At a time when European governments are in the run to adapt their legislation to implement the forthcoming EU regulations in the domain of tobacco products (EU TPD) before May 20, 2016, European vapers are afraid of not being heard by their representatives. Petitions are being addressed to the government in Germany, lawsuit are launched by Polish and while Scandinavians go to the street.
The French blogger Sébastien Béziau invited on November 24, 2015, on his blog Vap’you, French and francophone vapers to leave messages to the French Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine. A way to quietly shout out for consideration. Sébastien’s initiative is only driven by his heart and completely independent from any commercial aspect or lobby influence.
The anger of not being heard
The reason of Sebastien’s initiative? The law aiming at modernizing the French health system. A series of laws, in fact, to comply with the EU TPD and that disregard the e-cigarette as a serious smoking withdrawal aid, in spite of the many reactions from health professionals, the effort to establish some norms and the experience of the British neighbours. According to Sébastien, writing on the Minister’s web page was kind of a “last stand” in favor of the e-cigarette and its neglected potential for public health, at least in France.
More than ONE THOUSAND MESSAGES later, on November 25, the Minister has given no sign in response. Even not a single post on her blog to reassure the vapers who feel concerned by public health.
The birth of a book
Then comes the idea to compile the testimonials and to publish them in the form of a book to be addressed to the Ministers (first concerned, first served) and to the media. Fund raising was organized on December 11 to try to reach a modest €1200 but the kitty unexpectedly grew to €9000 in 4 days. It was far enough to start printing the first specimens: one for each member of the French government, including President F. Holland, one for each congressman and a bunch for the media. In total, 700 books had been printed on January 15, 2016 and are to be delivered to their important addressees.
An unprecedented democratic action
This unprecedented democratic action is expected to raise concern, among the French government and to call for a reflexion before re-organizing the health system. In France also “Vapers are voters” and such a sudden civic mobilisation demonstrates the seriousness of the action with the support of health professionals.
Let’s add that part of the fund raising that has not been used for editing the book or sending the specimens, has been given to the French association La Vape du Cœur. The non-profit association provides vaping products to smokers with modest income in order to accompany them towards smoking cessation.
Part of the budget will be used to register the edition in the National Library, as a testimonial of the current context.
Why buying it? To keep a log of what can be considered a democratic failure…
Update on April 20, 2016.
1000 messages pour la Vape, the book enters into history with its deposit to the French National Library.