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July 25, 2016

Poland Will Shut Down Online Vaping Sales

“Gold-plating” the law

Poland plans to implement the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) more harshly than required by the European Union. The government will ban online and cross-border sales, effectively eliminating availability of vapor products—like vape juice or any kind of e-cigarette, be it a vape pen or even just a vape tank) in many parts of the country. Poland has a population of almost 39 million, making it the the sixth biggest country in the EU.

The TPD must be implemented by all member countries of the EU. However, the rules allow each country the latitude to transpose (insert into their own national laws) the regulations more strictly than required. That is, the Polish government is free to add further restrictions — which is exactly what they have done. The practice is sometimes called “gold-plating.”

Hundreds of businesses will be ruined

Open - Closed Sign

“Several hundred businesses selling only online will be just wiped out from the market,” wrote Miroslaw Dworniczak on the Nicotine Science and Policy website [since removed]. “Many people will lose their jobs. And most important, hundreds of thousands of Polish vapers, living in small cities and villages, will immediately lose access to e-cigarettes and e-liquid.”

Dworniczak is a chemist, freelance science journalist and lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. He’s also the author of a Polish blog on e-cigarettes and e-liquid chemistry and safety.

Ignoring the evidence

Knowledge - Ignorance

According to Dworniczak, vaping advocates have been petitioning the Health Minister and other government officials all year, trying to engage in a discussion of the TPD and the Polish implementation of it. “Many e-mails were sent, accompanied by scientific papers on e-cigarettes, and there were also several phone calls and conversations,” writes Dworniczak. “There were numerous official petitions sent formally to the Prime Minister, Ms. Beata Szydło, and another sent to the Polish President. Alas nobody from the Ministry of Health would agree to meet representatives of the vaping community to discuss these most important issues and the campaigning failed to produce any changes in the proposed legislation.”

In March this year an important report was published by Professor Andrzej Sobczak, of the Silesian Medical University, who has been the head of the group studying e-cigarettes since 2011. The conclusion of his paper was simple: e-cigarettes are much less harmful for human health than smoking regular cigarettes. This report was also sent to the ministry. Following this we had the British Royal College of Physicians report in April, which was also forwarded to MPs in the Parliament and on the back of these, in May this year, vapers started to campaign for a parliamentary public hearing regarding this implementation. This met with no response from the authorities. In June there was the Third Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw and the organizers tried to invite government and parliamentary officials to discuss the most important issues. Once again there was no response.

The lower house of the Polish Parliament passed the legislation on July 8. After the Senate approves it, it will go to the president to be signed into law. Dworniczak expects the new rules to be in place by the middle of August.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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Bill Herbst
Bill Herbst
5 years ago

During the first two years of the American Civil War, the North got its butt kicked. The same seems to be happening to vaping now.

The difference is that the North had ample resources. Once maximized, they turned the tide. I fear that the forces arrayed against vaping have all the money and all the guns, and they are implacable in their intention to destroy vaping. More and more, vaping is beginning to appear to me like the Confederacy after Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I hope I’m wrong, of course.

Clementhyme
Clementhyme
5 years ago

I’ve a nose for corruption and what I notice are the states, countries, and territories with a history of shady dealings seem to be the first and worst when it comes to blatantly ignoring any conversation concerning the realities of the health benefits and not only the possible loss of lives, but the loss of employment and many businesses within their economies…you see these places are more likely to acquice to the evil influences who have a vested interest in destroying vaping, they know how to play the game all too well. If Big Pharm wins this war on vaping… Read more »

Joni Niemelä
Joni Niemelä
5 years ago

Big Tobacco and Big Farma have won the battle easily. They have excellent distributer chains which are covering all countries. And they can sell they dirty cigarettes to everyone. I am seeing kids smoking tobacco cigarettes everyday and nobody cares.

Darren Bentley
Darren Bentley
5 years ago
Reply to  Joni Niemelä

This is it. Its ok to see children smoking as this has become the norm sadly, but there’s up roar if you see a child vaping an the vaping community has had nothing but bad press as it is the healthier option to smoking nobody says its perfectly healthy its just the better option ,but govements are all in debt around the world all the money has already been spent before it even comes in and its tabacco taxes that they are living off now ,So they dont want to have competition they fint want to compete or inovate they… Read more »

Kevin Kettell
Kevin Kettell
5 years ago

i understand tobacco is expensive eh but anyone can tell thats not in Poland its in english. Dumbkoff.

Philip Butkiewicz
Philip Butkiewicz
5 years ago

Fat chance. It’s not gonna go through. It was the same with ACTA. About to be passed into a law, then 2 months later the whole thing was forgotten. It’s how our country works. We try to impress other member states and then finally realize how stupid other member states are and back off.

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