The rant below is my sign of affection to 44 Members of European Parliament (of a left garden variety mostly) who, on July 10, voted to destroy both e-cigarette industry and tremendous health-saving potential of electronic cigarettes.
This rant of mine uses parts of a report that covered what some of the above MEPs had to say prior to the utterly wrong decision they made. The authors seem to be in total agreement with the said MEPs. Hardly surprising, so let’s name the picture below the way it deserves to be named.
A Clueless Bunch of Environmentalists Meets a Bunch of MEPs with Questionable Motives
Since the leftie MEPs (44 of them) are more interesting to the cause here, let’s deal with them first. We’ll leave (maybe) well-meaning but still dead wrong environmentalist bunch for some other post.
On 10 July ENVI* voted on making e-cigarette medicinal product.
The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is a committee of the European Parliament. It now has 69 members and a secretariat of 10 administrators.
The whole thing was done in a cute package with some anti-tobacco measures in order to make e-cigarette look like a part of the problem. And that’s the tune we’ve been forced to listen to for quite some time yet. The fact that e-cigarette (such as it is, not as they want it to be!) is a part of the solution(the best one for many!) was blatantly disregarded.
Anyway, ENVI voted to make electronic cigarette a medicinal product so that Big Pharma can cripple it badly enough to render it unable to compete with their ineffective NRTs. Not the only highly questionable issue in this whole dirty business that 44 MEPs took part in! Unlike the 25 who voted against this plain injustice and huge damage and whose conscience is clean.
Digression: On July 1st Croatia (it’s where I live) joined EU. So, we too joined the millions who have to finance all those committees and suffer from their decisions.
Now, let’s go back to the report written by clueless Corporate Group Observatory (CEO). These are the quotes from there I’m commenting on.
They Are The Borg
The European Commission’s proposal includes graphic photos and text warnings to cover 75% of the front and back of cigarette packs, restrictions on the sale of slim cigarettes, menthol and flavoured cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, and theregulation of Internet sales. New EU health Commissioner Tonio Borg …
How convenient! The harm reduction product and the harm inflicting product are going to be treated here as if they were one and the same thing! (They seem to have been assimilated here first).
This report documents the experiences of some MEPs, their assistants, and political advisers, who have testified that the tobacco and electronic cigarette lobby are becoming more aggressive as the voting approaches.
Meanwhile, the Big Pharma lobby is working its way in peace and quiet. More efficiently, as it turns out.
(Is resistance futile?)
All Things Green
Paul Murphy MEP, from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), testified to this massive disparity between the level of tobacco lobbying and NGO campaigning around the Tobacco Products Directive:
My understanding is that Smoke Free Partnership have two people working for them whereas the tobacco industry have 100 full time people… It’s a massive disparity because tobacco have a lot of money … People with money have a bigger voice.
Whereas Big Tobacco has it all and NGO sector has at least some voice, electronic cigarette industry has neither money accummulated, nor voice allowed. They are banned from advertising on the biggest platforms – Google Adwords and Facebook ads. E-cigarette related articles are restricted or banned on many internet venues.I tried to post on Squidoo and E-zine articles and wasn’t allowed.
US digression: FDA forbids e-cig industry to make any health claims for their product. So, they are allowed to advertise it using its less important benefits. No ash, no odor and similar blah-blah.
All the electronic cigarette industry and vapers can do is what they are already doing – trying to be heard, hoping that your misleading propaganda and unjust decisions are caused by your lack of information. How naive, but more on it later.
…the Green group’s trade committee advisor remarked about an e-cigarette industry stunt, which involved putting sample e-cigarettes in the post boxes of MEPs, that “I didn’t get one through my pigeonhole… They focus on more promising people“
Another clueless Green (it’s pretty clear why CEO loves him) trying to imply his moral superiority over his political opponents.
They (e-cig industry) focus on more promising people.
You mean they focus on those who sin on the side of getting to know what they are going to vote on. Who keep an open mind on subjects they have yet to find out about. An MEP from the GUE/NGL group noted that they “don’t get lobbied because the GUE group are considered a waste of time,”
You know, I’m all for the protection of endangered species and I’m all against polluting the environment and those who do it for profit. These ideas are appealing to every normal person, anyway. Unfortunately, this is not the first time you Greens have been heard talking on issues you adamantly refuse to know anything about. Condeming things just because they don’t look good enough, progressive enough, fancy enough on the surface. Your cluelessness is so obvious in the case of electronic cigarettes. It looks like a cigarette so it must be bad, bad, bad.
That’s where e-cig industry is absolutely right – you are a waste of time. And these people don’t have time to waste.
And What Exactly Are You Doing There?
The e-cigarette campaign has gone further, by distributing free products, orchestrating an aggressive social media offensive and even accusing MEPs reluctant to accept their viewpoint of ‘questionable motives’.
It’s either questionable motives or you’d prefer us to think you’re plain stupid? In either case you don’t deserve to sit where you are sitting.
You see, it doesn’t take being an Einstein to see the benefits of electronic cigarettes for smokers. But you prefer to destroy it so that the big tobacco you are so diligently pretending to protect us from, can continue to take its yearly toll in human lives. And big tax in countries can continue to take its revenue from tobacco sales. And I haven’t even mentioned Big Pharma in this part yet.
Let’s not fool ourselves – most of you are an opportunistic voting machinery (questionable enough, as far as I’m concerned), instructed by the ones most probably bribed (a highly questionable motive). How else could you reach this obviously morally wrong and health devastating decision? HOW ELSE?
UK electronic cigarette manufacturer Skycig have urged users, their friends and family, to contact their MEPs, claiming that millions of people would turn back to cigarettes“effectively allowing 5 million people to die from smoking related illnesses”.
And are they wrong? E-cig industry and users have had some success in making some representatives familiar with e-cigs. Unfortunately, this hasn’t made 44 MEPs stop for a moment and think about the five million people. There are about 5 million good reasons why they should have done it, and there is a couple of entirely selfish reasons why they didn’t do it.
Read on: They Don’t Need No Education 2