Thursday 26 May 2022

The European Commission wants to hear from you

The European Commission is asking for feedback on its Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The call for evidence closes on 17 June 2022 and is intended to "assess to what extent the framework has fulfilled its goals and whether it is able to support a ‘Tobacco-Free Generation’ by 2040". A new TPD is likely to be proposed and brought into law in the next few years.

Anti-vaping lobbyists will be pushing for a ban on e-cigarette flavours, many of them with the help of Mike Bloomberg's $160 million slush fund. These backdoor prohibitionists see it as the best way to wreck the market because politicians don't understand how important flavours are ('tobacco' flavour, which apparently doesn't count as a flavour, is horrible in my opinion and isn't used by most vapers). The TPD exempts e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) from the ban on 'characterising flavours' unless the Commission can demonstrate that there has been "a substantial change of circumstances".

You can interpret that as you like - and the Commission probably will - but a Commission review published last year concluded that there has not been a substantial change of circumstances with regards to e-cigarettes, although the race is closer when it comes to heated tobacco.

The TPD sets out criteria for a ‘substantial change of circumstances’ and calls for the Commission to withdraw certain regulatory exemptions once those conditions are met (a flavour ban for product categories other than cigarettes and RYO tobacco, labelling exemptions). The Commission followed the market shares closely and no product category reached the threshold that would mandate the Commission to trigger this clause in the reporting period. The closest to the threshold are HTPs. Therefore, assessing the current criteria should be considered.

All the feedback is online to read. It's good to see that most of it is calling on the EU to leave vapers alone. For example:

Emerging products are key to decrease smoking prevalence in the EU. E-cigarettes are a significant harm reduction tool within the mix of emerging products. I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and thanks to the e-cigarette, I have been tobacco free for the past 3 years. I do not think that my freedom of choice should be further restricted if the e-cigarette prevents me from smoking. I also think that flavours play a very important role to switch. I am mostly using fruit flavours and try to avoid tobacco or menthol flavours which reminds me of the time when I smoked combustible cigarettes. 

To me it is quite simple - I don't smoke cigarettes when I have access to my vape. A lot of people are already addicted to nicotine, vaping is a safer alternative and legislations against it hurt millions of people who already vape. Legislations against vape juice also open up the already huge black market for potential risky vape juice.

Well I will put it plain simple. After 25 years of heavy smoking's and hundred's of attempt's to quit. I discovered electronic cigarettes and I never touched a cigarette again and that was 6 years ago. That's all I have to say, it works, worked for me and for many around me. If you want to solve the tobacco problem you will have to listen to the smokers and ex smokers, is that simple, listen to us instead of those "doctors" radicals, proibitionists etc In case you come up with more regulations and proibition, well I will find my stuff on the black market, inside or outside my country. My body my rules.

Feel free to add your two cents. The call for evidence is here. You have to register but it's easy enough. Only an email address is required. You're limited to 4,000 characters (about 700 words) and can add one attachment. Be polite.

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