Grassroots activism for public health for a change

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The European Parliament will be meeting next week in Brussels, and they may be confronted with a populist uprising based on sound science, a most unusual occurrence. The topic: e-cigarettes, and the asinine draft Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) crafted last December by the EU Health committee.

Taking its cue from the WHO s anti-tobacco treaty, the TPD would effectively ban electronic nicotine delivery devices ENDS, more commonly known as e-cigarettes by deeming them medicinals and restricting their nicotine levels to an ineffectively low standard. Alternatively, they could be approved as therapeutic drugs by going through large-scale and long-term clinical trials, which allows us to contemplate a control group forced to keep on smoking deadly addictive cigarettes. Neither of these options would allow the millions of smokers who have switched to e-cigs to continue to have ready access to them, which would likely propel them back to the real thing.

Several vapers groups (e-cigarette users call themselves vapers, not smokers, of course) have organized a mass demonstration next Wednesday, July 10th, to let the MEPs know their strong discontent with this measure, and to petition for its removal from the TPD.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross is on board with this movement: It completely eludes me as to why all the official and governmental agencies and NGOs are standing in the way of smokers trying to quit, and often succeeding, via e-cigarettes. Now perhaps those who feel their means of escape from the siren song of cigarettes is being threatened by bureaucrats and regulators for no reason related to public health are taking it to the streets. We ve seen many such demonstrations against safe and useful products, chemicals, etc, roused by activist agenda-based groups. This on the other hand is an issue which needs to be addressed, and we here at ACSH are pleased to see this instance of democracy in action hopefully having an impact where it counts.