Category Archives: UK

Changing how YOUR Council sees vaping

no_vaping_sign_18562436519

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.



 

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. 

CpMtCo7WAAALaB3

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

14141938_757892344348846_6003963613967462618_n

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.

31FE6C1000000578-3483439-image-a-61_1457505426874
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?

maxresdefault
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.

Capture

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.

13732003_736235996514481_4099340200479205004_o
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.

peoples_administration_direct_democracy_people_power-14B371F32D34983D8CA

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

 

Reaction to ASH news release 16 May 2016

 

ASH’s lack of concern for 200,000 vapers is staggering

In response to: http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/:new-eu-rules-on-nicotine-strength-not-a-problem-for-most-vapers

ASH’s lack of concern for the 200,000 vapers who use eliquid that will be banned is staggering. Higher strengths are used mainly by new vapers and dual-fuellers: in other words, by smokers who may be trying to give up. Not to mention future smokers that might try ecigs as an alternative. The very people ASH should be most concerned about. Higher strengths are needed to get over the initial hurdle of switching. It’s the throat hit that matters at that point – nothing to do with nicotine dependence.  ASH’s suggestion to supplement nicotine with patches completely misses the point.

Of course, ASH have form on underplaying the appalling nature of the TPD, a law that will kill people (some say up to 105 000 a year 1). Their recent “fact”sheet 2 on the impact of the TPD ignores the costs to vaping businesses (mostly small, independent, family and friend affairs) of the onerous testing regime. Costs which have been estimated to be ~£3000 per product, way above the £150 notification fee which is all ASH sees fit to mention.

We have to wonder why they are getting this so disastrously wrong when it is clear that including ecigs in the TPD will cause harm.

Lord Callanan says: “this was argued for by the pharmaceutical industry, which would have an awful lot to lose if e-cigarettes supplanted or replaced nicotine patches and gum” 3. He should know, he was there when it was being drafted.

Why are ASH suggesting it will be fine?

This is what some real people who will be affected by the TPD have to say:

Jill Baldwin (Gloucestershire): “As an ex 60 a day cigarette smoker, 24mg/ml was my life saver. A limit of 20mg/ml will stop some people from quitting cigarettes”.

Mark Magenis (Chelmsford): “In the cheaper devices many smokers still struggle at 24mg, this law demands those that do to make a bigger investment, to get high power devices, which is a leap of faith the most addicted smokers are reluctant to make”.

Liam Bryan (Bristol): “The limits on the concentration of nicotine allowed are more to do with nobbling vaping than protecting users – I’ll be ordering from abroad and hoping the package isn’t stopped. I make my eliquid myself, a safe and cost-effective practice. The TPD stops me doing that, it turns me into a criminal”.

Rhydian Mann (Swansea): “If I didn’t have access to 2.4% and 3.6% nicotine liquid I wouldn’t have been able to do so. I still use those concentrations during times of stress. Under TPD,the easiest option to get my nicotine fix will be a cigarette and I will certainly take that avenue if needs be”.

Lisa Kirkham (Hartlepool): “Outrageous and one of the incentives to switch was the cost and the strength. I did not feel deprived as it was a perfect replacement for tobacco. I don’t believe them for one second when they say it’s for safety. Corrupt liars and it’s all about money!”

Gareth Witty (Windsor): “The TPD is not a protecting rule but rather an underhand deal to try and give Vaping to the tobacco and pharma industry due to illegal deals and should not be recognised by any country”.

Lee Woolls (Cardiff): “The 2% maximum nicotine level is an attempt to make these products ineffective. The pharmaceutical lobbyists certainly earned their money that day. Shame on EU!”

Scott Gregory: “The only explanation for the results of the survey is that ASH are either asking the wrong questions, or the wrong people. It is not about those that currently vape, it is about those smokers that have yet to switch and how they manage to successfully transition”.

Kevin Crowley (USA): “Restriction on levels of nicotine is like limiting water to a fish. Current / future vapers should not be limited on nicotine levels, as it is the most important part of reducing tobacco with vaping products”.

Jamie Hollywood (North Lanarkshire): “The 20mg limit will be 1 of the barriers that stops people being able to make the switch from tobacco smoking successfully.  A lot of people won’t get a strong enough nicotine hit, thereby going back to smoking”.

Robert Jenkins (Cardiff): “I started vaping with 24mg Nicotine because it was a close match to tobacco. I truly believe if I had been limited to a lower nicotine dose I would still be smoking. Household bleach is not limited to 10ml bottles so why should E Liquid be?  It  makes no sense”.

Darren Stone: “10ml bottle will increase production costs (especially with them now having to be sealed nozzles, plus labeling is not really big enough to get all the warnings on. Plastic bottles now won’t be recyclable as can’t be washed out and will still have a small bit of nic in them (environment issue). I started on 24mg under the tpd the 20mg limit might not have been enough to get me off tobacco. 2ml tank size is just a ball ache which leads to ever more refilling for a lot of people. The fact you can’t advertise a product which gets people off tobacco whist not costing the tax payer anything still amazes me”.

Ben Parr (Leeds): “From first hand experience of managing a vape store for a few years, I still have customers who rely on 30mg and above as they don’t won’t a box mod and are still happy with there pen style, plus the 20mg max strength is going to make it hard for 30 a day plus smokers to switch, and believe me there are quite a few”.

Christina May (W Australia): “If these new regulations were in place,I would NEVER have been able to quit smoking after 47 years and to be frank I would still be incontinent. 2 yrs and 2 months of vaping and I am a new woman. And yes you may publish my name. I can sleep in peace at night now without coughing my guts up”.

Paul Barnes (Essex):

20mg/ml limit
For some vapers, the imposed limits will be more of an inconvenience than a problem. However, we mustn’t forget that the vast proportion of vapers don’t frequent vape stores, forums and social media and are most likely on “older” hardware that necessitates the use of higher strength liquids. These are the ones that will be most affected. The limit will also have a negative impact on those dual using or looking to switch, as lower strengths may not provide the satisfaction those users need.
2ml Tank Size
For many vapers this does pose a problem – lower nicotine strengths and more efficient devices do need a larger tank size to be convenient. Regular refills can be troublesome and in most cases carrying additional liquid for this purpose is simply not convenient. This won’t necessarily affect me directly in the immediate future, but will in the long term as the tanks I use regularly end up being phased out of the market.
Cost Increase
For the everyday vaper this will have a large impact as one of the primary reasons vaping is so popular is the fact that it is relative inexpensive compared to tobacco. Narrowing this benefit will likely have one of two effects – users will end up weening themselves off vaping altogether as costs increase, or they could end up (especially the newer users) relapsing back to their old habit. These products need to be cost efficient for the user to be attractive as an alternative to smoking”.

Debbie Traynor (Grantham, Lincs):
“Whilst technology has advanced and many devices are more efficient at delivering vapour/nicotine they are still many users who rely on strengths higher the 2% to divert their attention from combustible tobacco. When lower nicotine strengths tend to go hand in had with more powerful devices – it stands to reason, therefore, that larger bottles and greater strengths of nicotine need to be available to accommodate the varying needs of individuals depending on whatever is required to keep them off traditional cigarettes. Users of high powered devices may be satisfied with lower nicotine strengths but there has to be consideration for the remaining millions of smokers who need to be encouraged to make the switch. We cannot have a closed door policy, where only those who have already made the switch are the only users to be taken into consideration.
Tank size- huge mention has been made (and vastly exaggerated) over the potential hazards of some filling mechanisms; if this is the case why are users being encouraged to refill more often. If larger tanks remain available surely this would be considered ‘damage limitation’.
The limit of container size for E liquid is ridiculous, it is unwarranted as it offers no risk reduction and would only serve to increase cost of transportation and manufacture, increased waste and cost to the end user.
All of the restrictions combined will limit availability of this technology and encourage smokers back to tobacco which is easily available. I, personally haven’t had a cigarette in nearly four years, vaping has been the only long term solution for my being smoke free. Before discovering this technology I had tried every conceivable method of smoking cessation with very little success. I was so amazed at the ease of switching to vaping I wanted to encourage others, which is what lead to my opening a shop”.

Colin Hawkins (Stoke on Trent):

“Smoked up to 40 a day for around 30 years, tried every type of quitting mechanism, hypnosis, gum, patches and nothing worked for more than a couple of weeks, started vaping 4 years ago and have not touched a cigarettte since, massive health improvements as well.”

 

1 – http://londoneconomics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/High_nicotine_e-cigs_ban-Feb14.pdf

2 – http://ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_1011.pdf

3 – https://hansard.digiminster.com/Lords/2016-05-10/debates/16051044000179/TobaccoAndRelatedProductsRegulations2016

 

63351868

We need more Power!

***************UPDATE*****************

Vapers in Power are delighted to say that a kind member of the community has come forward with a donation so we can purchase the goods required. We would like to send our warmest regards to Andrew Scotchmere.

***************UPDATE*****************

Vapers in Power will be attending several events this year and we want to make our presence as effective as we can. We have determined that the best way we can improve our service at events is to get some more POWER! i.e. electricity lol

This would allow us to run a laptop and internet connection to enable people to write to their politician (or sign petitions) on the day. With someone on hand to give them guidance if they haven’t done it before.

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO LEND (OR DONATE) ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS FOR VIP USE WE WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL.

Ideally we need:
A Leisure battery like this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Banner-Energy-Bull-Leisure-Battery-95601-12V-80Ah-/361551903205?hash=item542e2c39e5:g:9BkAAOSwSclXLcdN
Though a fairly high aH car battery might do the trick like one from a diesel vehicle.

An inverter of at least 300w like this sort of thing https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inverter-inverter-notebook-emergency-MRI3013BU-UK/dp/B00INW611Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462833823&sr=8-1&keywords=inverter

And some sort of trickle charger or automatic charger, a bit like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6AMP-12V-HEAVY-DUTY-VEHICLE-BATTERY-CHARGER-CAR-VAN-TRUCK-ELECTRICAL-CHARGING-/321820321967?hash=item4aedfc68af%3Ag%3A7m4AAOSwHnFVu4ei

Our immediate need is for Vape Collective which we will be attending at the end of May. We have people able to collect in North London area, Cardiff area, Lincoln area, West Yorkshire and Glasgow and the surrounding area, if you have any equipment you would like to pass along.

Please contact us at info@vapersinpower.co.uk if you can help

 

Nottinghamshire, Beacon of Fear

Vapers in Power are incensed by Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to ban employees from using e-cigarettes in its buildings, land and company vehicles (1) . E-cigarettes are used by many to stop smoking and the scientific consensus is that they are at least 95% safer than combustible tobacco (2).

We regard the Council’s actions as inappropriate with regards to smoking but we are particularly concerned by the inclusion of vaping and e-cigarettes in the ban.

This ban will deter people from switching to a far safer alternative and also sends out the false  message that vaping is harmful.

We are also concerned that we have seen no justification from the Council for this ban so we can only assume that it’s lazy policy making: a knee jerk reaction to something which they don’t understand.

As Public Health England noted (2) “increasing numbers of people think e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than smoking”. Steps like this can only compound that misconception.

Nottinghamshire County Council are part of the Smoke Free Action Coalition (3) yet the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the new Nottinghamshire County Council Smoke Free Policy is not in keeping with the advice given by this coalition on e-cigarettes and their use for harm reduction. (4)

The Smoke Free Action Coalition clearly recommends that organisations consider the following information when considering e-cigarette policy:

  • Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study a paper by Robert West regarding e-cigarettes as harm reduction and their effectiveness in quitting smoking (5)
  • Ash Factsheet 891 regarding who uses e-cigarettes and why they use them (6)
  • Ash Factsheet 715 regarding the basics about e-cigarettes and their risks for users, bystanders and the ‘gateway’ effect (7)

 

The Smoke Free Policy of Nottinghamshire County Council has clearly failed to take this information into account with regards to e-cigarettes.

We should also be clear that e-cigarettes are not included in the UK Smoking at Work legislation (8)

We can only conclude that this ban is yet another example of an organisation shaping their policies on fear rather than facts.

We call on Nottinghamshire County Council to re-assess their misguided policy.

E-cigarettes save lives, bans risk them.

 

References

 

  1. http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/DMS/Document.ashx
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/457102/Ecigarettes_an_evidence_update_A_report_commissioned_by_Public_Health_England_FINAL.pdf
  3. http://www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/index.html
  4. http://www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/ElectCigs.html
  5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12623/abstract
  6. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf
  7. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_715.pdf
  8. https://www.gov.uk/smoking-at-work-the-law

 

Care Home Worker Crowned E-cig Champion

I had a win at work today. In fact we all had a win!  Acceptance and recognition of e-cigs as being normal use devices in care homes.

While on my days off I had a message from my manager saying she’d had to do risk assessments for those residents that use electronic cigarettes and that she could have done with my help. I told her that I would look through them when I get back at the weekend. However, I decided to create one for her to look at and asked admin to send me a blank.

I quickly realised that I needed help in the wording, as I did not want to “scare” those reading it. Due to being on the vape scene for nearly 5 years I have obviously absorbed a lot of good information and bad information but did not want this to go the wrong way.

I also realised that this had the potential to go out to other homes within the company so it needed to be spot on.

Therefore, I dropped a message to Matt of Vapourtrails TV who advised me that his VTTV colleague Rhydian (who is also a Vapers in Power member) does this for a living. Perfect!

I waited, what seemed like an age, for admin to email me, they had computer problems apparently. Anyway, as soon as I got it, Rhydian got it.

Rhydian couldn’t have been more helpful and with what seemed like a few minutes sent me back a filled out risk assessment for me to read.

It was exactly what was needed and is very positively written. On return to work, I posted a hard copy into the Home Managers office and left a copy for my floor manager.

The upshot is that this is now in our home policy, procedures and residents and staff members are to follow it. I have also been given the title of “E-cigarette Champion” for the home; anyone requiring information or training etc need to come to me. A position I very much welcome, as I have cringed at the things I have seen in the home regards to this subject. I now have the power to correct any misuse or remove the items.

My next step is to roll the same assessment to other homes in the company. I also intend to set up some sort of e-cig presentation (when/if I get the time) and probably a monthly maintenance class for those that use them.

By Andrew Bell

Andrew works at Northview Lodge in Castledown, Sunderland which is part of HC-One Care Homes that specialise in Dementia, Nursing, Residential and Specialist Care Homes

 

Give Us Strength!

Guest post by Ian Green (Twitter: @ECigologist)

Having run my own Vape store for the past three years, I thought that most of the anxiety witnessed was when a new customer is being talked through their first ever purchase. You can sometimes smell the fear when you mention “atomisers”, “variable voltage/wattage” and then there’s the “juice menu”. Lots of flavour choices and varying nicotine strengths. You get the picture.
Now there’s a new generation of anxious Vaper. Not just anxious…distraught!

Having had a “tell it like it is” policy from the outset, we’ve always kept customers informed where the TPD is concerned. We’ve had the petitions available to sign via a laptop on the counter, TV screens showing most of the available information, handed out leaflets and kept a Twittter feed live on the website. It’s what many businesses have done for a long time.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that most if not all believed it wouldn’t happen. Even though it’s happened or technically speaking “happening”, many vapers have been in denial. A lot still are!

“There’s too many of us for them to ban vaping”
“It’s never going to happen”
“They can’t stop us”

Just a few regular comments that many of my colleagues locally and nationally would have heard, time and time again.

However, in the past few weeks the reality and true consequences of the TPD are beginning to have an impact as several E-Liquid manufacturers start withdrawing the higher nicotine strengths. The look of total despair on customers faces is saddening, if not predictable; even when the warnings have been so abundant. I wonder what they’ll do when I haven’t actually got any 20mg + to sell? After all, I’ve only been reminding them that they should write to their MPs and share their disgust! There’s thousands vaping and enjoying 24/33mg out there.

give us strength
This soon to be very disappointed generation of vaper will at least have something in common with those yet to discover vaping. Unless you’re a Cloud Chaser, you’ll have two options available, and both are going to be second best.
It’s up to retailers to badger the liquid manufacturers. Vapers need options and one vital option is to use the nicotine strength of choice. Higher nicotine strengths must therefore be available until the very last minute.

If the EU and UK Government removed alcohol from pubs, there would be uproar
. I’ll leave that blog for Fergus!

The reward for Apathy is continued disappointment and a need to put up signs that you’ll point to to with a wry smile on your face. They may read like this one:

“I try to please at least one person per day, today isn’t your day and tomorrow isn’t looking great either”.

It might be amusing if it wasn’t such a monumental Public Health shambles. So, don’t hide the facts from your customers, as their Apathy may be treated with a shot of stark reality. And don’t let your liquid manufacturers off the hook either. Premature withdrawal always ends in disappointment!!! Long term potentially.

Whichever way you look at this sorry situation, there’s many among us that simply need strength and support. Let’s offer both, for as long as possible.

Westminster Mod

Overwhelmed Underdog: Thoughts from the All Party Parliamentary Group on E-cigs

A guest blog post from Ian Green ( @ECigologist )

A tipple and vape in London (photo Ian Green)

It wasn’t my intention to blog about my day in London on Monday the 7th of December. I had however intended to provide a quick update via a continuing thread on a vaping Facebook group that provoked many thoughts on the impact of the TPD last weekend.

I’d been invited to attend a couple of events. First was a presentation by Ian Jones PhD, Corporate, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Vice President, Emerging Markets- JTI.

The presentation looked at how the industry would manage as the TPD deadlines move ever closer.
It was a very interesting couple of hours that focussed on the need for due diligence, product stewardship, supplier cooperation and other practical issues that need to be addressed.  It wasn’t an all “doom and gloom” affair. Far from it. It did however emphasise the need for anyone seriously contemplating their future within the vaping industry to take a deep breath and prepare for a somewhat frustrating and uncertain few years. There were many helpful suggestions made to help overcome some of the more complex hurdles and an open debate followed due to several of us interpreting sections of the TPD documents very differently!  I’ll touch on that again soon.

At this venue, Church House on Great Smith Street at the rear of the Houses of Parliament,  I met some familiar faces from within the vaping industry and became acquainted with many more.

 photo Westminister Mod_zps3aneba8g.png
Houses of Parliament, London (image by Abigail Cottrill)

We then moved into the Houses of Parliament itself for a drinks reception held in the Strangers Dining Room. The reception was hosted by the APPG, The All Party Parliamentary Group on E-Cigarettes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after a high level security check-in, just like airport customs, we met with MPs, Lords, vaping advocates and other industry colleagues. Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, addressed the attendees, confirmed his support for vaping and acknowledged the need for change in the way vapers are treated.

Now I’m not sure where all this is going but I’m prepared to get involved as I’ve been invited to attend and contribute at futute meetings.  I’ll provide updates via FB and or Twitter.

Now all this sounds very cordial and informative I’m sure. But what was confirmed to me throughout the day, is why there’s so much confusion on the subject of the TPD.

It’s because EVERYONE’S confused!!!!

Should I use the word confused? Surely being confused is when there are too many clear options available?  Perhaps, simply dazzled by the complexity of the TPD.   Every document I’ve ever seen  is as clear as mud.

So I’m not sure!

On a serious note and, despite many things still requiring clarification (hence the lack of understanding), there was a lot of optimism on display.

Now I’m optimistic; I’m optimistic that one day soon I too will understand the full implications of the TPD without giving a toss what anyone else thinks. By that I mean:  not needing to ask for a second,third or fourth opinion.  I can already hear the laughter.

Because it’s all so ambiguous:  a grand reception room in the Houses Of Parliament containing some of the most clued up people with an interest in the whole Vaping saga,  they couldn’t clearly interpret it!

However, they agree to disagree.
It all appeared most agreeable!

For the record, I understand the frustrations kicking about; the sense of anger & the probable impact of this bureaucratic EU lunacy. However, we have to keep positive and work with what we have at the moment. It’s a long game being played. That’s a given.

Do I really think it’s all over? No I don’t. Do the people I met on Monday think it’s all over. No THEY don’t! Are the next 18 months going to be easy? No they’re not.

I’m in favour of “rallying the troops” not “retiring with a bloody nose”.

The Advocates that have been setting the example over the past four or so years (and there are too many to name here) deserve better than that. And so do the smokers yet to discover the benefits and joys of Vaping.

Negatives and Positives; they need each other. Most vapers understand that logic surely? So I’m happy to read and hear opposing opinions. That’s how we learn and develop our understanding.

At the moment there are more questions than answers and I for one appreciate the commentaries being transmitted that attempt to unravel the mysteries of how this world works.

Never in a million years did I see myself caught up in political cross-fire, and it’s obvious to most that it goes beyond just the moral injustices that vaping endures.

Finally, I’ve openly admitted before that I find this arena completely overwhelming and I’ve also taken onboard the observations that this is an uphill struggle. It won’t be any suprise that I take a great deal of comfort knowing that we’re all part of an underdog community taking on the might of bureaucracy and powerful industries that normally crush everything beneath them!

I’d also like fellow vapers to consider this too: being an underdog goes hand in hand with being underestimated. That’s one fact that doesn’t confuse me!

Vapefest 2015 (Ian Green)
Vapefest 2015 (photo Ian Green)
12305975_640881376049944_1147914200_n

Proud to be Welsh? Are you sure?

The most recent announcement from Vapers in Power “Write to Vape – Wales”  has caused me to question how proud I am of being Welsh. Pretty surprising that really, isn’t it! 😛

Ever since I started vaping and being involved in advocacy for vaping I felt really proud that Wales hosts many vaping related businesses. Particularly the area in which I live, Swansea. Swansea is a bit of a hot bed vaping wise with lots of vapers in social media etc. But my feelings have changed.

The change in the level of pride took a massive battering thanks to Mark Drakeford AM, the Health Minister. Ever since he announced that the act of vaping will be restricted in the same way as smoking (as you should all be aware by now) I felt less proud. Less proud for having a country governed by politicians who ignored: the public, the scientific experts and the advocates. The “health”  minister has single handedly made me change my outlook of the future of the country where I live.

Wales has always been governed by Welsh Labour.  Ever since devolution in 1999 Labour has either governed on their own, as now, or in coalition. I think that 2016 can have a positive outcome.  2016 is the year of the Welsh Assembly elections. (I’m sure I have mentioned that before in one way or another!)   This is the single opportunity for those who have lost faith in the Welsh Government, to become proud once more.

“How can that be done?” I thought to myself. Firstly, you have to make use of the vote you have. It is very important. ViP have already shared posts about registering to vote for next year, I don’t need to do it again. Sadly there is a massive wrench in the system. This wrench is that the WG want to push through the Public Health (Wales) Bill before the election.

Currently, the Health & Social Care Committee are scrutinising the PH Bill and have just finished Stage 1. The HSCC report is due to be published and I for one will go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

HSCC Eng

As you see above, the report is going to be debated by the whole Assembly on Tues 8th Dec. That doesn’t give much time at all! Welsh vapers and advocates are under a lot of pressure to get all opposing parties on side. Well the opposing parties are pretty much on our side but there is always a need to get that confirmation. So the daunting task  now is to change the minds of any Welsh Labour AMs. Welsh Labour are 50% of the Assembly so any Welsh Labour AMs that jump ship will work in our favour.  Please visit our Write to Vape page for help with writing to elected representatives.

ViP are a voice for vapers but your voice needs to be directed by yourselves to the AMs for your constituency. You must tell them your feelings regarding vaping and why the PH Bill for you is completely unhelpful.

A recent poll has estimated that there are 242,000 vapers in Wales. So 242,000 voices can not be ignored. Those 242,000 can come together and overthrow the current government by voting for vaping in the elections next year.

242,000 vapers in Wales, acting together to prove that Mark Drakeford was wrong about vaping. You know what that would make me feel? That would certainly make me feel proud.

Go on, make yourself feel proud to be a Welsh vaper!

By Rhydian Mann

PS  Vapers in Power are looking for pro vaping candidates to stand in the elections next year, email info@vapersinpower.co.uk or tweet @vapers if you can help  (especially if you live in the Cardiff West constituency!)