Act Now – The Article 20 Challenge
There has been much debate about the safety of e cigarettes since they were launched. The majority of reasonably minded scientists agree that vaping e cigarettes is less dangerous than smoking tobacco. The ability to be able to control your nicotine intake with e liquid means it should be obvious it could help people to quit, if they wanted to. The second hand smoke is far less harmful than tobacco, with no smells or actual smoke in the air. So why are government bodies and councils so intent on demonizing e cigarettes?
Conspiracy theorists will tell you that big tobacco companies have a large role to play in the demonization of e cigs. They are the ones with the most to lose. Anyone who has seen ‘The Insider’ will know the lengths tobacco companies will go to gain control of the population to line their pockets. When e cigarettes became available big tobacco companies must have been frightened they were going to lose their billions, and the chances of smokers switching to e cigarettes was, and still is, huge.
The Crackdown on E Cigarettes
So why is there such a crack-down on e cigs? First they were banned from public places. There are certain bodies that want them banned completely. There are also certain bodies that want them regulated out of existence. It seems in some quarters certain people are determined to stamp out e cigarettes and in the face of the obvious benefits, this seems really strange.
EU Tobacco Products Directive
There is an EU Tobacco Products Directive, which was introduced in 2014 that wants to see electronic cigarettes treated with the same stringent rules as tobacco. E cigarettes and e liquid aren’t tobacco and have been proven to be much less harmful. So why treat them the same? A ruling like this would wipe out a lot of small vendors and push the price of e cigarettes up to the same level as tobacco. This would give people less incentive to switch to e cigarettes and continue smoking tobacco. Surely this isn’t what the government wants? Alas, it seems some of them do.
One of the biggest electronic cigarette companies ‘Totally Wicked’ decided not to just sit on their hands and wait, but to actually do something about it. They launched a challenge to say that Article 20 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive breaches EU Law.
‘Specifically, the challenge is based on the view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provisions of services, places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers and users’
The Royal Courts of Justice in the UK determined they had a case to answer and have agreed a preliminary hearing to see if this directive does indeed contravene EU law. The hearing on this will take place sometime in 2016.
This was a bold move by Totally Wicked and we applaud them on their bravery for standing up to the EU. E cigarettes aren’t tobacco and shouldn’t be treated as such. Many independent scientists have agreed that e cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco, and they should be treated seriously as a viable alternative to smoking.
What this Means
- If the EU have their way it will mean tanks could be restricted to a 2ml limit.
- Choices of e liquids will go down to just a few industry approved flavours.
- There will be a 20mg nicotine limit.
- All e cigs will look the same and the days of customisation will be over.
The Article 20 Challenge
TW have started the Article 20 Challenge and are gathering names for support to help their case. The more people that support this challenge the more sway they will have when they stand up in court and make their case. If you care about the e cigarette industry and would like vaping to stay the way it is then we would suggest you get over there and offer your support.