World News Roundup

Posted 2nd July 2017 by Mawsley
European success is being thrust at Australians while, across the water, New Zealand contemplates how it might make up a shortfall in income if its support for vaping takes off. In the States, a court case signals possible problems for ecig vendors who trust in their public liability insurance. It has been reported that vape bans contravene world-trading regulations, British prisoners will still smoke, and vaping devices might make you a target for street crime.

Joe Nocera points out to Australia, in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald, that Sweden has stopped smoking. The population has managed to get under The Lancet’s target of 5% by adopting a harm reduction approach and embracing snus. He likens Australia’s ‘quit or die’ approach as being “a classic example of the perfect being the enemy of the good”.

Adopting a harm reduction approach to smoking and vaping doesn’t come without problems, as New Zealand is aware of. Last year, the country benefitted to the tune of just under £1-billion in duty on tobacco sales. A spokesperson for British American Tobacco said: "Whilst tobacco is expected to remain at the core of our business for the near future, the BAT Group has over the last few years been dedicating significant resources to offering a range of less harmful alternatives, like e-cigarettes, and we support appropriate regulation of this emerging category.” If books are to be balanced, there may well come a point when vaping is taxed in a similar manner to smoking.

Could vendors be looking at another problem?

A Washington court has recently allowed an insurance company to divest itself of any responsibility in a public liability case. In a move that will send many vape shop owners rushing to read the terms of their policies, Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. argued that their responsibility only extended to incidents occurring on the premises of the insured. As Marlene Rubertt lost a lot of blood (and several teeth) away from the store, the court agreed that they bore no responsibility for settling any claim.

Meanwhile, Ecigintelligence write that the Global Forum for Nicotine will announce, “trade barriers against e-cigarettes, or the outright banning of vapour products, contravene world trading regulations.” It reports that Marina Foltea, managing director of Trade Pacts (a Geneva-based investment consultancy) points out that 23 countries currently violate article IX of the 1994 World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Following our recent coverage of the smoking ban in UK prisons, in an extensive and interesting article, Hardeep Matharu writes: “The Government’s campaigns against new psychoactive substances (NPS) and mobile phones being smuggled into prisons have utterly failed. All prisons are completely awash with drugs and mobiles. If they can’t stop mobile phones, cannabis, heroin and NPS getting into prisons, what hope, really, do they have of stopping tobacco?”

Come to that, what chance do you stand of keeping hold of your vape device in public? Mobile phone users are very aware that scooter riders have been targeting them, now the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports that robbers picked on an 18-yr old man just for his electronic cigarette. Kirklees CID would like to hear from witnesses by calling 101 and quoting reference: 13170274812.