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How a coronavirus epidemic in China could ripple through the global economy

An international outbreak of respiratory illness sparked by a novel coronavirus has spread from its origins in central China to at least 11 countries, with more than 1,200 confirmed cases — including a presumed case in Canada — and over 40 deaths.

Like previous outbreaks, including the SARS virus 17 years ago, the flu-like disease poses a risk to economies around the world as fear and confusion lead to abrupt changes in behaviour, decreased economic activity and a ripple effect across sectors that threatens everything from productivity to consumer prices.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome pandemic of 2003 cost the Chinese economy up to US$20 billion, according to the Asian Development Bank, as travel warnings and transit shutdowns discouraged consumption, foreign tourists stayed away and local residents stopped going out.

“The travel and tourism sectors were most obviously hit, although that ripples through the entire economy,” said Richard Smith, a professor of health economics at the University of Exeter Medical School.

“But many effects are short-lived during an outbreak as once the panic is over people go back to business as usual.”

Chinese authorities clamped down on mass transit during the SARS outbreak, hampering commutes, shopping runs and social outings. The national securities regulatory commission closed stock and futures markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen for two weeks to prevent viral transmission. And Beijing ordered movie theatres, internet cafes and other venues to shut down temporarily while hotels, conference centres, restaurants and galleries saw visitors almost disappear completely.

China’s response to the current crisis appears to be swifter, and the disease less virulent, but the country now boasts a far more extensive high-speed rail network than it did in 2003, and its economy is six times larger, upping the risk of transmission and the repercussions of an epidemic.

“China is the engine of the global economy, churning out goods,” said German health economist Fred Roeder.

Its critical role in international shipping may be thrown into disarray as authorities begin to hold back some ships from entering the port at Wuhan, a key hub on the Yangtze River.

“If they cannot leave it creates huge delays in the supply chain and value chain of businesses all across the world,” Roeder said. “It could actually hit the latest generation of smartphone if ports are shutting down.”

Manufacturing could also feel the crunch as supply chains stall, he said.

Roeder has felt firsthand the disruptive power of a pandemic. In the summer of 2003 the teenage Berliner was eagerly gearing up for a United Nations youth conference that would take him to Taipei, but the event was cancelled a few days beforehand due to SARS.

The epidemic also sparked layoffs and time away from work. At one point Singapore Airlines asked its 6,600 cabin crew to take unpaid leave. Children stayed home from school, prompting more parents to shirk their job duties and further reducing productivity, said AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray.

“I was losing guys left, right and centre as people were quarantined,” recalled Murray, based in Toronto — the epicentre of the SARS pandemic outside of Asia. The disease infected 438 Canadians in total and caused 44 deaths in the Toronto area.

The economic damage culminated with World Health Organization’s one-week travel advisory for the city in April 2003, costing the Canadian economy an estimated $5.25 billion that year.

The outbreak of H1N1, or swine flu, in 2009 also sparked work “dislocations,” Murray said. “It went from, ‘Maybe it’ll be okay,’ to sheer panic.”

Freelancers and gig economy workers such as musicians or ride-hail drivers may feel the pinch more acutely, since they can’t rely on a steady wage when demand shrinks.

“It’s something that unfortunately has happened before in a similar way and it tends to affect areas like retail,” said Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, said this week.

“People don’t go out, they don’t fly in planes, they don’t do as much tourism to the affected areas,” she said.

The fallout makes workers ranging from servers to wholesale bakers to non-unionized hotel staff more vulnerable. Meanwhile spending or investment plans by larger companies may have to be delayed, said Roeder.

It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which kills about 3,500 people every year in Canada alone.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at 
consumerchoicecenter.org

How Estonia’s cybersecurity strategy can help the EU cope with China

Fred Roeder, a German health economist and the managing director of the Consumer Choice Center, proposes Estonia to lead the European Union to a coherent cybersecurity strategy in order to protect consumers and businesses not only from cyberattacks from Russia but also from potentially much larger attacks and espionage from China.

Within the past twelve years, Estonia has emerged as a leading nation in the field of cyber defence and security. The cyberattacks of 2007 made Tallinn much earlier aware of the massive threat of online attacks compared with its larger NATO allies.

Especially under EU commissioner, Andrus Ansip (nominated by Estonia, Ansip was the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society from 2014 until July 2019 – editor), Estonia has been a driving force behind the European Commission’s new cybersecurity agenda. Estonia now needs to lead the European Union to a coherent cybersecurity strategy in order to protect consumers and businesses not only from cyberattacks from Russia but also from potentially much larger attacks and espionage from China.

China’s backdoors

The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable. The recent events in Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist Party’s reluctance to keep its commitments towards the rule of law are reasons why we must heed caution.

Some governments and manufacturers tend to be mostly concerned about competitiveness through low prices, which is important for consumers. However, we also care about privacy and data security. Therefore, a smart policy response is needed that would incentivise market players to give enough weight to consumer data security in Europe, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions and limiting of consumer choice.

n more than just one instance, the Chinese leadership has put legal or extra-legal pressure on private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. As a response to threats like this, countries like Australia and the US went so far as to ban the Chinese network equipment manufacturer, Huawei, from its 5G networks.

Pressure on non-European suppliers to adopt the security-by-design approach

While some governments see bans as the best way to protect national security and consumer privacy, we know there is no single silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed, and this mix will likely change over time.

Healthy competition between legal jurisdictions and between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools. But those working on cybersecurity solutions should also consider consumer interests. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, allows an agile framework for consumer privacy.

A Huawei phone (the image is illustrative/Pexels).

The EU’s current legal rules, like the General Data Protection Regulation, for example, do not provide sufficient clarity regarding liability of network operators for privacy violations made possible by hardware vulnerabilities. Thus, a clear standard of supply chain security must be defined.

Emphasising liability rules for using or reselling software or devices with vulnerabilities would give those rules more teeth and thus incentivise telecommunications operators and others to think about their customers’ privacy during their procurement decisions. This should, in turn, put pressure on non-European suppliers to adopt the security-by-design approach and to take pains to show that they have done so.

Smart regulation needed to prevent autocratic governments from spying on us

In solving the problem of unclear and ineffective legal rules on data security, we must take into account that technical standards should be as technology neutral as possible. Manufacturers from countries that are under scrutiny – such as China – might want to provide purely open-source technology in order to rebuild trust in their products.

Instead, the rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. These standards should be possible to identify and adopt not just by the biggest market players who can easily devote significant resources to regulatory compliance. A certification scheme must be thorough in order to minimise the risk of any backdoors or other critical vulnerabilities.

5G 3.5 GHz cell site of Vodafone in Karlsruhe, Germany (the image is illustrative/courtesy of Tomas Freres/Wikimedia Commons).

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world and that cyber threats originate usually in autocratic countries.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on us. By continuing the legacy of commissioner Ansip’s leadership and strengthening the liability of network operators for technological vulnerabilities, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured. Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Im Kreuzfeuer: 5G, China, Sicherheit und Datenschutz

Schneller und billiger Rollout von 5G vs. Verbraucherschutz?

Nie war Mobilfunk so politisch wie heute. Während die EU-Kommission Vorschläge für ein abgestimmtes Vorgehen der EU zur Sicherheit von 5G-Netzen vorlegt, kritisiert das amerikanische Consumer Choice Center – nicht ohne Ironie -, dass man in der Datenschutzhochburg Europa bei 5G ausgerechnet auf Technologie aus einem Land (= China) setze, in dem der Datenschutz mit Füßen getreten werde.

Nach allerlei Winken mit dem sprichwörtlichen Zaunpfahl seitens der US-Regierung oder regierungsnaher Stellen setzt sich nun auch die liberale Lobbyorganisation Consumer Choice Center kritisch mit dem wachsenden Einfluss chinesischer Anbieter von Mobilfunktechnologie auf dem europäischen Markt auseinander.

Fred Roeder, ein studierter Ökonom, ist Managing Director des Consumer Choice Center in Arlington (Virginia).

Fred Roeder, ein studierter Ökonom, ist Managing Director des Consumer Choice Center in Arlington (Virginia). (Bild: Consumer Choice Center)

Für Fred Roeder, Geschäftsführer des Consumer Choice Center, sollte die Privatsphäre der Verbraucher in dieser Debatte an erster Stelle stehen. “5G bietet eine völlig neue Art der Konnektivität und verspricht enorme Vorteile für das Internet der Dinge. Dies wird begrüßt, aber gleichzeitig sollten sich die europäischen Verbraucher des potenziellen Gepäcks bewusst sein, das einige Infrastrukturanbieter mitbringen”, so Roeder.

“Während die EU eine der strengsten Datenschutzbestimmungen der Welt hat die DSGVO die Geschäftstätigkeit vieler gesetzestreuer Unternehmen in der EU erheblich erschwert hat, sollten wir uns Sorgen machen, dass Technologieunternehmen mit Sitz in Ländern ohne Rechtsstaatlichkeit ein potenzielles Datenschutzrisiko für Verbraucherdaten darstellen. Während ein schneller und billiger Rollout von 5G für einige ein großer Sprung nach vorne sein könnte, müssen wir sicherstellen, dass wir nicht in dunklere Zeiten zurückkehren, wenn es um den Datenschutz der Verbraucher in Europa geht”, erklärt Roeder.

Read more here

China ‘supports millions of American jobs, makes big profits for US firms’, Beijing says

YAHOO NEWS: The document cited the US Consumer Choice Centre as saying that US President Donald Trump’s administration was punishing the American people with its punitive action, saying the tariffs would have a direct impact on 150,000 jobs in North Carolina and 6,500 in South Carolina, both of which are heavily reliant on exports.

Vaping emerging as smoking alternative

Vaping emerging as smoking alternative

Many smokers in Bangladesh are choosing vaping as a medium of quitting smoking as they consider it a safe alternative to cigarettes.

Physicians in the UK and USA recommend vaping as a quitting tool. 

According to a study conducted by a US-based organisation, the Consumer Choice Center, over 6.23 million smokers in Bangladesh can potentially quit cigarettes and if right measures are taken.

The Center, which works for consumer preferences, conducted the study on vaping in 61 countries. They tried to get an idea about the future expansion of relatively safe e-cigarettes market by reviewing the current regular and irregular vaping rates.

Reviewing the situation of Bangladesh, the organisation said that if e-cigarettes are systematically encouraged by following methods that of the UK, 25 percent smokers may quite conventional cigarettes. 

According to the report of World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018, Bangladesh has 24.9 million smokers.

According to the research, more than 196 million smokers in 70 countries will be interested in quitting conventional cigarettes if e-cigarettes are encouraged.  

The highest number of smokers may decrease in China. Bangladesh ranks sixth out of 61 countries in this list of smoking quittances.

Organizations who are working in this sector believe that a significant reduction in smoking would have a positive effect on the global health situation. 

According to an article published by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, an e-cigarette contains a mixture of nicotine, propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine and flavours. 

Although e-cigarettes contain nicotine, however nicotine does less harm than conventional cigarette chemicals (such as tar and carbon monoxide).

Doctors believe that vaping may be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking and suggest that the government take the issue positively, because it gradually reduces the body’s need for harmful chemicals.

Originally published here.

ECJ Privacy Ruling Has Huge Costs

In July, the European Court of Justice struck down the Privacy Shield Agreement, used by companies to transfer data between the EU and the United States.

L’Inps ha (di nuovo) violato la privacy di milioni di italiani

In queste ore si chiedono a gran voce nomi e dimissioni di tutti e cinque parlamentari che hanno chiesto il bonus Inps da 600 euro. Nonostante questa scelta possa essere considerata inopportuna: “L’Inps e il suo presidente questa volta hanno superato ogni limite della legalità, violando la privacy di milioni di italiani”. Questa è l’opinione di Luca Bertoletti, responsabile Europeo del Consumer Choice Center.

Inps e privacy. Stavolta qualcosa proprio non va. In queste ore si chiedono a gran voce nomi e dimissioni di tutti e cinque parlamentari che hanno chiesto il bonus Inps da 600 euro. Nonostante questa scelta possa essere considerata inopportuna, e sicuramente è l’ennesima prova di una classe politica inadeguata:

l’Inps e il suo presidente Pasquale Tridico questa volta hanno superato ogni limite della legalità, violando la privacy di milioni di italiani“.

Questa è l’opinione di Luca Bertoletti, responsabile europeo del Consumer Choice Center, associazione internazionale di consumatori attiva soprattutto tra Stati Uniti e Canada, ma anche nell’America Latina e in Europa.

Trovando i nomi dei 5 politici, l’Inps ha violato anche la nostra privacy 

Non c’è stata nessuna violazione della legge e, seppur in modo quantomeno inopportuno, i tre parlamentari hanno ottenuto i soldi superando regolarmente tutti i controlli dell’Inps.

“Ma quindi -continua Bertoletti- adesso la domanda è: come mai l’Inps li ha segnalati? E soprattutto con quale potere l’Inps ha controllato il lavoro che questi individui fanno, violandone così la privacy?”.

“Dimissioni del presidente dell’Inps e indagine interna su come e chi ha violato la privacy dei cittadini”

Secondo il Consumer Choice Center, attivo anche sull’Asia e che si occupa prevalentemente di privacy, ma anche di nuove tecnologie (in particolare dello sviluppo sul 5G), per come stanno le cose diventa necessaria non solo un’indagine interna all’Inps, su come e chi ha controllato la vita privata di cittadini, scoprendo il lavoro che fanno, e facendolo trapelare ai media, ma anche le dimissioni immediate del Presidente dell’Inps Pasquale Tridico:

Tutela della privacy, cosa avrebbe dovuto fare l’Inps

“Da legge governativa l’Inps avrebbe dovuto semplicemente verificare i codici Ateco per ciascuna partita Iva. E basta”. E invece… “Per carità, in realtà l’Inps è stato bravissimo a recuperare l’identità dei parlamentari. Ma la legge non prevedeva in alcun modo di risalire a nomi e cognomi di ciascun codice Ateco”.

E allora la domanda è: con quali mezzi è riuscita a scoprire l’identità dei titolari della partita Iva, con buona pace della privacy, attraverso l’incrocio dei dati delle occupazioni vere dei titolari?

“Per farlo è evidente che è stato fatto un check a tappeto esteso su tutti i codici Ateco. Non essendoci tetti o paletti nella richiesta del bonus –poteva chiederlo chiunque avesse una partita iva attiva NdR– questi controlli non erano necessari”. 

Inps, che velocità nel risalire ai nomi e a consegnarli alla stampa!

L’altro aspetto della vicenda riguarda la velocità con cui i nomi sono stati consegnati alla stampa: “Con veline tipiche della prima repubblica, come se fosse stata una conferenza stampa -continua Bertoletti di Consumer Choice Center-. Se si considera il fatto che per ricevere la cassa integrazione e gli stessi bonus molti italiani, in questo caso gente che di soldi ne aveva bisogno per davvero, ha douto fare una trafila infinita e addirittura c’è chi ancora non ha ricevuto niente, altre che si sono ritrovati cognomi diversi o dati che appartenevano ad altre persone”.

Insomma, un organo come l’Inps, è così che la pensa Bertoletti, avrebbe dovuto fare una cosa sola. Abbinare il bonus al codice Ateco. E invece ha indagato nella privacy di ciascun codice e ciascuna partita Iva. Risalendo all’identità di ciascun codice e risalendo al titolare di ciascuna partita Iva, arrivando a scoprire i nomi dei parlamentari e dei politici, necessariamente andando ad abbinare un nome, un cognome e un volto di tutti i professionisti autonomi che avevano fatto richiesta. Un gran lavoro. Ma che la legge non prevedeva. Un lavoro inopportuno. 

Tra un mese il referendum: sarà un caso?

Il presidente dell’Inps Pasquale Tridico lo ha già detto e ribadito più volte in questi giorni: “Nessun collegamento tra il referendum di settembre e la comunicazione dei 5 parlamentari che hanno chiesto il bonus. Non è un caso montato. Chi proverà ad accusarci ancora sarà querelato“.

Luca Bertoletti di Consumer Choice Center risponde così:

“Beh, allora sicuramente è una coincidenza così evitiamo di essere querelati. Ma è una coincidenza che avviene il giorno dopo che la consulta ha detto sì all’Election Day, accorpando Elezioni Regionali e Referendum. E il giorno stesso in cui alcuni sondaggi davano in vantaggio il No dei cittadini al taglio dei parlamentari. Ma sicuramente è una coincidenza”.

Il ruolo dell’organo Inps sull’antifrode, anticorruzione e trasparenza

Altro paradosso: a scoprire i nomi dei parlamentari è stato l’organo dell’Inps sull’antifrode, anticorruzione e che tutela la trasparenza. Ma in questo caso non c’è frode né corruzione. I politici avevano tutto il diritto di chiedere il bonus. E neanche di mancanza di trasparenza si può parlare perché la trasparenza non era necessaria. Bastava il codice. E la partita iva aperta:

Aggiunge Bertoletti: “La narrativa mainstream è totalmente contro i cinque deputati e i vari migliaia di politici locali e regionali che piano piano si stanno autodenunciando. Ora, abbiamo scoperto che l’ufficio antifrode che controlla dati sensibili li ha rilasciati al pubblico. Ma la domanda è: non avrebbe dovuto invece semplicemente controllare che le partite iva fossero attive? E’ quei che sta una basilare violazione della privacy dei cittadini. Inps può fare tutti i controlli che vuole ma non è che se le mie idee sono contrarie a un comportamento considerato etico dalla maggior parte delle persone allora è autorizzata a dare il mio nome in pasto alla stampa”. 

La questione della privacy: così il Garante ha sbugiardato l’Inps

Il passaggio successivo allo scoperchiamento del vaso di pandora, e cioè la notizia della richiesta del bonus da parte di parlamentari e governatori regionali, con l’Inps che si è difesa dicendo: “Non diamo i nomi perché dobbiamo tutelare la privacy” è quello relativo al Garante. Che di fatto ha smentito categoricamente l’Inps.

Essendo personaggi pubblici, e siccome si parla di soldi pubblici, la loro identità, per come si sono messe le cose, si possono e si devono rivelare. Intanto però ha anche aperto un’istruttoria per capire con quali metodi si è risaliti alla scoperta dell’esistenza di una “classe” politica così ampia che ha fatto richiesta del bonus: “Un altro, l’ennesimo paradosso di questa storia: da una parte il Garante ha le mani legate. Perché in questo caso la privacy non vale più. Il problema sta alla radice, con la domanda da cui abbiamo iniziato la nostra riflessione, e cioe: come ha fatto l’Inps ha scoprire la loro identità?”.

Privacy violata: una delle pagine più tristi dell’Inps

Per Consumer Choice Center, si tratta di una delle pagine più tristi dell’Inps e che funge da perfetta fotografia di una macchina statale talmente contorta su se stessa che non è più neanche in grado di capire se quello che fa è lecito oppure no.

“Si parlava di organo che tutela e garantisce la trasparenza. Ma in questo caso chi si è macchiato di mancanza di trasparenza è proprio l’Inps, non i politici”.

Politici che, questa è la sensazione, riusciranno a farla franca anche questa volta. Probabilmente saranno cacciati dai loro partiti, questa è una delle minacce del leader della Lega Matteo Salvini. Ma in qualche modo riusciranno a mantenere il loro posto in Parlamento. “Non dimentichiamoci che questo caos sarebbe venuto ugualmente fuori a dicembre -conclude Bertoletti- quando i deputati sono obbligati a pubblicare i loro guadagni e il loro 730, dove ovviamente i 600 euro dell’Inps sarebbero stati necessariamente segnalati. 

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS NEED COVID-19 LIABILITY SHIELDS

A Liability Shield For Small Businesses And Schools

Part of this proposal is a liability shield for small businesses and schools, to protect them from unreasonable lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Consumer Choice Center Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski responded: “The nature of the virus means it is almost certain that someone, somewhere, will catch the virus. That means huge potential legal ramifications if a person wants to hold an institution or business liable,” he wrote in the Detroit Times.

“There is already a demonstrable lawsuit epidemic. These cases are likely to blow up our legal system as we know it, elevating accusations of blame and clogging every level of our courts that will keep judges and lawyers busy for some time.

“That’s why responsible businesses and schools that follow federal recommendations on health and safety should not be subject to outrageous lawsuits that bring our society to a halt,” said Ossowski. “Only legitimate lawsuits, based on some measure of negligence or recklessness, should be heard in our nation’s courts.”

“For the average entrepreneur or school administrator, a liability shield would help alleviate some of the worries that are keeping many of these institutions closed or severely restricted,” he added.

“Stopping the coming wave of unfounded and frivolous lawsuits will be important if we want to actually identify citizens and consumers who have been harmed by institutions that have not taken the right precautions. That’s why a liability shield is necessary for getting our country back on the right track,” concluded Ossowski.

Learn more about Consumer Choice Center’s #LegalReform campaign here

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Vaping to reduce tobacco harm

Bangladesh can reduce tobacco consumption up to 25 percent by switching to cigarettes smoking or vaping as an international study report suggested.

United States-based Consumer Choice Center conducted the survey on electronic cigarettes smoking in terms of health benefits, said a news releaseStudy looked at 61 countries around the world and compared the current rate of daily and occasional vapers. It used the United Kingdom’s progressive tobacco harm reduction policies as a reference point.

UK government has officially endorsed vaping as a harm reduction method, especially owing to Public Health of England’s ‘landmark review’ that found vaping to be 95 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

As a result of this finding UK’s National Health Service recommends vaping to help quit smoking. Vape products are now also sold in shops in British hospitals.

“The liberalization of vaping has enormous potential and could help millions of people switch from traditional tobacco smoking to vaping – a safer and less harmful way of consumption of nicotine,” the Consumer Choice Center survey said.

Its assessment of 61 countries shines a light on how “smart tobacco harm reduction policies could make the switch easier.” Its estimation of potential switch from smoking to vaping found that countries with less than 1% vaping prevalence can reduce smoking by up to 25 percent.

Looking at the UK, the survey’s “reference point,” it notes that vaping, also known as e-cigarettes, are now the most popular stop smoking aid in England, with around 2.8 million vapers across the UK.Around 1 million of the population are smoking tobacco cigarettes and 1.5 million have stopped smoking. In addition, some 1.3 million former smokers use vaping including 440 thousand people who had been regular users of vapes.

This figures to a total of 2.8 million fewer smokers (a gross value excluding new smokers). This adds up to 2 million fewer smokers or a 25 percent reduction.

Assuming this can be replicated, the analysis estimates that countries with 1-2.99 percent vaping prevalence can reduce smoking by up to 12.5-25 percent and countries with 3-4.99 percent vaping prevalence can reduce smoking by up to 5-12.5 percent.

By this count, there could be an astounding number of smokers who can potentially switch to vaping and quit smoking. By the Consumer Choice Center’s calculations, China can potentially have over 76.5 million smokers switching to vaping.

According to the survey, the top 10 countries include Bangladesh where most switches can potentially take place with an estimated 6.23 million Bangladeshi smokers can quit smoking by switching to vaping!

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Our Laws Save Lives

UK-style laws could convert more than 200 million smokers to vaping worldwide, according to research by the Consumer Choice Center. It says its findings reveal the potential for 76 million people to switch away from tobacco products in China alone.

The Consumer Choice Center looked at 61 countries and highlighted that the United Kingdom’s approach to vape advertising, displays, and tax rate is an example the rest of the world should be following.

Managing Director Fred Roeder said: “We used the UK’s progressive tobacco harm reduction policies as a reference point and estimated how many current smokers could be helped to switch by having a more permissive vaping framework. In China, 76 million people could switch. The US (6 million) and Germany (4 million) would also see huge public health benefits by emulating the UK’s approach.”

The Consumer Choice Center has drawn criticism from Bloomberg-funded organisations due to its links to American libertarian organisations and individuals. Typically, Bath University’s Tobacco Tactics focusses on the messenger and not the message.

Laughably, it accuses the centre of hosting “three strongly biased roundtables” in 2018, to discuss the World Health Organisation’s shortcomings “and how the WHO actively blocks healthier technologies in the area of harm reduction”. This from a group of people tied to a disgraceful campaign of misinformation and lies, smears, and half truths about vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

Deeply upsetting to those pocketing Michael Bloomberg’s millions, “none of the invited speakers had public health qualifications.”

And what did they object to? Was it Christopher Snowdon speaking about the “Public Funding of Public Health Activists”, Daniel Pryor talking about “How the UK can become a leader in tobacco harm reduction”, or Professor David Zaruk highlighting, “How evidence based policies are sabotaged by those who ought enforce them”?

Sharing of political ideals isn’t required in order to examine the evidence surrounding vaping or discussing the actions of public health bodies. Is it a prerequisite when applying for funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies?

The Consumer Choice Center’s affiliations are irrelevant in this context. Maybe Bath should address the findings instead of dismissing them because of the author?

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

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