Tuesday, 20 October 2015

E-cig April Fools' jokes becomes reality?

Seems to me it's in the UK all the fun is happening at the moment. While most of the European vapers, Norwegians included, are struggling hard with stubborn, clueless, greedy public health officials and politicians, eager to make sure their sin taxes are not lost, the UK probably has the strongest public health support in the world right now. Since Public Health England did a U-turn, publishing their famous report concluding that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes, it seems to me that things are moving in the right direction. I'm not saying they're there yet. There are still some pretty big obstacles in the way, the TPD being by far the biggest one in my opinion, but when they're discussing whether e-cigs should be provided on the NHS they're obviously miles ahead of the rest of us. Back here in Norway we're still fighting our Health Minister that wants plain packaging... on snus(!). Great article on his failures here by the way (Google translates "snus" to "snuff", and you should be aware that "Sats" is a well known fitness center chain in Norway).

This morning I read the Ashtray blogs' post on E-cigarette Summit III, which I think will be an extremely interesting event. The one thing that really caught my attention was the paragraph on "The tobacco endgame":
Perhaps the most controversial presentation will made by the Royal Society of Public Health.
The society will ask if we should encourage all smokers towards safer nicotine products, making cigarettes as we know them today illegal.
The reason for this?
They feel that now we have e-cigs, there’s no need for tobacco cigarettes.
The funny thing is that I ran this post on the April 1st 2014. In my April Fools post I had our prime minister stating that "With the new electronic cigarettes there is no need for the deadly tobacco cigarettes any more". Pretty much the same that RSPH now suggests. A lot of people actually believed that post by the way, some French forums went all crazy about it. Now I do realize that there is quite a long way from RSPH calling for a ban on tobacco cigarettes, replacing them with e-cigs, to a government implementing it, but it's still quite interesting to see that someone is actually suggesting it. I don't believe the WHO has ever done that. They instead want to ban what could lead to the tobacco endgame. For this reason, Margaret Chan will now receive "Winston Man" David Goerlitz' medal "World Health Medal of Honor" back with instructions to "put it where the sun does not shine". Great gesture, David!

I have to admit I do think it will be a while until we see an actual tobacco ban. I'm not sure it would really be the way to go either, at least not yet. But who knows. Since April 1st 2014 quite a lot has happened, at least in the UK. The things we believed back then would never happen... well have a look at the Ashtray blog's post from April 1st 2014: Massive EU About Turn on Ecigs. Quite far fetched back then, but the U-turn that UK Public Health have done isn't that far away from what James' joked about back then.

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