14 Comments

  1. Steven Raith

    Yes, but on the flipside, the EU is forcing the TPD on us, Article 21 of which prevents the promotion and profligation of electronic cigarettes. Anyone who claims these are even remotely as dangerous as lit tobacco is either uninformed, or just wholly corrupt.

    Why is the EU trying to force people into staying on lit tobacco, which is known to kill 1 in 2 users – whereas e-cigarettes have never been shown to even acutely harm – never mind kill – anyone, in the decade they’ve been on the market?

    There’s more to this than hyperbolic headlines. The EU needs to play catchup with the science of the day before ramming laws down peoples throats, or it needs to be more open to vetos on refressive, poorly thought out laws.

    I welcome input – ideally educated – from the so called experts who have signed this letter, on the subject of real world harm reduction.

    Pretty sure we won’t get it though.

    • Rob Davidson

      Hi, so I looked up the new Tobacco Products Directive
      http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/docs/dir_201440_en.pdf

      It’s article 20 that deals with e-cigarettes. It’s clear that the majority of the article is about ensuring standards, ingredient quality and monitoring for adverse affects.

      It does also state that member states should not allow advertising of e-cigarettes but I’m not sure why that should be a problem – e-cigarettes do appear to have less side-effects than cigarettes but they still contain an addictive poison and full side-effects are yet unknown. We should not want the full weight of marketing agencies to get behind these products. We may wish for smokers to move over onto e-cigarettes but that doesn’t require broad spectrum advertising.

      As research is carried out, if medical opinion does form a consensus that smokers should choose e-cigarettes then doctors surgeries would still be able to have leaflets on this – newspapers would be able to report the findings of medical investigations etc. The directive is aimed at stopping companies from having sexy under-dressed models promoting this addictive substance to internet browsing children.

      One other thing about your comment – while you say that the EU is forcing these things on us, the directive was supported by the EU parliament (with our elected MEPs), the EU Council (with members of our elected UK government) and the EU Commission (with the commissioner nominated by our elected UK leader). We helped form this directive, it’s not being forced ‘on us by them’.

  2. Andy Bradford

    I would be very interested to know why McKee’s assumptions have any basis in reality when surely health professionals worldwide should be more than willing to share knowledge irrespective of financial/trade ties to other national bodies.

    • Rob Davidson

      Of course health professionals are keen to share knowledge – but it’s generally impossible to do without broader agreement on political considerations like ‘who owns the data from our NHS?’ and ‘who can access the data from our NHS?’

      Data sharing standards and legislation is just one example. There are many others – for example, we’re fast realising that a large percentage of total diseases are ‘rare diseases’ where each country doesn’t have enough cases to develop expertise in each one. To get best treatment we may send our patients abroad and other countries may send their patients here – but we need agreement on visas, payment of health costs, data sharing, health and safety and various other issues that come from/are tied to broader political discussions.

  3. […] Leaving the EU would be socially disastrous. The EU is about much more than trade. It shows how much can be achieved by working for shared values and concerns. It has been successful on environmental protection, which is why Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts, Greenpeace and others are campaigning to stay in the EU. The EU has given a minimum protection for workers’ rights through the Social Chapter. Here is the TUC providing briefings on the impact Brexit might have on hard won rights. Leaving the EU would also have negative repercussions on the NHS, as argued by health professionals. […]

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