The EU Tobacco Products Directive looks set to seriously damage the development of the e-cigarette industry. That is likely to diminish the prospects of helping people quit smoking and lead far healthier lives.

Researchers from University College London (UCL) have said that:

For every million smokers who switched to an e-cigarette we could expect a reduction of more than 6000 premature deaths in the UK each year, even in the event that e-cigarette use carries a significant risk of fatal diseases, and users were to continue to use them indefinitely.

To find out more, I spoke to Wayne Marler of Sparks e-cigarettes in High Wycombe. Wayne explained he health benefits of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco and how misguided EU regulations threaten the development of the e-cigarette market and what is now known as “vaping”.

Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) deals with regulations relating to e-cigarettes, and it includes:

  • Banning all refill bottles of e-liquid above 10ml,
  • Imposing significant and arguably unnecessary new testing and reporting costs that will hugely restrict the e-liquid flavour ranges available and push up costs for the consumer,
  • Banning all nicotine strengths above 20mg/ml, affecting heavier smokers needing higher nicotine products,
  • Banning refillable tanks with a capacity of more than 2ml,
  • Banning refillable tanks that don’t have a specific “leak free refilling mechanism”, and
  • Banning advertisements along with online fora and dedicated internet radio and television programmes.

If Article 20 comes into force, the most effective products will be banned, prices will rise and smokers will be denied access to information about a significantly less harmful product that could help them quit smoking. It seems likely this mis-regulation will cost lives.

Those who want to help smokers quit should oppose this damaging new regulation. Having lost members of my family to lung cancer, I am keen to help ensure this innovation flourishes.

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