A sea change, a shift in attitude, positive noises, these are all phrases that have been attributed to the information that is suddenly coming out of Public Health England (PHE) in regards to their attitude towards e cigarettes.
But have things really changed, and if so what?
For one thing, the evidence is really starting to stack up. We’ve now more of it, and more people, especially the right people are finally sitting up and taking notice.
They are engaging and listening.
Just a shame that the TPD has already been rushed into being, behind closed doors and without the consultation it truly deserved.
PHE have written in a report they commissioned from Professor Robert West regarding electronic cigarettes:
“The emergence of electronic cigarettes and the likely arrival of more effective nicotine-containing devices currently in development provides a radical alternative to tobacco, and evidence to date suggests that smokers are willing to use these products in substantial numbers. Electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine devices, therefore offer vast potential health benefits, but maximising those benefits while minimising harms and risks to society requires appropriate regulation, careful monitoring, and risk management. However the opportunity to harness this potential into public health policy, complementing existing comprehensive tobacco control policies, should not be missed.” (Emphasis mine)
So, winds of change or are will still heading straight for the mother of all storms that will decimate e cigs in 2016/12017?
What we know is that people, (scientists, civil servants) that were wary of e cigarettes before, are now changing their opinions. ASH is a case in point. These previously cautious folk are now engaging with vapers. This was evident this month when vapers were invited to attend a symposium about e cigarettes on the 15th May. Their views were heard, acknowledged, and in several cases agreed with.
This recent engagement does make a change from the rest of Europe where e cigarettes are being banned from use in public places left right and centre. This very same ban has been muted for England, though PHE are denying it is an action they want to take at present, but it is under consideration currently in Wales.
But what’s the use of this sea change if the TPD is already done and dusted? Will the regulations be enforced despite of all the information that is now pouring out about e cigarettes not being a gateway product, not being attractive to the younger members of society, and that actually, nicotine is not the badass chemical it is made out to be?
I can’t answer that here, as I unfortunately don’t have a crystal ball – but what we do know is the guys and gals that help write the policy for the UK, and will be involved in implementing the TPD, now know more about e cigarettes than they ever have done, they are starting to understand them from the point of the user and the effects that the TPD will have on the market.
Plus, we still have another two years to go…. so who knows what will come out by then. Who knows how many long-term trials will have been completed, and who knows how many more myths will have been disabused. One can hope that it will become impossible for the powers that be to implement the TPD as currently is.
The main PHE concern currently stands around re normalisation and long-term use, i.e. what will the effects be on the health of the vaper ?
Yet there are still storm clouds. The re-normalisation theory as yet is unproven either way, and in a post written last week for PHE by Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s National Director for Health and Wellbeing, he wrote : “PHE supports the regulation by the MHRA of nicotine-containing products – including e-cigarettes – as medicines”.
So that card is still very much in play it would seem.
It seems there is still a way to go in persuading them that e cigs need only light touch regs’, but at least there are signs of understanding and a possible sea change….
I guess we have to cling to that hope.
Professor Fenton ends his post by saying “This is the beginning of an on going dialogue with a wide range of individuals and organisations as we develop our policy and action: I look forward to it”.
And he is keeping to his it word it seems – at least on his blog post – he has engaged, but what he said in response to a question re the MHRA and med regs’ was this: “ As a member state of the EU the UK must abide by TPD. Therefore the choice we face now is TPD plus medicines regulations, or TPD alone. I can assure you, PHE will be working hard to encourage a real choice of safe and effective products made widely available to meet the needs of people trying to cut down or quit.”
Looks like we need some stronger trade winds yet…
It’s not often we write about new products on the blog, we generally leave that to Facebook or Newsletters.
But we’ve an exclusive here, so we want to brag about it across all our social media.
We want to brag and boast and let you know exactly why our new e cigarette is the best.
Why the go e cig is the cartomizer kit must have.
First up, it’s been designed in the UK by an engineering team that knows their stuff.
It’s been designed by the same people that made the Odyssey.
And as if that wasn’t good enough, it’s been manufactured by the top team in China, and is exclusive to TECC.
No one else can get their hands on it.
So why are we so excited about the new go e cig? What’s so cool about what is essentially yet another cartomizer kit, to add to the plethora of cartomizer kits out there?
As I’ve already mentioned its been designed by guys that know their stuff, so they have made this e cig seamless. It is so easy to use, no fiddling, no re wiring, just screw it together and go.
They have deliberately used 510 connections, (unique in the cartomizer world) so you can swap tanks and atomizers if you so choose. They have deliberately incorporated a passthrough as the charging cable – (I mean why not?), they’ve kept it classy and simple, but they’ve ensured quality.
And because it is so good, we are going to use it to replace four of our e cigarettes that have been selling day in day out since TECC began back in 2008.
We’ve finally found an e cig that has given us the confidence to stop stocking the Super, the Mini, the iClear and Microlite.
That’s right folks – it’s also the end of an era!
But to the important question…..
How does it vape?
Well, as you would expect from the guys that made the odyssey – (have I said that already?) it vapes very very well – and this is no BS marketing – I heard the pleasant surprise in quite a few peoples voices when they tried the go, as the vapour production is pretty impressive for such a slim device. The battery is quite hefty for its size too, lasting a good 3 hours before needing a recharge, and of course, with the passthrough charging lead, you can still vape while it’s charging!
We’ve been a tad creative with the e liquid – not just the usual choice of ‘tobacco and menthol’ – no, we know how much you guys like your fruity vapes, so there are also 5 fruit flavours that you can choose from – apple, strawberry, cherry, raspberry and honeydew melon.
So all that remains now is for you to go and have a gander at it here – you will be shocked at just how awesome and affordable this e cig is – and I’m pretty sure it will be in your collection soon –
So go and have a look and give it a whirl!
All of you will have read in the news or seen on the television the recent stories about e cigs exploding. Tragic though they are, these kinds of events can be prevented.
Because it’s not about the e cig, it’s about the lithium battery that runs the cig.
Vaping is not like smoking where you just take the fag out the packet, spark up and off you go, vaping involves circuitry, electronics and lithium batteries. The lithium batteries are the part of the e cigs that you need to know how to treat with respect and look after.
We have written a few posts already about batteries, one is about working out how long you can expect your charged battery to last, and the other is sage advice that we issued back in 2012 when an unfortunate man in America modified his e cig, didn’t appear to understand what he was doing, and unfortunately the e cig blew up.
Links to these posts are here:
Due to the recent article in the press, it is time we revisited the care and maintenance of lithium batteries, and introduce you to some recent leaflets and cards that we have had printed. Every customer of ours will receive this information through the post and in their kits – we don’t want any of you not to know!
One of the most important points to remember when buying an electronic cigarette – from us or from anywhere else is DO NOT MIX YOUR CHARGERS. Always use the charger that came with the battery.
Always buy from a reputable vendor.
Check the packaging for CE and ROHS markings, and if you are unsure of the quality, make sure that the vendor can prove their authenticity.
Do not keep your battery in extreme temperatures – they don’t like it!
Again – (because this is really worth repeating) only use charging equipment that came with your e cig or battery, do not mix from another vendor, and do not use chargers that look broken or damaged.
Do not leave charging batteries unattended, and never leave them charging overnight while you are sleeping.
Do not put your batteries in water, don’t carry them around with lose change or metal objects, and if they look as if they are leaking or damaged, discard of them appropriately.
Do clean the connection between the battery casing and the atomizer/tank/ cartomizer. A simple wipe round with a cotton bud or tissue once a week is often enough.
This is simple common sense advice, but it is also life saving advice, and we urge you all to follow it!
Please inwardly digest this information – it may just prevent you battery from overheating and causing some serious damage.
What’s the future of electronic cigarettes, now the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) has been passed?
In a nutshell it will look something like this:
- E liquid to be sold in bottles no larger than 10mls.
- Tanks not to exceed 2mls capacity.
- Bans on promoting electronic cigarettes, possibly including forums and online vaping broadcasts.
- E liquid to have no higher nicotine concentration than 20mg/ml.
Much of what we know and love now; the sonic screwdrivers, the box mods, the weird and wonderful characters, they will all have disappeared. They will either be too large for the new regulations; will not pass the new regulations due to technical or financial obstacles, or the manufacturer will have decided the new regulations are impossible and so have shut up shop, or worse, gone underground.
So, what’s next? What now?
Here at TECC we are seeking clarity on much of the TPD, as the devil is very much in the detail. We want to know schedules of implementation, technical definitions etc, and we will challenge as much as we can. The Advertising Standards Authority is already holding a consultation on e cig advertising, as they want to have temporary guidelines in place until the new laws come into force.
Understanding the schedules and technical aspects of implementation will inform the next two years of the business, and we will need to know at a minimum the following:
How long will it take for the UK government to change the UK law so it fits EU law?
How long will it take for the government to come up with the specs for leak proof and tamper proof e cigs?
What if the specifications are unobtainable/impossible to achieve? What then? Will there have to be amendments? Will this all lead to court cases? Are there existing glaring issues that can be challenged straight away?
We will do our best to engage with policy makers, and we will do what we can to show the TPD for what it truly is – ill thought out legislation, concocted behind closed doors by people who are clueless as to what public health really means.
But what does this mean for you, our customer?
Should you start to buy in bulk and start to store and freeze and build up reserves?
As we’ve already stated, we need a lot more information, but things are not going to be changing overnight, so no need to panic. It will be months before we get any of the answers to the questions above.
Don’t waste your money on vape gear you won’t need or ever use, just because you are frightened they will all be cleared off the shelves next week.
They won’t be.
Plus, we usually have quite a few discounts bobbing around, so if you do want to panic buy, panic buy sensibly!
We will continue to stock new and exciting products, we are going to continue to expand and basically keep on being TECC. We will of course keep you informed, as we have throughout this entire journey, should anything change.
But what can you do for Vaping?
Vaping has undoubtedly changed your life for the better, so now that it is under threat, what can you do for vaping?
First suggestion is to sign this petition: http://www.efvi.eu.
If the organisers can get 1 million signatures from across the EU, then the EU Parliament have to take out the TPD and have another look at it.
Second suggestion is to write to your MP and MEP. Vapers are voters. MPs and MEPs are normal everyday folk that have put themselves forward to be OUR representatives. You can easily find your MP and MEP here:
Be polite, and tell them a) what electronic cigarettes have done for you, and b) why the TPD is such a bad idea.
And don’t panic, TECC will still be here.
Most people that are connected with the anti smoking industry (deliberate use of the word industry), are working for all the right reasons; they genuinely want to see people stop smoking, they want to stop people from starting smoking and from harming themselves with tobacco use.
Yet recent discoveries appear to indicate that there are a few within the industry who may not be quite so altruistic, have possibly a little too much influence and can direct the flow of finances. Some it seems, are quite partial to the money flowing towards themselves, as Dick Puddlcoat discovered and published on his website in an article ‘Wheels within Wheels’.
He mentions one smoking cessation group in particular.
Smoke Free South West (SFSW) are a very successful anti smoking campaign group, and from estimates alone for the years 2010/2011, it would appear they have been awarded a staggering £2.5 million of taxpayers money.
Of which a fair few pennies are spent on expensive advertising campaigns.
OK, you might think, I can live with that, as we all need educating and smoking is not the best thing for you.
More information has recently come to light due to the beleaguered South West reviewing their finances. With austerity measures, massive government cutbacks and now serious flooding within the region, anti smoking is no longer at the top of the agenda and that money needs to be spent on more immediate needs – such as shelter and repairs for those who’s houses two months later, are still under 3ft of rancid sewage water.
The financial breadcrumb trail of revealing information starts with SFSW, taking a huge hand out from the government, (approx. 2.5 million) which then moves to a website – Tobacco Tactics.
Tobacco Tactics (TT) is a website funded and founded by Smoke Free South West. TT was awarded £350,000 – (this is a lot of money to set up a website) – of said taxpayer’s money from SFSW to set up and for running costs. TT’s aim is to expose the Tobacco Industry and some of the dubious deals and methods used to get and keep people hooked on cigarettes. The idea behind this website is education; give knowledge to the general public who in return might think anti tobacco is the way to go.
Tobacco tactics work in conjuction with Cancer Research UK and Bath University.
Bath University employ some top anti smoking experts, who are very anti smoking, that have amassed accolade after accolade of anti tobacco smoking awards and medals to their name.
A member of staff at Bath University is also a member of Smoke Free South West Steering Committee and Programme Board. This means they are one of the members that decide where the money from SFSW goes.
As an employee of Bath University, this person’s employer benefits from SFSW funding by working with TT.
A re cap on how this works:
SFSW lobby the government with your tax money, (given to them by the government), to implement the beliefs they have about how you should stop smoking. They funnel that money into institutions they believe in,( and work for?) and the government listen to SFSW and do as they advise.
This is one very broken system.
This system benefits a few opinionated people that know how to throw a proposal together to get funding from the government, and then are given carte blanche to dictate to us how we should live our lives.
We know the government is not keen to endorse electronic cigarettes, we know they have close relationships with the anti smoking industry, and we know the government has chosen NOT to engage with the e cig Industry over regulatory issues.
Yet doesn’t this seem rather incestuous and somehow morally bankrupt, that a group of people can petition the government for money, and then have the government’s ear to their thoughts and beliefs? And then to add insults to injury have the government implement those beliefs, even if scientist and public health experts have proved them wrong?
In real terms there has been no movement forward in reducing numbers of smokers until e cigarettes came onto the market. NRT fail rate is appalling and it is quite right that the myth that it works at all is well and truly exposed.
This week we have found out due to an FOI request that GSK have been lobbying against e cigarettes from the start, and effectively lobbying too. Some of you may remember that Linda McAvan had an image of Nicorette products in her e-mail to all MEPs when she wrote encouraging them to medicalise electronic cigarettes.
E cigarettes are a real and tangible threat to the smoking cessation industry. The sales of e cigarettes have already outstripped the sale of NRT within Europe and this has been a public lead revolution, no governments, smoking cessation groups or NGO´s involved.
Are e cigarettes not only the tobacco industries Kodak moment, but also the smoking cessation industry´s too?
One could argue that the gravy train of smoking cessation has had its time, and it absolutely needs to stop taking the taxpayer for a ride.