TPD - A very different take - Email from Julie Girling MEP on Article 20

Earlier today I recieved another reply to my MP & MEP email. Except this one is very different to yesterdays "cut and paste" and lack of understanding. 

It's from Julie Girling MEP and it's clear that she's not best pleased with the TPD Article 20, more in line with the view expressed yesterday by +David Cameron at PMQs.

Dear Mr Summers,

Thank you very much for your message regarding the Tobacco Products Directive.

As a member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee, this was an issue that I followed very closely when it was going through Parliament in 2013 as part of the Tobacco Products Directive and thus is a matter I appreciate you raising with me.

At that stage, I was disappointed that the European Parliament regulated electronic cigarettes so heavily because I see them as a useful means for smokers to reduce their consumption of cigarettes.  MEPs voted to introduce 14 pages of new red tape on e-cigarettes (which deliver nicotine using vapour and  avoid many of the harmful side effects of smoking such as tar, smoke and carbon monoxide). The new rules banned 'refillable' e-cigs (which comprise a large component of the e-cigs market), if only three EU countries were to ban them. It also restricted all but the weaker e-cigarettes (20 mg/ml nicotine), which would risk cigarette users going back to cigarettes in order to achieve the same nicotine 'hit'. This does not satisfy the need to ensure that these beneficial products are accessible to user. Instead this proposal limits the usability, convenience and attractiveness of a product which has the potential to help public health. Unfortunately Parliament voted for this with 478 in favour, 130 against and 26 abstentions.

The UK Conservatives fought a long campaign for e-cigarettes to be regulated in a manner proportionate to the evidence that exists on them. In October 2013, when the matter first came to a vote in the Parliament, we fought off efforts to force e-cigs to undergo a medicinal authorisation procedure that would have placed many small manufacturers under threat. 
However, despite the vote of the Parliament in favour of e-cigarettes, the Commission and a few MEPs took it upon themselves to add a whole new article to the Directive during the late night closed-doors negotiations between the Parliament and National Governments seeking the agreement necessary to pass the proposals into law.

I personally received thousands of emails and letters from users who argued that the products had enabled them to move off tobacco and as such, I was compelled to vote against this draconian deal.

I recognise that we have to find ways to help people quit smoking and to stop young people from starting.  I feel that e-cigarettes are a useful and practical solution to many people across the EU. It is my concern that, rather than discouraging younger people from taking up smoking, last year's result could also have the perverse effect of pushing people who have moved from real cigarettes to electronic cigarettes back to the more harmful option.

Currently the Commission is in the process of completing the report on e-cigarettes and the implementing act regarding the specific technical requirements with respect to the refill mechanism, the reporting format and the packing design. I eagerly anticipate the release of these in 2016 and look forward to seeing the Commission's conclusions.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Girling
MEP for the South West of England & Gibraltar
Environment, Public Health & Food Safety
Agriculture and Rural Development
Women's Rights & Gender Equality
It's heartening to see an MEP who has actually looked into the issues and actually understands them. I'm going to reply shortly, and ask if there's anything else we can do to help.

Please, take the opportunity to write to you MP, MEPs, AM or even local member of the House of Lords. We need as much awareness and understanding as we can get to have this travesty reversed.

#Vapesafe and #Vapeon


  1. It's good to know that one of our MEPs is so positive and understands about e-cigarettes. This is encouraging and I must get in touch with all our representatives aboout e-cigs. So far I had only been in touch with my MP Mark Harper and he replied with a generic letter that was hopeless.

  2. One major thing that MPs, MEP's and Legislators need to understand is that there is no evidence that nicotine outside of cigarette smoke is addictive. I regularly see vapers reducing their nicotine as we lose the tolerance for it that cigarettes maintain or increase. I started on 24mg/ml and I'm now on 3mg/ml .... that is not addiction. In fact, pharmaceutical companies won approval for long term and concomitant use with other nicotine products (including cigarettes), of their nicotine patches and gums with a conclusion that there were no concerns for safety or abuse. They cited the clinical trials of Dr. Paul Newhouse who used high strength nicotine patches for a period of six months in order to treat depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Schizophrenia and Ulcerative Colitis and not one person became addicted to the nicotine or started smoking.

    Nicotine being addictive, I believe, is a myth perpetuated in order to sell gums and patches, etc., and it's self reinforced by smokers every day. Yes, we vapers need equivalent to cigarettes nicotine strength in the beginning, but as time goes by, our bodies tell us when it's time to reduce it again. Ecigarettes satisfy the deeply ingrained habit of smoking a cigarette and sweet flavours distance us from the taste of tobacco, for those of us that prefer them ... which is the majority. A major part of the battle is people in power understanding ecigarettes properly and why they are successful. It would be unethical to prevent us from using such an immensely successful method of harm reduction. Those who are unethical and trying to prevent ecigs are protecting cigarettes for the grant money generated by the $billions from the smoking economy and protecting the pharmaceutical's profits.

    They should also know that eliquids aren't particularly toxic and no more so than washing up liquid. In fact, we've been able to buy the much higher 72mg/ml over the counter for years, so it obviously was thought to be safe enough. Added to which, the LD50 is thought to be approximately 1000mg, although is probably much higher, but the highest dose we use is around 54mg/ml.

    The Great Nicotine Myth ... plus see other tabs in the menu on nicotine Nicotine References:


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