This website is owned and operated by Chris Price, ex-ECCA UK Secretary and ECF Forum Manager. I am a consumer advocate for EVs (electronic vapourisers or 'e-cigarettes') and THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction).
I was a light smoker and began to use ecigs in 2009. I had no intention whatsoever of giving up smoking, but after a time found that I used an EV exclusively and no longer smoked. With a background in engineering plus sports politics, sports coaching and health issues, I developed an interest in e-cigarette technical matters: design and performance; THR politics: the financial pressures blocking adoption of THR; and the health impact of consumer product substitution for smoking. As a result:
Some of the material on this website was previously published on the ECCA UK and/or Vapers Network sites.
See Twitter, @rolygate - my web ID is chris p, chrisprice4, or rolygate.
As a UK resident, very familiar with UK health provision issues, UK issues in general, and UK statistics, the content of this website primarily addresses UK and European matters since those are my comfort area. In some cases the material may apply to a wider area although extrapolation has many pitfalls; for example, funding sources for the tobacco control industry in the UK and USA are radically different, and many other factors are equally different.
This is an unfunded public health resource dedicated to the removal of obstructions to universal, unhindered and unrestricted availability of consumer products for smoking replacement such as e-cigarettes, for permanent use and without cessation. The website is a leisure activity of mine, as an ordinary vaper, and I have no financial connection to the e-cigarette trade. I am entirely sympathetic to the aims of the EV trade that supplies and enables the community when it operates to the highest standards of quality control and engineering design, and when it supports unrestricted supply of all products to all countries.
I am not sympathetic to any restrictions on EV-related products of any type, except quality controls as existing for example in normal EU consumer product regulations; nor to EV businesses or groups who support any such restrictions. E-Cigarette regulations cost lives.
See this page and its message about proposed restrictions: Personal Gain
Ex-smokers have rights; and their rights include being allowed to stay alive and stay healthy.
Do we need even more e-cigarette regulation?
In order to work, e-cigarettes need to be available, effective and affordable. That is to say, in order to appeal to the maximum number of smokers and to enable those smokers to permanently avoid cigarettes, EVs need to be unrestricted in any aspect.
The current strict consumer product regulatory system in the UK together with the wide range of e-cigarette products determined by the market means that the system currently works perfectly: smokers have ample opportunity to find a safe product that works for them, at the right price, with very little possibility of unsafe or risk-inherent products being sold (and note that this intrinsically guarantees they are safer than equivalent pharmaceutical products).
Most people would consider this the definition of perfect consumer safety and protection, since it works perfectly well; since there are no incidents of harm caused; and since there is not only no evidence of harm caused but not even any evidence of potential for harm. Most people would fail to see any need for additional regulation that by design would reduce the number of products and raise prices: if a system is already proven perfect, what reason is there to change it? Where is the evidence that change is needed?
What, then, are the issues?
According to figures given by Prof Britton of the Royal College of Physicians, we can expect that millions of lives of smokers alive today in the UK will be saved - as long as the situation stays exactly as it is. To be accurate, this means that millions of preventable deaths are at stake; and the clear implication is that nothing will prevent these deaths except substitution.
Every single additional regulation or restriction will cost lives - and no need for additional regulation can be demonstrated. Essentially, it's as simple as that; the detail is not relevant to the understanding of this basic fact.
The principal issue we face is the conflict between human rights and the protection of incomes for multiple industries that profit from cigarette sales and the disease caused by smoking; thus, the saving of life versus maintaining the status quo. The purpose of this website is to point out why smoking is protected at the highest level and who is responsible. A range of informational resources will be provided to facilitate that purpose.
This website will focus on the politics surrounding e-cigarettes, because no other online resource covers this topic and it is of fundamental importance to the progress of smoking replacement by consumer products such as clean nicotine delivery systems like e-cigarettes.
In twenty years' time, at least 60% of smokers will use alternative nicotine delivery systems, whether they be alkaloid-only or modified tobacco products. This is indisputable because of the speed of uptake of the products in the short time they have been widely available, the huge positive impact THR substitution has had on public health in Sweden (the only EU country where the process has been universally permitted), the fact Snus is proven to reduce smoking prevalence by ~50% where allowed, the way smokers prefer ecigs to Swedish Snus; and the simple fact that once the genie is out of the bottle, you can't put it back.
There are many variables in this process that will affect the final date of maximum uptake, the number of lives lost due to impediments, and the cost of consumer products. The principal mechanism for delay, loss of life and consumer product cost increases is the regulatory climate designed to slow the adoption process down in order to protect current income channels.
The job of this site is to provide facts, analysis and commentary to assist e-cigarette advocates and expose the political processes that protect the smoking economy.
In 1987 the FDA crushed the Favor smokeless cigarette, the first commercialised attempt at a THR cigarette alternative. This single act has killed tens of thousands of people. Today, though, it is impossible for the pharmaceutical industry to crush ecigs because the information age makes it difficult for corruption to remain secret - even if they successfully buy the law, the black market will take over, and eventually voter power will remove the corrupt legislation.
Bans or severe restrictions that equate to a de facto ban don't work. As far as I am aware, no ban of anything has ever worked in the UK (perhaps in any other developed country). The UK bans illicit drugs, but these are available everywhere; they ban guns, but any criminal who wants one can get one; they banned citizen radio but were forced into a painful and embarrassing U-turn due to the size of the outcry against such a completely unjustifiable restriction of people's rights (there were no mobile phones at that time). They taxed cigarettes at an incredible rate, so some smokers turned to RYO tobacco, which was then found to be 100% black market in some areas.
Banning ecigs, or regulations equivalent to a ban, won't stop e-cigarettes being available. It will however shut down legitimate businesses; create illegal operations offshore; remove employment; remove the revenues from legitimate channels; place the revenue in the hands of criminals; raise prices; and remove all the current consumer protections (17 statutes together with the enforcement officers required right down to local level) that mean the UK is probably the only country in the world where e-cigarettes are comprehensively and effectively regulated. It will also create the largest black market ever seen here, since it will eventually involve 6 million people on a daily basis (more than half of UK smokers). Banning ('regulating') e-cigarettes will also create the first instance in history where the public will be forced to go to the black market for safer products in order to stay alive and healthy, in contrast to the usual reverse of this situation.
Consumer advocates are absolutely against the existence of a black market for dozens of reasons. Bans or illogical regulation of e-cigarettes guarantee a black market. Tens of millions of ex-smokers will not be denied their right to safer products, and the bought politicians and tobacco control industry personnel who attempt to prevent access to safer products will be exposed as murderously corrupt liars.
If you can help in any way, your assistance is welcomed, whatever form it may take.
We are far from impartial: this website is dedicated to exposing the profiteers from smoking and smoking-related disease, and their very good friends in government and the tobacco control industry - collectively known as 'the smoking economy' - who are actively working to ban or restrict ('regulate') electronic vapourisers (EVs or 'e-cigarettes'), and as a direct result are protecting cigarette sales whether or not by design.
"We have the best politicians that money can buy, and they will forcibly defend our freedom to buy cigarettes, become ill and die."
Pages may have a date of creation and most recent update at the foot.
The date of last update refers to material changes and not to typo or style fixes.
last update 2014-01-30