If you’re a vaper (which if you are reading this blog we suspect you probably are) and you haven’t yet heard about the EFVI, or more importantly if you haven’t already signed it, then drop everything, stop what you are doing and read on – this is important.
Earlier this year, in February, the EU passed the Tobacco Products Directive or TPD. Included in this directive is Article 20 (originally Article 18) which targets electronic cigarettes specifically. The bill has been passed which means that the governments for all member states of the EU must write and enforce strict legislation regarding the sale and use of e-cigarettes to meet these guidelines.
Now, here at Vape Club we are all for sensible regulation to ensure that consumers are getting the best possible products, manufactured to the highest standards, and of course to ensure that kids can’t get their hands on them and such. However, Article 20 is very far from sensible regulation – they are stupidly restrictive, they aren’t fair, they aren’t proportionate, they aren’t based on proper science, and they are definitely not designed to help reduce the tobacco epidemic which kills millions of EU citizens.
How so you ask? Here are some examples:
- It states that all refillable devices must incorporate a mechanism to ensure there can be no leakage. No refillable product on the market is able to ensure this, so effectively they will all be banned.
- All variable voltage devices will require a pharmakinetic test (PK) carried out on EVERY SETTING. A PK test costs in the region of £150,000…. For one setting. If the device ranges from say 3.2v to 4.8v then that’s 16 PK test’s needed – a cost of £2.4million per device. Unfortunately nobody but the big tobacco companies will be able to afford to carry this out.
- Any tank with a capacity of over 2ml will be banned.
- E-liquid bottles containing more than 10ml of e-liquid will be banned.
Looks pretty grim doesn’t it? If it isn’t changed / stopped, vaping as we know it will be lost – leaving us an expensive, ineffective, less enjoyable, watered down version that will only serve to put all the independent companies out of business and allow big tobacco to swoop in and take what it wants. You could be forgiven for thinking that somehow Big T was involved in all this skullduggery, but we will comment on that thought another time.
But all hope is not lost. The European Free Vaping Initiative (EFVI) has been set up to counteract the TPD, and here’s how it works….
The EFVI are going to use an initiative, set up by the EU themselves, against them. It is called the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), and it is a process put in place to allow EU citizens from all countries to actually express their opinions on how the European Parliament should approach specific subjects.
However to be able to use the ECI they need to collect 1 million signatures, with a minimum requirement of 55,000 from at least 7 separate countries. So they haven’t made it easy for us! But, unlike your usual petitions and the like this is an official EU process, and if we can achieve the targets then they have no choice but to at least listen to the arguments put to them.
It is true that the European Parliament do not have to act on the information given to them but if we don’t even get to present the arguments there is no chance at all. As many a wise man has said before – there is no guarantee of victory but if we don’t fight then we are guaranteed to fail.
The deadline is November 2014 – which is scarily close and will come round faster than you think. We must get as many people to sign the EFVI as possible and ensure that they are given the chance to put the correct information to the European Parliament at a public hearing & explain in detail the issues raised. The parliament will then be obliged to give a formal response.
And remember – Anyone can sign, not just vapers. You don’t need to be a vaper to have an opinion, so if your loved ones or friends are pleased that you are no longer smoking tobacco and see the stupidity of the TPD get them to put their name on the dotted line too.
Please share this article with as many people as possible and help spread the word and fight the good fight – we all need each other’s help on this.
Visit the EFVI site for more information and to actually sign the initiative.