Tories make last-ditch attempt to prevent action on take up of smoking by children

Tory MEPs are set to make a last ditch attempt to stop Labour-led reforms designed to reduce the take up of smoking by children.

At lunchtime today the Conservative Party’s most senior MEP is expected to make a last ditch attempt to stop Labour-led reforms designed to reduce the take up of smoking by children.

New European legislation, which has been steered through the European Parliament by Labour MEP Linda McAvan, will have its final vote today. The package has the support of a significant majority of the European Parliament and the backing of almost all EU countries, with the UK government strongly supportive.

The Tories’ ECR group was the only political group to oppose the agreement with national governments in December; the Tories voted against the agreement as a whole in committee last month, and various Tory MEPs tabled tobacco industry amendments throughout the process.

The Conservatives are now using last-minute tactics to delay the whole thing on a technicality.

Martin Callanan, the lead MEP on this issue for the ECR group, has made a formal request to delay the vote tomorrow. Just before the vote, he is expected to disrupt proceedings and force a vote on postponement. Every other mainstream political group supports the agreement.

Commenting on the move, Labour’s European spokesperson on the environment Linda McAvan MEP told Left Foot Forward:

“It is one thing to vote against the agreement, which we expect all Tory and UKIP MEPs to do, but it is another to actively campaign to derail it.

“Postponement would mean it is very unlikely we will have a tobacco directive in time for the elections, kicking the law into the long grass. It is exactly what the tobacco industry wants, as it will buy them another few years.”

The measures being voted on today include larger graphic warnings on 65 per cent of tobacco products, with national governments free to go further and introduce plain packaging; a ban on flavoured cigarettes and lipstick and perfume packs, which are specifically targeted at young people; and proper regulation of e-cigarettes for the first time.

Tobacco is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths each year in the UK – nearly half of smokers will die from a smoking related disease – and remains the leading cause of preventable premature deaths across Europe.

More than 700,000 people a year die in the European Union as a result of smoking and 70 per cent of those started smoking before the age of 18.

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16 Responses to “Tories make last-ditch attempt to prevent action on take up of smoking by children”

  1. swatnan

    There’s an even greater problem than smoking, and that is recreational drugs … and nobody’es got the guts to take that head on.

  2. FergusReturns

    The Tories and UKIP are opposing this directive because, by wiping out most of the e-cigarettes that are currently on the market, it will create a public health disaster that perpetuates tobacco use at close to the present level. Linda McAvan will have thousands of deaths on her hands after the TPD is passed.

  3. FergusReturns

    The “technicality,” by the way, is the fact that Article 18 of the TPD misrepresents scientific research to justify bans on the most effective electronic cigarettes. The scientists whose work has been misappropriated have publicly complained about how the EU have used their research.

  4. stinkypoo

    What deceitful nonsense you write. There are many (including the Tories & UKIP) who are opposing this TPD directive because it is being used a trojan horse to get legislation onto the statute books which serves no obvious purpose other to destroy the electronic “cigarette” industry, in the form of the evil Article 18.

    So far these only remotely successful anti-smoking measure to emerge. Why do so many dark forces & vested interests want to do this? Well the reasons are obvious, aren’t they? Hapless nicotine addicts currently provide a guaranteed revenue stream for tobacco giants, pharmaceutical giants and most importantly of all, national governments (£11 billion pa in for HMT alone I gather). So of course, none of these vested interests actually want smokers to quit, whatever position they appear to adopt publically.

    In short, Article 18 has nothing whatever to do with public health & everything to do with money. MEP’s have been pushing for Article 18 to be made a separate directive or at least have separate votes on that vs. the rest of the TPD. So far no success on that front. Not really surprising when you understand what is really going on here.

  5. ChrisPrice4

    Labour are guilty of supporting the opposition to tobacco harm reduction. This is the only proven solution for reducing smoking once the 20% Prevalence Rule operates. Prof Britton has stated that if every smoker switched to an ecig then 5 million lives would be saved just among those alive today; but that is now impossible as the new TPD will see about 80% of ecig products banned, including the best and most effective ones. 100,000 a year die in the UK from smoking, and the switch to ecigs could easily cut that in half. That is now impossible and Labour is now responsible for those deaths.

    Congratulations, I hope it paid well.

  6. Neal Roff

    As a lifelong Labour supporter I am disgusted that Labour refused to see that the Tories were fighting Article 18, not the whole TPD. Just think of the millions of lives you could have helped/saved. Hope you all sleep well. The utter disgrace that was supposed to be democracy in the EU today has left me with no other option. i will never vote Labour again.

  7. harleyrider1778

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  8. gibla

    In the interests of some balance it should be pointed out that Martin Callanan supported the other measures included in the TPD but did not agree with the ill thought out article 18 to regulate e-cigs . How proposals could be introduced in December 2012 and pass through various committee stages followed by a plenary rejection of excessive regulation as shown in October by a substantive majority(360 to about 290)of MEP, this issue is still contentious even today. When MEP are able to overcome Party prejudice and carefully examine the facts in an unbiased manner they usually are persuaded by the Scientific and user evidence of the huge potential of e-cigarettes in the aim of reducing smoking. Martin Callanan to his credit was one of the first MEP to see this potential ,unfortunately not one single Labour MEP has exercised their own judgement but simply followed the illogical Party line on this,crucially they have largely refused to even discuss the matter or seek the views of e-cig users which is a totally undemocratic way of representing 2 million constituents in the UK.

  9. harleyrider1778

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  10. harleyrider1778

    Smoking spy the start of tyranny.


    Last updated 08:52 26/02/2014.


    OPINION: I was in the Stratford police station at 9am on February 17 when I overheard a woman report to a nice young policeman that she had seen a woman smoking in her car with probably her children.

    Can I say to that woman you are 70-odd years too late.

    Hitler had a regime that made people spy on each other, so you can ask many million dead Jews and anti-Nazi people what they think of a system where people dob in people for doing something that is still legal.

    You probably think you are a hero, but I think you are pathetic. …

    Many thousands of young New Zealand men and women died fighting for freedom and against tyranny in World War II.

    Spying and reporting things like this is the start of tyranny.

    I am very sure when we sing our national anthem there is a line that says, ”God defend our free land”.

    Between you, lady, and our politicians you are making a mockery even of our national anthem. A person like you would probably vote for the Green Party.

    They don’t like smokers but want to legalise cannabis. That to me is scraping even further down than the bottom of the barrel.

    When is the Commissioner of Police going to have the guts to tell our politicians that the police are no longer going to enforce absolutely stupid legislation that tramples on our freedoms and rights given to us, the people, under the Magna Carta.


  11. harleyrider1778

    As we can all see the END GAME is to first ban car smoking and then follow it up with a ban in the homes,likely using the children for this purpose yet again. Then if they can get their final smoking rates at a certain level tobacco control plans on pushing the government for OUT RIGHT PROHIBITION ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS!

    Second Hand/ Third Hand Smoke: Trigger For Outrage –Catalyst For Change?
    •Smoke Free Public Places
    •Smoke Free Work Places
    •Smoke Free Parks/Open Spaces
    •Smoke Free Private Transport
    •Smoke Free Homes
    Positioning Tobacco Endgame In The Post-2015 Development Agenda
    UNSustainable Development Goals Or Expanded Millennium Development Goals

    Can tobacco control endgame analysis learn anything from …


    The thirdhand and second hand smoke MYTHS were created to create public fear and outrage. They are basically telling us that in the above! TRIGGER FOR OUTRAGE!

  12. harleyrider1778

    Tobacco is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths each year in the UK – nearly half of smokers will die from a smoking related disease – and remains the leading cause of preventable premature deaths across Europe.

    Not 1 Death or Sickness Etiologically Assigned to Tobacco. All the diseases attributed to smoking are also present in non smokers. It means, in other words, that they are multifactorial, that is, the result of the interaction of tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of factors, either known or suspected contributors – of which smoking can be one.

    What proof of disease they have NONE and Never did!

    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  13. Dragonmum

    Shame it’s all happened about three years too late for MacAvan and the Labour Party – Canute failed to turn back the tide, and so will they. Vapers are organised Europe-wide and we learned such a lot from our days as persecuted smokers. Now we hold the moral high-ground and our opponents have amply demonstrated how deep in the pockets of the multinationals (P and T) they are embedded. So deep they feel powerful enough to ignore the best peer-reviewed scientific evidence, and to condemn millions to a painful death. Well, we just can’t let that happen, can we? When they try to enshrine this in law, no matter which member state, they’d better be prepared for not only Legal action, but a lot of illegal action too – and good luck with policing that, Class A drugs haven’t suffered a lot!!!

  14. Dragonmum

    Precisely. Which is why, when a viable alternative comes on the market ALL politicians should endorse it and not indulge in shabby political chicanery which will ensure that smokers keep smoking. Much to the delight of the Pharmaceutical and Tobacco Multinationals – and Governments of whatever colour of course.

  15. Linda

    Don’t try and dishonour Martin Callanan, he is one of the few MEPs who have had the guts to stand up and be counted, and he is the one who will get the votes of vapers in the future. All of you who voted for article 18 should be totally ashamed of yourselves. You are not representing the people who voted for you, you are more interested in your own salaries and pensions. And as for Linda MacAvan remember ” what goes around comes around.” It is not often I wish bad things for someone, but I wish you a slow painful death, just like the many Vapers you are condemning to death. Shame on you.

  16. watfordjc

    “Tobacco is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths each year in the UK – nearly half of smokers will die from a smoking related disease – and remains the leading cause of preventable premature deaths across Europe.”

    Why, then, did Labour MEPs vote for legislation that will force me to return to smoking? At least my Tory MEPs have responded to my correspondence since February 2010 about e-cig legislation, which is more than can be said for Labour or the Lib Dems.

    Of course, it isn’t like you lot are like Andrew Duff, who says one thing and subsequently votes contrary to his “view”.

    “Andrew’s view is therefore that restricting the strength of E-cigarettes would undermine their value as a means of weaning hardened smokers off tobacco, which would have a harmful effect on the health of many people and cost the NHS millions of pounds in extra costs incurred.” –E-mail correspondence, 2013-05-22.

    To quote part of my e-mail sent to my MEPs on 2013-04-05:

    “If article 18 is not completely removed, you and the European Parliament will be directly responsible for me returning to tobacco, and indirectly responsible for my death.”

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