Thursday, 2 November 2017

Public Health Rogue Traders

Some of you may have caught a segment on The One Show yesterday evening where Matt Allwright visited the Vape Expo event in Birmingham.

It was a surprisingly positive piece from the guy who is known for exposing Rogue Traders, and if you missed it you can watch it here from 41:30 minutes in. It was even complemented at the end with Andrew Marr giving his opinion that vaping is "an entirely good thing". Not bad, huh?

However, I think he missed the real story here.

Yesterday also saw a Westminster Hall debate secured by Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford, where he pointed out some of the absurdities of the regulations imposed on us by the EU. You can watch the whole thing here but keep an eye out for the part from 9:25 mins where Johnson tells other MPs about the ridiculous warnings on hardware - which I wrote about last week - that blatantly lie to the public.

Because, you see, the real appalling story that needs publicising about e-cigs and vaping is the disgraceful regulations applied by 'public health', as I touched upon in August.
However, what was most striking is that the stall-holders had almost abandoned selling pre-mixed nicotine-containing e-liquid altogether! Yes, you could buy 10ml TPD-compliant bottles but I didn't see many people doing that. In previous years 30ml, 60ml, and even 100ml bottles of ready-to-vape liquids were available at advantageous festival prices, but - of course - the TPD has ensured that those size bottles are now banned. 
So the upshot is that the industry has moved to selling the concentrates (flavours) instead, to be mixed by vapers themselves. Just think about that for a moment. By observing their absurd 'precautionary principle' to supposedly protect vapers and children from the overblown dangers of nicotine in e-liquid, tedious shroud-waving tobacco controllers and their dim weasel-headed EU pals have created a situation whereby liquids are not mixed in a clean environment by professionals, but instead in kitchens up and down the country by vapers buying illicit nicotine base from China ... because you can't get that in anything over 10ml bottles either. 
Instead of pharma-grade nicotine being mixed in sterile conditions with professional equipment, it is now being mixed in houses and flats using a Kenwood Chef and nicotine stored in domestic freezers, in whatever bottles are available, by people with varying levels of competence at mixing DIY juice.
Now, I've heard the trend at Vape Expo was for "short fills", that is where a 60ml bottle is filled to 50ml with a nicotine free liquid which would then be topped up with a 10ml bottle of "nic shot". This is perfectly understandable. Vapers don't want to buy stupid 10ml bottles - a regulation the EU imposed for no decent reason whatsoever - so the result is a get-around which is perfectly reasonable.

Except that just about the only part of the EU TPD that relates to vaping that anyone can possibly say makes sense is the part demanding that anything containing nicotine must be 'notified' to the MHRA so they know what is in it. This, of course, doesn't apply to liquids that do not contain nicotine. The short fill bottles, being nicotine free, can contain whatever the manufacturer wants them to contain, there is no scrutiny whatsoever!

My spies at Vape Expo tell me that there has been a noticeable uptick in nic free short fills from countries like the USA and Malaysia where no standards apply and there is absolutely no control on what is in them. So what the fucking morons who devised the TPD have created is a market where vapers are buying black market nicotine from China and mixing in their kitchen, or walking around with a bottle of nicotine and a bottle of flavouring - the contents of which they have no clue about - and mixing themselves when they never wanted to before. Precisely what the myopic cretins in 'public health' wanted to avoid.

Far from regulating the industry - which had a good record of regulating itself - the TPD has managed to take a beneficial free market and turn it into the fucking wild west, all because a few tobacco controllers either see their Caribbean holiday evaporating through redundancy or simply just can't bear to see smokers quitting without suffering the hair shirt.

The real story that Matt Allwright missed with his visit to Vape Expo is that 'public health' are the Rogue Traders who need to be humiliated. They are the ones who have screwed everything up and are potentially causing a massive amount of harm. There have been no deaths attributable to vaping so far worldwide, but if we ever see one it will most likely be tobacco control who caused it.

If 'public health' was serious about preventing harm from vaping, they would immediately demand that the regulations on bottle sizes be scrapped. But it's never been about health, so they won't. 

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