One great thing about having this new topic is that I can post this once and then just bump it occasionally
So, I thought I'd put a post together about what's happening in Europe and what we can do about it ...
Where we're at now: The EU has now voted in favour of adopting the Tobacco Products Directive, including Article 18a (now renamed Article 20) which concerns ecigs. You can read the full text of Article 20 here. This legislation is likely to come into force in May of this year and member states will have up to 30 months to comply (but they don't have to wait that long!)
- No device on the market today could comply with this legislation except cig-alikes with disposable cartridges - the sort produced by big tobacco and big pharma.
- No e-liquid over 20mg/ml will be legal (18mg/ml in practice to allow for a margin of error) - an estimated one quarter of vapers use liquid above this strength and are likely to return to smoking if they cannot get it.
- The requirement for all new devices to be approved six months before coming to market will kill innovation in the EU. Currently it is usual to see new versions of products released every few weeks.
- The notification regime will be too expensive for small companies to comply with. 98% of the market is made up of SMEs. Meanwhile, big tobacco and pharma will have no problem absorbing the costs.
- Restrictions on sponsorship will mean it becomes very difficult for forums, youtube channels and other sources of information to survive.
This is not just another petition. Numerous hurdles have already been cleared to set it up and secure the necessary representatives in countries across the EU. The initiative now needs 1 million 'statements of support' (basically signatures) by 25th November and for at least 7 member states to meet their 'quota' - a set number of signatures based on population.
If the required number of signatures is reached, it means that vapers themselves will have the opportunity to present their case to the EU and propose sensible legislation for ecigs to replace article 20 of the TPD.
Who should sign:
- vapers - smokers, because you might want to try switching one day - friends and family of vapers - friends and family of smokers - people who don't like being around smokers or who worry about SHS - people who care about harm reduction and saving lives
How to sign:
- Go here - www.efvi.eu/ - Scroll down to the big green rectangle and click it - Fill in your info on the EU site
You will be asked to provide your full name, address and DOB. This is because this is not just another petition, it's an official EU process - they need to check you are a genuine EU citizen.
Please also ask your families, friends, colleagues etc. to sign and share on FB, Twitter or whatever else you do online.
They're still collecting supporting signatures (over 45,000 so far) and plan to deliver them to the Dept. of Health on 29th September at 11am. They're also asking anybody who can to go along on that date and show support.
UK government are now consulting on the implementation of the TPD. You have until 3 September to have your say here
There's not a lot of wiggle-room but they are seeking views on a few points where they have some flexibility. It's a confusing document with lots of legalese. Blaze over on UKVapers has uploaded a guide to Dropbox here and is happy for it to be shared.
It's up to date, accurate and balanced. Makes a huge change! I've bookmarked it. I hope individual SSS start taking note. A few are already doing great work - have you been following what Louise Ross is doing in Leicester?
I think it's very interesting that the WHO agreed to the use of that new, untested drug to help victims of Ebola, when they actually have little idea of what it does, what side effects it may have, and whether it actually works.
They should be using the same arguments in favour of the use of ecigs, of which they have much more knowledge, and a very willing - and massive - population who are testing it happily for them.
On the 2nd of September Save E-cigs is organising a major event in the House of Commons hosted by Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP (Labour), Mark Pawsey MP (Conservative), and John Pugh MP (Liberal Democrat). The meeting will be held in the Attlee Suite from 14:00 – 16:00.
At present there is a significant debate taking place as to how exactly e-cigarettes should be regulated. The Tobacco Products Directive, which the UK Government will be transposing over the next two years, sets some guidelines, but does not dictate actual regulation in many areas. Should they be included in the smoking ban as the Welsh Government has proposed? Should they be regulated as a medicinal product, a tobacco product, or something else? Our event will look at all these issues in detail.
There are some brilliant speakers and you can attend in person if you want (booking required), but more importantly, Please encourage your MP to attend!
While you are here, if you haven't yet done so, please sign and share the EFVI - details in the OP.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a legal challenge to somewhere imposing those rules soon, especially as a couple of cig-alike manufacturers are planning to get medicinal licenses - they would be forcing people to stand with smokers to use a medicinal device.
Me and my other half said pretty much this, He goes in the smoking shelter sometimes at work, mainly so he has people to chat to, But were then wondering how legal it would be if an employer tried to force him too, due to the known health risks from second hand smoke.
More likely the Big Pharma companies Mistress - most of the major cigarette makers are now branching out into at least cigalike e-cigs, and some are even doing tank systems, so vaping being banned wouldn't be to their advantage. Pharmaceutical companies who make medically licensed NRTs on the other hand......