Category Archives: Walkthroughs

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!

Guidance for filling in the MHRA Consultation

The MHRA, who will be the regulators in the UK for the TPD are asking for responses to a consultation on their proposals – full document here.  Time is short on this – the deadline is Friday 29th January 2016.

They ask for general comments and a further 5 questions relating to the level they have set the fees at:

1. Do you agree or disagree with the levels of the proposed fees in Annex A? If you disagree, please explain why. (The fees are £220 initial notification, £110 to modify it and a £60 yearly fee to continue it)

2. Would you prefer a fixed fee covering a number of modifications to be added to the Periodic Fee? Please provide any information that could justify a change towards this alternative model.

3. Are the proposed fee levels tolerable or will they cause a significant impact on your business’s finances? (please indicate if you represent a small or micro business)

4. Please provide any data or information that will assist us to refine our volume estimates for notifications in Year 1 (16/17) and subsequent modifications.

5. Please provide any data or information that will assist us to refine our volume estimates for notifications after Year 1 (17/18 onwards)

They have said in the full document (link above): “In giving your views on the proposal described in this document, it would be particularly helpful if you could identify and quantify the effects these proposals are likely to have on your business. We would particularly like to hear from smaller companies.”

We have made a set of suggestions to help small businesses to complete this – the MHRA has been, in our view, fair in their proposals (as far as they are able) but they admit to having no clear idea of the size and mix of the UK market, and no clear idea of the effects the TPD may have on the number of viable businesses.

It is clear to us that the combined effects of the notification and testing will have a devastating effect on vaping in the UK, slimming the variety and number of eliquids (for example) on offer drastically – it is vital that the MHRA get as complete a picture of this as possible.

Blank letter to fill in and either attach or copy and paste into your response email – the email should have as the subject:  Fees Consultation MLX 390.  The MHRA have asked for responses to be in this form.

Suggestions to help with responses

Disclaimer:  We are a bunch of volunteer vapers, not experts in regulation, consultation or running a vaping business.  We have pulled in a range of vendors and industry experts to check and advise us but the suggestions and any mistakes are our own.

Any questions, feedback etc., please use the comments.