Health campaigners fury as new e-cigarette advert to be first ‘smoking’ commercial shown in 49 years
Nov 10, 2014
By Andrew Gregory
A WOMAN will appear to smoke in a TV ad tonight for the first time since 1965 after a screen ban on “vaping” e-cigarettes was relaxed.
Angry health campaigners think the 20-second clip will “sexualise and glamorise” the nicotine devices.
The ad for e-cigarette firm VIP will be shown during a break in ITV crime drama Grantchester.
VIP’s David Levin said: “This will mark the first time in almost 50 years that TV audiences see someone exhale what appears to be ?cigarette smoke on an ad. However, it is actually vapour from an e-cigarette.”
Before today, e-cigarette ads could not show people using the devices over fears it would encourage viewers to start smoking. Now they can show the vapour being inhaled and exhaled but ads must not target kids or encourage non-smokers to use e-cigarettes.
Deborah Arnott, of health charity Ash, said: “Vaping is safer than smoking but it’s not harmless.
“Ash are concerned that VIP’s ads sexualise and glamorise e-cigarette use and don’t make clear these products are for smokers.
“If these ads conform to new rules then we’re concerned the rules aren’t fit for purpose.”
E-cigarette sales soared from ?44million in 2012 to ?193million in 2013.
Cancer-fight Archie Macpherson wants smokers to be ‘terrorised’
8 October 2013
Veteran football commentator Archie Macpherson has called the smoking ban is the “greatest piece of public legislation ever passed” after he was treated for cancer caused by passive smoking.
The 78-year-old had a kidney removed after a tumour was diagnosed that is commonly found in smokers, even though he has never had a cigarette in his life.
Macpherson said: “”I suddenly felt a venomous hatred of the smoker and then bumped into one at the hospital. An old woman with her goonie on and with her drip behind her.
“She dragged it down like a shopping trolley, smoking away, under a No Smoking sign. And I thought, ‘What a problem we face.’”
Macpherson believes his illness was caused by spending time in smoke-filled rooms and press boxes during his long commentating career.
He added: “There are people who are getting into cancer for the first time and must grapple with it in the confidence that much can be done for them.
“There is no doubt that the smoking ban is the greatest piece of public legislation that’s been passed anywhere in the world.
“The ban on smoking in public places must go on and we must find some other ways, even in this era of human rights legislation and whatever, of terrorising smokers.”
Read and watch the video.
Smoking: a crime worse than urinating on someone’s shoes
August 10, 2013
By Mr. Eugenides
SMOKING, like politics, brings out the worst in people. But it’s not smokers I find objectionable; it’s the joyless bastards who are trying to drive it out of our society that I really hate. I’m not a smoker – my asthma won’t allow it – but there’s something about anti-smoking activists that boils my tits. (I did once light a cigar with a ?10 note, but in my defence, that was only to piss off Aamer Anwar, so I don’t really think it counts.)
Friends often ask me why I stand up for smokers’ rights when I’m not only not a smoker but actively suffer when people smoke heavily in my presence. Well, I’m not sure if it’s the sanctimoniousness, the thin-lipped puritanism, or the sheer pleasure they clearly take in telling others how to live their lives; but whatever it is when I hear the acronym ASH, it makes me want to puff on a fat stogie like it’s going out of fashion. Which it clearly is.
You can see it in the ridiculous article this week by the Independent cricket writer Stephen Brenkley, who lamented a trio of scandals that have hit the English game in the last few days. An England player had been accused of cheating by tampering with his bat; another got drunk and pissed on a nightclub bouncer in Brighton. But, for Brenkley, these were mere amuse-bouches for the main course: “Perhaps worst of the lot, three players who took part in the draw at Old Trafford… were photographed smoking outside a Manchester restaurant.”
Perhaps worst of the lot. Worse than cheating, worse than pissing on someone’s fucking shoes, was three grown men having a cigarette. Really, Stephen? Really? The head shakes at such idiocy. Allan Massie put it far better than I could, of course; “Ye Gods and little fishes! It is hard to believe that a grown man and experienced journalist wrote such poppycock.” Quite.
You can see it in the haste with which the EU has rushed to crack down on e-cigarettes, egged on by spurious “health campaigners” who are usually in reality little more than government-funded sock puppets. Despite the complete – complete – absence of any evidence that e-cigs cause even the slightest harm to their users’ health, the authorities decided to classify them as pharmaceutical products, vastly restricting their future availability.
Train companies, too, are quickly moving to ban the use of e-cigs by passengers and staff. And in New York, the increasingly authoritarian Michael Bloomberg – who never saw a pleasure he did not want to outlaw – is drafting tobacco control legislation which will almost certain reduce yet further the ability of law-abiding citizens to puff away on a fag, though of course they don’t call it a fag, as I found to my cost in a crowded Greenwich Village bar on one unfortunate evening many years ago.
I’ve never smoked an e-cigarette and don’t plan to in the future. But what I do find interesting about the campaign to ban e-cigs – because be in no doubt, that is the endgame here – is that it is proceeding apace despite the fact that the stated reasons for the original smoking ban – the risks of passive smoking, disturbance to other customers, and harms to health – patently do not apply to these devices.
In the case of e-cigs, campaigners have argued that they should be cracked down on because they have not yet been proven to be safe. The absence of evidence is now sufficient to have something banned. These joyless, spunk-gargling fucksticks have, successfully, inverted our traditional understanding of risk management.
What is most revealing is the language that these frenzied bansturbators are using, and increasingly persuading the rest of us to use as well. Transport for London, announcing this week a ban on staff use of e-cigs, didn’t even pretend that they were concerned about the health implications of the things. In an email to staff, they wrote: “E-cigarettes and nicotine inhalers are extremely difficult to differentiate from real cigarettes, therefore if someone uses an e-cigarette or nicotine inhaler in the workplace it might look like they are smoking a real cigarette. This is not the image we want to portray to customers and colleagues.”
This is not the image we want to portray to customers and colleagues. Since when was smoking an unpleasant image? Who, ever, saw Ingrid Bergman with a cigarette holder between her lips and decided they didn’t want to fuck her? What kind of people are these?
The campaign to denormalise smoking is depressing not because it is successful – though it is – but because it is so insidious. Since it cannot succeed solely through education about health risks, through an informed conversation with the public about how bad smoking is for you, it must be enacted through incessant rises in taxation, in calls to remove scenes of smoking from TV and movies, in the idiocy of plain packaging. Since we cannot be persuaded – or rather, since we are being persuaded, but too slowly for their liking – we must instead be nagged, bullied and treated like children at every turn.
And I think that’s what it is about the anti-smoking brigade that really raddles my nuts. I hate the smell of smoke on my clothes, but I hate being treated like a fucking child exponentially more. Governments have killed far more people than Marlboro ever did. Mind your own fucking business.
August 06, 2013
In June this year, our Coalition Government agreed a general response to the European Commission’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) at a meeting of European health ministers in Luxembourg.? Unfortunately, because the Conservative Public Health Minister, Anna Soubry, avoided the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Members of Parliament were denied the opportunity to discuss the directive and the ramifications of its proposals are only now beginning to emerge.
The campaign website has more information, but here are five reasons to oppose the Tobacco Products Directive:
1.Have we learned nothing from history? Prohibition doesn’t work.
2.Excessive regulation will deny consumers choice and drive them to the black market and online contraband sales.
3.Criminal gangs will make a fortune manufacturing and selling prohibited products while legal businesses will lose income and the HMRC the tax receipts.
4.Don’t let the EU impose an extreme regulatory agenda on UK consumers .
5.What next – alcohol, sugary drinks, convenience foods, salt levels, Caffeine and alcohol drinks? Lobbyists are already campaigning for such laws
Leaders: Smoking ban proposals invade private space
Scotland’s landmark legislation on banning smoking in public places, which came into force on 26 March 2006, met with fierce opposition from those who argued it undermined smokers’ personal liberties.
But that argument held little water when placed alongside the right of non-smokers in bars, restaurants and workplaces to live their lives free from inhaling second-hand smoke.
There is a corollary in the current debate about smoking in private cars and in private homes. Public health professionals pushing for new curbs want to protect family members, especially children, from the effects of inhaling other people’s smoke. This concern is well founded: all the credible evidence is that the health of non-smokers can be seriously harmed by second-hand smoke inhalation. When children are part of the equation, that concern is obviously more pertinent and persuasive.
Yet there is an important difference between the current debate and the previous one. Seven years ago, legislators in the Scottish Parliament were looking to control what happened in public spaces. There was some debate at the margins about what “public” actually meant – did it include hotel rooms or prison cells, for example – but, in the main, the focus of the new law was clear. This was a public health matter in the fullest sense of the word “public”.
In this new debate, however, the focus of legislators’ interest has narrowed considerably, and now includes some of the spaces we might naturally regard as our most private – namely the interiors of our homes and cars.
Legislation that determines what we can and cannot do in our own homes simply does not fall into the same category as a law to stop you lighting up a cigarette in a crowded bar. The health lobby might present this new push as simply a natural progression from existing legislation, but the fact is that this crosses a significant line, and is in danger of setting new and unwelcome precedents.
And there are other issues over how this will be policed. Will police have the resources (given the cuts in their budget) to effectively prosecute this; and given the finite resources they have, is this where we want them spent? Look at the number of drivers still seen on their mobile phones. And what if the windows are open? What if the roof is down on a convertible?
Perhaps the biggest concern, however, is precedent. If the state has the right to stop parents smoking in front of their children in the car, why not the living room? Does it also have the right to control what they feed to their offspring at the kitchen table? Does the state have the right to determine what levels of saturated fat children ingest? Or what TV programmes they are permitted to watch?
The urge to protect children is an honourable one, but it cannot be a carte blanche for illiberal laws.
Don’t give up on A&E; targets
NURSING staff are at the sharp end of the National Health Service. They are the ones delivering the bulk of patient care, often in the most taxing of circumstances and often in high-stress circumstances. When they have something to say about the way our hospitals are operating we would be wise to listen.
So when the Royal College of Nursing says the four-hour waiting time target for accident and emergency units in Scottish hospitals is unachievable, that is a sobering message that should receive due weight from anyone concerned about improving patient care.
What it should not do, however, is deter hospital administrators and politicians from any further efforts to make the unachievable achievable.
The Scottish Government currently has an action plan in which ?50 million is being spent on trying to improve A&E; waiting times. The administrators implementing this plan have a significant challenge. The latest statistics show that one in ten patients in Scottish A&E; departments now waits longer than four hours to be treated. This is the worst since monitoring began in 2007. Of Scotland’s 14 health boards, only four managed to meet ministers’ target of treating 98 per cent of patients within that four-hour period.
These are not just statistics – these are people who are in pain and discomfort and who have turned to the NHS for help. They have done so in the expectation of being offered the most professional healthcare available.
The action plan is focusing on sensible measures that will release pressure on the front line. It must be given time to prove the Royal College of Nursing wrong.
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