The recent spate of rulings on electronic cigarettes has been a worrying time for the industry, but with electronic cigarettes providing many with benefits it’s hard to understand why so many seem to be turning their backs on an industry which has helped so many.
The Aftermath of Article 20
The Tobacco Products Directive is one such ruling which sent shockwaves through electronic cigarette manufacturers and users alike after Article 20 within the directive was passed. Article 20 referred to twelve proposals which will ultimately restrict the electronic industry from continuing its good work with little freedom to develop and expand the industry.
In October a ruling was made to pass Article 20 leaving many shocked as to how this could happen and restrict electronic cigarettes form the innovation they deserve. The passing of Article 20 has clearly highlighted the ignorance of leading organisations and ministers in understanding the true benefits of electronic cigarettes and on December 23rd the advocate general will provide advice on the opinion stated.
Wales to Ban Public use of E-Cigarettes
Wales, is one area within the UK which has recently been affected by proposed legislation which wanted to initiate a ban on electronic cigarette devices in all public spaces, both in enclosed and substantially closed areas. Naturally, this has been met with opposition from leading electronic cigarette professionals and vapouriser users who deem the proposition to be unfair and damaging to so many.
The theme throughout these ruling is that often there is little evidence to back up the claims which then go on to be passed. Electronic cigarettes have helped many find new and successful alternatives to smoking, which Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association mentions, ‘Smoking prevalence has dropped from 24.2% in 2007 to 18.5% in 2015 and ultimately, ‘e- cigarettes may have helped approximately 20,000 smokers to stop in 2014 who would not have stopped otherwise’.
Many are concerned that the recent rulings and any new rulings which may arise will discourage people from taking up electronic cigarettes after the accusations made against electronic cigarettes in these rulings.
Whilst one of the reasons given for the proposed rulings is that electronic cigarettes normalises the action of smoking, it’s feared that this sends a message to the public that electronic cigarettes are as harmful as tobacco. This of course, untrue and Public Health England has come out in support of electronic cigarettes with e-cigarettes found to be 95% less harmful than smoking.
In a seemingly backtracked statement, the Health Minister in Wales has since stated that the ban will only occur in schools, eating establishments and on public transport. Many are now questioning over what the proposal was set out to initially achieve and why premature assumptions were made on the back of no evidence to support such claims.
When an industry has helped so many it has to be questioned why these restrictive rulings are still happening.