European Citizens’ Initiatives were launched as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation which implements the Treaty provisions. Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States, to invite the EC to make regulatory changes in areas that are under its jurisdiction.
The Initiative “Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!”, was created by 7 EU citizens who are residents of 7 different European Union countries, and is funded by the Imperial Brands Brussels Office. It urges the EC to remove vaping products from the TPD, and “create a standalone, proportionate and evidence-based regulatory environment that:
- Allows smokers to have access to accurate and credible information about the relative safety of vaping versus smoking;
- Helps smokers access vaping products that can effectively help them transition out of tobacco;
- Allows flavoured vaping liquids;
- Prevents access by young people to vaping products;
- Ensures that marketing for vaping products does not target young people or non-smokers;
- Reduces risks for consumers of vaping products by introducing robust manufacturing and product safety standards.”
This campaign, reflects the opinions of numerous public health and tobacco harm reduction experts and researchers. In fact, in the UK alone, data released last Summer by the Office for National Statistics had indicated a change in the positive downward trend of smoking cessation rates that the country had been boasting. For the first time in years, an increase in adult smoking rates was witnessed, while the rapid growth in the numbers of people switching from smoking to vaping had dropped significantly.
Sadly this trend had even been predicted, partly due to the nonsensical TPD restrictions. Infact, anti-smoking experts have been explaining why a post-Brexit Britain should consider getting rid of the ineffective EU-wide e-cig regulations, which have led to this stall in progress.
The Campaign goes live in April
This initiative urges the EC to remove vaping products from the TPD, and “create a standalone, proportionate and evidence-based regulatory environment” for the products.
Thankfully, the EC has approved the “Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!” and it is expected to go live next April. Following this, a petition will be launched and the campaign organisers will have exactly 12 months to collect 1 million signatures, including a minimum number in at least 7 EU member states.
If all the signatures are collected and verified, the campaign organisers can submit their initiative and the EC will have another 3 months to meet with the organisers and discuss the initiative. Within this 3-month-period the organisers of the campaign will also have the opportunity to present their initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament.
In a correspondence with the Vaping Post, one of the campaign organizers Philip Drögemüller, pointed out that even if it serves to raise awareness about the current e-cig regulations situation, the initiative will already be considered a success. “Just as important, however, the ECI “Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!” will be considered a success if it raises awareness about the current problems of unfair tobacco legislation and helps concerned citizens voice their opinions on a topic that could impact their daily lives.”
Have your say
Here at Vaping Post, we urge you our readers, to read up and do your research about the current TPD regulations, keep an eye out for the campaign launch next month, and if it does resonate with you, please take the time to sign the petition and make a difference!