Anyway, as many of you might be aware of already, the Norwegian government, or actually the Ministry of Health and care services, have proposed to legalize the sale of e-cigarettes in Norway... TPD style (follow the links in that post for more background info). I find this quite important so I've tried to squeeze in a little time to give you an update now.
|The Norwegian parliament|
There were also quite a few others who commented on the proposal.Some like the proposal as it is, saying that they think e-cigarettes are a great idea, which shows they have no idea what this proposal will do to vaping. Others want to keep e-cigarettes with nicotine illegal and even want stricter rules. All of these seem to be pretty convinced by the gateway theory. This again shows the devastating effects of copy-paste scaremongering journalism. The only time all the evidence against the gateway theory mentioned in Norwegian media is when Karl Erik Lund from SRUS is in some way involved. He has done a great job at this, and it is also included in SIRUS' comments to the proposal. However this does not get much attention and protecting the children, avoiding a vaping boom among never smokers and even worse... 2nd hand vaping making more people smoke cigarettes seem to be the main arguments used by those who support the proposal (and those who want even stricter regulations). Some even claim that a lot of never smoking youth have already picked up vaping on a regular basis (!). They should know better than to lie about these things to be honest. And all of this despite the fact that we've seen that smoking prevalence in Norway is dropping faster than ever after snus and vaping gained popularity. When it comes to certain politicians I also suspect other motives that has nothing to do with wanting a public health gain.
Sadly I haven't really had the time to read all the answers, I've barely scratched the surface of some of them, so the above is just based on my first impressions. However I found one answer that looked quite interesting as well, from British American Tobacco Norway. They argue against a lot of the suggestions in the proposal, like advertising bans, ban in public areas etc. and use SIRUS' answer for support as well. Have a look at this for example:
BAT endorses the views set out in SIRUS' consultation response that e-cigarettes should be regulated as ordinary consumer products, and the Ministry should, as a minimum, examine this alternative.So that is about where we stand today. There are some very good arguments in some of the comments submitted, and there are some very bad ones, and there are quite a few lies in there as well. We can only hope that the politicians are doing their job and actually try to educate themselves, but I'm not overly optimistic when it comes to this. It's not easy to find any dates or what happens next. Still I guess this will follow regular procedure which would be the that the parliament committee will recommend an amendment to the Norwegian Tobacco Act and the parliament will the vote. Exactly when this will happen I don't know, but I guess some time before May.