Trained as a historian, Christopher Snowdon has written a book on Tobacco Control from the fifteenth century to the present day.

“EU regulations that are — even by the standards of Brussels — misguided, ill-considered and counter-productive.”

The many vapers that Christopher meets along the streets probably do not realize that the European regulation is ongoing and will ultimately lead to snatch out of their hands their shiny vaping devices. That’s on what the journalist and author reacts in his article.

“The TPD is full of pointless, consumer-hating, money-sapping bureaucracy of this sort.”

For us, he deciphers the European Tabacco Product Directive and gives his point of view. Interestingly, he points out the most popular second and third generation of devices as the focus of the TPD.

The paradox that the British historian is telling us is that the the cigalike and other disposable vaporizers of the first generation will remain untouched by the TPD but their market is in decline, in the benefit of the more recent and successful devices.

The first generation of vaporizers is intended for neophytes, for smokers who wants to quit and expect low-cost and low-maintenance devices… disposable. In contrast, the most efficient devices, more expensive and complicated are the first-choice of two third of vapers.

By reviewing the specs of his own device, he quotes the points where it could breach the law by May 2016: not leak-proof, a tank larger than 2 ml, the e-liquid it contains will come short as the his manufacturer won’t persist, as many others, when expensive tests are mandated. And, even the bottle it comes in contains more than 10 ml and doesn’t show the mandatory prevention stickers.

“The the first e-cigarette I purchased in 2009 now looks like a relic of the inter-war years.”

According to Christopher, the rate to which changes arise in the market has caused the law being outdated even before it had the chance to be implemented. EU regulation was established for devices that have been released on the market 4 years ago and is not flexible enough to be compliant with future products that will be designed for the confort and the safety of the user. It does already not comply with the actual market!

The EU rules complicate the introduction of novelties on the (legal) market. Firstly, it will be increasingly expensive for the manufacturer to launch new products due to the administrative constraints. And secondly, the visibility of its novelty might be impaired by advertising restrictions. He wrote: “product described by Prof David Nutt as the ‘greatest health advance since vaccinations’ will be suffocated”.

The question now is: What will I do when my manufacturer’s stock is sold out, after May 2016? Will I be forced to relapse into tobacco? Will I turn to the black market to go on vaping anyway?

“The Public Health lobby has always given the impression that it cares more about my health than I do”

The PHE gives the voice to a pro-vaping faction of the Public Health lobby and attest that most British health organizations are moving in the same direction. But the historian precise that it is too late since all decisions had been taken two year before with the TPD that looks like a pro-smoking Directive.

Up to the States’ governments to choose to implement the TPD in a way that is not too nocive for users, he says, because from the justice side, almost nothing is to be expected despite some recent attempts like Totally Wicked.

To most European people, it is not straightforward whether the TPD aims at giving a frame to the e-cigarette market, at protecting public health or at encouraging current vapers to relapse into smoking… or to defy the authorities. If their end is to protect public health, we have to keep in ming that EU has no legal competence in health policy and definitely won’t achieve this goal by putting spokes in the manufacturers’ wheels, he recalls.

“The common market is no more compromised by existing differences between member states’ regulation of vaping products than it is compromised by Britain’s preference for serving beer in pints.”

The national governments are capable of deciding how much nicotine e-liquids should contain and how large must be the refilling tanks. Different member States’ regulation won’t put down the common market, as the Britain’s preference for serving beer in pints doesn’t really matter for the consumers. Christopher Snowdon expresses the common thoughts that it should be the same for vaping products.

Our hope would be in the re-negotiations that national governments would attempt with Brussels for EU concessions, like fishing quotas or the price of sugar. There is precedent for such negotiations with the Snus in Sweden. Snus was so anchored in their minds that a ban was not conceivable for the Swedes upon their membership to EU in 1995.

In many points, the 1995’s Snus story recalls that of the e-cigarette: It was said a “gateway” to smoking, to appeal to children to tobbaco, the fear of dual-use… but it was also safer than cigarettes. 20 years later, figures show that Sweden has by far the lowest smoking rate in Europe, is it a coincidence?

The opinion of this economist and researcher is that EU could have used the TPD to legalize the Snus but, instead of that, EU has reiterated assaults on another product: the e-cigarette. The predicted 3 million european vapers in 2016, represent a sound support for any politician who will take their defence if the EU courts maintains its position.


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