The New York Times ran a piece this weekend on the impact of the vaping community with regards to the EU’s TPD e-cigarette provisions being removed at the 11th hour. The piece is an interesting look at how vapers fought in Europe to keep e-cigarettes from becoming medicalized. The piece also comes dangerously close to calling the outcry a massive Astroturfing. Actually, one of the biggest proponents of the mecicalization of e-cigarettes still remains convinced this was some massive front for a sinister industry.
|Aided by Army of ‘Vapers,’ E-Cigarette Industry Woos and Wins Europe|
“Are these people all in the pay of e-cig companies?” said Linda McAvan, an influential member of Parliament’s environment and public health committee. “No. But they have been told by these companies that Brussels wants to take away their product. They are genuinely angry. But their anger has been fed.”
This anger, whether spontaneous or stoked by companies, provided the industry with an army of volunteer lobbyists. “They are almost evangelical about e-cigarettes,” said Rebecca Taylor, one of many members of the European Parliament swayed by the appeals of former smokers who switched to e-cigarettes.
McAven still sees this as a conspiracy after everything was said and done. This is the same person that was convinced e-cigarettes weren't part of the TPD and managed to throw the UK's hat in the ring on the subject despite having no actual authority to do so from the UK Parliament. However, this article is a great example about what is possible. The US is still somewhat different because it's not lobbying averse like the EU is, plus we have an agency at work here and not a full vote by the US Congress. That still doesn't mean we shouldn't fight the good fight like our Euro brethren.