“MOSCOW — Russia’s economy minister was detained overnight on charges of soliciting a $2 million bribe about a huge oil deal, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday.
The minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, 60, was the highest-level official arrested in Russia since a failed coup in 1991. He was detained in the middle of the night, a tactic reminiscent of the Soviet era that has not been seen in recent years.”
So, what has this to do with e-cigarettes?
Well, the people at the top, in any country, are not to be trusted. In this instance rules governing vaping products are, sorry, apologies were, in the hands of a man, ‘possibly,’ wide open to bribery. We see this connection in a tiny paragraph (third from last) in an article not dealing with vaping.
Nothing new in this! In the EU, the initial TPD was influenced by a Commissioner, who, like his ‘buddy’ above, was open to financial inducement. I am not sure what the ‘upper limit’ for ‘acceptable bribery’ in the EU is, but this chappie obviously exceeded it.
The ‘gentleman’ in question was, John Dalli. The BBC reported…
“EU anti-fraud agency, Olaf, had earlier delivered a report asserting that Mr Dalli had held unauthorised secret meetings with tobacco industry representatives.”
But, wait for it…
Dalli argued that the money was not for him, and that he was transferring the money to help some friends who in turn wanted to help a charity in Africa.”
No corruption at the top? Step forward Santa ‘Claws.’
James Dunworth who looked at this affair states…
“Over the years, I’ve seen a fair amount of evidence which suggests that anti-e cig movement could at least in part be financially motivated:
- a payment to a Senator in the US who had spoken out against e cigs.
- politicians who have expressed dismay at the loss of tobacco tax revenue.
- Payments to MHRA (now calling for medicalisation of e cigs) staff from pharmaceutical companies.”
It is naïve in the extreme to think that corruption is not rife in the war against vaping.
Corrupt government officials: University departments depending on pharmaceutical company grants for their research; researchers who are incompetent in the field of e cigarette research; ingrained prejudice and zealotry; downright ignorance of the facts, and worst of all, an organisation who everyone relies on for accuracy and expertise, the World Health Organisation, forging ahead in the vanguard of inaccuracy, deceit, secrecy and dare I say it…
I have no need to say it, have I?
Everything expressed in this article is the personal view of the writer.