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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Dear EU re Article 18 of the TCD

Re: Tobacco Products Directive and e-cigarettes

I am a user of electronic cigarettes. I am shocked that the legislative processes occurring in the EU can have gone on without any representation by us vapers. What is happening with the Tobacco Directive is profoundly harmful to vapers, and indeed to smokers of the future. I am writing to ask if you actually know what is happening because, Article 18 of the TPD directive is a mess that will cause more harm than than good. 

Vaping (the use of electronic devices)  has huge potential to reduce smoking.  It is Tobacco Control's wonderful answer to the smoking problem and the best disruption to smoking that has ever been. If the European Union passes Article 18 as it stands now WITHIN the Tobacco Control Directive, it will be a huge mistake that needs urgent intervention to stop from happening. How to stop this thing happening in the mad rush to get the TPD through the EU system?  If there are no separate votes on Article 18, it will be passed in it's current grotesque form that is neither logical nor sensible.  Article 18 should be taken out of Tobacco Control Directive completely so the issue of electronic nicotine devices can be properly understood by those making laws about them. At worst, Article 18 should be voted on SEPARATELY to the TDP. In your influential position, is there anything you can urgently do?

Article 18 is a mess because there was no consultative process with vapers or business on the electronic nicotine device issue. As I understand it, this is unlawful. It was  hastily put together by an unelected group that had a flawed understanding of science presented to it, that has angered the scientists involved. There is no understanding of nicotine, or nicotine strengths that smokers coming off smoking would require. Some of the proposed legislation  - for instance that vendors may sell flavours to customers, but may not name the flavour, nor in any way advertise their goods, is the best way to keep smokers from quitting smoking! Electronic nicotine delivery systems are NOT tobacco, but Tobacco Control's best friend!

Article 18 should not be in the TCD at all, but as it already is, it needs to be dealt with separately, otherwise it will be passed the way it has been so shortsightedly designed, and that would not be acceptable  to the 10 000000 vapers it concerns.


Yours sincerely