Thursday, 27 July 2017

Vested interests will always use regulation to protect that interest

From Dick Puddlecote a shocking example of a private business using regulatory pressure to protect its private interests:
The website for Vype e-cigarettes, was seen on 13 March 2017. The home page of the website featured a carousel with four slides. Text on the first slide stated "VYPE PURPLE ePEN STARTER KIT +1 PACK OF PREMIUM CARTRIDGES. FOR £19.98*". Smaller text below stated "*ENDS TUESDAY 28th MARCH 2017. P&P CHARGES WHERE APPLICABLE". The text was next to images of the starter kit, and a link which stated "SHOP NOW>". Text on the fourth slide stated "BUY 5 GET 1 FREE. INCLUDES VYPE PEBBLE CARTRIDGES, ePEN CARTRIDGES & eLIQUID BOTTLES*. SHOP NOW>". On the web page for the Vype Pebble Starter Kit, text stated "The small and mighty Pebble".
This complaint - partly upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority - wasn't from a concerned member of the public or even some shocked anti-smoking campaign group but from Johnson & Johnson, manufacturers of nicorette and other no-tobacco nicotine delivery systems. They're straightforwardly nobbling their competitor with this complaint.

So when we're talking about regulations supposedly protecting health or safety, we should always ask for the independent evidence and should further ask who benefits - which private business - benefits. Johnson & Johnson along with other pharmaceuticals with very profitable nicotine products campaigned very hard to firstly get e-cigs banned, then to get them regulated as medicines and then to hobble their marketing and promotion. Not for reasons of public safety or health but purely and simply to protect their business from competition.


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