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When I first looked up and saw that the clouds were coming from the south, I felt content – they were moving in the right direction and it was a sign that winter was over and that warmer weather was on the way: When Public Health England, and The Royal College of Physicians, started to promote vaping as at least 95% safer than smoking, I felt satisfaction, contentment. This feeling was though tempered by a niggling sensation that all was not right. I wondered about the timing of their action – just after the establishment of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). But I dismissed the sensation and bathed and luxuriated in anticipation of a new warmer climate.

Then, just after the announcement of the FDA regulations on vaping, just a few weeks ago, an odd thing happened. I looked up, and in a tiny break in the clouds, high up in the troposphere, the clouds seemed, once again, to be moving in opposite directions. Was I just imagining things? I dismissed the thought and settled back.

What I had actually spotted was a news release, dated, August 17: 2016, about research from Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park. Here it was stated:

This study suggests that smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes and stop smoking tobacco cigarettes may significantly reduce their exposure to many cancer-causing chemicals.” It was however, noted by some, that this research had been carried out five years previously, so why the delay in announcing the findings? It seems they were too busy. But, let us face it, it was good news and to be welcomed.

Added to this, in another recent announcement, Neil Benowitz states: “The reduced nicotine content cigarette and the emergence of non-combusted nicotine products like e-cigarettes should be viewed not as alternatives but as complementary components of regulatory interventions that could virtually end combusted tobacco use.

Of course we already know that reduced nicotine content leads to compensatory increased smoking. Clever is it not? Use of second rate e-cigarettes to bring smoking rates down a bit and reduced nicotine cigarettes to keep the rate up.

The clouds were indeed moving in opposite directions.

We need to get our skates on – this is the biggest threat to vaping that we have witnessed to date… Vaping is being hijacked.

***

When I first looked up, I thought, ‘imagination.’ The second time I looked up, I thought, ‘coincidence’, but the third time I looked up, I thought, ‘this is really happening’.

And in answer to the question posed by the title, I can only say that clouds are moved by forces which we do not fully understand – or can accurately predict… yet.

  • At the first glantz this may sound a little foil hatty.
    But think again!

    How did it all start?
    FDA and Pharmafia “experts” designing the TPD wanted full medical regulation for ecigs. Unexpected resistance by vapers was overwhelming. So they had to change course. Now they are taking the detour via prohibitive “regulation”.

    Do you really think they did abandon their original goals?

  • J. van Essen

    Mixed feelings here as well.
    Not only about the Roswell Park intentions and exorbitant delay between a test carried out with low number of participants and the interpretation of the results..
    We all know timing is everything, and with the demise of competition carefully planned and arranged with regulatory lawmakers, it’s time to give vaping a slighty better reputation so that Big T and Big P can step in with their alternative offerings and start reeking in big profits for themselves and already-existing or soon-to-be-implemented taxes and levies for governments.

    But also the UK situation is a tricky beehive..
    The approach in the UK is to entice producers to have their products VOLUNTARY tested and registered for medical, pharmaceutical use.. luring them in with the possibility of big profits, if they are being prescribed by doctors to people who want to stop smoking..
    It’s a backdoor to get them under pharma regulation – which is were they wanted vaping in the first place, and which was rejected or denied by judges.

    I am not sure the UK is 100% on our side. Maybe they are.
    Maybe they have an elaborate plan to turn vape devices into stop smoking devices only, instead of the long term nicotine replacement devices most vape enthusiasts are using them for.

    I for one have no intention to quit nicotine use, and love the reduced risk of vaping and no longer having to deal with the negative side effects of smoking (for relatives, friends, pets and environment).

    I am afraid that once a significant amount of products have been ‘licensed’ as medical/pharmaceutical products, they will restrict sale of unlicensed products, effectively creating a closed market situation as well. Don’t you think so too, Robert?

    I sincerely hope I am wrong on this one, as the UK’s pro-vaping stance seems to be our only hope for now.

    • Robert Innes

      Like you I have reservations about the motives of behind some positive sounding comment from people who previously had been against, or had stayed out of sight, with regard to vaping.

      In the UK PHE state…

      “The fact that no licensed EC are yet on the market suggests that the licensing route to market is not commercially attractive. The absence of non-tobacco industry products going through the MHRA licensing process suggests that the process is inadvertently favouring larger manufacturers including the tobacco industry, which is likely to inhibit innovation in the prescription market.”

      They however, later, argue that there are benefits for a ‘slimed down’ form of regulation – and of course this is overseen by the MHRA.

      But the biggest problem of all is the fact that it is seen as smoking prevention (where it is very effective) the problem is that it is not seen as a pleasurable pastime. (This attude in itself is enough to put smokers off trying vaping. Who wants to turn to a medicine to CURE smoking?.)

      Vaping is an alternative to smoking; It is a choice. It is not a medicine any more than it is a tobacco product.

      It is, on one hand, brilliant for PHE to take the stance they have in the interest of people who are smokers. but they should not turn their attention to vapers and vaping because it is not [yet?] a health issue and as such is none of their, or anyone else’s business.