phw

Vapers in Power are enraged by the updated “position statement” from Public Health Wales.

The latest statement on the use of vaping products by Public Health Wales is a grotesque bundle of idealistic wishes which remove the personal freedoms of vapers and those smokers who look to switch from smoking.

The entire document is riddled with ancient arguments revolving around “might”, “could” (and not forgetting “children”) and shows that PHW have failed to keep up-to-date with the continually published research.

We believe that PHW  are now attempting to tighten the screw in a way that the previous Welsh Government Public Health Bill would be proud of. This is unacceptable!

We cannot share any stance that PHW offers in regards to e-liquid flavouring bans. There are many tens of thousands of vapers in Wales who use a multitude of flavours to maintain a harm reduced lifestyle. Restricting “confectionery” type flavours will remove a significant choice of products that can work for smokers to switch and keep vapers vaping. This will put a massive halt on Welsh tobacco harm reduction.

Not only do Welsh vapers have to cope with the monstrosity of the Tobacco Products Directive with regards to product availability, lack of awareness-raising of a harm reduction product and reduced nicotine level but if PHW get their way, vapers and smokers will once more be shut out.

PHW want to see voluntary indoor bans (they call it “restrictions”) just like the previous Welsh Assembly Government Public Health Bill and specific outdoor bans on vaping. This is utterly preposterous! The evidence is clear that the harm of vapour from any vaping product is vastly reduced in comparison to smoking and risk of harm to bystanders is negligible.

PHW shoot themselves in the foot in this statement. They contacted one of our advocate members and said “Organisationally we are now advocating a 100% switch to e-cigarettes for committed smokers and recognising the role they could have for those on a quit journey” and this is backed up by references to the Cochrane review and the RCP report. However, the remainder of the statement is full of WHO smelling anti-vaping rubbish, the statement may as well have not bothered trying to strike balance.

It’s 1am, Saturday, I’ve had vodka.

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Vaping is being squeezed so much it is dying, I can’t help feeling that. Public Health Wales released a position statement this week so grudging you could sense the teeth being pulled. America, is, interesting. Finland is fucked. We wait. Bans continue around the world.

And here? In a couple of months DIY is dead (or underground) and tanks are so small they are irritating. Vaping will become faffy again. When innovation had made vaping pretty much faff-free, regulation restores the faff. Well done EU.

Arriva trains have agreed to amend their anti-vaping posters to say “not permitted” rather than illegal, so that’s good right?

Canada seems hopeful, France is moving in the right way (although, TPD). Malaysia? Maybe. Australia are so slowly starting to see the light. When you look around the world, it’s a pretty depressing picture – the regulators are out for us.

But.

More and more people are vaping. That is our weapon. Vapers won’t go back to smoking when the rules change. Not all of them anyway, they’ll break the rules. Vaping is here to stay.

Personally, I’m one of those soon-to-be rule-breakers. When the 20th May comes round, the next time I need to order nicotine I’ll be ordering more than the allowed 20mg/ml, making the person selling it to me a criminal. I’m guessing enough of a demand will survive that the supply will be there.

Tbh, I’ve yet to see an ecig rule I could throw my weight behind, even though there’s a few I would be happy with: don’t sell a battery without a safety leaflet and a case for one.

Vaping will, survive, of that I’ve no doubt. But will it be available to new users, acceptably? No. Or at least, much less so.

Will some vapers go back to cigarettes? Yes

By the way, if you haven’t already told the EU to shove their ecig tax, you can do it here.

nn 🙂

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It’s not taxing

Respond to this consultation, it’s important. The wrong decision will shut shops and deter new ecig users.

The European Union wants to tax ecigs. As they have to – to pretend they are democratic somehow – they have a consultation on their suggestion, closing date 16th Feb. Replying to this consultation is about the best thing you can do for ecigs right now – and I’ve tried to make it simple!

If you don’t want simple, here is the link to find the consultation, here is Clive Bates on it, and here is the NNA’s take.

For the rest of us morons, here is the easy way to tell them how they can stuff it:

  1. Click this

  2. You get some background info, don’t even bother to read it, just click Next.
  3. You get some personal Q’s, answer as you will screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-09-35
  4. After clicking Next, you get a no-brainer!screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-14-46
  5. The next two Q’s are similar:screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-24-54
  6. Ignore the scary lime-green text, you are more of an expert than these people will ever meet, next Q …screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-28-12I’m not entirely sure I’ve read this the right way but that is my guess, you can guess yourself! Next!
  7. Easy – computer (i.e. me) says no:Screenshot from 2017-01-14 00-31-47.png
  8. With the next two Q’s, the last option is the most important.screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-35-17
  9. Heat-not-Burn, I’m in favour, however, up to you, answer as you will, next!
  10. Next page, the cigarillos one, seems safe. Answer if you want, or just click next like I did.
  11. ditto
  12. Raw tobacco – now I’ve never had any interest in this before, but are the EU saying I can’t grow a plant? At least do this:screenshot-from-2017-01-14-00-44-47
  13. Click Next! We’re doing well…
  14. Waterpipe, say what you want, next!
  15. I’d leave this one out, I don’t know the relevant codes, non-ecig anyway:screenshot-from-2017-01-20-00-20-31

Next Q – whatever you want, then Next leads us on to the final page …Screenshot from 2017-01-14 00-56-23.png

Bonus points here (shedloads of them) for adding extra arguments as to why taxing ecigs (over and above VAT) is a monumentally bad idea via a document upload. Like most consultations, this one doesn’t really give us a chance to address what is really important. You can take cues, should you need any, from the NNA and/or Clive Bates. If you have any questions, or suggestions for improvements to this walkthrough, please comment.

Phew! Well bloody done, you now get an advocacy medal. Tiaras are available but you have to convince someone else to do this to get one of those …

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Please allow me to introduce myself…

…I’m a man of wealth and taste.

All right, most of you know me too well to believe that, but never mind. What I am is a dedicated vaper who wants to see the technology made as widely available as possible. I firmly believe that vaping saved my own life – it’s the only thing that could have stopped me smoking after a heart attack nearly killed me at the age of 42. By now it’s undeniable that vapour products offer something that no NRT or smoking cessation method can provide – enthusiasm.

People smoke for the nicotine and die from the tar. That’s the basic truth that so often gets overlooked.  If you can give smokers a way of using nicotine that’s at least as enjoyable as smoking – and yes, most smokers do enjoy it, whatever they tell researchers – then they’ll embrace it enthusiastically. If you tell them they’re ill, and need to be cured by dull or unpleasant medical methods? Perhaps not so much.

So vaping makes perfect sense to me, which is why I’ve been advocating for it almost since I switched in early 2013. Unfortunately, despite a little progress in a few quarters, the tide is still firmly against us – the US Surgeon General’s Report, released a few hours after I became ViP’s new leader, is the perfect illustration of what we’re up against.

So why Vapers in Power? Here’s why. Vapers, in the UK and globally, face a wide spectrum of enemies. Between ill-informed politicians, rent-seeking public health groups, puritan zealots and rogue medics, we’re under attack from every direction. To hang on to our freedoms we need to fight back in every direction, too. So the New Nicotine Alliance tries to talk sense into health organisations; consumer groups, under the umbrella of INNCO, advocate on behalf of ordinary vapers; and ViP is our way to remind politicians that we live in a democracy and vapers get to vote.

We are fighting a war on many fronts. Vapers in Power defends one of those fronts, but it can only do so as part of a coordinated strategy. Under my leadership I hope we can build on the great work done by Jessica, and work closely with any group who believes our right to use nicotine safely trumps anyone else’s fake concerns.

Obviously, to do that effectively we’re going to need people and resources. If you want to help, please sign up – it’s only a fiver a year – and join our online communities. To stay updated you can follow the official ViP Twitter feed @vapers and my own  @FergusForVapers.

I don’t expect this to be the start of my personal journey to 10 Downing Street. I don’t even expect to see a Vapers in Power MP elected. But this is a democracy, and each of you has a vote. So in a very real way we’re in power already. Let’s use it.

New Leader

UPDATE!

We had one candidate, so no need for an election.

Fergus Mason is the new Party Leader.

Watch this space to see if it’s a changing of the guard or something quite different …

 

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UPDATE!

The deadline for nominations is midnight on 7th December 2016.

Vapers in Power will publish the list of candidates on 8th December 2016, on this page.

People who sign up as members between Dec 8th and Dec 21st 2016 will not be eligible to vote in the election.

Voting opens at midnight on Dec 14th and closes at midnight on Dec 21st.

Members can vote by emailing info@vapersinpower.co.uk . If not emailing from the email they originally signed up with then they should include their membership number (if known, it’s on your membership card) or postal address, so that we can check their identity against our records.

Please note that only current members can vote, so please renew your membership if necessary via http://vapersinpower.co.uk/join

————————————————————————-

Vapers in Power is a single issue party which aims to give a voice to vapers.  We don’t expect to win many votes or any seats but we do strive to effect change by raising awareness of the issues amongst vapers and legislators.  Our manifesto is here. Our constitution is here.

We need a new leader. Could it be you?

Jessica, our current party leader, is no longer able to dedicate the time needed for the role of party leader. She will be continuing as Treasurer (thank goodness) but her commitments mean we need a new party leader.

What it takes:

You need to be available and sane. Maybe an hour a day, or equivalent? You need to want to make vaping more available to more people. You need to be able to sometimes pour oil on troubled waters.

Patience is a key skill – you don’t need to be an expert in herding cats, but if you can actually do that it would be AMAZEBALLS.

What we do:

We think of things to do to help vaping. Then we do them. That’s it. We are often wrong, we are ever so occasionally right. Can you think of stuff? Can you do it?

What you get:

The prestige of being the leader of the world’s first political party for vapers. A committed and supportive team backing you up 100%. OK maybe 99% lol, see “herding cats”.

What you would need to do:

  • Liaise with the Electoral Commission, ensure we comply (actually a lot easier than it sounds-the EC are very helpful and do answer the phone),
  • Keep an eye on what’s happening across all of the Vapers in Power actions, making sure it’s “joined up”.
  • Work to ensure that Vapers in Power adheres to its core values, as outlined in the Constitution and Manifesto.  

All nominations are welcome, the result will be decided by a simple, first past the post vote among members. We need you, vapers need you. Don’t hesitate.

To put yourself forward as leader please send an email to info@vapersinpower.co.uk with the subject line LEADER. The closing date for the nominations is midnight 7th December 2016. We’ll do a virtual hustings thing, then the paid-up members will decide.

Good luck!

Changing how YOUR Council sees vaping

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There is only one council in the entire country with a decent attitude towards vaping.

Thanks to the work of Freedom to Vape we now know that the vast majority of councils lump vaping in with smoking, against the advice of both Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

You can read their report here.

You can read the write-up in the Mirror here.

Something, clearly, must be done!

If you participated in the #LordsVapeVote, you’ll know how this goes:

  • There is a spreadsheet here, after you have written to your councillors, please fill in the corresponding cell so we can all see how many have been contacted and how often.
  • Open writetothem.com and enter your postcode
  • Choose “Write to all your councillors”
  • you will see this (well, unless you’re in S Glos too, the names will be different):

screenshot-from-2016-11-05-234931

  • copy and paste (if you have the option, paste as plain text) the following into the gap between Dear and Yours, please feel free to amend/edit/go completely off piste!

I use electronic cigarettes and I no longer smoke. I’m sure you know people like me.

Despite there being absolutely no evidence that they cause harm to other people, no evidence that they encourage youngsters to start smoking and clear evidence that they are much, much safer than smoking, it seems my council just lumps vaping in with smoking in its policies.

This is against clear guidance from both Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

There are more than 1 million people in the UK who use electronic cigarettes and no longer smoke, that is amazing. That it has been achieved without spending billions of taxpayers money is more amazing still. Unfortunately, the proportion of people who wrongly think that ecigs are as harmful as cigarettes is rising. That threatens the good that ecigs can do and it isn’t helped when Councils treat vaping and smoking the same.

Consider this, doesn’t the Council have a duty of care to its employees (about a fifth of whom will smoke)? It is often said that smoking kills half of the people that do it. Shouldn’t the Council encourage those who are trying to stop smoking? Shouldn’t you be trying to make that easier?

There are hundreds of studies and documents I could ask you to read – I will focus on one. It is from Public Health England, who consulted all stakeholders widely before issuing this guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/534586/PHE-advice-on-use-of-e-cigarettes-in-public-places-and-workplaces.PDF

Can you please raise at your next meeting the idea that you revisit your vaping policy? You really could help to save lives.

Yours sincerely,

 

  • It has been suggested, for Scottish vapers, that Public Health England might not be the best body to refer and link to. Instead replace both ‘Public Health England’s with Royal College of Physicians and use this link:

https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/file/3563/download?token=uV0R0Twz

  • Add your name after the Yours sincerely, fill in your details and hit Preview and send

Screenshot from 2016-11-06 00:33:36.png

  • You’ll need to open up your email, open the email from writetothem and click the green box – Send the message to my councillors.
  • Go right back to the first bullet point and do that.
  • Phew! Ace.
  • Vape on 🙂

Hopefully this is a one shot job – but we’d love to hear of any responses in the comments!

p.s. Strikes me that my bullet points could very easily be automated (apart from the postcode bit). I’ll buy the domain if any tech-savvy vaper with some server space has the time to write the website!

UK Local Councils Need To Wake Up!

Vapers in Power is shocked by the Freedom to Vape report which finds that 85% of UK councils are ignoring Public Health England’s advice on vaping.

It is high time that local councils all across the UK wake up, smell the evidence on vaping and apply it to their current “Smoke Free” policies for their own work-spaces.

We are horrified that nearly 90% of councils highlighted in the report have shoehorned vaping into their no smoking policies as if they are identical. We know that vaping is not smoking and it is not the way to go to improve the overall health of current vapers on any council staff roster and any vaping visitors to the offices.

We are concerned that councils are not acting on Public Health England’s guidance and aren’t pursuing an evidence based policy

Disturbing highlights from the source data of the report include:

“Calderdale Council supports the aim of “de-normalising” smoking. The Council supports the tobacco control professionals who consider that the acceptance of e-cigarettes will undermine the now widely accepted view that smoking is unacceptable.”

“The Council’s rationale for prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes is that, although they do not produce smoke, electronic cigarettes produce a vapour that could provide an annoyance or health risk to other employees.[THERE IS NO HEALTH RISK!]  In addition to this, some electronic cigarette models can, particularly from a distance, look like real cigarettes, making the enforcement of a smoke free environment difficult to police, and creating an impression for visitors/customers/other employees that it is acceptable to smoke within the workplace.” – Chelmsford Borough Council

“Local authority staff should not smoke e-cigarettes indoors or whilst on duty as this may give a misleading impression and it does not support the council’s aim of ‘de-normalising’ smoking.” – Stockport Met Borough Council

 

All current council policies need a swift evidence based update. Stockport Met last reviewed their policy in January 2015, Chelmsford in April 2014 but Pembrokeshire have not done so since November 2013! This is unacceptable! Any local council have responsibility to improve the health of the public. Many of the councils that responded to Freedom to Vape’s FOI are clearly not doing so.

The report shows that a staggering 1 in 3 local councils require their vaping members of staff or visitors to use the same area designated for smoking.. Forcing vapers into designated smoking areas completely undermines the individual vapers who have taken a choice to become smoke free.

Demonising the use of a 95% safer avenue of nicotine use, shows that the majority of these councils are clearly out of touch with modern society and do not have a harm reduction mindset.

However, Vapers in Power  commends the action of the London Borough of Enfield. We are delighted to see that this local council has decided to take an evidence based approach in line with Public Health England evidence update and the Royal College of Physicians report  and do not plan to include vaping in their smoking policies. This is a position we encourage all other local councils within the UK to take.



 

I’m sorry I haven’t got A Billion Lives for you anyway

Why should I reserve a ticket at one of these A Billion Lives Screenings?

A Billion Lives is a film about the “official” reaction to vaping. You can watch the trailer here:

It is currently being offered at a few cinemas in the UK through a service called Demand Film. The idea is that if enough (~60) people reserve a ticket for a specific screening, on a specific time and at a specific place, that screening goes ahead. You can even host your own screening. Info below:

https://uk.demand.film/a-billion-lives/

It’s not going well.

A few screenings have been secured. This is only because shops, individuals and us have bulk bought tickets. By and large though, only a handful of tickets are being reserved and the screenings are getting cancelled.

Various theories have been put forward: vapers are stingy, vapers don’t care, vapers would rather watch it for free on youtube.

None of those are right.

The reason tickets aren’t being reserved, in my opinion, is that vapers don’t understand why reserving a ticket is important. And why should we? I know vaping is safe enough and I know that various interests’ profit margins depend on vaping failing. It’s preaching to the converted.

That so isn’t why you should reserve a ticket.

It isn’t about us as viewers. Its about getting the film to a wider audience. So everyone will end up knowing this. Reserving a ticket isn’t so you can see the film, its so the film can demonstrate that it is in demand, and so the larger platforms will take a punt on it.

Reserving a ticket is a leap of faith, its a financial, temporal and personal cost that I think you should swallow because if the message of the film becomes accepted truth, then this whole mess goes away.

Sometimes, documentaries work. An Inconvenient Truth is perhaps the best example of this. They change how things are seen.
I’ve seen A Billion Lives, and I can promise you that it is capable of delivering the kind of change that An Inconvenient Truth made happen.

But the only way that will happen is if it gets a wider audience.

And the only way that will happen is if the distributors believe there is demand for it.

And the only way that will happen is if tickets get reserved.

You have a chance to significantly affect how vaping is regarded, by everyone.

Just a few hundred brave souls reserving tickets will convince the distributors that this film is worth taking a punt on. The awards from the festivals its been shown at should reassure you of its worth. It is worth it, a certain baby/river comment in it has changed the way I think (when you see it you will get it).

Please, reserve some tickets for A Billion Lives in a cinema near you today.

By Liam Bryan – Vapers in Power Campaign Manager

VF blog

Dick Puddlecote joins ViP at Vapefest

Vapers in Power had a blast at Vapefest and really enjoyed meeting everyone who made it to our marquee, before it blew away!  As with Vapefest 2015 the ViP tent hosted speakers and we were delighted that Dick Puddlecote could make it this year too.  For those who missed his epic talk, here are his notes- and it’s almost as entertaining to read as it was to watch. 

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Dick Puddlecote at Vapefest 2016 (Taken by Richard Hyslop)

Last year I came here and spoke on way to a family holiday. Stayed for a couple of hours then went and did interesting things like eating tons of chocolate at Cadbury World and nearly castrating myself jumping in a harness off a high wire adventure course.

I thought I’d do a review of the year since then (or more accurately, I suppose, a review of what I have written about in vaping this year), so to start with, what did others do for their holiday last summer?

SEPTEMBER

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Chapman vaper-spotting:
“My wife and I spent many hours every day walking around Paris (six days), Lyon (two), the Corsican towns of Bonifacio, Ajaccio and Calvi (eight days), Nice (one), Barcelona (two) and Madrid (four). We agreed to compete in spotting the highest number of people vaping, with the incentive for the daily winner being to pick where we’d eat that night. We also looked out for shops selling e-cigarettes. All sightings had to be called as they occurred, not just a winning number announced at the end of the day.
Over the 23 days, we saw just 20 people vaping: 15 in Paris, one in Lyon, one in Calvi, one in Barcelona and two in Madrid. By contrast, we saw many people smoking almost everywhere we looked at any time of day. Far too many to count. At a guess, the ratio would have been at very least many hundreds of smokers to one vaper.”
Boy doesn’t he relax like a boss! Bet his wife had a fantastic time.
Erm, aren’t anecdotes meant to be useless Simon, you decrepit piece of fossilised dinosaur crap?

McKee/Capewell wrote to the Lancet about the positive PHE report on e-cigs. Apparently it was fatally flawed because in one of the 185 studies they reviewed, a couple of ‘experts’ had once been paid for research by BAT in around 1946 or something. Riccardo Polosa was particularly criticised for IIRC having dared to do work for pharma companies. Erm … words fail. But more on that later.

OCTOBER

A quiet month. But Matt Ridley wrote to the Times to slam the TPD. Hazel Cheeseminge of ASH replied haughtily that …
“EU regulations will provide a safe framework through which electronic cigarettes can be sold, giving their users confidence in these products. This is likely to save many thousands of lives.”
Well only if they can find out about them love, considering many forms of advertising has been banned, thousands of flavours will disappear as a result, and the most useful strength for smokers wishing to switch is illegal.

NOVEMBER

14141767_757892907682123_2589095677086447335_n
Report of the Health Committee in Wales on the Public Health Bill was published.
Debate centred on the proposals on vaping in workplaces that are also homes. Especially Article 8 of Human Rights Act on right to private and family home life. The committee was of the opinion that they were entitled to ignore Art 8 for passive smoking (based on nonsense junk science) but not for vaping cos it’s not dangerous. However that … “need to protect against the risk of re-normalisation, the gateway effect and enforcement difficulties”
Because some guy vaping in his front room watching WWE will renormalize smoking, magically make kids run to the shop for a pack of Marlboro and cause a headache for enforcement officials cos he has his curtains drawn, THE BASTARD! (scenario)

On my blog I wrote about A Billion Lives. I criticised Biebert’s stupid use of the umpteen thousand kids die of passive smoke bollocks, but defended the use of other PH propaganda as a great tool to embarrass them. Smokers were absolutely livid! How dare I suggest that smoking might be risky … as I have always done? By contrast, vapers were incredibly supportive … I was only called ‘disgusting’, ‘slime’, and a ‘worm’ for daring to say anything negative about the film.
In short, smokers attacked vapers, vapers attacked smokers, it crawled all over the internet … and when it all calmed down, everyone thought I was a wanker.

 

MPs were given a new vaping area outside Westminster … and promptly completely ignored it.

DECEMBER

To the surprise of no-one, an EU court threw out TW’s objection to Article 20. The reasoning given was that they didn’t have the first clue what the devices are and why they are being regulated. Or something.

article-20-girl1
Said that it was reasonable to regulate to stop the gateway theory, yet nothing in TPD would counteract that. May as well have said we think the TPD is fine because it helps old ladies cross the road.

JANUARY

Big month for DP. After just under a year, finally got FOI answered properly on McKee/Davies emails.
This revealed that he lied in the BMJ about writing the Lancet criticism, it was shown he referred “with interest” to something he had anonymously written with fellow gobshite Capewell. And was trying hard to undermine his own profession by pillow talk with Silly Sally.
I published a few articles and he went quiet for a while. Must have worried a lot cos when he came back he was a shadow of the man he once was, his weight had plummeted to only around 20 stone!
The FOI also highlighted McKee complaining that …

“Blogs and tweets having a field day, photoshopping my face onto all sorts of things”

Yes, that’s what Twitter tends to do with an oozy lather of obesity who thinks howling at the moon is science, Martin.

FEBRUARY

EU rumoured to tax e-cigs, but that was OK because the UK govt had a veto! You know, the UK govt who loves the EU so much … except for one thing, the UK was one of 3 nations to suggest the idea!

NCSCT released guidance on e-cigs. It led to an epidemic of ‘public health’ bedwetting!

  1. Store safely
  2. Be positive … just imagine that!
  3. Don’t be alarmed about recreation!
  4. Dual use is not a bad thing … heresy!
  5. And worst of all, TALK TO VAPERS, they’re the experts!

Just imagine that! Actually listen to vapers? Calls to the Samaritans from middle-aged women in stop smoking services must have seen a spike at the very thought!

NCSCT

MARCH

Very busy month.
A small beach in Wales called Little Haven was subject to the first ever outdoor vaping ban not on NHS (as in, our) property. Faggot-lipped fuckwits at ASH Wales declared that they “fully welcomed” it. They later replied to tweets saying they tried to convince the council that it was a bad idea, but their logo is still on a no vaping sign there. In order to defend a beach visited by one man and his three-legged dog with just an ice cream trolley and a shop selling £1 nets and inflatables in the shape of a duck.

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In other news, Drakeford hilariously lost his Public Health Bill by one vote then proceeded to blame everyone else. (Side note, but have you noticed how many “health” officials who hate vaping are fat fucks?). No, Mark, the reason you lost is because you stunningly clung onto a ridiculous ban on vaping, if you want to blame anyone look in your mirror (which presumably takes up an entire wall so he can see himself in full).

Jack Le Beau wrote a steaming pile of shit I’m not allowed to talk about and I cheered something Clive Bates said which led to just about everyone calling me a wanker … again.

APRIL

As the football season ended, a guy was banned from Leicester’s celebrations for vaping. Rightfully vapers went mad and there is an event in Sept to discuss the issue at Leicester’s ground. I’d urge anyone who is free to go along. http://www.kachange.eu/activities/dialogues 

April also saw the Royal College of Physicians report launch and what I call the “Big Scream” followed! From Dublin to Sydney via Manchester, every pretend health professional who despises e-cigs whined like fucking babies that science was trumping their deeply-held bigotry … err, sorry, beliefs!

It was by far the highlight of the year for me.

On RCP “Big Scream” I wrote: “Who knew that such a benign activity as vaping could flush out so many vile anti-social and intolerant arseholes in one fell swoop”

In other news, huge anti-vaper Simon Chapman was appointed to review Australia’s policies on e-cigs, talk about the fox guarding the hen house, and Aberdeen council proposed a ban on vaping in car parks. When asked for comment, ASH Scotland avoided comment and said “ooh is that the time, I think we have an appointment, erm, somewhere else!”

MAY

This month I wrote about the extraordinary lobbying undertaken by ASH. This was cos I was passed a FOI from Guido Fawkes with ASH emails to DoH. I STILL HAVEN’T FINISHED READING IT!

There was also the IEA debate following the TPD being officially implemented. Ian Green spoke about effect on the free market it introduced as an owner of a vape shop, Ian Barber of the advertising association spoke about effect on the free market it introduced to advertising, Lorien Jollye spoke about effect on the free market it introduced to consumers, Fraser Cropper spoke about effect on the free market it introduced to independent businesses, Mark Pawsey MP turned up late and said … look at me, isn’t Brexit shit?

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Callanan’s motion! A great initiative, brilliantly supported by vapers, most espesh ViP whose work ensured that all 800+ Lords received at least 3 letters from the public! (applause). If politicians didn’t know of the vaping vote before that, they certainly did after.

JUNE

BREXIT! Vapers arguably won it! Vote Leave campaign manager Matthew Elliott used it as a campaigning tool, his deputy Matt Sinclair tweeted about it and Leave.EU used article 20 as an example of EU overreach and intransigence. Meant to be free market. The Freedom Association is now here at Vapefest talking about Freedom to Vape as a campaign on its own. This is progress.

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ASH Wales, who fully welcomed the beach ban in March, also absolutely loved a red button at Hywel Dda (Thanks to Rhydian for pronouncing it) which allows hideous cheesedicks to press it and “anonymously harangue smokers for doing so outdoors”. We now learn it cost £9000 thanks to Rhydian’s FOI.

Callanan came back for a last hurrah at his motion which was relegated to one of regret instead of fatal. He took the opportunity to rip into those who have been shockingly apathetic or worse about e-cigs.
On Soubry: “Cringe-making performance”
On Silly sally “Incompetence would be funny if not so serious”
On MHRA “Signally failed” the public and politicians should be “extremely cautious about listening to its lobbying”
Followed criticism of DoH earlier in the year “to its deep shame [DoH] tried to block e-cigs”
My second best moment of the year.

JULY

Royal Society of Medicine debate: I attended this which was about all types of drugs but included e-cigs. Quite stunning Q from a medical type in the post-panel Q&A.
“Could you elaborate on the benefits of drugs?”
I kid you not. Erm, how about that for millions of years humans have enjoyed getting shitfaced on them. From the first time Neanderthal man ate a berry which gave him a buzz our kind have enjoyed mood-altering substances. Any ‘public health’ type who still doesn’t get this and insists on abstinence over harm reduction is more backward than cavemen themselves.

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PHE guidance on vaping in work and public was released. Instantly taken by media as being “vapers should be given more breaks”. All coverage relied on the false assumption that e-cigs are already banned or should be. Stronger message please PHE, it’s like a fucking whisper at the moment.

AUGUST

Full circle to August.

Most absurd proposal of the last 12 months. Smoking and Vaping banned on public streets! Outside a hospital. With cars, vans, buses, and two – count ‘em – TWO huge packed car parks in the same road. The public think this is a great idea! Which just goes to show how incredibly stupid PH has guided the public to be.

So what can we expect or hope to expect in the coming year? Well, the Pleasure Principle is something vapers already know about from the NNA, but also “Pleasure Economy” which was my fave phrase of the year. It was a term mentioned by European drug harm expert Axel Klein at the RSM event in July. The market for e-cigs and associated supplies is predicted to top £1bn this year. We are now a force not just as vapers but also as a market. Prohibition failed, prohibition by regulation failed, it is now not just a movement but an entire business category on its own. That carries clout and should be impossible to stop.

I once said the same about vapers. That the more there are the harder it is to silence. There are now over 1,600 vape shops in this country, 2.8m vapers and growing. It can’t be stopped so next 12 months we should seek to point that out.

Vapers mean business, vapers mean that you can earn money (public and private), vapers mean votes (Brexit proves that) and you’d better get used to it cos they’re part of the economy.

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You can read Dick’s blogposts at http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/  and follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Dick_Puddlecote

 

The Pleasure Principle

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There have already been a few blogs on this, from Sarah’s seminal start, to Simon’s recent addition. The hope, I guess, is that by banging on we can finally get into PH’s sometimes thick skulls (sorry PH readers), what vaping is all about. At least for a significant section of vapers.

The clue is in the title, pleasure. Smoking was pleasurable, that is why I did it. The addiction/pleasure nexus is hard to untangle, but pleasure was there. Either the dopamine hit from stress relief or the sheer joy in watching blue-tinged smoke billow across a summer-lit, darkened room. Or just the head-rush from the first fag of the day, or after a meal, or after sex.

Then I started to hear about vaping, oh it wasn’t called that then, so, more accurately, I started to hear about electronic cigarettes. I was curious because if I had the money I’d be an early adopter of every technology – hell, I’d have a bionic arm in a heartbeat – and I totally wish I could upload myself into the cloud. So eventually, after a few months of being aware of their existence, I tried to find out about them, I bought one.

It was a cigalike, yeah, but it was brushed steel and it glowed green (or blue lol, I can’t remember). I was straight into living in some kind of sci-fi future. Ok, the battery was pants (even though I had ordered two), but it was more pleasurable than smoking, more fun.

It was fucking tasty! I’d ordered a tobacco (a bit nutty, a bit meh) and an apple – oh the nights of internet browsing that discovering that ecigs came in flavours led to…

More of the pleasure, none of the death.

People are led often by base instincts. We are creatures of simplicity and reaction. We rarely respond to logic, we like to be cosy. Vaping hits so many bases it’s unreal. That is why ordinary, unexceptional folk have had the temerity to question our Lords and masters – to kick back at the lies and misinformation still being peddled in even so-called “vaping friendly” nations like the UK.

Some things are simple – vaping is fun and fulfilling, I only do it because I like it more than smoking, doh! It is consumer-led and it threatens established interests. ASH’s recent behaviour for instance is out on a limb. They, and many others, in India, in Australia, in the US, all over, are actually causing harm by trying to stop people enjoying themselves. Just unpack that for a minute. There should be court cases.

Give me one repeatable and credible study that shows harm from ecigs.

Another thing, social media. I had LOADS of friends in my 20’s. As I got older I just fell out of contact with most of them. As I entered my 40’s, my biggest gripe was that I just didn’t seem to have any connections any more. Well. vaping changed that big time. It might be the camaraderie of being on the David side, it might just be having a hobby! It’s not directly related but I throw it in because friendships increase pleasure, and vaping has given me some real and deep friends.

So, I’m sitting here, looking at my PC screen (as I do far too much), occasionally toking on a Blueberry/Raspberry mix, or Custard with a bit of Apricot, or a Red Astaire one shot, blowing out the (admittedly small by some standards) clouds and absolutely bloody loving it.

#CelebrateTheVape