This is a very short-term petition - it's being handed in on Monday. Please act fast and share!
Why this is important Electronic cigarettes have become hugely popular across EU member states. Smokers finally have access to an alternative to smoking tobacco, one which leading scientists and medical professionals agree is around 99% safer than traditional cigarettes.
Following the recent overturning of EU proposals to bring electronic cigarettes under medical regulation, the EU is once again attempting to enforce poorly thought out and excessively draconian restrictions on the import, export, manufacture and sale of ALL currently available electronic cigarette products.
Under the new proposals, all tanks, juices and re-usable devices will be banned. The plans to rush these proposals through before the end of the current EU Presidency means that proposals designed to decimate the electronic cigarette industry and deprive millions of ex-smokers from the the one product that they know will keep them off tobacco for good, will be voted on without due democratic process.
We urge the EU Parliament to reconsider the proposals under Article 18 of the Tobacco Products Directive. More time needs to be given to the process to ensure that reasonable consumer regulation which respects the rights of vapers is drafted and approved.
Your choices are about to be taken away from you, without proper debate
There's a tweet bomb (or whatever they call it) going on right now, it's not my thing but if you're on there and you care please tweet your support - #ecigs #EUecigBAN
If you use an ecig If your partner, family member or friend uses an ecig If you smoke and are thinking you might want to switch to an ecig now or in the future or if someone you are close to is considering making the switch at some point If anyone you care about is an entrenched smoker who might be ready to make the switch one day If you are a non-smoker who doesn't want to be bothered by second-hand smoke
Or actually, if you just care about democracy, regardless of the issue ...
Please tweet, FB, write to your MP and MEPs, sign the petition and generally kick up a stink!
Good for you Pube. I remember Maggie Thatcher having shares in a tobacco company..
My DH depends upon his E-cig. There is no duty to be had on E-cigs, not as much revuenue to be had all together. Those tobacco giants are in cahoots with the Tories; they don't mind where they invest their money.
I hear some American farmers are turning what where formerly tobacco fields over to chick peas. That can only be a good thing.
It's the pharmaceutical industry who are the real drivers in this.
Tobacco don't give a shit either way. They've started making forays into ecigs and will likely expand if light-touch regulation prevails (they do produce just about the shittest ecigs on the market though) If ecigs are banned, people will end up going back on the fags so they don't really lose either way.
Pharma meanwhile are shit scared because NHS stop smoking services only have a 7% long-term success rate and this year for the first time there are more people using e-cigs than using NRT (gum, patches etc.) Added to which, there will be far fewer people with smoking related diseases if people switch to ecigs, so they lose money there too.
It is telling that -
1) no device that currently exists, not even medicinal NRT, can meet the ridiculously stringent standards in this leaked proposal
2) medicinal NRT is exempt from these proposed standards
It's a blatant atempt by pharma to kill off the competition and will have the side effect of killing off a helluva lot of people too.
Everybody who cares about your DH should sign and share this.
The problem is that these things are not tested and regulated so there are no real guarantees what is in them. Just for argument's sake, what happens if, in 10 years time, e-cig users start dying of something that is then proven to be linked to their use?
Medicinal NRT is tested, licensed and regulated to medical standards. From what I can see on the links, e-cigs are being expected to be tested to the same standards, not higher.
I'm no fan of big pharma but nor am I a fan of people who want to make large amounts of money without complying with current laws. Personally, if I was going to inhale a drug via any kind of delivery system, whether asthma inhaler, nicotine inhalator or e-cig I would like to know that there are some safety standards
What's in them is: Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine, Nicotine and food flavourings. All of these have been around for a long time and we do know what they do (and minus the nicotine and flavourings, these are the same as is in an asthma inhaler).
They are regulated as consumer products already. More regulation is needed (age restrictions, better labeling etc.) but medicinal regulation is completely OTT. They don't need to be 100% safe, nothing is. They just need to be safer than smoking, which they are, massively.
Medicinal NRT is very safe but doesn't work. It has at least a 93% failure rate - 93% of people who try it end up back on the fags which we absolutely know are not safe - they have a 50% chance of causing an early painful death - but which are available in every newsagent and supermarket in the land.
Medicinal NRT would not meet the standards outlined in this document because it is not 'free from contaminants' (contains about the same level of contaminants as ecigs), it comes in flavours that may be 'attractive to young people and non-smokers' (i.e. any other flavour than tobacco) and it does not 'deliver the nicotine doses uniformly and consistently'. Luckily they're exempt
nor am I a fan of people who want to make large amounts of money without complying with current laws
I'm a bit confused by this - which current laws are ecig manufacturers and retailers not complying with?
Bottom line is, there are at least 1.3 million ex-smokers in this country who use ecigs. If this legislation goes through as it is, there will be no effective e-cig on the market. A hell of a lot of those vapers will end up back on fags and a helluva lot of them will die.
No emergency – do a proper job. It is important to recognise that there is no health or safety problem that justifies hasty and confused ‘emergency’ regulation. The e-cig market is growing at the expense of cigarettes, users seem content or excited, there are not great safety concerns, the products are far less dangerous than smoking and marketed to adults, there is no public spending, there are no signs of bad gateway effects or anything much going wrong – and plenty going well. This isn’t an argument for having no regulation – far from it – it is a argument that the job should be done properly. If it is done properly, then it could probably be done quickly with a shorter lead in – meaning the regulation could be in place almost as soon as envisaged by the Council.
The alternative: is that the Council / Commission put forward proposal that are too restrictive, amounting to a de facto ban, and the Parliament, under pre-election pressure from thousands of vapers rejects the whole directive. Or MEPs give in and face the consequences from voters.
State of negotiations. The most recent leaked negotiating text I have seen is available here. But there has been significant discussion on Friday 13th on the Council side and a technical meeting of the trilogue. The process is opaque and insular and the documentation is secret. We rely on leaks and unofficial briefings to find out what is going on – so this assessment has to be taken in that light.
In summary – its a messy half-baked muddle, but not as bad as it was. It is however, far from the public health or consumer optimum. That would involve finding a balance between managing the minor and implausible risks that the public health community have fetishised and enabling the products to compete effectively with cigarettes, which is where the huge public health dividend will actually be achieved.
Remember for snus in Sweden, amazingly positive health results were obtained with minimal regulation. Of course, the people negotiating this negligently want snus to remain banned, so we can discard the idea that doing the right thing for health is their primary concern.
Where next? On Monday 16th December starting at 18.30 in Brussels, there will be the fifth ‘trilogue’ negotiation between representatives of the European Parliament and Presidency of the European Council – this meeting is aiming to secure agreement on a text for the revised Tobacco Products Directive, and in practice that means agreeing the text for Article 18 on e-cigarettes. Each side in the negotiations then has to take it back to their institution (Parliament plenary and full European Council) and win support. If both agree with the text, it becomes law. But that agreement won’t be reached until the Parliament has voted on it at its official ‘first reading’.
Process continues into 2014. The Parliament has not yet completed its first reading – the vote and plenary on 8 October kept it open referring it back to the rapporteur and ENVI committee to pursue negotiation with the Council. If trilogue agreement is reached, it then goes back to the European Parliament plenary sometime in early 2014. The Parliament will vote on a single amendment which captures all elements of the trilogue agreement and then passes a “legislative resolution”. If passed, this would complete the Parliament’s first reading. Once that’s done, the Council can formally adopt the directive (using exactly the same text as EP legislative resolution – that was have pre-agreed with the Presidency in the trilogue). If all that happens, the deal is done and the text becomes law. This process could be completed in the first few months of next year – but the key political agreement may be struck in the trilogue on 16th December. At least that’s what most involved seem to want. That doesn’t mean it will pass though: the European Parliament plenary has already rebelled once, and agreement in the Council can never be taken for granted – given domestic politics.
------------------------ So it's not too late to write to MPs and MEPs by a long way yet.
There is another Twitter Bomb tonight, 8-10pm full details here
There is also a Thunderclap due to go at 8.30pmhere - you can add your name via twitter, fb, tumblr or all three.