Europe and E-cigs – a consensus agreement that ignores the evidence

The following is a guest post by an author wishing to remain anonymous.  This is in response to the recent compromise deal the EU reached that would allow refillable e-cigarette cartridges to survive on the market. As always, the opinions belong solely to the author, even if I can’t tell you who that is.

EU to ban ecigs EU flag

I’ve been vaping for nearly 5 years now, and I work in the industry, so I have watched the progress of this with an insiders view. It’s been said that the two things you should never watch being made are laws and sausages. This is without a shadow of a doubt true. Common sense and the truth are regularly trumped by hysterical claims, hypothetical (and often already disproven) risks and interpretations of the science that are so distorted they are out and out lies.

The negotiation in the EU about how to regulate e-cigs has pretty much ended and it shows that regulation designed by multiple compromise is, to put it bluntly, crap.

So what is the proposed regulation of e-cigs?

There is a whole carefully researched directive on the safe packaging and labelling of chemicals – but that wasn’t good enough. E-liquid is to be packaged and labelled by specific bits of text contained within the TPD, cobbled together over a few hours of meetings by politicians, rather than experts. A triumph for consumer safety, I’m sure you will agree!

Then there’s nicotine content – a limit of 20mg/ml. Well, that’s me (about 25% of all vapers) screwed then – for the last 3 years, I’ve used 24mg/ml. This limit is apparently the level required to emulate the level delivered through smoking. You may wonder where the evidence for this is….. and you will continue to wonder, because all the scientific evidence suggests that this isn’t actually true at all.

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Then there’s a max size of 10ml bottles – but you can buy as many as you like. Make sense? Nope, not to me either.

But it gets better….

Because e-liquid is so very very dangerous (who knew? I wasn’t aware that people were dying all over Europe because of the millions of vapers filling their ecigs – that’s the kind of thing you’d expect to make the news!) refilling of tanks (with a maximum size of 2ml, for no easily identifiable reason) has to “have a mechanism ensuring leakage free refilling”. So each 2ml capacity tank will have to have a non-return valve of some kind. So will bottles. So forget DIY, forget every single tank design on the market currently – it’s all gone. Where’s the evidence to justify this? No-one knows.

Then there is a whole load of stuff about toxicology of liquids, flavourings and vapour. Now this might actually be quite sensible, or it might be unachievable, the devil is the details… and there are…. none. Not only that, but if a member state feels that there isn’t sufficient information provided, they can ask for more. And presumably more and more and more…….

But it’s not all stupidity.

Some of it moves beyond stupidity into what I can only consider malice. Why?

EU banning ecigarettes, euro notesWell, the vaping community has been very outspoken on this, and has attempted to do what we are told we should do – and involve ourselves in the political process. The reward for this?

“any form of public or private contribution to any event, activity or individual with the aim or direct or indirect effect of promoting electronic cigarettes and refill containers and involving or taking place in several Member States or otherwise having cross-border effects is prohibited”

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So any website, any forum, any social media with a ‘contribution’, for example an advert, promoting e-cigs is banned. Yup, kiss goodbye to most of the sites that support and encourage vaping and vapers. We spoke out, we must pay the price.

Welcome to Europe 2016, twinned with Soviet Russia 1950.

Steve K

Hello and welcome to Steve K