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A look back on #vaping2015 along with the latest news and goings on from the New Nicotine Alliance (UK)
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Looking Back on 2015

Hello *|FNAME|*,

At the start of the year, we believed that 2015 would be the Year of the Vaping Advocate, where the voices of the everyday vaper would be heard and changes could be seen to happen. Our first newsletter, posted in March gave an overview of the kinds of activities we are involved in. Subsequent newsletters drop straight into our supporters' inbox, each one almost overflows with information.

We hope that the information we can feed back to our supporters is useful and encouraging. It has been a busy year, but as always without your support we wouldn't be able to do what we do.

 

As we begin the wind-down for the festive season, the New Nicotine Alliance would like to wish you, our valued supporters the very best for the festive season!

In this issue

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Encouraging Support

Please encourage your friends and contacts to support the New Nicotine Alliance. Direct them to the website and the Supporters sign-up page. They will receive regular information on the activities and events we are involved in.

Wales Update - proposed ban on vaping in public places

NNA continues to support the campaign against those parts of the Public Health (Wales) Bill which would ban vaping in enclosed public spaces – in other words, would extend the smoking ban to e-cigarettes. Tuesday, December 8th saw the first reading of the proposed Public Health (Wales) Bill in the Senedd, where Mark Drakeford ultimately proposed amendments to the existing Bill to "more precisely detail where e-cigarette use would be prohibited". These amendments include the prohibition of e-cigarette use to educational establishments, places where food is served and public transport.

These proposed amendments were heralded in the mainstream media as a "climb-down" on the initial draft of the Bill, or that the Minister had acted responsibly to the evidence received. This isn't a time to rest on our laurels, although the slightly softer approach by the Minister may herald some changes in support from the Assembly, it doesn't change the fact that many may view this as an open ended means for the Minister to implement restrictions further down the line.

Although the Bill did pass through stage 1 by a slim margin 25 to 21 with one abstention the battle in Wales isn't over yet, there is still plenty of work to do. Now the Bill moves to Stage 2, where Welsh AMs can now table amendments to the Bill, NNA Trustee Simon Thurlow is due to arrange meetings with many Assembly Members in the future.

Gerry Stimson, NNAs chair, organised a sign-up letter to all Welsh Assembly Members, ahead of the debate in the Welsh Sennedd (parliament) on 8th December. The letter from 12 experts in smoking cessation, smoking research and public health, received good coverage in broadcast and print media.

NNA - in collaboration with the Save E-Cigs campaign and Vapers In Power - is continuing with the campaign to see all mention of e-cigarettes taken out of the Bill, if you live in Wales and want to support the campaign please write to your Assembly Member to give your views - you can do this easily here.

3rd Annual E-Cigarette Summit

November saw the 3rd E-Cigarette Summit, and as outlined in the programme much has changed since the inaugural Summit in 2013. This just demonstrates how far e-cigarettes have progressed in such a relatively short space of time.

NNA Trustees Sarah Jakes, Lorien Jollye and Andy Morrison featured on separate panels discussing various aspects, including how relative risks are communicated, how the public health response serves the public, and implications of the Tobacco Products Directive.

Overall, the Summit was a thoroughly positive day with much to take away for all involved, but it also highlighted just how much further we need to go.  Two reviews of the Summit are available here and here.

Bristol SSS Conference

Part of the ongoing mission of NNA is to help inform professionals regarding the benefits of encouraging harm reduction via e-cigarette use.

Sairah Salim-Sartoni, a stop smoking specialist of the Bristol Stop Smoking Service approached NNA for help with an e-cig awareness session held in November to help inform pharmacists, GPs and other service professionals with the current knowledge on e-cigarettes and their use as a means to stop tobacco use.

Presentations were given by NNA Trustees Lorien Jollye and Sarah Jakes, with additional support from John Summers, one of our valued supporters.

Read the full report on the day here

North East Stop Smoking Services - An Update

November saw NNA Trustee David Dorn present to all ten Stop Smoking Services in the North East of England.

Held at the Durham Centre by Fresh North East, the event was designed both to gauge current knowledge levels amongst stop smoking advisors and to inform them of the current state of knowledge on e-cigarettes.

David spoke alongside a member of Louise Ross's e-cigarette friendly Leicester team, Karen House, contributor to the Public Health England review of e-cigarettes and long time researcher Leonie Brose, and anti e-cigarette member of the General Medical Council and British Medical Association, Doctor Graham Burns.

The event proved to be highly successful in that, according to surveys of the ~140 participants before and after, hearts and minds were changed with regards to the use of e-cigarettes.

News from Australia

NNA-Australia continues its campaign to legalise nicotine including engagement with politicians. In October, Attila Danko and seven delegates from NNA (AU) hosted a morning tea for politicians at Parliament House.

At the beginning of November, Attila Danko presented as a witness to the committee of the South Australian Senate Committee on e-cigarettes.

December 10th saw Channel 10 run a segment on vaping discussing whether it should be embraced or banned. NNA (AU) trustee Dr Atilla Danko and NNA (AU) associate Judith Wolters featured along with the resident medical expert Dr Bridie O'Donnell discussing the benefits of switching to a lower risk alternative.

Overall, the segment highlighted many of the facts that all vapouriser users are aware of, here is the information on the product, make your own mind up based on that information.

NNA(AU) provides regular news updates on their website.
TheProject, an Australian prime time TV show covers the divisive topic of electronic cigarettes, complete with interviews with New Nicotine Allince (AU) Trustee Dr Atilla Danko and Judith Wolters

Scotland the Brave

In the words of NNA Trustee Andy Morrison "there's always something happening every day in Scotland." With ongoing meetings with Sheila Duffy of Action on Smoking and Health (Scotland) to keep both ASH and NNA up to date on matters related to the ongoing debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

The culmination of meetings with ASH Scotland resulted in Andy being invited back to the ASH conference on November 24th to present a "where we are, one year on" alongside Louise Ross of the Leicester Stop Smoking Service.  Instead of the normal scripted presentation, an off-the-cuff approach, complete with Q&A provided approximately 80 stop smoking services professionals, spread over two sessions, with an overview of where the technology, and progress in research is at this moment in time.

Further meetings have also been taking place with Robbie Preece and Rebecca Campbell of the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS Tobacco Centre and NNA, discussing (among other items), proposed amendments to the Smokefree Policy with more planned, there is a lot more in the pipeline here.

A new project, launching soon and organised by Cancer Research UK along with the Roy Castle Foundation, and in conjunction with Linda Bauld of Stirling University, will be studying the effects of e-cigarette use in lung cancer patients. This is going to be a time consuming project including many contributions from Andy Morrison, with much to look forward to. More details to follow in due course.

Aside from meeting with ASH, Linda Bauld and the NHS, Andy has also been visiting many vendors in Central Scotland to have a "wee chat" about the Tobacco Products Directive and the implications for the industry. When he isn't visiting vendors, Andy is being approached on a regular basis by a variety of professionals looking for more information on e-cigarettes; mostly cessation advisors and study groups.

Some not-so-good news, there is still a lot of questions surrounding the recent Health(Tobacco, Nicotine etc, and Care)(Scotland) Bill, the Health & Sports Committee are due to take the Bill back to Parliament for further debate.

As it is hectic, Andy is incredibly busy on a day to day basis. The NNA are consistently reviewing the ever-changing landscape, and are considering various approaches with lots planned for the New Year.

NNA Finances and Donations

All the work of NNA is done on a voluntary basis by Trustees, Associates and Supporters. Sometimes when NNA people travel to meetings the costs are met by the organisers. But more often not, and the costs are met by the individual or from our limited NNA funds.

NNA Trustees recently met to discuss a funding strategy including funding requests to charitable donors. NNA is staunchly independent – we do not accept donations from manufacturers and distributors of nicotine products. We exist on the dozens of personal donations made by NNA supporters.

Every little helps. It’s easy to donate – just go to the NNA website where you can donate using PayPal. Alternatively just contact one of the Trustees to find out how to make a donation direct to our bank account or to set up a standing payment.

Thank you.

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