Well known ecig lover Simon Capewell is tweeting this morning with a link to the EU’s E-cigarettes Myth Buster – a pretty document clearly designed to persuade us that all those nasty stories you hear about how the TPD is going to destroy vaping as we know it, simply aren’t true!
I think its worth doing a bit of myth-busting of this myth buster as there are a fair few half-truths, lies and a plain bs contained therein.
As they’ve kindly given us numbered bullet points, let’s follow suit:
The fact is that tanks over 2ml in capacity (so just about every popular tank on the market) will not be permitted and that assumes that the fiasco over “leak-free refilling” gets sorted out else it will all be gone. If something that is allowed today won’t be allowed post-TPD – that would be considered a ban by anyone with the power of cognitive thought. It’s a ban – don’t pretend it isn’t.The new rules do very little at all to benefit consumer safety and in fact will lead to misinformation being required to be printed on eliquid containers in the form of warning labels that are actually factually incorrect.There is no evidence whatsoever to support this concern. It’s a myth being perpetuated by an increasingly isolated handful of “Public Health” prohibitionists and is never supported by credible evidence.The unsubstantiated concerns of a few unqualified public health people is not a sound basis for banning ecigs and jeopardising lives, including my own!E-cigs have been around for a decade now, and there’s enough anecdotal evidence out there to draw some fair conclusions, including for example PHE’s assertion that ecigs are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes, What is absent however, is any tangible evidence that ecigs might be harmful and that public health will be better served by the TPD.Cherry picking studies to prove a non-existent point is a dangerous business as it illustrates how weak your argument is – it’s smacks of desperation. If the rise in youth vapers is at the expense of youth smokers, then public health and the EU should be actively encouraging this trend. I don’t need or want my nicotine to be administered or sold to me in doses, any more than I require regulated “doses” of alcohol in my whiskey or caffeine in my coffee. The “maximum threshold” of 20mg / ml (2%) nicotine content that will continue to be freely available (although only in 10ml bottles) will effectively reduce the efficiency of ecigs for heavy smokers to the point of being not viable, whilst simultaneously driving consumer costs through the roof. The wording of TPD Article 20 suggests that equipment that can be used for vaping eliquid with nicotine is subject to the farce – so don’t get your hopes up until we see the local implementation plans finalised….The views of vapers were broadly ignored during the consultation process, mainly due to the incorrect assumption stated that all vapers with an opinion were “astro-turf” for the big tobacco companies. Certainly, the only sensible input to the process came where industry / consumer wishes overlapped. Expert evidence in support of vaping was summarily ignored. Big tobacco and Big Pharma lobbying won the day – vapers were treated with contempt.Sadly, the UK government considers the MHRA a competent authority. There’s no escaping the conclusion that this legislation wasn’t actually designed to achieve anything in particular. It is actually a series of nonsensical, badly documented random compromises, thrashed out illegally behind close doors that does nothing whatsoever to protect consumers. It does however encourage smoking by placing barriers to the only viable alternative for many. The suggestion that Article 20 of the TPD creates a level playing field is frankly absurd. It effectively places such a costly burden on suppliers of ecigs, whilst banning most popular products that it is difficult to envisage how small vendors can continue to thrive, or sadly even exist. Sellers of traditional tobacco cigarettes however can pretty much carry on as before without these constraints.
Given that the TPD will leave ecigs with considerably more complex and costly barriers to market than their main competitors (tobacco cigarettes), the impact on small traders is blatantly clear to see.
With fewer, less efficient products and unnecessarily high compliance costs inflating retail prices, ecig vendors are staring down the barrel of a gun. It’s no wonder that the tobacco companies are in favour of Article 20 really, is it?