UK vaping needs to mobilize now if it is to fight off a World Health Organization proposal of a total UK vaping ban of ‘open systems‘ and even e-liquid flavours.
The warning comes from the New Nicotine Alliance that says the WHO’s plan is “no empty threat“.
It warns that complacency from vapers and the vaping industry could lead to the UK Government doing an about turn and following the WHO’s proposal.
Scary times indeed for us all, and more from the NNA in a moment.
OK, take a breath, however, you can’t fail to have noticed the UK and indeed world media is filled with stories suggesting the UK is about to ban vaping.
Check out my article UK Vape Ban? Nope Just the WHO Being Reckless and Stupid As Usual… for more background.
The UK vaping industry has been quick to respond with the Independent British Vaping Trade Association [IBVTA] claiming to not know anything about the WHO proposal adding:
This wealth of credible independent data has given the Government the confidence to take a more positive position towards vaping and the regulation of vaping.
There is a thriving and responsible vape industry serving these consumers, and smoking rates are at a record low level.
It would be highly unlikely that the Government would pivot from their current supportive position on the basis of advice from the WHO, and ban the most effective and popular method of quitting used by the majority of vapers; open systems.
This story therefore, appears to be a non story. Misleading at best, at worst an outright case of “fake news”.
Unfortunately for them, and indeed ASH that also denied any knowledge of this plan, this is a WHO policy proposal and as you’ll see, stems from a report by the Director-General of the WHO back in December last year.
John Dunne, the Director General at the UK Vaping Industry Association [UKVIA] was a little more forthright in his reaction accusing the WHO of becoming an “enemy of harm reduction” adding:
While the WHO is scheduled to hold a crucial summit on vaping in November 2021, known as COP9, it continues to find itself at odds with health and industry advocates.
Certain WHO positions are now so out of date, and so thoroughly refuted by the experts, that they may as well be saying the earth is flat.
They deviate dramatically from leading experts, including Public Health England (PHE) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
Take for example vaping helping people to quit smoking, which the WHO says there is ‘little evidence’ of.
As early as 2019 clinical trials were finding vaping to be almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Martin Cullip, chair of the New Nicotine Alliance, says it’s not fake news and MUST be taken seriously:
The recent national news stories reporting on the threat of the WHO recommending a ban on open systems come from a report by the Director-General of the WHO on 23rd December 2020.
It advises the Executive “to prohibit electronic nicotine delivery systems and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems over which the user can control device features and liquid ingredients (that is, open systems)”.
This is not an empty threat, especially considering the WHO’s extremely hostile stance towards vaping, and is very likely to be proposed at The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s (FCTC) COP9 in The Hague in November.
It is important that vapers fight developments like this because it is not a scare story, it is true.
UK Vaping Ban Proposal Clearing Up the Confusion
Martin was at pains to make it clear this WHO UK vaping ban plan was NOTHING to do with Brexit adding:
The WHO has made many noises recently about their aspiration to ban flavours and open systems, the document in December just formalised their stance.
Many seem to be mixing up Brexit and FCTC.
The FCTC is an international legal treaty; as such it is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed in good faith.
We signed and ratified the FCTC so we are a ‘Party’, so yes, we can very easily be impacted by it.
The WHO isn’t a regulator, but it acts like it is, and policy-makers treat guidelines like regulations.
If this recommendation is accepted, it would make the UK look completely out of step with the rest of the world, whereas we want the WHO to look completely out of step with what rational people want and believe.
It is also rather complacent to think that the UK will never act on such an absurd policy proposal.
“A week is a long time in politics”, as they say, and it would not take much shift in emphasis for proposals like this to be considered, especially if politicians feel they are an outlier to a global consensus.
The NNA welcomed this news coverage because it publicised the threat that the WHO poses to vaping and presented it loudly to exactly those who need to know of its existence, vaping consumers, especially the 77% of UK vapers who currently use open systems.
It’s Time For UK Vaping To Step UP
There you have it and from the real folks in the know.
Whilst this WHO UK vaping ban plan is only on the agenda for discussion at the moment, it is possible the UK Government could be swayed by world opinion.
Let’s face it, our government isn’t exactly showing a spine at the moment…
If it does crumble in the face of the growing anti-vaping campaigns, then yes, vaping could very well be banned on these shores like it is in over 30 countries.
Now really is the time for the industry and vapers to step up and stop this ridiculous bordering on criminal action from the WHO.
I’ll have links on how to get involved at the bottom of this vape news update.
And if you have any thoughts and opinions on the proposed UK vaping ban plan – let me know in the comments below.
Right, on with the rest of the midweek vaping news:
Puff Bar Back On Sale In the USA!
Popular disposable pod kit Puff Bar has swapped tobacco based nicotine for synthetic and is now back on sale in America!
This is going to be a real test for the Food and Drugs Administration and I’m pretty sure court cases are on the horizon – we’ll see.
The FDA announced the crackdown on sealed disposable pod kits last summer. A loophole in the current US vape laws had meant vape set-ups like these were exempt from any ban.
Puff Bar removed its products – without being ordered to – following FDA warning letters to it and 7 other vape companies including mild mannered Eleaf!
The news has really, and I mean really pissed off Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, always good to see lol.
He told the media:
This is a brazen attempt to continue to sell the flavored products that are now fueling the youth e-cigarette epidemic without any regulation whatsoever.
Newsflash Matty, there ain’t no teen vape epidemic!
The Puff Bar website states:
As a demonstrated pledge to premium quality, Puffs nicotine-based products are created with tobacco-free nicotine.
Our nicotine-based products are crafted from a patented manufacturing process, not from tobacco.
The result? A virtually tasteless, odorless nicotine without the residual impurities of tobacco-derived nicotine.
This dramatically improves flavor while still maintaining the same satisfaction smokers are seeking from their nicotine.
The FDA says it will be investigating the matter to see if there’s the even the slightest ‘tobacco related components‘ within the device.
Good luck with that lol.
NZ Vapers Fighting To Keep Flavours
A petition to stop any New Zealand flavour ban with over 17,000 signatures has been ignored by the NZ government!
Yup – that’s exactly what’s happened.
The Ministry of Health has written to the government committee looking at a possible flavour ban and told them to dismiss the thoughts of 17,357 people!
Christ all mighty, the world has gone bloody mad and democracy is becoming a faint shadow of what it was – especially where vaping is concerned…
Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), said she was ‘disappointed‘ – an understatement to say the least.
She’s now calling on the country’s top health bosses to ‘follow the evidence and not the emotion‘.
We know vapers quit smoking with fruit and dessert flavours, not tobacco, menthol, or mint flavours, as they are not looking for a cigarette taste but to move away from cigarettes.
Consumers are angry, and the independent industry is looking down the barrel of being run out of existence thanks to unnecessary restrictions, huge fees, and added costs.
Limiting flavours will defeat the whole purpose of regulation. It will play straight into the hands of Big Tobacco and alarming will see the growth of an underground, unregulated market offloading flavours with no quality standard.
…Our best chance is the new Associate Health Minister and the new Health Select Committee Chair. My petition signed by over 17,000 Kiwis may have been dismissed by the Ministry, but these two public health experts shouldn’t be in such a rush.
Let’s not make much safer vaping less attractive to smokers on 11 August.
We really are living in crazy times when vapers are fighting for their very right to vape.
We shall of course keep you informed of any developments.
UK National No Smoking Day – Time To Quit!
This time next week sees the UK National No Smoking Day and the perfect time to quit completely or make the switch to healthier e-cigarettes and vaping.
Despite all the negative news stories in the media surrounding all things vape, the UK Government says smokers unable to quit cold turkey or by any other means should try e-cigarettes.
Indeed, a recent report from Public Health England shows beyond doubt that e-cigarettes with the right vape juice are far more likely to help smokers succeed in stubbing out the habit than Big Pharma patches, sprays and nicotine gums.
As for stop smoking medication – the side effects of those are worrying to say the least including many reports and studies of pills such as Champix leading to suicidal tendencies.
This years UK National No Smoking Day is on Wednesday March 10th 2021 [a week today] – and this year’s theme is “Quitting Doesn’t Need To Be Stressful“.
I’m sure the millions of UK vapers that quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes can attest to that.
Not only will the correct strength e-liquid help crave the nicotine pangs, but the hand to mouth and inhale and exhale mimics smoking, something the British Psychological Society explained in its backing of vaping as a quit smoking tool.
So…if you, a friend or family member is looking to quit smoking, make the plans now – check out our Best Kits For Making the Switch and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below – there’s usually someone around 🙂
Good luck – you got this!
More vape news on Sunday…
Until then, this is NO time for UK vapers to become complacent.
Whilst the UK Government generally supports vaping, all this could change at a moment’s notice.
You only have to look at how it has dithered – and some might say overacted – to the apparent COVID-19 ‘crisis‘ to see how it can do a 180 very very quickly.
It really is time for you and the wider vaping industry to step up and get their collective voices heard.
And all of you, PLEASE take a moment or two to fill in the UK Government’s Open Consultation On Vaping:
Your thoughts – opinions – comments and personal stories on how vaping has saved your life and improved your health WILL show the UK Government vaping is here to stay.
But you need to step up and step up NOW!
Remember me banging on about the TPD and calling for vapers to act to stop the silly rules like 10ml bottles and 2ml tanks..?
Now is NOT the time to become complacent.
Once again, instead of that ‘hand-check‘ of your latest set-up, push the fight to save UK vaping and please do it today…
If we don’t act, that hand check may well only appear in your Facebook memories…