During a recent attempt to ban electronic cigarettes in the EU thousands of vapers contacted their MEPs in protest.
Despite the massive influence of the pharmaceutical and tobacco companies who stand to lose out from ecigarettes, MEPs responded by rejecting the law in a EU parliamentary vote, showing that sometimes democracy and activism can trump lobbying power.
A New EU Ecig Ban
So, the EU went back to the drawing board and came up with more ideas to take away your e-cigarettes and force you back on to cigarettes and/or ineffective NRT aids.
- a ban on refillable tank systems
- a ban on clearomisers (only single use cartridges to be allowed)
- a ban on almost all flavours (only flavours currently used in NRT to be allowed)
- maximum nicotine content of 10mg per unit
- a requirement that e-cigarettes deliver a regulated dose of nicotine (this technology does not yet exist, although one company spent several years and millions of pounds trying to develop one before giving up.)
- likely internet selling ban
- ban on distance selling
along with many more idiotic proposals, detailed by former Action on Smoking and Health boss Clive Bates here!
These proposals would mean an end to vaping as we know it today.
And in effect, having been defeated by a democratic vote, the EU seems to be trying to force medicalisation through again, only under a different name!
E Cigarette researcher Dr Farsalinos wrote:
“I am afraid that the European Union is once again trying to destroy the e-cigarette as an alternative-to-smoking product by trying to implement regulations that constitute a ban for the majority of products. Not only do they ignore science but they also make decisions that are against the will and vote of the MEPs just 40 days ago.”
Time to Protest – Again!
What I’ve heard, both from MEPs like Kay Swinbourne and from advocates like Clive Bates, is that most effective way to make a difference is to write your representatives urging for a delete Amendment 18 proposal.
(We’ve also arranged meetings with some of our representatives so we can make our case in person.)
Rather than copy a form letter, it’s much better to explain why e-cigarettes are important to you, and why you believe the legislation is wrong.
Some vapers in the past have written angry letters. While this is understandable considering that many believe the legislation threatens their lives, a polite and constructive letter is more likely to win representatives over.
What to Say, Who to Contact
Clive Bates goes into detail on:
- what’s wrong with the new legislation
- also advise on what to say in your letters
- what you need to ask representatives to do
- who to contact
To avoid just repeating what Clive Bates has said, I’ve kept this post short, so please have a look at Clive Bate’s post before writing to your representative.
You can also see my summary of the arguments on both sides (put together after watching the debate at the E Cigarette Summit) here, and see the presentation I made to a parliamentary researcher on ecigarettes here.
For a list of UK MEPs, classified into for, against and unsure, click here.
To find out who your representatives are and to write to them, click here.
If you’re a blogger, ecigarette retailer, website owner or active on social media or forums, please get the word out and make sure that all 1,200,000 (or two million according to some estimates!) vapers are aware of this new threat to vaping – and what they can do about it!