Friday, 13 November 2015

Stakeholders

As is usual,this was prompted by a twitter/facebook exchange or commentary. In this case it was a reference to the #ecigsummit held on 12th November 2015 and slides shown by a spokesperson from the UK Department of Health
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2850wok7k5t31w/AABZvpB8SAunFvrrGfUxgEeAa/1540%20Rosanna%20Oconnor.pptx?dl=0  see slides 4-5-6 the last slide makes reference to a Symposium attendance by vapers,but what policies were pre-agreed in uninvited meetings beforehand?

Stakeholders http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stakeholder were listed on the slide,perplexingly, but all too commonly the most important key stakeholders were omitted :-CONSUMERS

Whenever any e-cig or smoking consultation takes place,the list of stakeholders is bewilderingly long,by and large part- government sponsored charities,or those with tenuous (or otherwise) links to the pharma industry.

Does this consultation with stakeholders, that excludes consumers arrive at balanced, workable policy decisions? DECIDEDLY NOT 

EU: TPD2

The only opportunity that arose for consumer participation in this shoddy process, was via the notorious ENVI committee meetings headed via rapporteur Linda McAvan.She allowed a 2 minute presentation from https://nicotinepolicy.net/who-is-who/consumers/424-interessengemeinschaft-e-dampfen-e-v  but insisted that this be conducted in English. This was a cruel and bizarre ruling to impose onto native German speakers, despite the usual bank of EU interpreters available.

The ENVI Committee also only allowed a total of 10 minutes participation from the Scientific experts, Konstantinos Farsalinos and Jean Francois Etter gave the only verbal independent scientific evidence, that the ENVI committee and by extension the EU ever heard regarding e-cigarettes - a travesty, remarked upon at the time by JF Etter!

Welsh Government and HSCC 

Consultation on the evidence- free legislation was supposedly encouraged,but submissions from consumers subsequently ignored by both . The most worrying aspect was the lack of participation by consumers in the 'call for evidence' made during the HSCC, the BMA by contrast appeared at 2 such meetings, as commented upon here in this letter.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o7XwdaZSrTytoDaGoVx3LF8TiUI81BwEhVKwh6r4t18/edit?usp=sharing

MHRA and PHE Consultation 

Consumers participated, but once again seemingly ignored

Summary 

Consumers are either totally ignored or not classed as a 'stakeholder', Organisations seemingly think that paying lip service will pacify the consumer,but use the echo-chamber of responses from like minded(smaller govt or NGO) groups as opposed to the people directly involved!

 A recommended extract I will link here comes from James Dunworth' Ashtray Blog  referring to Public Health Director Jim McManus http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2015/11/e-cig-summit-round-up-the-vape-debate-continues.html that demonstrates the thinking and action that is possible

Interestingly Jim evolved his position from this point post 2013 #ecigsummit  http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2013/nov/19/debate-needed-safety-e-cigarettes-public-health to his very pragmatic position now


So ignoring the key stakeholders needs to change quickly! If no change...............?

 'You cannot legislate against a typhoon - a law will not stop it'  JF Etter


Acronyms used

TPD2 = Tobacco Products Directive http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/products/revision/index_en.htm

ENVI = Environment,Public Health and Food Safety Committee http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/envi/home.html

MHRA = https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/medicines-and-healthcare-products-regulatory-agency

PHE = https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

HSCC (Wales) = http://senedd.assembly.wales/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=227