They just don’t get it – Commission proposal for the regulation of e-cigarettes

padded_room

The special room in European Commission headquarters where new legislation is thought up

Late last week the European Commission circulated a confidential new proposal for regulating e-cigarettes.   The document was sent only to those negotiating the future of e-cigarettes behind closed doors in Brussels – representatives of the European Parliament and European Council.  This isn’t a final proposal, but it provides the negotiators with something to discuss. The Nicotine Science and Policy website has obtained the document, and it is here (Update – all texts now here).  It is quite frankly appalling – lacking any legitimacy in public health or internal market policy-making… Make no mistake, if implemented this proposal bans every product on the market today and would severely limit options for future products – and may make it commercially unviable to develop in future.

The main troubling features include:

  • Allows only single-use cartridges.  No refillable units or tanks will be permitted and so the most effective devices will be removed from the market.
  • Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT. Hands control to pharma companies and against the view of the Parliament that recognised the importance of flavours.
  • Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification, cutting out the stronger liquids that appeal more to heavily addicted smokers and those just switching
  • Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit – this is extremely low and arbitrary (see new paper on lethal doses for nicotine) and makes no sense
  • Allows only devices that “deliver nicotine doses consistently and uniformly” – a completely unnecessary, severe and limiting technical challenge derived from medicines regulation – unlike with medicines, e-cigarette users control the dose.
  • Bans advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet (through “information society services“) – this just protects incumbents (tobacco industry) and those who can rely on established distribution channels (tobacco industry)
  • Bans e-cigarette sponsorships that have cross border impact (e.g. anything that might be shown on TV) – reduces competitiveness of disruptive technology
  • Applies onerous and unnecessary warning, labelling and leaflet requirements that may be impractical and are disproportionate to risk deterring smokers who may wish to switch
  • Bans cross border distance sales (internet etc) in clear contravention of the aims of the internal market
  • Requires manufacturers to track so-called ‘adverse effects’ even though nicotine is widely used and understood
  • Requires the submission of  large quantities of seemingly irrelevant technical and commercial data despite recent high level commitments to reduce red tape
  • Asserts (against the evidence) that e-cigarettes “simulate smoking behaviour and are increasingly used and marketed to young people and non-smokers” continuing the European tradition of smearing valuable harm-reduction option, notably snus, to the detriment of health in Europe.
  • Update 2 Dec. A new version of this text (29 Nov) allows only electronic cigarettes “that cannot be operated or opened by children” – something that does not actually apply to cigarettes and matches!
  • Update 2 Dec. Its also requires toxicological data on ingredients and emissions – yet the emissions are highly dependent on the way the product is used.

Dr Farsalinos, an expert in the field, politely sums it up: The European Union ignores science and common sense by making proposals that will damage the health of smokers and vapers

Basically, the Commission has tried to smuggle in as much medicine-style regulation as possible, and then added the most restrictive commercial aspects of tobacco regulation on top – thus imposing the worst of both worlds for this most promising product. There are one or two acceptable things in the new draft, of course, but the very bad things listed above hugely outweigh them all.  The total effect of this would be:

  • to leave millions of smokers without an effective and reduced risk alternative to cigarettes;
  • to close many businesses throughout the EU and beyond; and
  • to greatly limit the potential for genuine harm reduction through alternatives to cigarettes in the future.

It’s a proposal based on ignorance of how e-cigarettes work and why they are increasingly successful.  If anything, it looks like a spiteful  tantrum from Commission officials who didn’t like having their really poor idea of mandatory regulation these products as medicines entirely rejected by the European Parliament in October – see 8 reasons why e-cigarettes should not be regulated as medicines Buzzfeed by Rebecca Taylor MEP (@RTaylor_MEP).   When will they get it… regulation of harm reduction products involves a perilous ‘double negative': tough on harm-reduction is… easy on harm… and  therefore …tough on health.

How to respond…

There are two ways to try and challenge this (1) to explain how misguided the measures are; (2) to challenge the process by which this is being done.  Both are important and related – the measures are so bad because the process is so close and unaccountable. Let’s look at each in turn:

1. Explain how misguided these measures are

They can be criticised from four perspectives:

a)      From the consumer perspective, these measures are completely unjustified blocks to products that millions of satisfied smokers like and find helpful as alternatives to smoking.  They are likely to lead to rapid development of a black market that serves no-one’s interests, and many former smokers will return to smoking tobacco products.

b)     From a business perspective, these measures threaten legitimate businesses supplying a low risk alternative to smoking.  They impose excessive burdens and restrictions, and restraint of commercial freedoms.  They protect the tobacco industry from competition for its cigarettes, and help it to continue dominating the e-cigarette market with its own commoditised cig-alike products.  They also protect the pharmaceutical industry from genuine competition for their own nicotine products.

c)      From a public health perspective, these weaken a product that recognised by public health experts as being ~99% safer than smoking but needs to be able to compete through innovation, creativity and communication to attract smokers to switch.  There is no evidence whatsoever that e-cigs are harming anyone, or attracting children and there is plenty of evidence that e-cigs are doing good.  Remember, even use by young people can be regarded as positive when it diverts those who are already smoking tobacco [here].

d)     From a legal perspective, these measures are disproportionate and cannot be justified as internal market measures designed to promote the free movement of goods.  To achieve this, the restrictions would need to be based on securing a high level of health protection.  However, these products do not cause ill-health: they relieve it.   To introduce new legislation like this requires proper consultation, justification and impact assessment (see below) and none of this has been done.

2. Follow the rules for good policy-making

This new Commission proposal for Article 18 is in effect a new legislative proposal, or very substantial amendment to the existing Article 18.  It has been created in the last couple of months and is now embedded in the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. This is not just an incremental change to an established proposal, but a completely new approach expanding the Commission’s 271 word Article 18 proposal by five times, to 1,353 words.  It has arisen because of the Parliament’s rejection of medicines regulation, but it has not yet been subject to any of the disciplines of good policy-making required in the EU Treaties or by member states.  It is a complete rewrite of the Commission’s original proposal and goes far beyond it in many respects.

A new legislative proposal or significant amendment such as this should be put through the following four legislative steps:

A. Scrutiny by national parliaments.

The EU Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality makes clear that a new draft like this should be forwarded to national parliaments for comment, with 8 weeks for them to respond.

Article 3: For the purposes of this Protocol, ‘draft legislative acts’ shall mean proposals from the Commission, initiatives from a group of Member States, initiatives from the European Parliament […]

Article 4: The Commission shall forward its draft legislative acts and its amended drafts to national Parliaments at the same time as to the Union legislator. The European Parliament shall forward its draft legislative acts and its amended drafts to national Parliaments. (underline added)

Article 6: Any national Parliament or any chamber of a national Parliament may, within eight weeks from the date of transmission of a draft legislative act, in the official languages of the Union, send to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission a reasoned opinion stating why it considers that the draft in question does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity. It will be for each national Parliament or each chamber of a national Parliament to consult, where appropriate, regional parliaments with legislative powers.

B.    Scrutiny by UK parliament.

It is clear from the guidance on scrutiny provided to the House of Lords requires this proposal to go back to the UK parliament before the Council’s first reading (see Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords Appendix L para 1 and 3(d))

(1) Subject to paragraph (5) below, no Minister of the Crown shall give agreement in the Council or the European Council in relation to any document subject to the scrutiny of the European Union Committee in accordance with its terms of reference, while the document remains subject to scrutiny. [...]

(3) Agreement in relation to a document means agreement whether or not a formal vote is taken, and includes in particular—[…]

(d) in the case of a proposal on which the Council acts in accordance with [the ordinary legislative procedure], agreement to the Council’s position at first reading, to its position at second reading, or to a joint text; (underline added – we are working towards Council first reading on 10 December)

Cabinet office guidance confirms that amendments to draft legislative proposals should be subject to scrutiny in both Houses.

C.   Consultation.

This is a significant measure affecting several million users and thousands of businesses across the EU. It is legislation that has life threatening potential if done wrongly, or great life saving potential if done right. Consultation with those affected, and with scientists, academics and public health experts is essential.  It is not optional.   Article 11.1-3 of the Treaty on European Union states:

1. The institutions shall, by appropriate means, give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action.

2. The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society.

3. The European Commission shall carry out broad consultations with parties concerned in order to ensure that the Union’s actions are coherent and transparent.

There has been no consultation on these proposals.  This really should be done.  There was not even any consultation on the Commission’s proposal to regulate these products as medicines.

D.   Justification and impact assessment.

The EU Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality is clear:

Article 5: Draft legislative acts shall be justified with regard to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

Any draft legislative act should contain a detailed statement making it possible to appraise compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. This statement should contain some assessment of the proposal’s financial impact and, in the case of a directive, of its implications for the rules to be put in place by Member States, including, where necessary, the regional legislation. The reasons for concluding that a Union objective can be better achieved at Union level shall be substantiated by qualitative and, wherever possible, quantitative indicators. Draft legislative acts shall take account of the need for any burden, whether financial or administrative, falling upon the Union, national governments, regional or local authorities, economic operators and citizens, to be minimised and commensurate with the objective to be achieved.

The Commission has provided no detailed statement to justify these measures or to assess their impact.

What should be done?

The right way to approach this is obvious and simple.  A new legislative proposal designed especially for e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products should be prepared.  The proper processes of evidence gathering, options analysis, justification, impact assessment and, above all, consultation, should be allowed to proceed.  This can start now, but will not complete until after the May 2014 European Parliament elections.  Given there are absolutely no health problems associated with these products that require an urgent response (or any response) then it is essential to take time properly to set the regulatory framework for the next decade or more, especially given the damage these proposals will do if allowed to pass into EU law as they stand.

It is highly unlikely that the trilogue process will produce proportionate, evidence-based legislation if its starting point is this flawed proposal that the Commission has now placed on the table.  If that is the case, and these harmful proposals are agreed by the Council at its First Reading on 10 December, it will be necessary to press for a ‘Delete Article 18’ amendment when the draft directive returns to the European Parliament plenary in the New Year.  Such an amendment would allow the rest of the TPD to pass into law, but allow e-cigarettes to go unregulated and force the issue to be taken seriously with a proper legislative proposal that follows due process.

What you can do…

You should urgently communicate your view on this to as many decisions makers as you can, in measured tones and as quickly as possible. These are the issues to raise (but you should use your own words and ideas and tell them how it will affect you directly)

1. Say what you don’t like about the Commission’s extensive and confidential proposals and especially how it will affect you personally or professionally.  Define your own ‘red lines’ (things that shouldn’t or should be done).  Mine would be on refillables, flavours, advertising, nicotine strength and content.

2. Say what you think might be a better approach. I will be suggesting there are some quality standards for liquids and devices, some modest restrictions on advertising (like alcohol, for example), some tests and other information about the product to be disclosed, and application and enforcement of all the 17 directives that already exist and apply.  Regulators should take a sensible proportionate approach and not wrap e-cigs in miles of red tape and restrictions.

3. Suggest that some regulation is probably necessary and may be beneficial if it increases consumer confidence, but that the Commission’s ideas are overkill.  New proposed EU regulation should be prepared with proper openness and transparency, a proper evidence base (no made-up or unfounded accusations), a credible justification, an impact assessment that shows risk benefits and unintended consequences of regulation and, above all, full consultation.  It’s about time that vapers were given a formal say, and not just ignored and marginalised.

Who to contact… please be polite, concise and constructive!

1. Your MP [via www.writetothem.com].  Ask them to (1) contact Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health to put your views across or (2) contact colleagues on the European Scrutiny Committee to demand that this is scrutinised properly.

2. Your MEPs [via www.writetothem.com].  Ask them to relay your concerns to those  MEPs who are negotiating with the Council. These are:

3. Others to write to:

  • UK Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison MP [via here and @janeellisonmp]
  • Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP [via here and @jeremy_hunt]
  • Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise here (only if you have a business interest)
  • Presidency of the EU: Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Minister of Health, Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius str. 33, LT-01506 Vilnius, Lithuania  [email protected] (please take care with this – no ranting!)
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100 comments to They just don’t get it – Commission proposal for the regulation of e-cigarettes

  • Dragonmum

    I am about to do everything you suggest Clive, and thank you as always for your analysis – and the relevant contact details are a godsend. My only difficulty will be in masking my contempt for these
    proposals which are obviously tailor- made to fit the requirements of BAT and Big Pharma. I really believe we have been dealing with criminal conspiracy here since day one and the place for that is
    a court of law. Which is where I believe this will end. Nothing any of us can write will influence what goes on behind closed doors.

    • Soulgirl

      Here Here Dragonmum; it’s one massive conspiracy to get us all back smoking tobacco or herd us through the Nicorette avenue.

      I’ve now written to all and sundry outlining my disgust at this obvious control of the masses. God, I hate this world.

  • […] Late last week the European Commission circulated a confidential new proposal for regulating e-cigarettes. The document was sent only to those negotiating the future of e-cigarettes behind closed…  […]

  • lvd

    I have only two words to respond to this: ORGANIZED CRIME

  • OK, I’m pretty flabbergasted, Clive. To what extent does the commission believe that it can get this through? Is it simply doing a sums game and saying that if we can pull back 50 MEPs who voted for 170, and who will be afraid of the whole TPD failing, then we can go for it, and screw democracy?

    In other words, the Will of Parliament was expressed two months ago, and this cannot in any way be said to in its spirit, no? Because if not, then this exposes the EU decision-making process as being profoundly flawed.

    And, in other other words, what is the real reason that the commission is behaving this way? Do they genuinely believe, on advise, that they are acting in the public interest?

    • “Do they genuinely believe, on advise, that they are acting in the public interest?”
      “On advice” explains everything. NEPs vote usually “on advice” of their partyleaders. The commissions acts “on advice” of the multinational companies. And, please somebody explain, how can 28 governments speak with one voice?

  • Thankyou for this very comprehensive update. It is very much appreciated.

    I am extremely frustrated by my attempts to contact my MP. He says he has written to Jane Ellison, but no response is forthcoming and I feel that the UK DOH is stalling in the hope that the EU will simply take it out their hands.

  • Keep sharing this today! I have put it on the forum, twitter and facebook. I have sent it overseas and anywhere else I can think of. Keep up the good work everyone and lets stop this from happening. Public health and Human life > Money and holidays for our policy makers!

  • Myself

    EU: GTFO

    I plan to vote nationalistic in the coming eu elections. This is another small reason why.

    People, pls consider doing the same.

  • We have also shared this on our site and will endeavor to highlight this to as many as possible. Thanks to all involved in bringing this to our attention, we all sincerely appreciate your efforts!

  • Mike

    They do get it Clive, they just don’t want us to have it!
    Its a criminal and corrupt directive being lead knowingly by Linda Mcaven (or unknowingly…which I find hard to believe, that she’s just a puppet) and she and her fellow conspirators should be taken to court. There is no other explanation for the intense stupidity of the proposed medicalization or of this recent diatribe.
    The only way this will be resolved is in the law courts as Dragonmum has said.

  • Zillatron

    Good analysis as always.

    Just about the EU procedures I’m slightly confused now.
    Mr. Florenz told on his homepage, that the last planned session of the trialogue is supposed be on 16th december.
    How could the council vote when the trialogue ain’t finished yet?
    And I understood that in this shortcut procedure there won’t be any more amendments by the parliament, just a single yes/no-vote for the whole package to conclude the first/single reading.

    • Clive Bates

      I think the aim is to complete the process at the Health Council on 10 December following trilogue on 3 Dec, but if they can’t reach agreement at that point they have the option to have a further trilogue discussion on 16th and take it to the main Council (Heads of State and Government) on 17/18th. The one on 16th I think runs into the night. That’s a guess by the way.

      I think you might be right about the yes/no – and I doubt the EP will say no and cause the tobacco parts of the directive to fall. I don’t think the procedure prevents them having an amendment.

  • Zillatron

    Oh, and Mr. Groote is the chairman of ENVI. Fortunately he’s out of this rat race.

    And don’t expect too much help from Mr. Florenz representing EPP. On 8th october he voted for Linda’s baby (AM 71) and was conspicuously absent during the vote for AM 170.

  • The EU turning back the clock to give smokers the same choice that Dad had.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqWBYVFnhH0

  • [email protected]

    Tobacco flavor is not — to my knowledge– approved for NRT — is that an oversight?

    • It’s a measure of how casually incompetent the Commission is. They probably don’t realise that tobacco is a flavour, is the most common flavour and is not a flavour used in NRT. Much worse is that they simply don’t care, and if they can make trouble they will, and let their opponents spend their efforts correcting obvious nonsense while more discreet nonsense can pass unchallenged.

  • Mitch

    This is absolutely ridiculous! They dont give a s**t if e-cigarettes might harm our health or if people use them wrongly. Its all because the governments are not getting their cut out of this highly profitable product, so because they cant find anything to prove its harmful they are trying to just ban them anyway on grounds that they think it is so they can get everyone back onto cigarettes so they can rake in the tax off them again! Its a joke, we should ask them a question and ask them why they have not banned cigarettes which has contributed to millions of peoples deaths and are trying to ban e-cigarettes which I cant recall actually contributing to anybodies death and actually cutting deaths from cigarettes! I think if they want to ban e-cigarettes it would only be rightful to ban cigarettes aswell!

  • Uma

    This is a blatant setup to keep people smoking, IMO.
    They can’t make up their minds… whether to foreclose the tobacco industry or whether to foreclose its strongest competition.
    Big Pharma, Chantix, is trying to force everyone onto their deadly pills. They even pay children to volunteer for their lab tests. They are the ones who should be banned, with their 500 suicide count plus 2000 attempted counts on record (minus all the people who went berserk off record!). Everybody knows the grant award incentives paid by BP to towns, states, Universities, schools towards banning eCigs.. If they devoted even a fraction of that cost towards developing a safe … Well, I still wouldn’t trust them. Why is Parliament??
    Check the bank accounts of those in charge of the lives of millions.

  • From across the pond but in the same sea of facism, lies, corruption and prescription MURDER! Every bit of what you are burdened with we in the United States are, as well. The Constitution of the United States of America has been destroyed there is no trustworthy Government in existance on this planet. It is a battle that never ends. I am moved to continue fighting with you, the same battle and the same enemies. I know you won’t give up and we will not backdown.

  • lvd

    At least the proposal of the commission has the merit of no longer being hypocritical about wanting to ban 99.99% of the e-cigs on the market today. The so called ‘light tough’ argument by McAvan and the like has been proven once and for all to be an outrageous lie. I’m willing to give McAvan the benefit of the doubt and to attribute this to her incredible naive gullibility, but if this is the case, I wonder how she feels nowadays, after such a fraudulent betrayal.

  • Junican

    This was always likely to happen. The serious error all along has been the packing of the WHO ‘anti-tobacco department’ (whatever it may be) with zealots, and the formation of a global organisation under their control. The result has been a monstrous totalitarian tyranny, which might have been justified in combating tobacco companies, but is in no way justifiable in connection with ecigs, simply because they are not tobacco. We must bear in mind that an attack on nicotine in itself has not been the (official) target of tobacco control as envisaged by the Framework Convention; it has been tobacco.
    There will be nothing that can be done until it is realised that ecigs ought not to be the province of HEALTH. They belong more in SAFETY (as regards the machines) and in TOXICOLOGY (as regards the liquids). They most certainly ought not be in the hands of propagandists.
    Ms Soubry said that she had to go to Luxembourg in a hurry to unsure that the UK could act alone if it wished to medicinalise ecigs. What we are seeing is that her hasty action has in fact done the opposite. It has opened up a vast can of worms for the EU to play mind games with.
    If our government had any sense (and assuming that Ms Soubry’s actions do indeed allow the UK to act independently) it would take ecigs out of Health and locate them in the Health and Safety Executive. The use of caffeine is not determined by the Health Dept. Why should the use of nicotine be?

  • mike adkins

    someones been promised a great deal of money behind the scenes looking at this lot,

  • More likely to be incompetence, cynicism or ideology…

    • More likely to be incompetence, cynicism or ideology…

      Bates, did you see this quote? From Dr. Even, former head of the largest medical faculty in France:

      “The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries,” he said. “It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision making bodies, world health organisations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession.”

      “It has done this with the connivance, and occasionally the corruption of the medical profession. I am not just talking about medicines but the whole of medicine. It is the pharmaceutical industry that now outlines the entire medical landscape in our country.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/14/french-doctors-drugs-useless-dangerous

      IMO it is very clear that today Big Pharma is controlling the health administrations and bodies in US & Europe, including the WHO. And clearly they are controlling the EU-commission too, this has been shown at least twice in the tobacco issue. The first time was when the commission ignored the huge majority voice of the people & small businesses at the 2010 public EU-petition – just six months later the commission advanced the (Dalli) directive, almost 100% in line with Big Pharma’s petition preferences.

      They are working to obtain a nicotine world monopoly, and so the E-cig must go. That is why this is going to be a tough fight – cause it is not about health. It’s about money. However it is nok likely that the fight can be won until the public (and experts like you) are aware of Big Pharma’s role. In the end a public uproar against Big Pharma may be the only way to win. That however could be on its way:

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jul/21/big-pharma-secret-drugs-trials

  • This just stinks of backhanders in fact burnt tobacco nicotine stained backhanders, these people are on another planet, All that will happen is this will force the industry on to the black market and that is where real damage can be done.

  • CRS

    This goes to show that the EU does not hold it’s patrons to heart. They no longer are trying to help us, just help themselves. We are being criminalised by societies real criminals. There is no longer democracy…. Welcome to the New World Order…..

  • […] Late last week the European Commission circulated a confidential new proposal for regulating e-cigarettes. The document was sent only to those negotiating the future of e-cigarettes behind closed doors in Brussels – representatives of the European Parliament and European Council. This isn’t a final proposal, but it provides the negotiators with something to discuss. The Nicotine Science and Policy website has obtained the document, and it is here. It is quite frankly appalling – lacking any legitimacy in public health or internal market policy-making… Make no mistake, if implemented this proposal bans every product on the market today and would severely limit options for future products – and may make it commercially unviable to develop in future.  […]

  • Junican

    Mr Bates. You recommend various actions. Ought you not recommend the bombardment of ASH with demands to back ecigs? Why should it not? Why is ASH not supporting ecigs to the hilt? Isn’t ANY method which helps people to reduce or stop smoking tobacco cigs better than nothing, even if the method has not been PROVEN to be ABSOLUTELY 100% perfectly safe? Should not your former organisation be demanding that the EU desists its interference in the free market in these harmless products?
    Why is ASH not SHOUTING?

  • [email protected]

    Isn’t the ploom 2 a satisfactory experience, or PMI’s new accord? Isn’t the whole point of all this to keep tobacco tobacco, and to get the reduced risk from non-combustion products that are actually comprised of tobacco — why is that so crazy?

    • I don’t understand your point … There’s nothing wrong with the products you mention – they are a good addition to the range of reduced risk alternatives that includes e-cigs and smokeless tobacco. That doesn’t mean the regulation of them (or smokeless tobacco and e-cigs) is right and proportional to risk or optimised for harm reduction.

      • [email protected]

        Of course Clive — I simply mean that the destruction of the traditional nicotine-tobacco distinction is not an essential or necessary component of harm reduction — I’ve always felt that the idea that one could sell nicotine inhalers as unregulated products was a tough sell for regulators.

  • […] RT @cjsnowdon: This is horrendous. The European Commission is trying to kill off e-cigarettes by the back door. http://t.co/3GauXAiP7a  […]

  • Clive

    I have written to all of the MEP’s that represent me in the European Parliament and will pass on any responses I receive.

    Clive

  • lizzie

    I and my husband have also written to our MEPs. We are also prepared to change our votes to MEPs and parties that are pro e cig at elections. Especially next year when the EU elections take place. Even if we don’t agree with any of their other polices. Our health must come first and anything else comes after that. I’m certainly not anti EU, but having followed the twists and turns of the TPD, I’ve come to realise that the EU is incompetent, undemocratic and corrupt. It is much easier to hold one government, our own, accountable for their polices.

  • […] don’t get your product at all. Facts are facts: between the WHO, the FDA, the EU Parliament (see this recent doozy from the EU Commission, and a key advocate’s video response) – and goodness know how many […]

  • I am quite new to vaping,and i have to say it is the best way i have found to give up the dreaded cigarettes,and i have tried almost everything on the market before.I had not realized how controversial the ecig has become,i thought that all the people in power etc would have been praising these products that is really doing an absolute brilliant job to eventually rid us of smoking, isnt this what everyone wanted including us smokers too.I hope that these products never get banned because as i see it they should have been around years ago.I love vaping,i vape more than i (smoked)and i do not use nicotine just juice.I can understand why there is a lot of negativity around and like many of you it all comes down to MONEY!!!.

  • Doug Neaves

    This latest EU document is most interesting! Has anyone consulted the Chinese, they may consider it rather rude of the EU to propose to ban the products of a whole section of their industry. Various experts, be they self appointed or employed by previously well thought of institutions, have indulged in a rather childish berating of products that just happen to be proudly made in China.
    It would be of considerable benefit to make contact with the relevant trade departments at the Chinese Embassies in the EU and actually thank them for the products that we use, and see if they can help us in our plight.
    The situation has been confused somewhat by the scurrilous accusations that the pharmaceutical industry has been lobbying for the EU to make E-Cigarettes medical products, and as an ‘unforeseen’ consequence wreck a section of Chinese industry. The Chinese could easily look into the west’s pharmaceutical industry’s operations in China and give them a clean bill of health?
    Is the EU sleepwalking into a trade war?

  • Compenstine

    I have said it before and I will say it again, You can’t Regulate/Ban something that can be 100% DIYed. They would have to regulate all flavoring companies, all companies selling glycerin and polypropylene glycol, all Kanthal wire, all flashlights, all glass tubing…etc It is just not practical. It would start a new black-market creating more issues. I say sit all these people down in room give them all a pack of cigarettes and an E-gig. Tell them they have a choice to smoke the whole pack or the whole Tank before leaving the room. They are forcing people that did smoke cigarettes back to them by banning E-cigs. It is really brilliant to ban e-cigs and condemn millions to cancer and the effects of second hand smoke.

  • Kenneth

    My English isn’t good enough to totally understand all this, that’s why I’m asking this:

    In the worst case, when is it possible for this terrible new proposal could become law? Is it already from January 2014 or what? Cause then I have to buy enough liquid before then. Terrible! Thanks in advance for any answer.

    Kind regards

  • Dayn

    What can American Vapers do to help? I’ve only been vaping for 2 months now, but no urge to pick up a cigarette after 24yrs of smoking. In the 2 months, I have done a ton of reading and learning… Here in the states, little city bans are popping up here and there, and I fear all to soon we will be facing a total ban if this keeps up. Not to mention, I know a lot of our vaping products come from the EU and Asia, if bans happen there, I am sure it will affect us here in the states, 1st in our pockets, and eventually on the government lvl as they copy bans over there. So I ask again, What can we American vapers do to help?

  • jayjay

    we are governed by a bunch of sell offs driven by greed and nothing more, this can be seen through out the EU, from the economic crisis and everything else associated with the EU. People trying to be pass these laws have to be uncovered and justice must be served, this is an indirect GENOCIDE if you will. the EU leaders are a total and utter disgrace to humanity

  • Thanks, as ever!

    I’m curious as to how redefining e-cigs as ‘tobacco-related products’ affects the legal position in reference to Sir Francis Jacobs’ advice to ECITA, given that his advice predominantly concerned a medicinal definition. I assume challenges may still be made regarding proportionality whatever the product definition.

    I’ve looked but have been unable to find an EU legal framework for ‘tobacco-related products’ specifically and though I assume laws will be enacted/redacted/fiddled with to suit the definition, do you have an inkling as to the legal position mentioned in the proposal?

  • The Thought Gang

    So I guess I have to vote UKIP in the next euro elections. Sure.. They really are a bunch of fruit cakes and little-Englanders.. but at least they’re not trying to kill me.

  • […] Nachlesen kann man dies bei Dr. Farsalinos  und Clive Bates. […]

  • […] The below is taken from the post by Clive Bates that can be read in full here […]

  • Clive

    Replies veiled (and responses) from the MEP’s that represent me in the EC:

    Hi Daniel

    Many thanks for your prompt response.

    In view of your answer, can I ask that you make your views known to the group that formulated these proposals? I understand that they are:

    Matthias Groote (German S&D includes Labour) in the chair,
    Linda McAvan (British Labour / S&D)
    Karl Heinz Florenz (German EPP – the large centre-right grouping)
    Carl Schlyter (Swedish Green)
    Frédérique Ries (Belgian ALDE – group includes Lib Dems)
    Martin Callanan (ECR includes British Conservatives)
    Martina Anderson (Irish Nationalist)
    Giancarlo Scottà (Italian EFD right winger – his political group in EP includes UKIP)
    I will also be making my views known to my local MP, Mike Wetherley and the Secretary of State for Health.

    Regards

    Clive Reedman

    On 27 Nov 2013, at 10:07, HANNAN Daniel wrote:

    Dear Clive,

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    I can only confirm that I am completely against a ban on electronic cigarettes.

    I am also against the EU to regulate this at all. Questions of this kind ought to be determined through our national democratic mechanisms.

    Yours sincerely,
    Daniel Hannan MEP

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Clive Reedman [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: 26 November 2013 09:16
    To: HANNAN Daniel
    Subject: Letter from your constituent Clive Reedman

    Clive Reedman
    7 Jubilee Road
    Portslade
    East Sussex
    BN41 1SU

    Phone: 01273 887161

    Email: [email protected]

    Tuesday 26 November 2013

    Dear Daniel Hannan,

    You will be aware that last week the Commission circulated a paper
    regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes. Although only a proposal the
    contents of the paper have now entered the public domain and I must
    raise some issues with you regarding its content. It would seem that
    the proposal would include in potential legislation|

    Allows only single-use cartridges. No refillable units or tanks will
    be permitted and so the most effective devices will be removed from the
    market.

    Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT. Hands control to
    pharma companies and against the view of the Parliament that recognised
    the importance of flavours.

    Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification,
    cutting out the stronger liquids that appeal more to heavily addicted
    smokers and those just switching

    Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit – this is
    extremely low and arbitrary (see new paper on lethal doses for
    nicotine) and makes no sense

    Allows only devices that “deliver nicotine doses consistently and
    uniformly” – a completely unnecessary, severe and limiting technical
    challenge derived from medicines regulation – unlike with medicines,
    e-cigarette users control the dose.

    Bans advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on
    radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet (through
    “information society services”)

    Bans e-cigarette sponsorships that have cross border impact (e.g.
    anything that might be shown on.

    Applies onerous and unnecessary warning, labelling and leaflet
    requirements that may be impractical and disproportionate.

    Bans cross border distance sales (internet etc)

    -Requires manufacturers to track so-called ‘adverse effects’ even
    though nicotine is widely used and understood

    -Requires the submission of large quantities of seemingly irrelevant
    technical and commercial data.

    -Asserts that e-cigarettes “simulate smoking behaviour and are
    increasingly used and marketed to young people and non-smokers”.

    Basically, the Commission has tried to smuggle in as much
    medicine-style regulation as possible, and then added the most
    restrictive commercial aspects of tobacco regulation on top – thus
    imposing the worst of both worlds for this most promising product.
    There are one or two acceptable things in the new draft, of course, but
    the very bad things listed above hugely outweigh them all. The total
    effect of this would be:

    -To leave millions of smokers without an effective and reduced risk
    alternative to cigarettes;

    -To close many businesses throughout the EU and beyond; and

    -To greatly limit the potential for genuine harm reduction through
    alternatives to cigarettes in the future.

    I feel that these measures (if introduced) can be criticised on four
    points, namely:

    They can be criticised from four perspectives:

    a) From the consumer perspective, these measures are completely
    unjustified blocks to products that millions of satisfied smokers like
    and find helpful as alternatives to smoking. They are likely to lead
    to rapid development of a black market that serves no-one’s interests,
    and many former smokers will return to smoking tobacco products.

    b) From a business perspective, these measures threaten legitimate
    businesses supplying a low risk alternative to smoking. They impose
    excessive burdens and restrictions, and restraint of commercial
    freedoms. They protect the tobacco industry from competition for its
    cigarettes, and help it to continue dominating the e-cigarette market
    with its own commoditised cig-alike products. They also protect the
    pharmaceutical industry from genuine competition for their own nicotine
    products.

    c) From a public health perspective, these weaken a product that
    recognised by public health experts as being ~99% safer than smoking
    but needs to be able to compete through innovation, creativity and
    communication to attract smokers to switch. There is no evidence
    whatsoever that e-cigs are harming anyone, or attracting children and
    there is plenty of evidence that e-cigs are doing good. Remember, even
    use by young people can be regarded as positive when it diverts those
    who are already smoking tobacco.

    d) From a legal perspective, these measures are disproportionate
    and cannot be justified as internal market measures designed to promote
    the free movement of goods. To achieve this, the restrictions would
    need to be based on securing a high level of health protection.
    However, these products do not cause ill-health: they relieve it. To
    introduce new legislation like this requires proper consultation,
    justification and impact assessment, which has not been undertaken.

    I started using e-cigarettes some 16 months ago and have benefited
    greatly from the positive effect of not using tobacco products. Clearly
    these is some way to go before legislative changes are adopted. But I
    ask that you take an interest in this matter and seek to ensure that
    the (healthier) alternative to tobacco products and NRT products are
    protected.

    Yours sincerely,

    Clive Reedman

    614fbd50a443e87dddad/eee023cc673e006df7db
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    [ This message was sent by WriteToThem.com. If you have had any
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    Keith

    Many thanks for your prompt response and pending follow up actions. I know that most users of e-cigarettes in the UK would not have any issues with the introduction of a sensible set of regulations regarding their sale. However, the proposals as they stand are not sensible and will only play into the hands of the tobacco industry. Should the proposals become part of the convention then many e-cigarette users will inevitably return to the harmful use of tobacco. Adding e-cigarettes to the approved list of Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT’s) would seem a viable proposition, but the industry may now be vulnerable and never reach that stage.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Regards

    Clive Reedman

    On 26 Nov 2013, at 10:00, Contact Keith wrote:

    Dear Clive Reedman,

    Thank you for sending me your views on the Tobacco Products Directive trilogue negotiations.

    The Greens in the European Parliament are supportive of regulating the tobacco industry for public health reasons, and voted for the medicalization of e-cigarettes to ensure effective regulation and consumer protection. However, as I am not part of the TPD negotiations, please be assured that I will highlight your concerns with my colleagues working on this legislation in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

    For more information about my work as an MEP, please see my website at: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/

    Kind Regards

    Keith Taylor

    Green Party MEP for South East England
    The European Parliament
    Rue Wiertz
    1047 Brussels, Belgium

    Tel: +32 2 284 5153 Fax: +32 2 284 9153

    http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk

    If you would like to receive my bimonthly e-newsletter please
    e-mail [email protected] putting INFO as the subject header

    On 26 November 2013 09:15, Clive Reedman wrote:

    Clive Reedman
    7 Jubilee Road
    Portslade
    East Sussex
    BN41 1SU

    Phone: 01273 887161

    Email: [email protected]

    Tuesday 26 November 2013

    Dear Keith Taylor

    You will be aware that last week the Commission circulated a paper
    regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes. Although only a proposal the
    contents of the paper have now entered the public domain and I must
    raise some issues with you regarding its content. It would seem that
    the proposal would include in potential legislation|

    Allows only single-use cartridges. No refillable units or tanks will
    be permitted and so the most effective devices will be removed from the
    market.

    Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT. Hands control to
    pharma companies and against the view of the Parliament that recognised
    the importance of flavours.

    Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification,
    cutting out the stronger liquids that appeal more to heavily addicted
    smokers and those just switching

    Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit – this is
    extremely low and arbitrary (see new paper on lethal doses for
    nicotine) and makes no sense

    Allows only devices that “deliver nicotine doses consistently and
    uniformly” – a completely unnecessary, severe and limiting technical
    challenge derived from medicines regulation – unlike with medicines,
    e-cigarette users control the dose.

    Bans advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on
    radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet (through
    “information society services“)

    Bans e-cigarette sponsorships that have cross border impact (e.g.
    anything that might be shown on.

    Applies onerous and unnecessary warning, labelling and leaflet
    requirements that may be impractical and disproportionate.

    Bans cross border distance sales (internet etc)

    -Requires manufacturers to track so-called ‘adverse effects’ even
    though nicotine is widely used and understood

    -Requires the submission of large quantities of seemingly irrelevant
    technical and commercial data.

    -Asserts that e-cigarettes “simulate smoking behaviour and are
    increasingly used and marketed to young people and non-smokers”.

    Basically, the Commission has tried to smuggle in as much
    medicine-style regulation as possible, and then added the most
    restrictive commercial aspects of tobacco regulation on top – thus
    imposing the worst of both worlds for this most promising product.
    There are one or two acceptable things in the new draft, of course, but
    the very bad things listed above hugely outweigh them all. The total
    effect of this would be:

    -To leave millions of smokers without an effective and reduced risk
    alternative to cigarettes;

    -To close many businesses throughout the EU and beyond; and

    -To greatly limit the potential for genuine harm reduction through
    alternatives to cigarettes in the future.

    I feel that these measures (if introduced) can be criticised on four
    points, namely:

    They can be criticised from four perspectives:

    a) From the consumer perspective, these measures are completely
    unjustified blocks to products that millions of satisfied smokers like
    and find helpful as alternatives to smoking. They are likely to lead
    to rapid development of a black market that serves no-one’s interests,
    and many former smokers will return to smoking tobacco products.

    b) From a business perspective, these measures threaten legitimate
    businesses supplying a low risk alternative to smoking. They impose
    excessive burdens and restrictions, and restraint of commercial
    freedoms. They protect the tobacco industry from competition for its
    cigarettes, and help it to continue dominating the e-cigarette market
    with its own commoditised cig-alike products. They also protect the
    pharmaceutical industry from genuine competition for their own nicotine
    products.

    c) From a public health perspective, these weaken a product that
    recognised by public health experts as being ~99% safer than smoking
    but needs to be able to compete through innovation, creativity and
    communication to attract smokers to switch. There is no evidence
    whatsoever that e-cigs are harming anyone, or attracting children and
    there is plenty of evidence that e-cigs are doing good. Remember, even
    use by young people can be regarded as positive when it diverts those
    who are already smoking tobacco.

    d) From a legal perspective, these measures are disproportionate
    and cannot be justified as internal market measures designed to promote
    the free movement of goods. To achieve this, the restrictions would
    need to be based on securing a high level of health protection.
    However, these products do not cause ill-health: they relieve it. To
    introduce new legislation like this requires proper consultation,
    justification and impact assessment, which has not been undertaken.

    I started using e-cigarettes some 16 months ago and have benefited
    greatly from the positive effect of not using tobacco products. Clearly
    these is some way to go before legislative changes are adopted. But I
    ask that you take an interest in this matter and seek to ensure that
    the (healthier) alternative to tobacco products and NRT products are
    protected.

    Yours sincerely,

    Clive Reedman

    614fbd50a443e87dddad/eee023cc673e006df7db
    (Signed with an electronic signature in accordance with subsection 7(3)
    of the Electronic Communications Act 2000.)

    [ This message was sent by WriteToThem.com. If you have had any
    problems receiving this message, please email [email protected]
    and we'll get back to you. See http://www.writetothem.com for more details
    about the service. We have sent this email to
    [email protected]; if this address is out of date please
    email us so that we can update our records. ]

  • capiomara

    Any lawyer around? Would be nice to see a case of smokers sueing EU for banning safe(r) products (including snus), considering it forced them to keep on using lethal ones.
    Case: failure to assist a person in danger. (would work under French law).
    i.e. sueing the State rather than tobacco companies for a change.

  • Joe O'Reilly

    This isn’t a new Commission proposal for legislation. It’s not, in the usual sense, a “Commission proposal” at all. The Commission has the job of finding common ground between the Parliament and the national governments (that’s the Council), and it’s the latter who want the more restrictive measures, which some of them have already adopted nationally. Any attempt to find such common ground between the two sides is not going to be a simple rehash of the Parliament’s position.

    Both sides here are elected, the EU Parliament and the national governments in the Council, neither can be simply set aside by the Commission! The document is a possible set of common ground proposals, neither more nor less, although it does indicate the degree of intransigence on the part of some national governments to a more permissive vaping regime.

  • Hi everyone.

    Thank you Clive Bates for your analysis – as allways.

    I just wanted to show: German Community is reacting. We allready called to action 2 weeks ago – people are writzing to MEPs at the moment to remember them what they voted in october and that the trialogue maybe will try to water it down. The Parlament will have the last word in the last vote!

    THanks to you we where able to add some points into our suggested arguments.

    http://detalk.vapourtrails.tv/argumente-extended-version/

  • […] directive would combine features of the medical approach and the tobacco products approach, according to British health policy advocate Clive Bates, resulting in draconian restrictions that would make it substantially more difficult for […]

  • Duffloop

    Well Farage is pro e-cigs and anti all these crappy EU dictates – looks like UKIP gonna get the vote…

  • […] sake), powerful groups are trying to slide anti-vaping laws into effect in secret. According to The Counterfactual and the E-Cigarette Forum, ”late last week the European Commission circulated a […]

  • Dodderer

    I agree with everything said above – one interesting point in this proposal is the statement that ecigs can only be classified as medicinal by presentation – they cannot be medicinal by function – presumably because they consider that nicotine concentrations below 20mg/ml cannot have a pharmacological effect.

    The medicinally approved NRT called Quickmist contains nicotine liquid with a concentration of 14mg/ml – this too would fail the test without a claim of effectiveness yet we know its long-term success is less than 10%.

    Too pedantic?

  • Dodderer

    Just to add that Recital a) is a farce – not only does it confirm the well-established evidence of the moral ambiguity between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ nicotine, it now confirms that this ambiguity can exist within the same product.

  • lizzie

    Today the papers are full of Camerons u turn on plain packs. No they don’t get it. The only thing that will discourage people form smoking, are e cigs.

  • […] tavolo delle trattative e le posizioni dei differenti attori. Tuttavia qualcosa è venuto fuori, e lo ha segnalato sul suo blog Clive Bates, noto policy maker britannico (ha lavorato per il governo inglese e per Greenpeace) riportando un […]

  • Kenneth

    Today I have sent a mail to all of my 13 MEPs representing Denmark, including the new commission proposal, and so far I’ve got two positive replies. One wrote me that she fully sympathies and understand our situation. Another MEP’s secretary wrote me that he will make sure that the new proposal from the commission will be forwarded to the right negotiating persons in the parliament.

    Just a little update.

    Kind regards
    Kenneth

  • Tim

    Almost seems they have their hands in the pocket’s of the tobacco industry.Not only are they trying to screw, “We the people”,But they would loose funding $$$, to try to keep us ( I call,Vapers) down. The more people that quit smoking tobacco ie; cancer sticks the less the people with the deep pockets will have to put in their banks. On the other hand, those of us who have tried and tried in past to quit smoking like myself failed, vaping is so much healthier for us, and we can control the amount of nicotine we take in.
    I use to do grounds keeping for, well I’ll call them PHILLIP MORRIS and was able to hear bits and pieces from the employee’s working there and was told PHILLIP MORRIS put not only extra nicotine into the tobacco but an additional Chemical or Chemicals that makes quitting 10X harder. So they don’t want you to Vape,they want you to add another nail into our cough-in..But that’s just my observation!!!

  • Tim

    To anyone who is reading my first post and scratching their heads and wounding ETC if he going on about, sorry, I just needed to vent. SO you can take it for what it’s worth :-/

  • Emile

    As lvd said I have only two words to respond to this: ORGANIZED CRIME

  • nie dla zakazu e-papierosów

  • Joshua Gould

    Listen. This is America so get it through your skull. I faught for the freedoms that you try to take away. You are a domestic terrorist for infringing the rights of the people for their pursuit of happiness. This is ridiculous and embarrassing. It’s a choice we make to do and there is no argument stating otherwise. We have the freedom to do this and we don’t need the government telling us how to do it. We are not idiots we are not livestock. We are Americans and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be treated as a baby would and have mommy and daddy government come along and put me in the corner because they don’t like that ability we now have to shut big tobacco lobbyists down. That’s what your scared of. Taxes not coming in as projected and your “plans” getting fudged. Grow up get out and do something constructive and fight the oppression of domestic terrorism on Americas people because we’re the ones your working for. Get it right you are here for us we are not here for you. Remember that.

  • Emile

    It’s a choice we make to do and there is no argument stating otherwise. We have the freedom to do this and we don’t need the government telling us how to do it. We are not idiots, I don’t care what they will decide I can make my own mod or my own e pipe, Glycerine and Propylene glycol, Kanthal resistance heating wire, silica wick and flavours still there they can’t stop that I will vape till the end of my live and I don’t give a damn, we have to teach people how they do their own e cigarettes.

  • […] trying a side hook to introduce if anything worse regulation than the medical offered before. ( see They just don The counterfactual ) If anything this represents a total ban on every atti, battery, and liquid in existence. If it […]

  • Emile

    Dear ODD
    We can buy now so many liters of nicotine it will last for years,there is a way out don’t worry

    • Clive Bates

      Hey folks – no need to take up arms and retreat to log cabins in Montana just yet! There’s still very much a fight on and there are lots of MEPs and some countries who see sense about this … time to get busy!

  • Espen

    I live in Norway, and over here, there are already laws against liquids or cartridges containing nicotine. But i can still buy it (legally) from EØS countries, like England – so PLEASE; stop this craziness from happening, and ending my stopping smoking campaign! I got my SID Mod 9AM yesterday, and have only smoked 1 cigarette after i picked it up (it is now 22:30 in Norway). This one cigarette tasted awful, and im amazed how i already DO NOT WANT A CIGARETTE! It was not even a big issue keeping it up after eating or while drinking coffee..! I was very happy, planning on gradually switching towards nicotine free, and then stopping completely… Then i stumbled over this BS! If this disappears, then they should at least have the decency of growing some nicotine free tobacco – but seeing how this would be a new product, not following tradition precicely – and probably falling under the “NRT”-label i guess that would also have to be proven safe. But then again – tobacco companies already admit that their products are not safe, and its totally OK – and they are even allowed to keep their secret ingredients secret – which im guessing makes them pretty much immune to any investigation into their “safety”??? Even medicines have their ingredients printed on the box… Seriously – whats so special about tobacco that they get the -ONLY- validation (of ALL the consumables i can think of) to keep their ingredients secret??? Something “fishy” is going on…

    • john

      espen
      you can buy them in china. There are some bigish US oriented -very english speaking- ecig sources in places like Guangzhou (and Shanghai) that are,I think, quite reliable. BTW If you use them choose the FedX option for shipping, it is more reliable.

      China’s engineering standards these days are generally pretty high, almost all of their factories and the like these days are brand new and high tec, especially in the places that have been export oriented for a long time now.

      • Espen

        Its illegal for us to order any liquids containing nicotine from China. It has to be ordered from countries within the “european trade agreement” (called “EØS” in norwegian. I believe its called “EFTA” in English)…

        People are still ordering from the US and China, and i have not personally heard of people having much trouble with it, but im guessing the customs seizes at least some of it. I cant imagine there would be a fine for this though, as ive ordered other stuff from the US that were seized by customs, and i never got a fine or anything. Just a note that “medicals” had to be ordered from within the “european trade agreement” thing…

        But i guess its atleast worth trying ordering from other places. Im not the kinda guy that lets other peoples STUPIDITY rule my life – if i have an option… If they want to criminalize me for buying -NICOTINE-, then i dont know what to say…other than; “LOL!”…

  • john

    Clive some suggestions as to lines of argument:

    a) ecigs are a path away, from smoking. But for them to be effective you really need to consult with users as to what forms of ecigs work- it is no good only consulting with ‘medical authorities’.

    b)the excessive regulation proposed will inevitably raise all the usual(well known) costs of all prohibitionist approaches to drug use, and this is especially so in the case of nicotine- a drug which, in itself, does not cause users to behave in socially inappropriate ways.

    c) wide replacement of smoking by ecigs will significantly reduce net health care costs. And that will give a not insignificant benefit to governments NET bottom line.

    d) ecigs ,if in forms that really work for the user,offer opportunities for health authorities to be much more restrictive on actual smoking.

    e) ecigs and their individual components, are made in their millions in china. Regulating their import by millions of,individual, EU citizens is likely to be very very costly and raise legal ‘proportionality’ problems: what sort of penalty would you impose upon the individual how imports 100mls of illegal e-liquid , for personal use? Is criminalizing potentially millions of otherwise law abiding citizens good policy. (Preventing legitimate EU businesses from supplying ecigs that fit user needs,will also result in the loss of EU taxes and Eu employment in these businesses )

    And have the EU ‘Authorities’ consulted with those charged with the already hard task of enforcing border controls as to how much extra in MONEY and personnel they would need to effectively police the importation of Chinese made ecigs for personal use??? (I very much doubt that they have even thought about that one)

    • Clive Bates

      Very sound lines… I’m pretty sure that any excessive regulation will be followed by a black market as soon as night follows day

      • john

        Agree
        A further possible line is:
        Ecigs are a ‘bottom up’ phenomena- a cottage industry- and it is very much driven/controlled by consumers.
        Therefore attempt’s to use a regulation frame work that is modeled on the regulation of a few big quasi-monopolies such as the tobacco companies and the big drug manufactures, is doomed to not work, wrong aproach.

        Supplying consumers with proper, reliable, and in scientific terms “un-coloured” information is the way to go.

        BTW a UK man recently died after eating 12 high caffeine mints (the mints in question do sound seriously dangerous) Any data on total numbers of poisonings by eating nicotine (liquids, patches, gums, and cigarettes, in the Uk in recent years.

  • […] RT @Vapers30: #EUecigBAN Someone please tell Jonathan Lord MP to get Twittered Up and ecig-educated http://t.co/LxqeMsEMpo  […]

  • Casa

    Watch out the tax man is awaiting eagilly in the wings. ( Condense the product such a way that it will make it easier to tax )

  • […] of the latest circulated EU discussion document, we can be indebted to a posting on the www. The Countertruthual. This identifies some of the most alarming features of the proposals that Brussels has put up for […]

  • Espen

    “Bla bla…may lead children to think it is acceptable to smoke…bla bla”! So it is unacceptable to smoke now??? Last time i checked they sold it in the stores… I thought i felt a NAZI breathing down my neck when they turned prices up 4times (in norway) what it was when i started smoking 16yrs ago. This happened in perhaps 4 years. They first doubled the price, then a year or 2 later, they increased the price with the original price again, and a year or 2 later, pulled the same BS on us again – much like they talk about drug dealers handing out drugs out for free to get people hooked, and then turning the prices up… Well, now i KNOW that NAZIs thinks they are better than me, and expect ME to live the way THEY like to live THEIR lives. Im not forcing anyone to be like me. Im just ME and let OTHER PEOPLE be THEMSELVES!!! MAN – I -HATE- SOME -ARROGANT- PRICKS!!! I cant see how people can put up with such ARROGANT leaders! Are people so weak that they just sit there and accept to be bullied around like this? Something NEEDS to be done about these [CENSURE]!

    I suggest going into strike. No work until we get the respect we should expect to get from our leaders. Im not working, and im not going to either. If they want me to work and pay tax like an adult – then they need to start treating me like an adult… IM in charge of MY life – and there is NOTHING anyone can EVER do to keep me from living MY LIFE as I see fit!!! Im glad i dont have kids to support, so id NEED to work. Now its just me, and i can live on wellfare for the rest of my life if thats how they want it… Try to FORCE me – and you will get NOTHING but the OPPOSITE result. Im a STUBBORN SOB – and i think its about freakin time some more people got a little stubborn as well… We dont need a war or anything – we just need to do NOTHING – BECAUSE ITS ACTUALLY -WE- WHO ARE THE POWER OF THE NATIONS, and WE are running the world – as soon as we realize it and stand up for ourselves!!!

    So WAKE UP! Your are human beings – NOT DOGS! Its time to SIT BACK AND RELAX with our vapes, or cigarettes, or whatever, and watch in amazement as the government not only keeps vaping legal, but start producing better flavors than we could fantasize about in our wildest dreams – AND; handing it out for free to anyone who wants to stop smoking cigarettes! So who is with me!!? >8=D

  • Espen

    Working and paying tax to arrogant leaders is like “digging ones own grave”! NEWSFLASH; You dont -HAVE- to work and pay tax! Especially if all conscious and thinking people gets organized and take a week or 2 off work… It should teach some [CENSURE] who is REALLY in charge >8=)

  • john

    Espen , It is important to stay cool and collected, reason is on our side. The authorities are looking stupid and are digging a ever bigger hole for themselves:

    The authorities are forgetting that China makes millions of ecig devices and ecigs are small and easy/economic to post in personal use quantities. regardless of EU ‘rules'(Rules that china would provably regard as a blatant restriction of trade.)

    And they are also forgetting that most current ecigs do not look like cigarettes at all and in fact there is little to prevent them being designed to look exactly like a wide range of legal to have items: pens, small flashlights, small calculators. And they are forgetting that evapour hardly smells, dissipates quickly – not that easy to detect.

    And perhaps above all, they are forgetting that ecigs are not the product of a few, easy to regulate, virtual monopolies.

    It strategy terms, ecigs vs the ‘Authorities’ has many of the characteristics of the classic insurgency problem- A big impressive authority vs thousands of small, hard to see, guerrillas hidden in plain sigh. The EU authorities approach is wrong, it will have the opposite effect to what they want.

    Perhaps the most foolish thing the Authorities are doing is making claims such as ‘ecigs are nearly as dangerous as smoking’, ‘ecigs are a path to re-normalising smoking’ and ‘that not enough research has been done’. The first statement is demonstrably, simply wrong, regularly inhaling organic smoke: combustion products, is extremely dangerous, ecigs do not burn anything, at all. And the claim that ecigs are somehow, a encouragement to taking up, Smoking is incoherent nonsense. Ecigs are a path away from smoking.

    And the claim that not enough research has been done also doesn’t really stack up that well- the two liquids that make up all but a tiny percentage of any eliquid are both food grade and the OH&s rules for handling both in industrial quantities, are the same as for handling anything with no known toxicity.

    The other main ingredient- Nicotine, is a poison but only at concentrations much much higher that those found in eliquids. ( Nicotine is a bit more toxic than caffeine but not that much more)

    In other words the authorities are trashing their status as impartial,rational, fair, Authorities in a increasingly public way. They are feeding a insurgency.

  • […] to a number of recent studies (as well as a number of events that have been playing out in the news recently), the European Union […]

  • Nicholas Prior

    I do not wish to be a “party pooper”. But I don’t think you have a hope . . there are just too many pre-conceived notions and prejudices to overcome. Nicotine is, as the doctor, said highly addictive . . just the word “addict” has so many negative connotations in our society. Common sense has nothing to do with it . . personally I am not too concerned, I am used to being a minority user of several currently banned substances . . where there is a will . . .

    • Clive Bates

      Nicholas – you may be right, but the journey is as important as the destination, and a lot of minds have been changed and ignorance challenged. We can only do what we can do, but if we don’t try we will get whatever they want.

  • Shoucaz

    Really frustrated that they do not care about the public health and just think about killing people with tobacco and making money for them selves,
    E-ciggs helped me to come of real cigaretts and i am now fit and happy also saving money.

  • […] of worrying and industry-damaging regulatory suggestions for electronic cigarettes. A summary compiled by Clive Bates revealed a number of proposals from the suggest piece of EU policy which […]

  • Hi Clive just had an encouraging email from one of the mp’s I wrote to regarding the EU tobacco bill.

    Pasted below for your reading, takes him a while to actually get to eciigs but you should like what you read.

    Gary

    Dear Mr McHugh,

    Thank you for your email regarding e-cigarettes and the revision of the European Tobacco Products Directive as proposed by the European Commission. I have received lots of correspondence from members of my constituency regarding this matter. At the first Strasbourg plenary session on 8th October 2013 the European Parliament passed the draft law with the aim of making tobacco products less attractive to young people.

    The European Commission proposal was a response to developments in the tobacco industry and to tobacco products as well as the Commission’s own report on the Application of the Tobacco Products Directive of 2007 and 2009, which identified potential areas for improvement. Further information can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/products/revision/index_en.htm

    In Strasbourg MEPs voted for all cigarette packets in future to have large pictorial health warnings covering at least 65% of the surface (up from 30% to 40% at present on front and back of packages) to make packs less appealing. Packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes would be banned. However, MEPs rejected calls for a ban on slim cigarettes. The approved text also says that fruit, menthol flavours and small packs should be banned, and electronic cigarettes should be regulated but as medicinal products only if they claim curative or preventive properties.

    The UK Liberal Democrat MEPs were instrumental in ensuring that e-cigarettes would not be classified as a medicinal product. My press release on the matter can be read here: http://philbennion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=185&catid=7&Itemid=196

    Since October negotiations (“trilogues”) between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, made up of Ministers from the Member State governments, have taken place in order to come to an agreement on a final text. I know concerns have been raised regarding the measures being too restrictive, such as the European Commission’s proposal that all electronic cigarettes should be controlled by pharmaceutical legislation.

    Although I was not part of the negotiations, as I hold no official role in the scrutiny of this Directive, our Liberal representative Frederique Ries MEP, who attended these meetings, has expressed her concerns. I know that during negotiations with representatives of EU governments MEPs insisted that the maximum nicotine content of e-cigs available for general sale should be 20mg/ml, a major increase on the 3mg originally proposed by the Commission and above the average routinely used.

    During late night talks on 16th December 2013 I have been informed that the European Commission backed down on demands for a heavy regulation of electronic cigarettes. Plans for the product to be controlled by pharmacies, restricting the sale on the open market, have been stopped. Minimum nicotine content has also been set at 20mg/l, far higher than the 3mg the Commission had originally hoped for. 20mg/l is closely comparable to that of conventional cigarettes.

    Refillable units, which are widely used at present, will continue to be available but will be subject to a health and safety review by the European Commission. New proposals to guide their use could be introduced in 2016.

    Although the final agreement will have to be approved by another vote of the European Parliament before it becomes law, I think this is a great achievement for MEPs in the face of stiff government opposition. Classifying e-cigarettes as a medicinal product would have greatly increased their cost, limited the product choices and restricted their retail availability. I know from correspondence from many constituents (as you have mentioned) that e-cigarettes have been instrumental in helping many people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.

    Thank you again for your correspondence.

    Yours sincerely,

    Phil Bennion MEP

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