and the many grave health risks that go with that. This is certainly not an outcome we’d want to see, and we wouldn’t support this move if we genuinely thought it was likely.

    The MHRA documents published about this decision clearly state their intention: to achieve optimal outcomes for public health, while minimising the risks. Here’s the relevant para:

    “34. Minimising the burden of regulation, achieving a level playing field between big and small businesses and balancing these against consumer protection an public health objectives have been key themes in the work of the MHRA has been taking forward in the scientific and market research on regulating NCPs”

    In this light, and looking at the whole picture, we think the assumptions being made about the impact of the proposed level of MHRA “market authorisation” are overly negative.

    What we can say for certain is:

    • The products will continue to be available over the counter in shops other than pharmacies (specialist shops, supermarkets, corner shops) – same as cigarettes, gum and patches.
    • We can confirm that securing MHRA market authorisation for e-cigarettes would involve an “abridged” licensing process and would not require new clinical trials.
    • The market authorisation will be issued according to the product presented -there are no mentions of specific restrictions on shape, colour, format etc.
    • At present the draft EU tobacco products directive proposes a minimum limit of nicotine dose to require a product to fall under medical product licensing. Those products delivering doses below this amount would not need to go through the licensing process. That does not mean products above or below this level of dose will be banned
    • .

    As many of you have pointed out, there is a strong market for e-cigarettes, and market forecasts point towards continued growth. This prospect, along with the resulting lower VAT rate, and the possibility of entering the prescription markets, would give reasons for companies to invest in the regulatory process, and maintaining competitive prices.

    But as we’ve said above, one reason we’re concerned by the influence of the tobacco industry on the entire debate is their enormous corporate muscle, and their vested interest in maintaining demand for tobacco products. Let us assure you, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the impact of their move into the NCPs market.

    So, looking to the future – will every single product on the market now still be on the market in 2016? Probably not – but there are a range of factors other than regulation that will affect this – for example, market forces that will lead to some company buy-outs and consolidation – but there are plenty of reasons to believe – and hope – that there will still be a range of products on the market that would provide sufficient choice to meet vapers’ needs.

    We still believe that innovation and product development to create attractive alternatives to smokers is an important part of the mix in harm reduction strategies. But as we outlined in the blog, there are unanswered questions about the impact of e-cigarettes on individuals’ motivations to quit, and the impact on reducing overall smoking rates in the long-term. We want to understand better the risks and opportunities.

    There were also a couple of other issues to clarify. Firstly, the decision is specific to non-tobacco nicotine products, so does not apply to cigarettes or any other tobacco products.

    And on the accusation of self-interest in not wanting e-cigarettes to solve the challenge of tobacco control, we’re committed to achieving a society free of tobacco for future generations in order to reduce the toll of cancer death and disease. If e-cigarettes form part of the solution to reducing the harms of tobacco alongside other scientifically proven NRT products, then that’s great news. We don’t see MHRA licensing as a barrier to effective products being available and we will be monitoring the situation closely.

    As we said initially – we welcome discussion and debate on this issue, as we do with all the issues we blog about.

    Alison
    Cancer Research UK

  • reply
    Dean Reilly
    21 June 2013

    Sounds like you are back peddling a little… Ultimately 1.3 million potential non cancer sufferers is a good thing?

  • Dodderer
    21 June 2013

    We have been stigmatised and de-normalised.The sad death of Robert Peston’s wife highlighted the low funding of lung cancer research.You support the ban on snus – the source of the Swedish ‘miracle’.You seek to neutralise the huge potential of ecigs.What’s next on your agenda – free holidays to Belsen and Auschwitz?

  • robert innes
    21 June 2013

    Is it possible that you, Cancer Research, are sponsored by Pharma in some way? Of course not! So why exactly have you adopted this stance…? You are a charity, and so explain. We have a right to know. This is a demand, not a request. i am not being polite because as a lifetime smoker, I have suffered the ignominy of my ‘criminal’ behaviour and have dreamt the nightmares of a horrible death only to discover that there are worse criminals around.. some going by the name of Cancer Research.STILL NOT TOO LATE TO CHANGE YOUR MINDS. Yes, strong language! Now! What do you really stand for?

  • Fergus Mason
    20 June 2013

    Yes, I’d like to join the list of those requesting a response from CRUK. A number of points have been raised that weren’t covered in the original article; it would be nice to know if these are issues that CRUK weren’t aware of or are simply choosing to ignore.

  • Gordon Beard
    20 June 2013

    official MHRA response to a vendor

    “IIn line with NRT products it is our intention to make these products as widely available as possible to give consumers easy access to them , but as these are novel products there may be some cases where the additional safeguards provided by a P legal status may be more suitable ”

    P= pharmacy medicines only available at pharmacy

    Why have I quoted this ….. ?

  • Dodderer
    20 June 2013

    They don’t know how to respond because they’ve never done it before. Any critics have just been accused of being tobacco industry lobbyists and beneath contempt.

    As it’s our lives at stake, this will be a fight to the death

  • RobbieW
    19 June 2013

    We really do want to know your response, vapers and your charity should be allies in the fight against cancer. Most if not all of us are completely baffled by your support of the MRHA proposals.

    I hope the number and nature of all of these comments has at least raised the possibility of you reviewing your current stance, you have the opportunity to save millions from an early grave, please do not give up the chance.

  • reply
    Mark Entwistle
    19 June 2013

    I fourth this motion, respond please

  • Dave J
    19 June 2013

    So, Alison, are you or Cancer Research UK going to address any of these concerns which I and many others have carefully put to you, in response to your blog post? You answered the odd point quite a while ago, but we haven’t heard anything since. I and hundreds of thousands of people would love to hear your considered response with supporting facts and logic to all the points put to you. Or are you simply allowed to say what you want and ignore the response, thinking you’re right?

  • reply
    Adrian
    19 June 2013

    Dave J – absolutely. A response, please Alison.

  • Dean Reilly
    19 June 2013

    I’ve lost a number of relatives to smoking related illnesses over the years; I watched as last Grandmother suffered a slow, agonising death to lung Cancer last year.

    Absolutely disgusted that Cancer Research UK is advocating that myself and others should be forced to switch back to cigarettes in 2016 and suffer the same horrible deaths…

  • Dodderer
    18 June 2013

    The pharma funded MHRA were tasked with killing off ecigs in 2010 but failed so I think no work has been done,assuming they would get us this time round.

    One interesting question that occurs to me is what is the net reduction in smoking prevalence if you remove the effects of the universal bludgeon of swingeing tax and duty increases?Could one man(so far) have achieved as much as the rest of tobacco control put together?We should be told!

  • robert innes
    18 June 2013

    Most of the arguments have been presented and debated above. (I confess to not having read some of them) I am however, with no evidence whatsoever, sceptical about the claim that no research into the dangers of e cigs has been done. Pharma, with its mighty millions and political clout, is bending over backwards to limit damage… and they have not done any research? You bet they have! The problem is, I think, that they have not found anything worthwhile to publish.

  • Dave J
    18 June 2013

    Alison Cox,
    As someone employed by a cancer research organisation you have a huge responsibility to truly research and understand the facts about this situation before posting anything on a blog in relation to MHRA’s statement last week. I will not enter into the rights of wrongs of what you have written, but believe me, 98% of what you say is, with respect, utterly ill-informed and illogical. MHRA’s suggestions will mean fewer people will take up e-cigarettes. And it will mean big tobacco companies and big pharmaceutical companies will exploit those with nicotine addiction. I would suggest spending a week reading posts written by highly experienced people who sell and use e-cigarettes of all types, withholding any judgment on their opinions until you have a rounded understanding of the complex issues surrounding e-cigarette use and the pretty vast and currently growing vaping industry. At the moment you truly believe that MHRA is largely right. They are not. In five or ten years time, if their suggestions are implemented, there will be far fewer people making the jump from tobabcco products to e-cigarettes. The figures, believe me, will speak for themselves, and you will then know, if not understand, that what you say here is incorrect and based on partial information, surmise and on your and your colleagues’ opinions, not the actual on-the-ground reasons and motivations for people to give up tobacco and turn to e-cigarettes by choice.
    You, and your organisation are making a grave mistake in supporting MHRA, and it will lead to increased public ill-health.
    If you want to know why, either conduct proper research or ask many of the experienced people in the industry.

  • Dodderer
    18 June 2013

    I wouldn’t worry too much about about the FCTC – the MHRA and NICE don’t – they approve permanent use of nicotine

    “Parties may wish to consider that strong measures to prevent further spread of ENDS could be considered under a number of provisions of the WHO FCTC, including Article 5.2(b) which requires Parties to “adopt and implement effective … measures … for preventing and reducing … nicotine addiction …”. Most ENDS contain nicotine, and would therefore contribute to maintaining an addiction to nicotine”

    If nicotine is so addictive how can the 6x15g daily intake of nicotine in NRT gum cure it?

    Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether we’re reading tobacco industry propaganda or tobacco control industry propaganda – neither make any sense to the public.

  • David Atherton
    18 June 2013

    My latest piece in The Commentator Big Pharma: More conflicts of interest.

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3801/big_pharma_more_conflicts_of_interest

  • Dodderer
    18 June 2013

    The Royal College of Physicians said this in a report back in 2007 that under the current UK medicines regulator:
    “the medicinal nicotine market will continue to focus on low-addiction, low-dose, low-effectiveness
    products while also stifling competition and innovation”

    The Royal College of Physicians – 2010
    However, it is also vitally important that extending regulatory control to all medicinal products does not stifle innovation and new product development in this area. As any smoker will attest, currently available Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products are no substitute for a cigarette, and if we are to make progress in encouraging more smokers to use medicinal nicotine as a substitute and/or cessation aid, we need products that mimic much more closely the dose and rate of nicotine delivery that cigarettes achieve. None of the existing NRT products comes close to achieving this,
    Since the major producers of the NRT currently available have failed to pursue, or at least deliver, this product development in the 30 years or so since the first NRT products came to market, or to develop more attractive pricing and packaging structures for their products, it is clear that the NRT market would benefit from some commercial competition. The cost of clinical trials and the possibility of prescription-only licenses for more innovative products effectively suppresses development. As a result, tighter regulation of nicotine products could well be counterproductive to the public health

    Rooke,McNeill,Arnott – 2012
    Four main themes were identified. In general, currently available nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) were considered to be relatively unsuccessful as substitutes because they deliver insufficient nicotine too slowly.

    What is the date of guilty knowledge?

  • Gordon Beard
    17 June 2013

    The man is probably too modest to post on here but Clive Bates has just completed a blog that is highly relevant with regard to “gateway” theories .

    This is a really good piece http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1262

  • Grinder
    17 June 2013

    http://youtu.be/EOqcYUugtHc

    Funny yet says it all :)

  • Gordon Beard
    17 June 2013

    Credit to Cancer Research and Department of Health for supporting the organisation Smoking in England which supplies and collects data such as quit attempts

    Interestingly looking through the website it shows in monthly tracking of performance indicators the various quit attempt methods

    Since April 2011 to present day a huge increase in quit attempts have been made using e-cigs and these now DWARF any other method by a considerable margin .

    see http://www.smokinginengland.info/

    Surely this is a case of consumers voting with their feet (and heads) AND more importantly the “right” touch regulation will impede this transition to something far safer .That is the only “Gateway” that should be up for debate , the gateway is under threat for reasons that astound !!!

  • Grinder
    17 June 2013

    To cancer research.

    Have you done any research into this matter before you decided to take this stance on vaping?

    I use a very well known device called a provari to power my stainless steel genisis atomisers which use quartz gass tanks which are well over engineered and very safe to use.
    I use aw imr safe chemistry batteries to power my mods.

    I get my liquids from reputable vendors that rigorously test all their liquids like liberty flights.

    Have you considered contacting any vendors in fact or did you just take whatever the MHRA as gospel.

    Please for the sake of many people look into this properly and talk to people who know what their on about and maybe visit a site like UKVapers or phone up a vendor before you carry on down this road as its not too late to change your minds.

    You may be surprised at what you might find and even help overturn this utter nonsense thats going on at the moment.

    All I ask for is an open mind not corrupted by greed and profits.

  • Grinder
    17 June 2013

    To cancer research.
    Why don’t you do what your namesake suggests and do a bit of research before having an allegiance with something you know very little about.

    I use a very well know and over engineered device called a provari and put aw imr safe chemistry batteries in it.
    I have stainless steel genesis atomisers that use quartz glass tanks.
    I get my liquids from liberty flights which are rigorously tested before being sold to the public.

    Have you ever thought of contacting any reputable vendor about their products ?

    Have you even considered asking anyone that knows what their on about regarding this issue ?

    Your a very big organization and people will listen to whatever you say which is why I feel you could cause a lot of damage going down the road you have chosen with very little knowledge of what your talking about and strongly suggest you take stock and reconsider your stance on this matter and get all your facts right before you carry on any further.

  • Brian Nightingale
    17 June 2013

    I think MHRA have shot themselves in the foot with this. In countries where governments have tried to classify e cigs as medicines, they have lost in the courts.

    These attempts to regulate e cigs out of existence by different health groups has proved beyond doubt, that all they really care about is profits and lucrative careers over the health of people. Profits from NRTs, that have an over 90% failure rate, which is why they have to be free on prescription. Not free though for taxpayer. This is not widely known by the general public. If it was there would be uproar. Imagine how people would react if they knew that precious NHS resources were paying for failure.

    Smokers tend not to be proactive about their civil liberties, because they think that smoking is harming them. The same cannot be said about vapers. Many do a lot of research into e cigs and know quite a bit about the science and conclude that they are much safer. They cannot be fooled by junk science.

  • Grinder
    17 June 2013

    Vaping is an alternative to smoking and a much safer one !
    The device’s I use are far more advanced and safer than ecigs not to mention better made and the MHRA are saying they won’t be good enough ? Oh yeah compared to what ? Some pharma tobacco regulated overpriced piece of crap !

    Please we all know the incentive behind these regulations and it ain’t our health and that’s a fact.

    Vaping is not a medicine its an alternative and I won’t smoke cigarettes ever again but wish to continue my experience of vaping in the knowledge I won’t be doing something that can cause cancer and seriously damage my health.

    As a long term subscriber to cancer research I am seriously considering my debits to an organization that’s seems to condone a threat to a cure that said organization stands for !!!

  • gecko
    17 June 2013

    Big tobacco, pharma and HMRC all have enough science in their pockets to march in the front door with a valid argument….and don’t tell me they haven’t done their best to find one.

    Hiding financial interest behind “moral duty”? Lamer than a three-legged horse with arthritis.

  • Junican
    17 June 2013

    There are lots of comments that one could make about this article, but I shall restrict myself to three:

    1) It is clear that the Tobacco Control Industry wish to commandeer ecigs as ‘smoking cessation devices’. They are not. They are devices which people who use them enjoy. That is, they give pleasure.

    2) The argument that ecigs might possibly be harmful and therefore need to be regulated is fallacious. If that were true, then mobile phones would still be on the drawing board.

    3) The argument that it is possible to ascertain the possibility of long term harm without the widespread use of cigs is fallacious. Such assessments could only be done by epidemiological means, which would require long term use by many subjects.

  • Sandra
    17 June 2013

    My comment below this

    “Cancer Research UK on June 13, 2013 at 10:26 am said:

    Thanks for your comments. We recognise that the e-cigarette market is growing rapidly and there is emerging evidence of people finding them helpful to cut down or quit smoking.

    Some of the comments so far have seen MHRA market authorisation as a barrier to people using e-cigarettes. Here are some other points to bear in mind, and hopefully clear up any misconceptions:

    1) E-cigarettes would be licensed for open sale so they would still be available for sale in supermarkets and corner shops without any supervision.

    2) They would not need a prescription – just like nicotine gums or patches you would still be able to buy them over the counter.

    But if they have MHRA market authorisation they could be prescribed by NHS doctors to support smokers trying to quit, so it has the potential to increase smokers access to e-cigarettes.

    3) They would be subject to the reduced 5 per cent VAT rate charged on medical products rather than the 20 per cent VAT currently charged.

    4) There is no indication that the eventual regulations would put restrictions on the particular format of devices – whether they look like cigarettes or not – the key issue is that the devices are proven to be safe, reliable and work as advertised.

    There’s around three years for e-cigarette companies to clear the MHRA licensing procedures before any new regulations requirements come into force probably in 2016.

    This process for receiving marketing authorisation for e-cigarettes should be an “abridged” process given that nicotine is already long established as a licensed medical product for the purpose of tobacco harm reduction so clinical trials should not be necessary.

    We hope that clears things up!

    Alison Cox
    Cancer Research UK”

    This is all well and good, but what you dont realise is the ecigs that will be made available in the supermarkets and corner shop will be the inferior cig- a- like which are useless and of a nicotine level less than anyone would want to vape. people vape because they want a safer delivery method and most vapers dont WANT to stop. so getting a higher level of nic on prescription from the doc under a programme designed for the vaper to stop is useless.

    ARE YOU UNDERSTANDING THIS, BECAUSE I REALLY DONT THINK ALL YOU ANTI ORGANISATIONS REALLY CARE.

  • Mike Barton
    17 June 2013

    I have been a smoker since the age of 12 and have tried to quit numerous times in the last 35 years. I have tried patches, gum, champix, inhalers and of course will power. The longest time i managed was 18 months. In january i met someone using a cigalike at work who gave me a try. Afterwards i bought one for myself and lasted 2 days before buying tobacco again.
    Frustrated i went online to see whether there was a better product available and i discovered personal vapers. After some more research into safety etc i bought my first device.
    It has literally changed my life and my family are ecstatic about the change in my health. I no longer wheeze when using stairs. The first 10 minutes of the day is NOT spent coughing my lungs up. I no longer smell and i can actually smell and taste far better. My skin has improved and my wife now sleeps far better as I no longer snore like a buzzsaw all night.
    I enjoy vaping more than i did smoking. The variety of flavours keeps the experience fresh allowing me to alter the level of intake to suit my mood (something smoking tobacco does not allow. Once you light up you finish the cigarette. ..Every time! )
    Ironically i have been donating some of the money saved to cancer UK who i now discover are in favour of killing the very Industry that has changed my prospects so much.
    The very organisation that i believed was fully backing me to give up tobacco cigarettes is actually in favour of restricting the industry that has provided me with a lifeline that I am utterly certain i can stick to without effort.
    Quite frankly i am disgusted that the authorities that purport to want to help stop cancer have failed utterly to find out the truth about ecigs and how the people who use them feel about so called medical regulations.
    The truth is that the regulations will stifle innovation, destroy the industry that has taken literally hundreds of thousands if not more away from tobacco whilst putting the Tobacco companies and the pharmaceutical industry big names in the driving seat. The only thing that the regulations will do is kill many who already Vape and potentially millions who have not yet tried it yet.
    I challenge anyone who has a loved one addicted to tobacco to go on a forum, get some advice and buy a personal vapor kit for them. Get them to try it for a week then tell them you want to restrict their sale to everyone in the UK.
    At least that way you will be killing your own as well as the rest of us.

  • mark entwistle
    16 June 2013

    I think pretty much all that needs to be said has been said here. just in case it makes any difference to eventual otucomes I would like to add my testimony. Since the age of 12 I have been a smoker, I will turn forty later this year, In that time I have been tobacco abstinent for a total of 12 months, my consumption fluctuating between 1 and 40 cigarettes a day, usually tending towards the heavier end. Every difficult stressful period in my amdolescent and adult life have been punctuated by smoking more and more cigarettes and every party I have been to has involved heavy tobacco use, meaning that all occasions happy and sad in my life have involved my contributing to my own premature and painful death, the older i got the more this scared me, the harder it got to quit by conventional methods the more dispondent i became. The only products that where available as alternative means to intake nicotine were hopelessly ineffective, total abstinence was impossible. Tobacco cigarettes are specifcally designed to be to effective a delivery device for us to quit, nearly half of us that start smoking as impressionable nieve kids will die horribel deaths because the tobacco industry is too good at what it does. This industry is left pretty much to do as it pleases. 3 weeks ago I tried a personal vapouriser, every thing has changed for me, a tobacco free healthy future is possible, with a product that every time is tested comes back clean. The issue of long term safety is moot as it appears this product is only used by smokers who are the walking dead any way. The treatment of evidence by the MHRA is shown to be either biased or just wrong as with the TPD. Similar attempts to regulate have always been shown to be unlawful. This can only be an attempt to tax and place the e cig market in the hands of tobacco/ pharma corporations. For a an organisation concerned with the prevention of cancer to support the regulation attempts is obscene, regardless of whether they will ultimately be enacted. What the MHRA is attempting is effective genocide in the name of public health. What you want is to kill my daughters father, may the hounds of hell chase you forever.

  • Fergus Mason
    16 June 2013

    “From 1992 to 1997 I was a member of a scientific advisory committee of SmithKline.”

    So that’ll be a yes, then?

  • David Atherton
    16 June 2013

    Sir Alasdair Breckenridge was a “Q780 John Austin: Can I raise the issue of Seroxat and your knowledge and involvement. In 1998, I believe you were on the advisory board of GlaxoSmithKline or SmithKline Beecham, as it was at the time.

    Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge: No, let me just clarify that. From 1992 to 1997 I was a member of a scientific advisory committee of SmithKline. I resigned from that in 1997. This had been an extremely valuable exercise for my development in medicines regulation. We did not discuss specific products on that board; it was a matter of the larger picture of industry. I resigned from that in 1997 and this post had been taken up with the full cognisance of the then MCA. I discussed this with the MCA and I acted in a totally appropriate manner with respect to the decisions that I was party to there and in drugs and medicines regulation.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhealth/42/5012003.htm

  • Dodderer
    16 June 2013

    In one of the DoH’s many strategy documents, they used the ‘Smoking Pipe’ model to show that smoking prevalence in England fell by 0.02% in 2011 – approximately 8,600 people.

    Can you really not see why we’ve had to take matters into our own hands?

  • Dodderer
    16 June 2013

    The indication for NRT was extended in 2010 to include long-term permanent use – it’s a truly strange medicine that cures an addiction by feeding that addiction on a permanent basis.But they’re experts………

  • Dodderer
    16 June 2013

    “Currently NRT is regulated as a medicine and its availability is restricted. These barriers to product development and must be removed, and products must be made available in a form and at a price that is attractive as and alternative to smoking”

    Cancer Research UK – 2007

    Agree entirely

  • Dodderer
    16 June 2013

    Are electronic cigarettes safer than varenicline?Pfizer paid out $278m in compensation rather than answering this question.

  • Dodderer
    16 June 2013

    I would like to see the long-term studies of the effects of inhaling nicotine,menthol and who knows what else from the Nicorette Inhalator.I’m sure these could inform the debate about electronic cigarettes.

  • Tug
    16 June 2013

    The MHRA have shown their true colours and no amount of obfuscation or omission can conceal this. Protect the profits, reap the profits, maintain the profits, increase the profits.

  • David Atherton
    16 June 2013

    I would be very interested in the comments of the Cancer Society on this:

    In 2003 the MHRA was formed by the merger of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Medical Devices Agency. The National Audit Office was moved to say “The Agency is also unusual in having a stated objective to facilitate the development of the UK pharmaceutical industry.”

    The current Chair of the MHRA Alasdair Breckenbridge said in 2005 “In addition, from November 2005, European regulations will require that staff have no financial or other interests that could affect their impartiality.”

    What is going on here?

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    16 June 2013

    “The current Chair of the MHRA Alasdair Breckenbridge said in 2005 “In addition, from November 2005, European regulations will require that staff have no financial or other interests that could affect their impartiality.””

    Is that the same Alasdair Breckenridge who is a former senior executive at Glaxo SmithKline?

  • mark
    16 June 2013

    The research and surbeys that the MHRA based its decision on was submitted by BAT.. a tobacco company, and the only one yet to have bought up an e-cig company.. surprised? No, neither am I.
    The comittee that made the decision comprises of ‘knowledgeable’ people that have interests in pharmaceutical companies.. financial interests,.. surprised?
    No, neither am I.
    The fact remains that e-cigs and the juice that is vaporised is umpteen times safer than burning tobacco, and that is a proven fact. Ok, so some long term aspects of vaping are unknown, but what IS known is the fact that tobacco is the single biggest cause of death and chronic illness known to the modern world. And the MHRA want to effectively ban something that is ‘a safer alternative’ to smoking tobacco??? This is actually against EU directives and, as several member states have already found out, is an illegal move.

    I suggest that the ‘ignorant’ in this society actually read up on some subject matter before condemming what is probably the biggest innovation in public health ever.

  • Brian Nightingale
    16 June 2013

    MHRA are surely acting illegally in trying to classify e cigs as medicines. I hope this is challenged because if e cigs are medicines then so are tobacco cigarettes. The tragedy is now, that smokers may be put off making the switch to a healthier alternative. That would be tantamount to manslaughter.

    If e cigs renormalize smoking, then all I can say is de normalizing smoking has created intolerance and bigotry in our society. Whenever an article appears on smoking, some comments from extreme anti smokers border on psychopathy. These maggots came crawling out the woodwork along with tobacco control. It seems to have escaped them that we have a smoking ban.

    The more smokers see people using e cigs in public, the more likely they are to make the switch to a healthier alternative. It was seeing someone using one, that persuaded me to try one.

    Most vapers start off with one that looks like a cigarette which are frankly disappointing, but then moves on to others that look nothing like a cigarette. The one I use is excellent quality and is restricted to eighteen and over. The e liquid comes with child proof caps and a drip top. Naturally, you put it out of reach of children like you would put cigarettes and pharmaceutical drugs.

  • Jon Holland
    16 June 2013

    If you read the MHRA docs they took legal advice on whether ecigs could be regulated as medicine under the EU’s legal definition of a medicine. The advice given was that yes it could be interpreted that way, what they seem to have overlooked is that if their interpretation is used then all NCP’s will be locked into medicine regulation including Tobacco cigarettes & they definitely don’t cure anything. This is probably the reason why the EU ENVI committee seems to be turning away from medicines regulation of ecigs, assuming they drop the medicine bit from the TPD then what the MHRA has announced will be irrelevant.
    One of the governments MEP’s recently commented..

    I am not aware of what the “MHRA” (presumably the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency” ?)
    said.
    Regulation of electronic cigarettes is actually an EU-wide responsibility – because they circulate in the Single Market of 27 countries.

    I stopped smoking rollups after almost 40 years (of unsuccessful quit attempts) the day I started using an ecig, I now have not touched tobacco for 9 months & don’t have any desire to, my experiences are not unusual which is probably why over 1million people in the UK have made the switch. Funny how in the light of that evidence the MHRA sees no evidence that ecigs are anymore effective than the useless NRT’s that the NHS spends £84m on a year.

  • Adrian
    15 June 2013

    I can only echo the majority of comments posted here. I haven’t touched a traditional cigarette in two years and now use a variety of PVs and juices to suit my needs. I derive pleasure from my habit (call it addiction if you will) and I can tell you that prior to quitting tobacco I used a Ventolin inhaler every day of my life. I couldn’t go anywhere without it. Now? Don’t need it, my lung capacity is greatly improved, I don’t get chest infections, coughs, and my health is greatly improved overall. The MHRA are deliberately ignoring the health benefits to of PVs and if the proposed regulation goes through – which in a just, free society, it should not, they will have the death of thousands from cancer and other smoking-related diseases on their hands. I hope they will be able to sleep at night.

  • Mark Hillman
    15 June 2013

    I’d like to see more regulations for e-cigs. I absolutely do not want medicines regulations for e-cigs because they are NOT MEDICINE.

    It’s sledgehammer to crack nut territory.

    MHRA license will cost ~£2million to obtain PER PRODUCT – and according to MHRAs press release none of the products on the market right now are good enough. NONE.

    I can buy right now very effective e-cigs that use e-liquids that have a documented supply chain, are GC-MS tested for quality and purity. They are effective and as as safe as can be. (noone knows about hte long term health efects of using e-cigs they’ve not been around long, but there has still to date not been a single recorded death from their use in their ~7 year history.

    This is way over the top, there should be age restrictions and rules regarding marketing toward children. There should be mandatory testing for these things, but none of that needs medicines regulation and the extraordinary costs that that entails.

    The MHRA proposals are the absolute antithesis of ‘light touch’ regulation – they couldn’t be heavier if they tried.

  • Southern Vaper
    15 June 2013

    In answer to these bulleted points

    1) E-cigarettes would be licensed for open sale so they would still be available for sale in supermarkets and corner shops without any supervision.

    The cig-a-likes are currently already sold in supermarkets corner shops and even petrol garages. I feel what is needed is to prevent under 18s from buying them. The more advanced kit which I actually use and bought on-line was niot available to the under 18s anyway.

    2) They would not need a prescription – just like nicotine gums or patches you would still be able to buy them over the counter.

    But if they have MHRA market authorisation they could be prescribed by NHS doctors to support smokers trying to quit, so it has the potential to increase smokers access to e-cigarettes.

    Thats all fine and dandy for those wanting to quit totally to get it on prescription, but lets face it its not about that its about stamping out all alternatives. This is the point thats missed. I have quit tobacco yes nicotine no. I am a recreational user of nicotine and do not smoke and havent since I got my vaporiser

    3) They would be subject to the reduced 5 per cent VAT rate charged on medical products rather than the 20 per cent VAT currently charged.

    I am quite happy paying my 20% on the products I buy and as a recreational user I wouldnt expect not to.

    4) There is no indication that the eventual regulations would put restrictions on the particular format of devices – whether they look like cigarettes or not – the key issue is that the devices are proven to be safe, reliable and work as advertised.

    The 1.3m users would say that they work. As for safe regarding health well that would take a long term trial which they are not intending anyway.

    To be very honest I’m astounded to see that you see the medical classification as a good thing and as said earlier without carrying out any kind of research into what people are using and also looking into the cherry picked evidence that they used to bring in the licencing.

    My wife actually used to work for cancer research in the labs and I was proud to mention it today im not so sure.

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “the cherry picked evidence that they used to bring in the licencing.”

    I’m afraid it’s worse than cherry picking; it’s just become clear that MHRA have actually lied in the evidence they have released.

    Their research paper did not show the test results on the liquid samples they were given by ECITA; a footnote said that those results were redacted at ECITA’s request. Katherine Devlin of ECITA has now confirmed that this is not the case and ECITA were perfectly happy for the results to be made public.

  • Dragongal
    15 June 2013

    The composition of that ad hoc committee is a sick joke – you couldn’t make it up. People just aren’t getting this; 20 a day for 60+ years then an e-cig turns you into a non-smoker. Overnight. And that’s really bad news. Because for 3.5 years I have not needed the antibiotics and oral steroids that were needed several times a year to treat my lungs which were damaged by those 60+ years of abuse. C.O.P.D, asthma, you name it, plus emergency hospital admission of course. So the Pharma Barons don’t get cash for my meds, I may even escape lung cancer so they’ll miss out on that profitable chemo too. The Tobacco Barons won’t be getting another cent out of me and the Government will have to pay my pension for a good few more years (hopefully). I and others like me have been willing guinea-pigs for the e-cig, now our numbers have grown the big bully-boys want in – and they want the little guys, who made this industry, OUT!! Pharma will emasculate the product to match their own ineffectual NRT so vapers will return to tobacco – unregulated- and the whole filthy cycle can go on. Aided and abetted by MHRA.
    I don’t think so. I will go on enjoying the only viable alternative to the cigarette – nicotine has proved it’s worth as far as my mental health is concerned so I won’t even think of ditching it this side of the grave. If I have to break the law to achieve this, then so be it.

  • Liam Bryan
    15 June 2013

    “what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco”

    As has been said above, the products which provide a “beautiful” vaping experience bear no relation to the types of product which would be allowed if the MHRA proposals come to pass. Mr Mean said that there are currently no satisfactory e-cigarettes. The reason I (and I presume others) switched to vaping is because it is better. The variety of flavours and adaptability of the devices is amazing. There is no way that the maker of my current vape (GVC) could afford to be regulated.

    I have escaped my tobacco habit, I have continued my nicotine habit.

    If this kind of regulation was enacted, I and many others would simply restart smoking. 50% of us would die from it.

  • Paul
    15 June 2013

    I have tried to give up smoking tobacco for many years using various products and techniques ,all have failed. And I can accept that I am addicted to nicotine. Since January I have been using a PV that has no resemblance to a cigarette and have not smoked one cigarette since. How can anybody even consider that these things are a bad thing? They don’t get you off the addiction to nicotine but get you off tobacco and all the harmful ingredientsin tobacco, and have no ingredients that are ‘harmful to the user or passively. Why can’t anyone be big enough to admit the only reasons these will be restricted is because of loss of revenue and jobs

  • Gordon Beard
    15 June 2013

    Sorry above link did not work can some kind soul help me out please.

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    Certainly.

    http://www.thefreesociety.org/Issues/Smoking/big-pharma-and-big-government-go-to-war-on-consumers

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    It isn’t letting me post the link for some reason. Perhaps my comment was too short and some sort of spam filte rpicked it up. Let’s try again:

    http://www.thefreesociety.org/Issues/Smoking/big-pharma-and-big-government-go-to-war-on-consumers

  • Gordon Beard
    15 June 2013

    @Fergus Mason .. re conspiracy theories … nice one here http://www.thefreesociety.org/Issues/Smoking/big pharma-and big-government-go-to-war-on-consumers

    Also re-reading MHRA docs again!! total cherry picking of research docs in the study

  • Gordon England
    15 June 2013

    ” the key issue is that the devices are proven to be safe, reliable and work as advertised.”

    Surely this is already regulated here in the UK under Consumer Protection Act, Trade Descriptions Act, Sale of Goods Act, COSHH etc.

    “proven to be safe” how safe is safe. All things we consume and use carry risk of doing harm.

    Why regulate nicotine/ecigs as a medicine when it clearly is not a medicine? alternately why regulate nicotine/ecigs as tobacco when it it clearly not tobacco.

    Can’t help but think those driving for change to medicine or tobacco regulation are more concerned for money and power than peoples heath and freedom.

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    What really hacks me off is the constant implication – very obvious in this article – that the MHRA proposal is something vapers should be happy about and that we’re all being very ungrateful if we object. How, exactly, am I supposed to benefit from being forced to use overpriced cigalikes instead of the much better setup filled with pharmaceutical-grade German liquid that I currently use?

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “Sitting above these opportunities and risks is something we’re extremely wary of: the fact that the big tobacco companies are investing in NCPs.”

    They are doing this because the proposed legislation is a huge opportunity that they would be fools to ignore. Currently most people only use “cigalikes” – such as Intellicig or Nicolites, the two most likely candidates for licensing – for a short time before upgrading, because they’re awful. The bulk of the market is for higher quality but lower volume devices, often hand-made by one-man operations. These are used to power a huge variety of atomisers, with most users owning several different types and switching between them frequently.

    This business model does not suit large tobacco companies, and up to now that has kept them out of the e-cigarette sector. However the threat of medical legislation has opened it up to them; if everyone else is wiped out and the market restricted to a handful of cigalike models, which BAT and their ilk own, they win massively. And we lose.

  • vereybowring
    15 June 2013

    Apologies if you find my tone sarcastic this is my general demeanour in life and forget some people take offence at the drop of a word.

    As I said in a follow up more studies need done but to clarify I think over regulating before such work can even properly begin shows a lack of care for those it could reduce the risk for and is tantamount to causing death by regulation for those that will be denied the chance to change over.

    I do not know what recommendations have been made for requirements for licensing and specifics for trials that may be required but would dearly like to know. I don’t think the information is in general circulation yet.

    What is fluttering around the place though is the MHRA got some data about electronic cigarettes, and indeed based the decision at least in part, from a company wholly owned by BAT who are trying to get an electronic cigarette through marketing right now. This means the only potential licensed product in the UK may well be one that will continue to feed the tobacco industry. I would really like to know if that is true since the MHRA had stated in the past it would never work with a tobacco company.

    Also most of what we are discussing is probably not going to make a huge difference apart from general education since as far as I am aware regulating e cigs as medicine is unlawful and can be challenged in court as it has been in other countries where medicalisation was overturned. Indeed in the EU parliament the JURI committee (the law group) submitted its recommendations for revisions to the new TPD removed all reference to e cigs as they deemed it unlawful.

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “What is fluttering around the place though is the MHRA got some data about electronic cigarettes, and indeed based the decision at least in part, from a company wholly owned by BAT”

    As I understand it the study in question was directly funded by BAT themselves.

    “This means the only potential licensed product in the UK may well be one that will continue to feed the tobacco industry”

    It’s also bloody awful and ridiculously overpriced. The “Intellicig” will cost you £29.95 for a “starter kit” containing a single small battery that will only last an hour between charges, a single atomiser that will burn out in four to six weeks and five disposable cartidges, each equivalent to about six cigarettes (and only available in tobacco or menthol flavour.) Compared to high quality devices that are currently available, like an eGo kit with two much better batteries and two reusable atomisers for £20 the lot, it’s scandalous. And these are the people MHRA want to hand the market to.

  • Kevin Allsopp
    15 June 2013

    “I think we can guess what MHRA are going to demand, given their behaviour so far. Not that e-cigarettes are a medical product anyway; they’re a recreational consumer product.”

    True. And true.

    I am no expert but from what I’m aware, classification of e-cigarettes as a medicine stands little chance of becoming a reality in the UK but I fear the whole process will lever the door open even more for… larger corporate concerns. Which, it seems to me, is the only purpose of this ‘proposal’ whatever the result.

  • rob waldie
    15 June 2013

    Your charity should be opposing the MRHA loudly on this issue, e-cigs save lives, these proposals will destroy e-cigs as we know them and cause more deaths than necessary.

    It is that simple, 30 minutes independent research on the matter will convince anyone of this issue, why your organisation supports these proposals is astonishing. please, please review your policy on this matter urgently.

    Regards : Ex heavy smoker, current vaper, soon to be a smoker again?

  • Kevin Allsopp
    15 June 2013

    @vereybowrin

    Thanks for that, even if delivered with an unvapable quantity of unwarranted sarcasm.

    I should qualify: Ms Cox referenced clinical trials undertaken in regard to current NRT products as a reason for further clinical trials (possibly) not being required. I was merely asking for confirmation of this… given that as (again, afaik) trials of PG/VG/Nicotine) delivery systems to the lung were not undertaken at that time under that requirement (for NRT products AKA medicines AKA what the MRHA intend to reclassify e-cigs as).

    Reliable trials have taken place globally of various compounds and mixtures of compounds for various reasons for decades but if purely referencing those was sufficient then there would (in the case of ALL nicotine products) be no reason for further clinical trials whatsoever, whether for e-cigs or NRT products. I would assume – in this case – that the MHRA would call for new, unreferenced clinical trials should they be deemed necessary.

    I’m also unsure (though I feel certain you will waste another two seconds googling a reference) whether the criteria and standards set for a ‘new’ medicinal product would allow mere referencing to previous trial results or whether the MRHA would require directly related trials to be undertaken according to ‘new’ standards and safety criteria. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  • reply
    Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “I’m also unsure (though I feel certain you will waste another two seconds googling a reference) whether the criteria and standards set for a ‘new’ medicinal product would allow mere referencing to previous trial results or whether the MRHA would require directly related trials to be undertaken according to ‘new’ standards and safety criteria.”

    I think we can guess what MHRA are going to demand, given their behaviour so far. Not that e-cigarettes are a medical product anyway; they’re a recreational consumer product.

  • vereybowring
    15 June 2013

    I should say that long term studies need to be done on the long term effects of electronic cigarettes. However the legislation that the MHRA and EU TPD are trying to bring in and being so vocal about in certain ways are scaring off people from a product that may have some adverse effects in the long term but are thought by experts to be at least 95% safer than smoking. I urge people to go read the work being done by Professor Etter, Gerry Stimson, Clive Bates, Dr Farsalinos and Dr Michael Siegel.

  • vereybowring
    15 June 2013

    @ Kevin Allsop
    Please read the linked article for some information on aerosol chemical related to the issue. It is not the best of reports but it did only take me two seconds to find on google. If you can be bothered to look you will find a great deal of information on several of the chemicals involved dating back to early in the last century.

    http://www.ma-cigarette.fr/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/inhalation-toxicity-report-091212-1537.pdf

  • Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “IF such clinical trials – for the delivery of nicotine through the lung – are required… where does this leave the tobacco industry?”

    Exempt.

    Which raises serious questions about what’s REALLY going on here, because it sure isn’t a concern for public health.

  • Kevin Allsopp
    15 June 2013

    “This process for receiving marketing authorisation for e-cigarettes should be an “abridged” process given that nicotine is already long established as a licensed medical product for the purpose of tobacco harm reduction so clinical trials should not be necessary.”

    Would you confirm this please?

    AFAIK, no directly relevant clinical trials have taken place regarding propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin/nicotine delivery into the lung. Those clinical trials regarding current NRT products do not cover such delivery; even the NRT inhalers deliver nicotine to the mouth/throat (one reason for their ineffectiveness).

    If new clinical trials ARE required then this added cost would further limit market access to BAT/Pharmaco and greatly increase the cost of end-product at the same time as restricting choice.

    IF such clinical trials – for the delivery of nicotine through the lung – are required… where does this leave the tobacco industry?

    Looking forward to your reply.

  • Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “Another risk (which had not occurred to me until this week) is that kids are legally using e-cigarettes, which makes them a potential “gateway drug” to tobacco.”

    Actually you can relax; a study by ASH has confirmed what we already knew – all the kids who’re using e-cigarettes were already smokers. Only 1% of non-smokers aged under 18 have even tried e-cigarettes and none surveyed were either currently using them or planned to in the future.

    Did this risk only occur to you when you read about it in the Daily Mail, by any chance?

  • Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    “Finally without going into conspiracy theories about Pharma,Tobacco co involvement”

    Um. Conspiracy theories, Gordon? Have you seen the list of pharma industry interests declared by the MHRA committee that made this proposal?

  • Fergus Mason
    15 June 2013

    Dear Ms Cox,

    You certainly seem sincere, but there are a number of issues with the assumptions you are making. Certainly nobody has a problem with e-cigarettes being sold freely, with the added bonus of them being available on prescription, but the proposed regulations most certainly DO limit the format of the devices. MHRA have already announced that none of the current products will be licensed. The only two with any realistic chance of being licensed by 2016 are Intellicig (owned by BAT!) and Nicolites, both of which are overpriced and extremely poor variants of the “cigalike” design and available in a very restricted range of flavours. Given MHRA’s obsession with “consistent doses” the chances of them licensing any of the higher end devices, which use features such as variable wattage and DIY wicks to vary the vapour production (and hence nicotine intake) through an extremely wide range seem slim. Consistent doses, in fact, are not seen as a desirable feature by users; we want the ability to vary it at will.

    E-cigarettes helped me quit a 25-year smoking habit that cost me thousands and finally put me in hospital after a near-fatal cardiac arrest at the age of 42; if I hadn’t suffered it while already in the hospital car park I would have been in the ground four months ago. I want them to stay available to prevent any chance of a relapse (I believe the figure for recidivism among ex-smokers is around 75%) and I don’t want to be restricted to the inferior, expensive and ineffective products that will be all that remains if this proposal becomes law. Medical licensing is not even remotely like “light touch” regulation. No regulation decided by the regulators themselves ever will be.

    Fergus Mason

  • Greg H
    15 June 2013

    It’s the ‘gateway to smoking’ tag that I can’t get my head around.
    What person, young or old, in their right mind would consider sucking on a wad of burning leaves after using an e-cigarette tasting of bubble gum of blueberry?
    These naysayers must come from a very strange gene pool indeed or be completely out of touch with their kids.

  • David Dorn (@Hifistud)
    15 June 2013

    Oh dear. How people seem to be misinformed:

    “1) E-cigarettes would be licensed for open sale so they would still be available for sale in supermarkets and corner shops without any supervision.”

    None of the current crop of e-cigs, according to Jeremy Mean, would be “good enough” to gain a license. So, within 21 days of enactment, EVERY product currently available would, at a stroke, be gone. Simple. So far, nobody has even managed to define what a “medicinal e-cig” would look like or act like, and anyone who thinks they’d get an MA at anything under Two Million Quid and three years is deluding themselves (MHRA figures plus known costs of trials etc). So no, they would not still be available for sale ANYWHERE.

    “4) There is no indication that the eventual regulations would put restrictions on the particular format of devices – whether they look like cigarettes or not – the key issue is that the devices are proven to be safe, reliable and work as advertised.”

    Oh, but there are loads of indications. MHRA is not happy about visible vapour, not happy about user’s ability to customise the experience, not happy about flavourings – indeed, they are just not happy about e-cigs as they currently stand, yet BAT’s device currently under manufacture at Bespak is well on the way to getting an MA – and it is most emphatically NOT an e-cig. It’s a converted asthma inhaler.

    Seriously, CRUK – get a grip. If this all comes to pass, 1.3 million folks will be back on the fags quicker than you can say “BAT Profits Rise in 2016”

  • Rich
    15 June 2013

    The MHRA is funded by the drug industry and they are proposing that e-cigs should only be supplied by the drug industry.
    They are missing out on sales of e-cigs and they want a monopoly by making them a licensed pharmaceutical product.
    The whole thing stinks of corruption.

  • Gordon Beard
    15 June 2013

    As a further comment to the above .

    I reread the MHRA announcement and its supporting documents . In two of the accompanying pdf they

    1 MHRA own funded study into e-cigs concluded some of the juices varied in nic. strength BUT that the products were safe

    2 MHRA Risk Assessment : over-regulation will have the undesired outcome of failing to further encourage smokers to convert

    The words used in the supporting documents are “Right touch regulation” not “Light touch regulation” . There is certainly a world of difference between Light and Right and the unfortunate consequences are that many present and future “Vapers” seem to be caught up in some ideological battle of which most are unaware .

    Those that put forward the ideological argument simply ignore the fact that the many who have converted are far safer than if still smoking tobacco cigarettes. The only “Gateway” is one to something far safer .

  • Gordon Beard
    15 June 2013

    The mere fact that ASH itself states 1.3 million users in 2013 up from 700,000 in 2012 is a measure of how useful they are in these troubled economic times where value for money and effectiveness is paramount . E-cig users who do a little research opt for Personalised Vapourisers where juice flavour and strength are personal choice along with effective atomisers and battery systems that last upwards of one day. To attempt to get a medicinal licence or market authorisation for these systems seems problematic as these are not in any way an e-cig. but presumably fall under the same proposals.

    Others have indicated that obtaining licences is enormously expensive . Only 2 are apparently in the process and these presently have cost over £1 million remember only for 1 product – so juice manufacturers of say 1000 flavours/strengths would need to spend 1 billion? Similarly with the devices themselves the devices have evolved and improved at an ever increasing pace – Is a device manufacturer who introduces say 40 products over a year be expected to get a UK licence for each ?
    All of these musings I think make a nonsense of this “light touch regulation”

    Finally without going into conspiracy theories about Pharma,Tobacco co involvement surely a product/device that is acknowledged and can be proven to be safer than tobacco cigarettes should not be overly regulated as MHRA and TPD is proposing . Tightening up of existing regulations would have been more than sufficient

  • Andy B
    13 June 2013

    Not once have I heard of any official body taking the trouble to ask the users of the advanced forms of vaping for their opinion. We spend a huge amount on PVs (personal vapourisers), liquids, tanks, wicks and spares, yet no-one has had the decency to ask for our thoughts on the deprivation of our enjoyment which is in the pipeline.
    Not all vapers use the (let’s face it) awful cig-a-likes which are underpowered, lacking in taste and very expensive compared with the alternatives. Many of us enjoy our nicotine fix without the thousands of chemicals present in tobacco but not once have we been consulted.
    If the government really want to get us on side and think about improving the country’s health rather than lining their coffers, how about some really radical consultation with the electorate for once?
    If I have to buy via the black market, so be it. My government is doing absolutely nothing to help me get healthy and kick tobacco into touch.
    Come on all you politicians -get real and just once connect with the real people in this country who care more about their health and have kicked tobacco into touch with no help from you!

  • Derrick
    13 June 2013

    I started smoking when I was about 14, and am now 61. I tried an e-cigarette about 3 months ago, and have not touched a real cigarette since then. I actually prefer e-cigs, as there’s no mess, no fire hazard, no passive smoke etc.

    It’s a good idea to have some regulation to ensure the safety of e-cigs, and to reduce access to them by young people and non-smokers. I just hope they don’t become over-regulated. For example, if they try to limit the nicotine content, people will just go back to real cigarettes. Not because they want to, but because they have to, in order to get the nicotine.

  • vereybowring
    13 June 2013

    As a charity organisation that funds research into cancer, the lack of apparent research into this subject so important to you (since smoking causes so much cancer) does not bode well for cancer sufferers.

    So much of the alleged evidence being used by the MHRA and other bodies looking at the e cig issue has come from biased studies, some of it seems to have even been sublimated from the very air.

    Reports and studies are being cherry picked for evidence that supports the need for strict controls and ignores any evidence that contradicts it.

    Assumptions are also being made based on the aforementioned sublimated evidence and this is just not good enough.

    Yes nicotine containing liquid needs to be regulated to ensure it is safe from contaminants which is an issue for trading standards to effectively enforce existing legislation. Yes it should be banned for sale to those under 18 (and this proposal would see it made available to those 12 years old and over just like existing NRT).

    Mr Mean (such an apt name) thinks none of the current devices are adequate and would not pass licensing, which I find absurd since he doesn’t seem to know anything about the current market or devices judging by how he talks about them. Oh and he again mentioned liquid was found to contain harmful contaminants but failed (as others conveniently seem to also) that the levels were within those considered safe for humans and indeed almost the same as those levels found in their precious NRT products.

    Pure and simple this sort of interference in the consumer product market for a recreational product is all about keeping the pharmaceutical companies making money from NRT and their smoking related illnesses products. Current NRT makes pharma, the government and the tobacco companies incomes at a lovely level while killing smokers. When pharmaceutical interventions to smoking fail (only 5% success rate after a year for smokers quitting), they go back to tobacco until the next quit attempt. No doubt any medicalised electronic cigarette will be designed to be as ineffective as NRT just to keep the cash cow flowing.
    Anti smoking groups have found themselves outpaced by a technological innovation that could do their job for them so they hate it for perhaps taking their livelihood away (no one smoking = no need for anti tobacco).

    None of this is being done in the interests of health unless you really are so very naive and intellectually challenged as to believe it is not about protecting interested parties from continuing to profit from smoking.

  • Rachel Pearce (@rachelpearce)
    13 June 2013

    Another risk (which had not occurred to me until this week) is that kids are legally using e-cigarettes, which makes them a potential “gateway drug” to tobacco. Also I don’t think nicotine addiction is completely harmless in itself.

  • Adam Jacobs
    13 June 2013

    I have a real problem with regulating e-cigarettes. The problem is that there is a huge cost to regulation. Regulation not only increases costs to producers of e-cigarettes, but also means that the market will be restricted to the rather small group of companies (ie tobacco companies and big pharma) who have the expertise and resources to go through the regulatory process. That restricted group of producers will mean that there is less competition, which will also mean that e-cigarettes will be more expensive than they need to be.

    Yes, there are potential problems with e-cigarettes, which you have highlighted nicely in your blog. But you have to remember that all those problems pale into insignificance beside the harms caused by smoking real cigarettes.

    My worry is that anything that increases the cost of e-cigarettes will reduce the number of people smoking them instead of real cigarettes. It seems to me that in this case, regulation is going to act pretty firmly against the interests of public health.

  • Cancer Research UK
    13 June 2013

    Thanks for your comments. We recognise that the e-cigarette market is growing rapidly and there is emerging evidence of people finding them helpful to cut down or quit smoking.

    Some of the comments so far have seen MHRA market authorisation as a barrier to people using e-cigarettes. Here are some other points to bear in mind, and hopefully clear up any misconceptions:

    1) E-cigarettes would be licensed for open sale so they would still be available for sale in supermarkets and corner shops without any supervision.

    2) They would not need a prescription – just like nicotine gums or patches you would still be able to buy them over the counter.

    But if they have MHRA market authorisation they could be prescribed by NHS doctors to support smokers trying to quit, so it has the potential to increase smokers access to e-cigarettes.

    3) They would be subject to the reduced 5 per cent VAT rate charged on medical products rather than the 20 per cent VAT currently charged.

    4) There is no indication that the eventual regulations would put restrictions on the particular format of devices – whether they look like cigarettes or not – the key issue is that the devices are proven to be safe, reliable and work as advertised.

    There’s around three years for e-cigarette companies to clear the MHRA licensing procedures before any new regulations requirements come into force probably in 2016.

    This process for receiving marketing authorisation for e-cigarettes should be an “abridged” process given that nicotine is already long established as a licensed medical product for the purpose of tobacco harm reduction so clinical trials should not be necessary.

    We hope that clears things up!

    Alison Cox
    Cancer Research UK

  • convertedvapor
    13 June 2013

    Money talks at the end of the day – if this was to do with protecting the public good, cigarettes would have been banned long ago.

    In the 2011/2012 financial year the Government made £12.1bn in taxes from tobacco cigarettes. Electronic Cigarettes are classed as consumer goods so they are taxed at the normal 20% VAT.

    There has never before been a real alternative to tobacco cigarettes – it was smoke or quit, nothing in between. If people switch to ecigs, the Government loses out big. They can’t really justify taxing them at the rate of tobacco cigarettes. The only option is to ban or effectively ban by regulating them to death.

    The health risks of ecigs, if there actually are any are completely unproven.

    The only thing this legislation is going to do is force people back to the real thing and open up a black market for less safe but cheaper e cigs.

    http://www.ub-electronic-cigarette.co.uk/government-to-regulate-ecigs.html

  • womble
    12 June 2013

    I would say, worry about real tobacco, not something millions are using to stop using it!

    You want to help stop cancer? Making ecigs harder to get and ineffective to the majority of vapers (those cigalikes just don’t cut the mustard, 4mg isn’t going to either) isn’t helping.
    In fact it’s making the problem much much worse. What about the million plus vapers now, what are they supposed to do when the ecigs they rely on to not smoke, are pulled from the market?
    I’ll tell you what, go back to smoking.

    And this is now, what with the market in ecigs growing at a huge rate, how many people will be pushed back onto real cigarettes in 2016?
    2 million, 3 million? More?

    Can you not see that this is totally counter productive?

    Yes, make sure eliquid has what it is supposed to in it. Ban sales to under 18’s, but please don’t try to get millions of peoples life lines taken away from them.

  • GunJack
    12 June 2013

    The idiotic ideas and theories behind the arguments used to come to this regulatory decision could not have been thought up by right-minded people…I shall explain..

    I smoked for around 30 years, up to 30 a day of roll-ups. I tried all the patches, gum, etc to stop, but none of these were satisfactory and more importantly, worked.

    I discover e-cigs – NOT, I may add, the silly cigarette lookalikes that all these studies, theories and whatever else are based on. I’m talking proper e-cigs, that actually look NOTHING like ciggies at all. We’re talking clearomisers, tanks, whatever flavour e-liquid you like, decent-capacity batteries, proper cartomisers you fill yourself, ABSOLUTELY NOT a small white cylinder with a brown end.

    And from that day almost 9 months ago, I haven’t touched another tobacco cig. I don’t WANT to touch another tobacco cig. I have NO NEED to touch another tobacco cig. I get the nicotine, I don’t get the tar and the other 4000 chemicals that are in tobacco smoke. My lungs work so much better than they did. My tastebuds work better than they did. My sense of smell works better than it did. I don’t smell like an ashtray any more.

    I am by no means alone on these effects of e-cigs. The estimate of 700,000 to 1 million current full-time vapers in the UK feel like this too. When did any of the studies that advised MHRA or NICE ever REALLY talk to any of these vapers rather than people who only ever tried the cig-a-likes and (suprise suprise) didn’t mstick with them?

    The whole way this subject has been approached is now making me angry. E-cigs under medicinal licence? So do cigarettes, cigars, rolling and pipe tobacco also now going to need medicinal classification? I’m not ill, so what am I taking nicotine for, other than recreational purposes? They’ll be after classifying the caffeine in tea, coffee and pop next……

  • Nicki
    12 June 2013

    What do I think? I think none of this is to do with the health of our nation. More to do with increasing pharmacy and government revenue. If all this really WAS to do with our health, the TRUE facts wouldn’t be ignored and swept aside in a bid to stop us enjoying something that has made quitting smoking a pleasure. I think it is absolutely farcical that the government freely allows cigarettes to be sold freely, yet the notion that we will be limited to tiny amounts of nicotine products for our”safety” is a complete joke and is an insult to our intelligence.

  • Mark Shaw
    12 June 2013

    What do i think?

    I think many people at Cancer UK have carved out nice little positions of importance via people becoming ill and dying from Cancer. I think that many bodies who are supposedly opposed to smoking see ecigs as a threat to their positions and the very existence of their organisations. That of course is solely my opinion and maybe be a cynical one at that, but when so much evidence and opinion from experts in their field are ignored in favour of junk science and hearsay then you cannot blame anyone for having an opinion like that.

    Also regulating ecigs as medicines means that 12 year olds will be freely able to chug away on an ecig (NRT is available to children as young as 12) in the classroom and their teachers will be powerless to stop them. eCig users will never be able to fall fail to the smoking ban either. As you cannot stop someone medicating themselves without infringing their human rights.

    This legislation is ill thought out and you do wonder who has been whispering in certain ears for this decision to be made.

    Ecigs are really really bad, but give them to the Pharmaceutical companies and over night they become amazing life saving products? Don’t make me laugh. It’s nothing more than a hijacking of a successful and thriving industry and hopefully the courts will see it has just that and overrule this stupidity.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    21 June 2013

    I also use 18mg strength. 4mg is no use to me. I would just return to smoking. I have already written to my local MEPs, and would urge everyone to do the same.

    This is as big a scandal as the CQC cover up. As Mya says, only Big Pharma and Big Tobacco will be able to afford the licences.

    Rest assured I will not be buying the cig a like ones and I won’t be buying them from boots either.

  • Matt
    12 June 2013

    Medicinal products can be supplied to 12’s and over, not the Over 18’s that the industry and all parties want, unless the MHRA are going to bring in new regulations just for e-cigarettes.

    Also you state “‘light touch’ regulation” what part of having a full medicinal license is ‘light touch’?

    Yes it will be good that they don’t carry tax, and if you get free prescriptions, you can get them free. But at what cost to other smokers, that have to pay for their prescriptions, don’t see themselves as ill, or the increased price of e-cigarettes over the counter.

    Also what happens to the many users that don’t use ones that look like cigarettes? The more advanced users. Will they be forced to go back to smoking, as the cig-a-likes are crap, and don’t last nearly long enough?

    And the final point on conflict of interest, the MHRA have handed e-cigs to the tobacco companies, as they are the only ones (currently) that are close to launching a fully licensed device, or the only ones (apart from big pharma companies) that can afford it!

    Are the MHRA protecting the public, or protecting the purse? You decide for yourself!

    Comments

  • Susan Brew
    30 November 2013

    There is NO evidence that e-cigs are proving attractive to young people who would not otherwise try tobacco cigarettes.
    There is now substantial evidence that e-cigs are effective at helping long-term smokers to quit smoking.
    There is NO evidence that e-cig users who have quit smoking are even tempted to revert to smoking – let alone that any have done so.
    Yes there should be regulation to prevent young people buying e-cigs, but there is substantial evidence to show that any regulation that goes further than that will damage the progress made by the e-cig industry.
    Further regulation is not necessary, as the trading standards act and other consumer protection legislation already in place will be sufficient to ensure that e-cig construction, as well as cartomiser and e-liquid contents are as stated on the packaging. Nicotine may be a dangerous substance, but we don’t insist on further legislation for other dangerous substances such as bleach and alcohol. Warnings are already on all e-cig and e-liquid packaging.
    Why is the tobacco industry investing in e-cigs? Because they can see the writing on the wall for tobacco. Already a 1% decrease in cigarette sales in the USA because of e-cigs. That is HUGE!!!
    Stop opposing e-cigs and start getting behind them.
    Please stop talking as though vaping were as bad as smoking – it is orders of magnitude less dangerous to both the user and the bystander.

  • Change photo randy cox
    29 November 2013

    Very nice blog. Its interesting to read. And my opinion, Electronic Cigarette is a good alternative choice for the smokers to quit off from their health defects.

  • brainyfurball
    13 November 2013

    I think I got my hopes up too soon with regard to ASH. Yes, they are acknowledging that young people are not being attracted to e cigs and yes they are hinting that e cigarettes are not a gateway to cigarette smoking – I am afraid that they are playing clever in that they recognise that the arguments being presented for medical and/or tobacco regulation are lost. So they say that the above are not happening, BUT, they now argue that we are unaware of the unseen dangers so e cigarettes must still be regulated.

    Well, yes they must, but not under the banner of medicines and not as tobacco products. There is a need for regulation – e cigarette regulation. There is a precedent for this type of situation and that was with the advent of the motor car, where, in trying to regulate them, the powers that were, did so under horse and cart legislation.

  • RobbieW
    4 November 2013

    Will CRUK ever engage with users?

    e-cigs could be greatest public health prize in a generation, why on earth do CRUK support a de facto ban.

    The only logical reason is to support the profits of their major benefactors – shame on you CRUK, is there no one within CRUK with the moral courage to make a stand against this?

  • brainyfurball
    2 November 2013

    More good news. ASH have just said that, “Among children regular use of e-cigarettes is extremely rare. Children who
    had heard of e-cigarettes were asked about their use and knowledge of them. What little use that is reported is confined almost entirely to children who currently smoke or used to smoke.”

    And a great deal more. Has ASH realigned itself? Has the tide begun to turn?

    http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf

  • Robert Innes
    25 October 2013

    Thanks for the link Alan. I m copying your comment onto my fb page. Hope you don’t mind. Good point Brian.

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    Recent smoking rate statistics have recently been updated to the end of September .

    Shows a number of things
    1 e-cigs useage in cessation attempts increasing at an ever faster rate (exponential)

    2 Traditional NRT products reducing at about the same rate

    3 E-Cigs now overtaken NRT overall in smoking cessation

    see http://www.smokinginengland.info/latest-statistics/

    People are choosing what they think is effective without any assistance from CRUK, NHS UKGovt Public Health .

    change your standpoint CRUK

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    sorry bad link … its in Letters The Editor … 3 rd letter down entitled Better Than Tobacco

    http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21587764-armenia-ecuador-e-cigarettes-azerbaijan-3d-printing-germany-machiavelli-bon-jovi

  • Alan Beard
    13 October 2013

    ASH and CRUK seem to believe this point of view as put forward by Ms Arnott (ASH) see http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21587764-armenia-ecuador-e-cigarettes-azerbaijan-3d-printing-germany-machiavelli-bon-jovi–(scroll down to 3rd letter)

    This is a tissue of half truths and disinformation of which Ms Arnott has expertise

    “Investment Analysts” believe costs will be” minor”- to whom? this simply reinforces that only big players will remain and only in a medicinal market SME would disappear. This would be a far simpler option for Govt to regulate BUT is it in the Public interest? , will it genuinely promote an increased move away from tobacco cigarettes ? The answer to both of these Q is a resounding NO

    One area where I could agree with is for there to be a 2 tier Licensed and Non-Licensed approach . Licensed e-cigs could be promoted and advocated by NICE ,NHS etc this would benefit current smokers . However unlicensed ( but regulated) should remain for those who wish to continue their relatively harmless (to them or others ) activity .

    Do the typical arguments about glamourising,re-normalising,encouraging children,gateway effects etc etc which have zero factual evidence disappear with medicinal approval ?

    I really do wish that CR UK will revisit their position and use scientific not ideological argument over this

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    14 October 2013

    When they bang on about, “think of the children”, what about the children of smokers. These parents could be vaping instead of smoking. Poorer parents who smoke, would have more money to spend on their children. It seems that CRUK and other anti-smoking groups and charities like to pick and choose which particular children they will think of.

    Most of us have children and grandchildren, whether we’re smokers or vapers, we want what’s best for them. Should my grandchildren ever start smoking which I hope they don’t, I would hope that e cigs would be freely available to them so they could switch to a safer alternative. I’m sure any caring parent or grandparent would want that.

  • brainyfurball
    8 October 2013

    Just read this on Yahoo News:

    Cancer Research UK said it is the toxic cocktail of chemicals in tobacco smoke that kills half of all long-term smokers.
    The lack of tobacco in e-cigarettes means they are “almost certainly” a much safer way of getting a nicotine hit than smoking cigarettes.

    Do you think the message has got through, or is it just egg dripping off their faces.

    Thank you! Thank you everyone who has contributed here… Now a new battle begins against the tobacco companies.. And hopefully CRUK will be on our side this time.

  • brainyfurball
    8 October 2013

    YES!

    http://ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/133-a-triumph-for-vapers-smokers?fb_action_ids=239457522872673&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1422997987918994%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

  • reply
    John
    8 October 2013

    HOORAY ! Thanks Robert for the info.

  • Liam
    7 October 2013

    You are Robert Innes and I am Spartacus.

  • brainyfurball
    7 October 2013

    Just noticed that my posts are now showing as brainyfurball. (My daughter invented that one many years ago when computers were young) I am Robert Innes.

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    7 October 2013

    But I’ll bet you make an adorable and cuddly brainyfurball (at least in your daughter’s eyes.)

  • brainyfurball
    7 October 2013

    Robert Miller, good of you to point this out. Compare this statement to what ASH, CRUK and the rest were saying in 2008. The following is from Chapter 8 of the document, Beyond Smoking Kills…(Endorsed by,
    BMA,
    QUIT,
    Royal College of General Practitioners
    Royal College of Midwives
    Royal College of Nursing
    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
    Royal College of Pathologists
    Royal College of Psychiatrists
    Royal College of Physicians
    Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
    Royal College of Radiologists
    Royal National Institute of Blind People
    Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
    The Stroke Association
    Scottish Public Health Observatory
    South Asian Health Foundation …

    This is taking up too much room. The list is endless.

    They said…

    “Currently pure nicotine products are not attractive to smokers as direct replacements for cigarettes as they
    do not mimic the speed and intensity of nicotine intake that a cigarette provides. Regulation difficulties inhibit the development of more efficient and effective pure nicotine products. As a result, the most toxic nicotine products – cigarettes – are barely regulated while the safest products – medicinal nicotine – are highly regulated.

    If they are to compete with tobacco products, pure nicotine products must be sold on equal terms or better: pricing should favour pure nicotine products over tobacco. Public education is also needed as many smokers (and health professionals) have a poor understanding of the relative safety of pure nicotine products including nicotine replacement therapy.”

    The document also gives its definition of a ‘pure nicotine’ delivery device’ and the e cig fits neatly into it.

  • brainyfurball
    6 October 2013

    It is becoming more and more obvious that e cigarettes are beneficial in the war against smoking. Indeed, they are the most exciting development ever to have taken place. Is the silence of our medical practitioners further evidence of a powerful bullying culture inherent in health services?

  • Robert Miller
    4 October 2013

    You said in the article above:

    ‘what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco’

    Why would anyone would go back to smoking tobacco when they can enjoy an electronic cigarette that is better for their health and probably cheaper? E-cigs neither taste like or smell like smoking tobacco, they are simply a safer way to consume nicotine. The logic you applied in the statement above would mean that anyone who ever had a problem with alcohol in the past wouldn’t be able to enjoy a soft drink or a warm beverage ever again!

    Your organisation should throw it’s full weight behind e-cigs. Millions of people in the UK have found that they help them stop smoking cancer causing tobacco and the sooner you realise that they are a force for good the better!

  • Robert Innes
    3 October 2013

    The tree is beginning to fall. OK so I am just a single worm gnawing at a tiny root – keep gnawing fellow worms. http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1526#more-1526

  • Robert Innes
    1 October 2013

    If it was my comment, “The tobacco industry are evil – they make money out of the suffering of ordinary folks the world over.”I was referring to the people behind the industry making profit from the suffering of others, then pointing out that CRUK, ASH and the rest are no better.

    However, I could not agree more with what both yourself and Mike have had to say.

    Just out of curiosity, (this is for anyone) have you any particular view on the following?…

    I have been thinking about the concerns of some people that some regarding the relationship between Pharma and CRUK and Pharma and the tobacco industry.

    Some comment, here and elsewhere, has hinted that there might be some sort reward or financial incentive for a charity, like CRUK, to adopt the stance it has. My question is, does it go deeper than just this? For example, CRUK collects a massive amount of money to do research, which is fine, but what is the end result, who benefits from this research? Well obviously, the pharmaceutical industry – and they have been given this fee of charge from a charity. This goes to the industry’s profits and therefore on to the shareholder. So, Joe Public spends £10 which pays for £10 worth of research, the results of which gets handed to a pharmaceutical company who make a drug, where they have saved the costs of research, which increases their profits, which they pay out to shareholders. Cosy! Then, along comes the e cigarette which the pharmaceutical industry is not too fond. To object directly would be too obvious so it pays some of the wealth it has been gifted, to get others to front its campaign? Cosy, if this is what is happening.

    As for a relationship between Pharma and the tobacco lords is it …? …Big tobacco are worried. For years they have been making people ill. For years, Pharma has got society to pay dearly to try to make those people better again. Cosy! Then along comes the e cigarette (which Pharma would have loved to invent and medicalise – by claiming it as a medicine) which threatens this relationship. Now Pharma and Tobacco, big as they are, realise the advantages they have gained over the years by working together and have no desire to stop, so,….

    Big tobacco buys into the e cigarette market while its pal, Big Pharma, gets the e cigarette medicalised. The only real player left after this will obviously be the tobacco company. Now here is the sneaky bit. Big tobacco makes its product less and less appealing – aided and abetted by legislation. More and more people resort to cigarettes. More and more people become ill, we are back to square one and so every one (of our main players) lives happily ever after – Even Joe Public continues to pay his £10 to CRUK and feels very good about it, blissfully unaware of what is going on.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    2 October 2013

    This is what is scary. The e cig market will end up as a carve up between big tobacco and big pharma if certain people have their way.

    The fact that I as a customer, not patient I should add, am perfectly happy with the quality and safety of the e cigs I buy at present doesn’t seem to matter. No one asks our opinion. It’s all being decided by people who are driven by greed, I’m thinking of Dalli who included e cigs in the TPD. Or ideology, those that want a smoke free world and dislike e cigs because it looks like smoking. Or those who think nicotine addiction, which is no different to caffeine addiction is some big sin. We’ve all come across those type of people on different forums. They’re extremists. Most people have common sense and will agree, harm reduction not quit or die is the way forward.

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    2 October 2013

    Robert: That’s a very cynical view of the current situation. Unfortunately, I can’t find any evidence that would prove you wrong. I didn’t use to be this cynical until I began advocacy work in this area and observed how opponents of tobacco harm reduction used logical fallacies, guilt by association, card stacking (omitting information that doesn’t match their theory), name-calling, and other propaganda techniques to drum up popular support for their fear-mongering viewpoint. I agree with Brian, that it is scary that, should the governments proceed in the direction they are pointing now, the market for e-cigarettes will be protected for the tobacco companies. And Pharma will continue to profit both from repeat customers who relapsed after using their smoking cessation products and from the diseases developed by those who were unable to escape from smoke by inadequate treatments from Big Pharma and inadequate substitutes from Big Tobacco.

    And he is absolutely right that nobody asks his opinion. Consumers need to have a seat at the table when regulation of products they use are being discussed. Both the regulators and the manufacturers think they know best what we need.

  • Mike
    1 October 2013

    This stinks more than the propaganda ads you’ve made using donation money given to you in good faith to fund cancer research, my blood was boiling when I saw you using children to read the scripts given to them saying things like “I like this one because it’s pink” and “I like the pictures!” etcetera.

    I didn’t start smoking because I thought it looked cool, or because of the shape/colour of a cigarette packet, or because it had a picture of someone with throat cancer on it, I knew fully well that they caused death and disease too. I started smoking through experimentation, because it was easy to steal the odd cigarette from my parents packet, also because cigarettes were so cheap and it was easy to fool the staff at the petrol station that I looked 16 at the time. I also experimented with weed, LSD, magic mushrooms in my youth too and none of them came in a shiny packet or had “nice” scary pictures on them either.

    You have it totally wrong why you “never smokers/anti tobacco campaigners” say smokers start, the gateway arguments etcetera. Rather than dream up excuses of why you think children and adults start smoking tobacco, your kind should research why smokers really start.

    The only real way to get people off of tobacco is to continue to price it out of their and their kids range while keeping inventions like e-cigs that work to replace the habit to a much safer one.

    An average e-cig starter kit costs around £30, through self regulation the suppliers said 18+, they use child safe bottle caps, chip compliance and pharma grade ingredients, existing trading standards laws ensure they provide good quality products, education of good safety practices when charging batteries, for example not leaving them unattended, in the sun, how to clean the contacts go a long way to ensure minimum venting incidents occur too.

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    Aha! If you post and it is waiting for moderation it does not appear when you return to the page. You have to load the page THEN RELOAD and it pops up – sorry everyone!

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    I have posted a response twice now but it looks like it has been moderated out. The language is ok. No individual has been slighted = I can only assume that we are getting too close to the truth for CRUK’s comfort. I will wait till tomorrow before trying again.

  • Robert Innes
    29 September 2013

    Elaine, Derrick, John – this is something which has been missing from this and other blogs. I hate to think of the effect on our culture and society which has resulted from the no-smoking campaigns over the last few years.

    I have been horrified at the vilification that victims of tobacco have had to suffer. I have watched normally reasonable people turn into animals at the mere mention of cigarettes. Of course tobacco is evil, but the people who are hooked on cigarettes are not.

    The tobacco industry are evil – they make money out of the suffering of ordinary folks the world over. So what if millions suffer and eventually die if they are making money? CRUK, ASH and the Pharma industry, and others, are now no better – they are prepared to see millions suffer and eventually die in order to protect their products; their positions and status.

    I do not think that the fact that their dishonesty, their double standards, their vicious attitude which will continue to rub off on the whole of society will worry them one little bit

    You have added a new and important dimension to the debate – well done!

  • reply
    Elaine Keller
    30 September 2013

    I appreciate the compliment, but I do disagree with one thing that you have said. “Tobacco is evil” is an idea that was planted 30 or so years ago at the start of the propaganda campaigns to eliminate all forms of tobacco from the face of the earth. (Look up “Godper blueprint”.)

    The true enemy isn’t people and it isn’t a product. We need to keep in mind that the true enemy is “morbidity and mortality”, aka “disease and death.” The plain fact is that all tobacco products are not created equal when it comes to the potential for imposing disease and premature death. There is a ton of evidence showing that inhaling smoke (from any product, not just tobacco) has a negative impact on lung health. Many people don’t know that cigar and pipe smokers (most of whom do not inhale) have 50% of the smoking related disease rates as cigarette smokers. If they inhale, risks are about equal to cigarettes.

    Smokeless tobacco at one time did impose risks of head, mouth, and neck cancers. However, growing methods and methods for curing tobacco have changed. Modern western smokeless tobacco (ST) products such as chewing tobacco, dip, and moist snuff do not cause lung disease and, in the words of nicotine toxicity expert Dr. Neal Benowitz, “The lack of increase in common cancers in lifelong ST users indicates that nicotine is not a general cancer promoter.” Surprised? The head, neck, and cancer rates are highest among cigarette smokers.

    As for heart attacks and strokes, Benowitz said, “Meta-analyses showing increased risk of MI and stroke in ST users are heavily weighted by CPS-I and CPS-II, which are older US studies with many methodologic problems. More recent Swedish studies and an NHANES study indicate minimal if any increased risk of CVD with ST.” These observations do not apply to ST products from Asia and Africa which often contain additional ingredients known to cause disease.

    Sweden, where a type of moist snuff called snus has become popular, has the lowest smoking rates and lung cancer rates of any country in the EU. Smokers who switched to snus have no higher rates of “tobacco related” disease than former smokers who gave up all use of nicotine. I put quotes around “tobacco related” because the real situation is that these diseases are attributable only to smoking. The “public health” propaganda campaign has gradually substituted the word “tobacco” for “smoking” in policies and in practice.

  • reply
    Brian Nightingale
    1 October 2013

    Tobacco is a just a plant so I don’t think it is evil. Tobacco companies well may be evil but so are the people who would stand in the way of harm reduction through some misguided ideology. Especially when they are making money out of other peoples misery.

    I have read parts of the godber blueprint. These people want a smoke free world. They’ve indoctrinated everyone from politicians to doctors to those ends. E cigs have put a spanner in the works for obvious reasons. I think they just wish e cigs would go away or wish they had never been invented. Which is why they want to limit their popularity and make them ineffective.

    I do not wish to live in their squeaky clean smoke free world. It would be a hell on earth for many of us. I enjoyed smoking and now I enjoy vaping.

  • Tom Gleeson
    29 September 2013

    “So we think it’s a great idea to bring e-cigarettes within MHRA licensing.”
    However when it comes to canabis;
    “It is not for Cancer Research UK to comment on the legal status of cannabis, its use or abuse as a recreational drug, or its medical use in any other diseases”
    Double standards?

  • Southern Vaper
    29 September 2013

    No matter how they wrap it up they are playing with my health and my freedom of choice………..I will not back anyone who decides they will tell me I have no choice.

    I also believe its wrapped up as it is to appeal and make the general public that dont know about ecigs get behind their decision when if they wrote what is really behind it which is £££££ not anyones health do we think it would be backed by the unknowing.

    I have heard of people saying I tried them but it has been proven that they are not good so the cherry picked, made up and often dramatised info is working on those who dont really know about them.

    After CRUK said they are a good thing and now really with the ban (or at least banning of anything that will work for people) it can only show one thing its all about the money or at least about the revenue losses.

    I am appalled CRUK have the standing to make point and back what they said in 2008 but choose not to why?????

    DO THE RIGHT THINK CRUK

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Spot on Derrick! Now we are getting to the heart of the matter.

  • Derrick
    28 September 2013

    It’s interesting how the official bodies (CRUK, MHRA, BMA) keep talking about continuing to denormalize smoking. The smoking ban was introduced on the grounds of the dangers of passive smoking, which is why it applies mainly to indoor areas. They are now saying the real reason was to denormalize smoking, and demonize smokers, so they can treat vapers in the same way. Now the public have got used to the smoking ban, and many people don’t understand that e-cigarettes don’t emit smoke, they’ll probably get away with extending the ban to e-cigarettes. It’s outrageous.

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Elaine,what a wonderful, beautiful insight into the reality of this issue. (taking the economics and politics out) Thank you for this powerful contribution.

  • Elaine Keller
    28 September 2013

    * what makes e-cigarettes beautiful could also make them dangerous – their replication of the act of smoking could be too close to the ‘real thing’ to allow smokers to ever effectively escape their tobacco habits and potentially to revert back to smoking tobacco;

    Actually, if well meaning “public health experts” would stop and talk to some vapers instead of exclusively to each other, they would learn something astounding. Using an e-cigarette with a pleasant flavour (instead of one that tastes like tobacco) extinguishes the liking of tobacco flavour and for many of us eliminates all urges to smoke, even if we later stop using an e-cigarette. For the sake of an unproven theory (that pleasant flavors attract and addict children) you would quash the first known method of getting rid of those life-long urges to smoke that continue to plague the majority of ex-smokers.

    * using e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas could potentially give smokers less motivation to quit smoking the rest of the time;

    Seeing e-cigarettes used in nice, comfy smoke-free areas gives conventional cigarette smokers the motivation to “come in from the cold” by switching to a product that could save their life!

    * and their use in smoke-free places and in marketing images could have a knock on effect of ‘renormalising’ smoking, by confusing or contradicting the messages about the harms of smoking. This could undermine public health efforts to deter young people from taking up smoking.

    If you are complaining that you will no longer be able to insult, denegrate, and torture former smokers for the sin of having been a smoker, don’t look to me for sympathy. Face it. You went overboard. You did not merely “denormalize” smoking, you demonized smokers. When it wasn’t enough to just banish them into the elements, out came the plans to kick them out of their homes, deny them employment, and take away their kids.

    If you want to get across a message about the harms of smoking, use actual communication and education methods rather than punishment. The more you punish, the more some folks will dig in and consider every word out of your mouth to be a lie. After all, look at the prevarication going on, just in these three bullet points. Start telling the truth about vaping, and maybe smokers will start believing what you tell them about smoking.

  • reply
    John
    29 September 2013

    Elaine Keller is absolutely spot on. I could not of put it better myself, i would of given 10 thumbs up if i could !

  • Gary
    28 September 2013

    18 months ago I had 7 strokes in 10 days. The doctor told me that if I had been a smoker I would be dead. I had been using an ‘e-cig’ for three months previously.
    E-cigs DO save lives. To regulate them is irresponsible.

  • Derrick
    28 September 2013

    Mick’s comment explains excellently why CRUK (and other official organisations like MHRA and BMA) are doing the wrong thing in advocating the medicalisation of e-cigarettes. It also explains why they are taking this route – to continue gaining short-term funding for extremely worthy research.

    The trouble is that these are the people that policy makers are listening to. Nobody seems to be listening to us – the people who are actually helping themselves to lead longer and healthier lives. I started vaping about 6 months ago, after smoking for about 45 years, and almost immediately stopped smoking. I just tried them out of cusiosity, with no intention of stopping smoking! I was able to choose the most appropriate devices and liquid to do this – something I would not be able to do if they become medicalised.

  • Gordon Beard
    28 September 2013

    Superbly crafted response Mick … deffo should be spread as far and wide as possible

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Mick. sorry!

  • Robert Innes
    28 September 2013

    Well said Mark. This should be shared all over the web!

  • Mick
    27 September 2013

    Allow me to paint the picture from someone involved in a manufacturing basis in the ENDS industry. My business produces E-liquid inside the EU.

    As such I have many EU directives ranging from the obvious health and safety to general consumer goods to obey and I do so. I also have both VAT and other taxes including capital gains to pay and I do so. In addition I also donate 4% on every sale to Irish Cancer research on one of our retail websites, I have not had the heart to pull the plug on that but I will withhold judgement until the end of October. We donate anonymously as ICR (Irish cancer Research) are opposed to e-cigs.

    I however will not put Irish, British and EU citizens lives in jeopardy due to the actions of a small number of folks in these organisation fearing the plug will be pulled on grants and donations they receive from large pharmaceuticals if they do not do as they are told.

    I understand your position CRUK and I sympathise but this is neither ethical, not does it serve you well…you must realise you are making an enemy of the future winners in this industry? Why on earth would you want to destroy future cooperation?

    I will consider (If you dropped this silly game) arranging a meeting with major UK vendors where the discussion would revolve around donations to CRUK and many if not all vendors and manufacturers as ex-smokers would applaud that notion.

    Otherwise you will suffer great harm in this battle and I cannot abide by that eventuality. We need to conquer this family of diseases and you are not helping now, you are part of the problem, you must accept that first.

    Either way if forced to demonstrate my products can do something they are not designed to do and cannot do (address nicotine dependence) then I will move my company, 10 jobs this year and 40 next year along with my donations, considerable fair play and a host of revenue for government out of the EU and sell my products direct to customers and vendors. Your belligerence will increase awareness and sales… be my guest, your paymasters will not be happy at the outcome anyway.

    I do not want or need to be put in this position but as an ex-smoker myself I will also not stand idly by whilst smokers die around me like flies and you as a charitable resource investigating these maladies side with those who make the most profit from the status quo and do so knowingly because I will not consider incompetence as being a valid argument in this matter. What you engage in here with politics and commercial interests is truly immoral and unethical.

    I would also like to point out that when this war is won, and it will be by those who see the reduction in smoking, the reduction in harm that these products bring, Then in the aftermath questions will be asked about the professionalism and actions of medical doctors within CRUK and the MHRA and I for one will be seeking a review by the BMA to inasmuch as possible apply a removal of license from those that clearly did not have the patients care at heart or concern. You cannot both play ball with the bad boys and retain the title of medical doctor at the same time.

    Anyway I meet with many of my competitors and colleagues at the e-cig summit in London on the 6th December… if you want to come along then get your act together.

    I cannot speak for other manufacturers or vendors but my gut feeling is that both they and I am sure the organisers would be both astounded and delighted were you to turn up. I also believe that vendors and the industry can offer a product that removes the dangers of cancer and cytotoxic compounds in general. I also believe we are the natural replacement for the friends you currently have. Plus we would work with CRUK and we have enthusiasm and real belief that the plague of cancer that kills almost 30% of all humans on this planet can be resolved scientifically.

    Please consider changing heart now…this industry will be worth billions in the very near future, we can help, please allow us to do so unhindered.

    Why do you need to increase the incidence of cancer through your actions?

    Were you to join with us to fight these diseases together we would be many times more effective than the experience of gums and patches which combines at the moment just short of placebo effect. They don’t work, I know it, you know it Pfizer knows it, even the customers know it despite the marketing dollars.

    You are also aware these products are designed that way…they re designed to fail, you know this yourselves…what on earth are you doing?

    Remember that oath… the words you undertook at the outset… Do you remember it? Let me refresh your memory

    “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

    Did you all mumble those words whilst looking at your watch?

    What part of that is difficult to understand CRUK? Should you really be embarrassed into acquiescence to good over harm?

    At what point did protecting your funding for short term gain come before destroying an industry that kills millions? You are destroying your own bedrock of support and by the time this passes to law you will have alienated you own supporters, that cannot be a good thing for any of us.

    I feel embarrassed that those who undertake a project with so much promise are also members of the same species that now seek to do so much harm… shame on you, shame on me for letting you do this.

  • dan
    26 September 2013

    Quoting Cancer Research UK – “”More attractive and efficient pure nicotine products which contain only nicotine and not any other tobacco constituents are needed for heavily addicted smokers. Currently NRT is regulated as a medicine and its availability is restricted. These barriers to product development and must be removed…”

    You’ve got your wish… now you want to ban it?

  • Orb Skewer
    26 September 2013

    I have E-mailed a link of this page, and all its comments (which I ‘screen printed’ in case any go missing) to my UKIP MP.

  • aires
    26 September 2013

    we all know why the goverment want to ban ecigs –

    According to the latest numbers because of the people that already switched from traditional cigarettes to the electronic cigarette, the UK Government is losing out on around £25 million pounds a week! thats a £25 miilion loss every single week! and the US goverment is losing around £125 million pounds every week too! This is serious money and in a time of recession this is a reason for concern.

    http://electroniccigarettebud.co.uk/why-the-laws-on-electronic-cigarettes-might-change-in-us-and-uk/

  • Gordon Beard (@GordonAlanBeard)
    25 September 2013

    If you are disorganised like me you may not be aware that a new blog appeared today on here advocating the TPD and of course focussed on Plain Packaging and has virtually ignored e-cigs in this rabble rousing blog to gain the innocents to support the TPD proposals . New blog is here http://t.co/8N8LqjPBB0, in no way do I wish to detract from this frankly fantastic blog and this should keep on going as long as we feel it should