Sunday, 24 February 2013
Monday sees the one and only public hearing about the EU Tobacco Products Directive. I'll be live tweeting the event as it happens (you can also watch it live here).
The presentations have already been posted online here. As I suspected, two of the speakers will be talking almost exclusively about plain packaging, which is not part of the Directive. Clearly the neo-prohibitionists hope to create a false narrative in which the EU is not going far enough, is being soft on the tobacco industry, blah, blah, blah. It doesn't look like any of them will so much as mention the fact that the Directive will maintain the ban on snus and will introduce a de facto ban on e-cigarettes.
The pharmaceutical industry will be delighted that their years of lobbying and donations to EU institutions such as the Smokefree Partnership have paid off. Not that the anti-tobacco zealots need much encouragement from corporate interests. They are far more interested in annoying the tobacco industry with petty policies like plain packaging than they are in the health of Europeans. These people are so far down the rabbit hole that it probably never occurs to them that banning e-cigarettes and snus plays straight into the hands of cigarette companies.
They simply do not care.
As ever, Clive Bates has some wise words to say about all of this.
Posted by Christopher Snowdon at 9:11 p.m.