This post is about Vaping. I am a vaper. Even if you are not, it might be an interesting peek into how dis empowered people really are under the mantle of the European Union, and government officials who have no clue about what they are doing!
Here is the Government response to a petition lodged with them that got over 12000 signatures, on Vaping and the new Article 20 from the Tobacco Products Directive that comes into force here in the United Kingdom in April 2016. Article 20 is a great worry to us Vapers. It was voted through despite millions of protests from all over Europe. The EU is not a democratic system. Our then, “Minister of Health” Anna Soubrey further screwed it up by being so confused about the whole thing, she voted “FOR” Article 20, not realising that Electronic Cigarettes had been thrown in as a “Tobacco product” under Article 20. She was relieved of her job as Public Health Minister. But as Defense Minister she displayed the same confusion by not knowing all sorts of things. She is now Minister of Business – god help us!
So back to the Government response on the question of Article 20.
The Government recognises the potential benefits of e-cigarettes to reduce the harms of smoking. The TPD introduces a regulatory framework which does not ban flavours or the use of refillable tanks.
The revised Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU) (TPD), was published in April 2014 and the UK is now required to transpose the TPD into domestic law by May 2016. A consultation on the draft regulations and impact assessment was held from July to September this year. The TPD will introduce additional rules on the composition, safety and presentation of e-cigarettes to ensure a high level of health protection for UK citizens.
Whilst the Government recognises the potential benefits of e-cigarettes and their role in reducing the harm of tobacco use and helping smokers quit, the quality of products on the market remains variable and they are not risk free. The regulatory framework introduced by the TPD is intended to provide for minimum standards for safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and e-liquids, information to consumers so that they can make informed choices, and an environment that protects children from beginning to use these products.
The TPD does not ban new flavours in e-cigarettes and e-liquids. The TPD permits Member States to make their own rules on flavours in e-cigarettes and e-liquids, however the Department of Health has no current plans to do so.
Refillable tanks will still be permitted under the TPD. Tanks will be limited to 2ml in size and rules to make refill mechanisms ‘leak free’ will be introduced. Consumers will remain able to purchase tank devices and separate e-liquids.
E-cigarettes do not fall under the definition of a tobacco product under the TPD. The UK’s implementing Regulations define “tobacco product” to mean a product that can be consumed and consists, even partly, of tobacco.
Following implementation of the new EU rules, there will remain a range of e-cigarette and e-liquid products on the UK market. In parallel, the prohibition on the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s, will help ensure these products are positioned as alternatives to smoking and not a product that introduces children to vaping or smoking.
Department of Health