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Ecig Briefing For Political Researchers

The PDF linked below is a post I made on a forum, where a researcher working for a politician in North-East England had posted asking for comments. She gave the text of an article appearing in a newspaper that had been written by the politician to outline his opinions on vaping. The reply is included in full in order to give the correct context. The PDF was requested by advocates who wanted a portable version of the materials.

PDF: Briefing

The article being replied to here reveals a sympathetic attitude, although there are some of the usual propaganda issues that needed to be addressed. The reply is appropriate for the UK / EU political environment, as that is where the MEP is based and where I am competent to give a detailed commentary on the influences and economic pressures; the material is probably useful elsewhere because the general issues are similar everywhere and the citations may be of use.

This is not a briefing on policy, regulation or taxation - an excellent example of such a document is given at the foot of the page - rather, it is a topic-by-topic examination of issues raised by everyday discussion of the subject and how the facts have been obscured for commercial purposes. It is an in-detail look at the facts behind popular opinion; why a re-evaluation of such issues is needed; and why any discussion of regulation needs to frame the topic correctly before any policy aims can be outlined. It majors on the health and evidence issues central to THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction), the history of THR advocates' struggle against enormous financial pressures, and practical issues connected with ensuring free and unhindered access to the consumer products that allow smokers to switch to ultra low risk alternatives, avoid relapse to smoking, and maintain their ex-smoker status indefinitely.

This commentary provides a solid background for opinion leaders new to the subject because it defines fact not fantasy. The commercial propaganda war against any threat to cigarette sales is the largest and best-funded propaganda campaign the world has ever seen; every single aspect of every fact has been successfully distorted by the propagandists, and this 20-year old tremendously powerful management of public opinion first needs to be corrected before any progress can be made. In a climate where almost half of doctors surveyed in one study revealed they held false opinions directly opposite to the advice given them by their clinical guidance authority, and clearly risk medical negligence as a result, the propaganda can honestly be described as lethally powerful.

There are many more references that could be given for suitable sources of facts and evidence-based opinion. In reality, the task of locating an original reference and organising the citations is by far the most difficult and time-consuming part of writing; but unless this is done, the result can easily be dismissed as unsupported opinion. No research at all was needed to write the piece, though, since all these things are well-known to followers of the THR struggle.

The people who have influenced this material the most may not be the best represented in the citations, as things don't work out that way. They include  CV Phillips, B Rodu, JF Etter, PN Lee, J Foulds, and B Godshall among many others; to find useful resources, please go to their work.

March 2015


The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) began the process of reversing their advice to adoption agencies within two days of the publicity. PHE probably had some influence here, and everyone will be grateful to them for this injection of common sense, especially in view of the commercial pressures they must face to toe the line.

Original post:

Clive Bates
Briefing on the science and policy of e-cigarettes and vaping