Thursday, 10 February 2022

A suggestion for Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is now Brexit minister, has an article in The Sun today...

I want Sun readers to write to me and tell me of ANY petty old EU regulation that should be abolished

The Brexit dividend is to be drawn from a few great projects but it will also come from hundreds of small actions that make daily life a little bit easier. 

... I implore you all to write to me with the regulations you want abolished — those which make life harder for small businesses, which shut out competition, or simply increase the cost of operating. Through thousands of small changes, we can enact real economic change — which means The Sun’s readers will feel a real Brexit bonus in their pockets and in their lives  every day.

I applaud this initiative, but would draw his attention to a statement from the public health minister yesterday.

Martyn Day (SNP): To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2021 to Question 84415 on Oral Tobacco: Health Hazards, if he will publish his Department's assessment on the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus.

Maggie Throup (Conservative): There is no available data related to the mortality rate as a result of the use of cigarettes or for Swedish snus. The Department has made no formal assessment of adverse health outcomes caused by snus. However, there is evidence of increased all-cause mortality among snus users although this is lower than for tobacco smokers. Snus use also has cardiovascular risks.

We are exploring a range of proposals to reduce the harms caused by smoking as part of the forthcoming tobacco control plan. This will not include proposals to introduce additional tobacco products into the market, such as oral tobacco.

As Professor David Nutt, chair of the Drug Science group, says...
'ignoring the remarkable health benefits of snus is an extremely retrograde step. Snus has almost totally eliminated smoking in Sweden and is on the way to doing the same in Norway – just a few years after being introduced. There is no evidence that snus is a risk factor for any form of cancer. There is overwhelming evidence that it reduces harm.'
The 'cardiovascular risks' of snus are equivalent to those from nicotine patches and insofar as snus users have 'increased all-cause mortality' it has nothing to do with the snus since snus does not cause cancer or any other serious disease

The ban on snus was a shameful episode in the EU's history. It should have been reversed in the last Tobacco Products Directive, but epic corruption got in the way. The man at the centre of it - John Dalli - is in court this week on charges of bribery

There is no scientific or ethical justification for the ban, so why not write to Mr Rees-Mogg and let him know?

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