EU Tightening the Law on Electronic Cigarettes
If you’re a vaper in Europe you probably know by now that the EU is planning to tighten the law on electronic cigarettes. Sadly the way European law gets made is extremely complicated, and a lot of people don’t really know what’s going to happen. Many vapers believe that the European Parliament voted down a proposed ban last year so everything should now be fine. That’s not really the situation though. The Parliament did defeat a plan to regulate e-cigs as medicines, but the EU Commission immediately put forward a new set of rules that would have banned every e-cig on the market in the name of “safety.” Thanks to the EU’s decision making process, which doesn’t really have a lot to do with democracy, the final deal was agreed behind closed doors between the Commission and a negotiating team from the Parliament led by MEP Linda McAvan, who wants a ban. The result is part of the new Tobacco Product Directive, even though e-cigs don’t contain tobacco, and the Parliament will vote on it in the next few months. If you plan to keep vaping you need to write to your MEP and tell them to vote against the e-cig part of the TPD, and here’s why.
- All liquid over 20mg will be banned. The EU has distorted research to show that 20mg is high enough to help smokers switch. In fact the study they quote said up to 50mg might be needed and its author, Doctor Konstantinos Farsalinos, has complained to the EU about his work being abused this way.
- Refillable atomisers with a capacity over 2ml will be banned. The EU are claiming that nicotine is so toxic any more than 2ml is a poisoning hazard. Again this is based on misrepresenting a scientific study, and again its author – Professor Lynne Dawkins – has complained.
- Refill bottles larger than 10ml will be banned. Other sections of the TPD ban cigarette packs containing less than 20 cigarettes, because small ones are “more affordable for children.” For vaping they’ve reversed their logic and are claiming larger bottles are “more dangerous for children.”
- All refillable atomisers must have a leak-proof filling mechanism. This is based on the idea that nicotine is so dangerous nobody can be allowed to spill a few drops on their skin. It’s okay to wear a nicotine patch all day, though…
- E-cigs must deliver a “consistent dose” of nicotine. Well, there go VV/VW devices and anything that lets you take longer or shorter puffs. In fact it’s probably physically impossible to meet this requirement.
- If three member states ban refillable atomisers the Commission can bring in an EU-wide ban. As the Commission openly admit to wanting refillables banned it won’t be long before this happens.
It’s obvious that if this badly thought out law is passed vaping as we know it will be virtually wiped out. All that’s left will be a few cigalike designs sold by tobacco (and probably pharma) companies. If you like the choice and freedom we have now, write to your MEP.