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The EU are in the process of reviewing their Tobacco Products Directive and they’ve included a provision for a new regulation stating any electronic cigarette (or other device, I assume) containing more than 4mg of nicotine to be classified as a medicinal device.
If you’re a seasoned vaper you’ll already be rolling your eyes, if you’re new to the vaping world you should still have some idea as to why that’s ridiculous (and welcome, by the way). 4mg is not even close to the amount of nicotine anyone requires to satisfy their cravings. E-liquids would suddenly provide next to no throat hit, too, making them doubly pointless.
If having more than 4mg means our devices have to be declared ‘medicinal products’ it’s going to hit companies like us here at TABlites with a barrage of charges and tests and more charges. Our liquids are already tested to ensure their purity and quality, and we don’t have to pay through the nose for the privilege. This provision is going to render electronic cigarettes financially unviable to almost every company currently selling them, which is why it’s been referred to as a ‘back-door ban’.
It’s not just bad for our boring, number-crunching bottom line, though, it’s bad for the average vaper. Suddenly practically everyone who was selling liquids or cartomisers will vanish, leaving vapers high and dry. Where can you turn when your e-cigs are gone? ‘Back to regular cigarettes’, is what lots of our customers have been telling us. I imagine other people have been hearing or saying the same thing. It’s a sorry state of affairs when the only decent alternative to smoking is under attack.
It also means there might be an increased danger of people mixing their own liquids. Everything someone would need to do so is relatively easy to get hold of, and all legal. It’s all well and good if you know what you’re doing, however most people don’t know what they’re doing, meaning there is the possibility of some terrible accidents. It’s better left to the professionals.
This is all especially silly when you consider that no e-cig company, at least the ones that are members of ECITA, make claims that electronic cigarettes are an aid to quitting. They’re trying to put a medical classification on a device that makes no claims to cure or solve anything.
Luckily a number of MEPs have fought with all their might for this not to happen; Chris Davies (UK, ALDE), Martin Callanan (UK,ECR) and Christopher Fjellner (SE, EPP) were among a number of people speaking out in favour of the technology.
As long as it’s not stifling or downright destructive to the industry, we here at TABlites welcome regulation that will ensure our products are safe and the highest quality possible. That’s why we joined ECITA in the first place, and it’s why we urge all vapers to contact their MEPs and their MPs urging them to fight this kind of ‘back door ban’. ECITA has set up a handy system that allows you to do just that with a couple of clicks and a bit of typing:
Please contact as many politicians as you can, let them know what vaping means to you and how it’s the only real alternative to smoking analogue cigarettes. We’re dangerously close to losing an industry that could save millions of lives here, simply because some folks in the EU don’t really know anything about E-cigs.
Fight the ban.
James, Team TABlites.