British vapers have a good chance of preventing implementation of the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in the UK by taking immediate action to support a “fatal motion” introduced in the House of Lords. Even though the TPD takes effect May 20, the Lords have till June to debate and approve the motion.
According to a press release from the 100K Coalition — a group of UK vapor businesses organized to oppose the TPD — the e-cigarette restrictions in Article 20 of the TPD will be suspended if the motion is approved.
Lord Callanan, who proposed the motion, was originally involved in the 2013 drafting of the TPD language as a member of the European Parliament. During a fascinating debate in the House of Lords on May 13, Lord Callanan apologized for his part in the legislation, and suggested that it may have been promoted by pharmaceutical interests.
“I asked why they were even in the directive in the first place, given that it is called a tobacco products directive and e-cigarettes are not tobacco products in any sense of the word. The answer I received many times was that this was argued for by the pharmaceutical industry, which would have an awful lot to lose if e-cigarettes supplanted or replaced nicotine patches and gum. I do not know the truth of that, but it seems that it was very successful in getting what it wanted.”
Take action now!
— Lorien Jollye CAO (@CaeruleanSea) May 19, 2016
Vapers in the UK need to get involved immediately to make sure this motion succeeds. This will be the last chance to scuttle the TPD, and if it fails, the harsh regulations will likely be in effect until 2026. Sarah Jakes of the New Nicotine Alliance suggests vapers take these immediate actions:
- Support this petition to urge the House of Lords to support Callanan’s motion. It was introduced by the 100K Campaign, and has been gaining steam rapidly, picking up almost 18,000 signatures at the time of this writing. Many more are needed! After signing it, please encourage family and friends to do the same.
- Send letters to individual members of the Lords. Tell your vaping story. Be sure to mention if you used high-nicotine e-liquid when you started. Explain how the TPD will affect you, and how you think it could prevent many smokers from quitting successfully. Most importantly, ask them to support Lord Callanans motion.
- Take part in the Twitter campaign to promote the petition and contact members of the House of Lords. The hashtag to use is #LordsVapeVote. Be sure to tweet to @Number10gov @jeremycorbyn @MartinCallanan
It isn’t often when direct action by a small group of activists can have an immediate effect on the implementation of a law. This is one of those times. British vapers have always led the way in standing up for our rights. We urge them to grab this opportunity to show the world yet again that they’re willing to fight and able to make a difference.