October 17, 2013

BMJ Whines About TPD

Oh BMJ, you silly pharma industry tool. After a huffy editorial announcing it wasn't on Big Tobacco's payroll any more and subsequent tweet that meant e-Cigarettes too, the journal published yet another huffy editorial. This one was about the recent amendments to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive. Mostly the rant was about the concessions given to Big T, mostly. There was a bit at the end where clearly any sort of acceptance of e-cigarettes was completely out of the question.

European Union’s tobacco products directive

The most contentious area is e-cigarettes. The commission proposed treating them like any other nicotine delivery device and regulating them as drugs, a view supported by many governments, including that of the United Kingdom, after careful review of the evidence. The parliament was, however, influenced by intensive lobbying against this, although the meaning of the alternative text is unclear. Now, “all nicotine containing products” will be subject to the same restrictions on cross border advertising and sponsorship as cigarettes. Although cigarette brand names will be banned, the many flavourings, such as bubble gum and cotton candy, which increase their appeal to children, will not. However, the draft text goes on to urge governments to “ensure that they can be made available as widely as tobacco products,” reflecting unsubstantiated claims that they are a “game changer” for smoking cessation.10 The draft legislation fails to address the rapid growth in sales of products designed to resemble real cigarettes as closely as possible. This subterfuge is widely viewed as a way to renormalise smoking, a key goal of those seeking to recruit child smokers, and to counter some of the effects of smoking bans.11

Yep, that's right, e-cigarettes have declared war on made-up words, by making the tobacco control lobby invent new made up words like “renormalise.” Also, putting scholarly references to opinion pieces in the newspaper does not a scholarly editorial make. Oh yeah, and that number 11? It's a link the author's own ranty paper about some conspiracy theory. That's totally a blogger thing to do. I should know.

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