The latest ASI report, SINNOVATION: How markets can solve public health problems, has caused a storm in the press. Unsurprisingly the promise of hangover free drinking caught the medias' imagination on Friday morning:
The Daily Telegraph reported:
Leaving the European Union will allow manufacturers to bring forward a new generation of hangover-free drinks, a leading think tank has said.
Strict EU regulations are holding back the development of synthetic alcohols, which give drinkers the sensation of being tipsy without a hangover or long-term health hazards, according to the Adam Smith Institute.
Sam Bowman wrote in the Daily Telegraph:
Consider this a peace offering from the libertarians to the public health lobby. We don’t want to fight any more. Let’s accept that people have the right to smoke and drink what they want – but design our regulations so that the market can give them the safest, least harmful cigs and booze possible.
The Scotsman reported:
A synthetic “hangover-free” alcohol product could have “seismic effects on public health”, a report from the Adam Smith Institute has claimed – but warns it is being blocked by government regulations. The study said that the innovation, currently named “Alcosynth” – which gives the drinker the sensation of tipsiness without the loss of control – could be up to 100 times safer than the real thing due to the lack of toxins.
The Sun wrote:
These safer products could save thousands of lives every year and it says post-Brexit innovation must be allowed to flourish so they are widely available. In the UK alcohol is responsible for 10% of deaths and disease and Alcosynth, a synthetic version, is 100 times safer and hangover free. Despite these benefits, at the moment it faces harsh regulations. And e-cigarettes are 95% safer than fags but regulations mean companies are not allowed to market the comparable health benefits.
City AM reported:
Think tank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) has recommended the government replaces “self-defeating regulation” on products such as e-cigarettes and hangover-free synthetic alcohol with a system of “permissionless innovation”. Scrapping EU regulations such as the Tobacco Products Directive, which has choked off e-cigarette marketing, and ditching the UK’s emphasis on abstinence campaigns would pave a new regulatory pathway for alternatives to be developed and marketed, according to the report.
The Daily Mail reported:
The new research from the Adam Smith Institute says heavy-handed EU and UK government laws have held back the development of safer alternatives to drinking and smoking.
Public health officials are mindlessly pursuing abstinence campaigns, while ignoring risk reduction products that could save thousands more lives every year, it says.
The Daily Star reported:
The report also says e-cigarettes, which are 95% safer than regular cigarettes, can’t be widely marketed due to EU rules. The report calls on Theresa May to step away from EU regulation after Brexit and allow “permission-less innovation”.
The Daily Express reported:
The report claims that following Brexit, Britain has the “chance to be a leader in ‘vice’-related risk reduction and save thousands of lives every year – if it allows innovation to flourish”.
The report refers to alcohol alternative Alcosynth, which could be up to 100 times safer than alcohol but is banned from being sold to consumers. It is a non-toxic inebriant based on benzodiazepine, a derivative of Valium.
The Daily Express was so pleased they wrote it twice.
The UK has the chance to be a leader in 'vice' related risk reduction and save thousands of lives every year - if it allows innovation to flourish, according to the study.
Products which could have seismic effects on public health are being kept off the shelves by 'morality police' and self defeating regulations, says a think tank.
Despite slashing smoker numbers, e-cigarettes have been hampered by regulation.
Although they are 95 per cent safer than combustible cigarettes according to Public Health England, e-cigarette companies are unable to market their comparative health benefits to the public.
And the latest round of EU regulations will make the development of newer, better, and safer e-cigarettes for consumers much more difficult.
The Independent reported:
Researcher Guy Bentley worked with Professor Nutt on a new report by the liberal think tank the Adam Smith Institute into alcosynth regulation.
Mr Bentley told The Independent he hoped to persuade the government to accept the drug as a way of reducing the harm caused by alcohol.
“[The report] is trying to spark what happened with e-cigarettes and tobacco, but with alcohol," he said. "Professor Nutt has been experimenting on this for a long time, but I thought to myself - ‘where is it?’ I wanted my hangover-free booze.”
The Evening Standard reported:
Fans of alcosynth also suggest it could relieve a huge burden from the NHS, as alcohol is the third biggest risk factor for disease and death in the UK behind smoking and obesity.
Sam Bowman also appeared on Sky Sunrise, with the interview syndicated across the country.