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E-Cigarette Summit 2014 Approaches

This year's E-Cigarette Summit promises to be a watershed in policy making on harm reduction. Certainly it will prove to shed more light than the extravagant sham staged by the WHO in Moscow a few weeks ago. The well-fed delegates at the FCTC convention did little more than repeat the mistakes of the TPD. It is time for some serious consideration of the issues by informed specialists committed to actual improvement of public health.

The Summit will be held once again at the Royal Society in London, on Thursday, November 13. A highlight of the morning's agenda will be a panel debate asking whether science is being appropriately represented in the public discussion of evidence on harm reduction. Participants will include ASH CEO Deborah Arnott, Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University, Linda Bauld of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and Cancer Research UK, Robert West also of Cancer Research UK, and Canadian Law Professor David Sweanor. Other morning sessions will feature Professor West on smoking cessation issues, Professor Bauld on youth use, Professor Sweanor on legal and ethical issues in Public Health, and Deborah Arnott on the FCTC meeting that just ended in Moscow.

The late morning panel on safety issues will bring together noted scientists Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Centre, Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco founder Dr. Jacques Le Houezec, and Professor Gordon McFiggins of Manchester University, as well as Hajek and West. The panel will be preceded by individual talks on e-cig safety by Dr. Farsalinos, Professor Polosa, and Professor Hajek, and a dual presentation by McFiggins and Birmingham University Professor Roy Harrison.

Regulatory issues will be taken up in the early afternoon: Department of Health Team Leader Alette Addison will address TPD implementation, and Shahriar Coupal, who directs the policy division of the ASA will speak on advertising issues, Dr. Paul Marshall of the MHRA will talk about medical licencing, Standards Director Dr. Scott Steedman will address ensuring public confidence of product safety through standards, and AIDUCE VP Alan Depauw will give a "European users perspective."

Later in the afternoon, the third and last panel discussion will feature Clive Bates, Service Manager Louise Ross of Stop Smoking, Policy Officer Ian Gray of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Director Rosanna O'Connor of Public Health England, and Geneva Health Professor Jean Francois Etter, as well as Alan Depauw. They will assess means of shaping regulation for the best public health outcomes. Each will speak individually or in dual presentations before the panel itself.

The program will be opened and closed by Chair Ann Mcneill, who is Professor of Tobacco Addiction at Kings College London.

Last year's Summit was held as TPD negotiations were nearing their close, and provided invaluable perspectives on that process. This year's Summit comes in the aftermath of the FCTC declaration by the WHO, and as TPD implementation is drawing nearer (unless Totally Wicked derails it), while the world is also waiting for the FDA to drop the other shoe across the Atlantic.