ASH Director Explains How to Stop EU Ban on E-Cigarettes
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by: James Dunworth

Head shot of Clive Bates.

I don’t normally do a blog post about a blog post, but this one is so important it needs highlighting.

Clive Bates, who we interviewed here, is the former director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) UK, and an experienced campaigner in the field of tobacco harm reduction.

As we explained here, the latest EU tobacco directive aims to reduce the maximum amount of nicotine in electronic cigarettes to a level where it would not satisfy smokers. The directive also threatens other low risk alternatives to smoking.

On his blog Clive Bates explains:

  • why the tobacco directive is bad
  • what to do to fight the directive
  • how to do it

Check out the blog post here – and, if possible, highlight it on social media and/or your blog too!

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5 Responses to “ASH Director Explains How to Stop EU Ban on E-Cigarettes”

  1. Michael J. McFadden January 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Clive may seem friendly to you at the moment, but remember this BBC story from 1998 when he was asked about claims that ASH wanted smoking banned in pubs:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/167762.stm

    where he said:

    “This is a scaremongering story by a tobacco industry front group. No-one is seriously talking about a complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.”

    – MJM

  2. James January 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Hi Michael

    I don’t know about Clive’s attitude towards the smoking ban. However, didn’t he leave ASH 4 years before the smoking ban came into place?

    David Atherton states:

    “Clive’s gentle persuasion is credited with getting smoking rates down to 21% of the population.”

    http://daveatherton.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/clive-bates-former-head-of-ash-writes/

    I don’t have a problem with gentle persuasion, although I realise that with other anti-smokers demands became more and more strident as they made more victories. I have heard that Clive left ASH because he was frustrated at the lack of progress being made with THR.

    I don’t know what his attitude towards the smoking ban would have been if he had still been director – I’ve done a quick internet search but can’t seem to find any quotes (I think he went off to work in Africa around about that time?)

    Cheers

    James

  3. Michael J. McFadden January 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Interesting! Thanks James! No, I didn’t know that at all! That certainly makes a difference as far as the man himself is concerned, although it wouldn’t alter my attitude about ASH.

    – MJM

  4. Russell Brown April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Unfortunately we have no chance, ecigs WILL be banned by the EU, because that is how it works. Brussels is surrounded by lobbyists, the pharma industry and big tobacco can offer MEPs perks and jobs after they leave politics. The only chance ecigs had was to play them at their own game, open lobbyist offices in Brussels, get friendly with MEPs and offer them perks and jobs as well.

    http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/3185/eu-smoking-regulation-led-by-big-pharma-claims-mep

  5. James Dunworth April 17, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    ECITA is lobbying. But their lobbying is going to much more effective if there is a grass roots campaign as well – which there is. Only yesterday one MEP was on YouTube saying thousands of vapers had contacted her with concerns about the EU regulations.

    Advice from ECITA is that vapers need to keep up the pressure. Keep contacting MEPs, and keep on pushing the same points and making the same arguments (look at how politicians keep on reiterating the same arguments), and pointing out that despite what some MEPs think, a limit of 0.4% nicotine IS an effective ban on electronic cigarettes.

    On the positive side, we have already received lots of support from some MEPs, and even persuaded some MEPs to change their stance from undecided to being supportive of ecigs.

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