The news that Article 20 in the Tobacco Products Directive is to be passed is totally devastating and does not make any sense especially when we take the time to reflect on the good that electronic cigarettes have done for the smokers in the EU.
Electronic cigarettes have provided many with an alternative solution to tobacco based products and many use vapourisers as a solution to quitting smoking. The benefits of electronic cigarettes have been confirmed at a huge 95% less harmful option (according to the PHE study) for users than tobacco products and allowed many to choose a healthier lifestyle option.
At present it is estimated that 2.5 million Britons use electronic cigarettes, however the EU was concerned that the use of vapourisers normalises the action of smoking. Yet with a survey finding that 72% believed they were beneficial as an aid to quitting smoking and no evidence that they are a gateway to smoking, it really needs to be questioned as to what the EU are basing their claim on.
Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association mentions, ‘it is important to bear in mind that the total of all the measures in the revised Tobacco Products Directive was intended – according to the Commission’s impact assessment – to reduce consumption of tobacco products by just 2 % in five years – equivalent to reducing EU smoking prevalence from 28% to 27.5% within the ‘noise’ in the statistics.’
It’s evident that electronic cigarettes have helped many to quit smoking and find a healthier alternative and it can’t be argued that vapourisers have helped the EU reduce the number of people smoking tobacco products.
Katherine goes on to mention that, ‘in reality, the UK – with its superb data monitoring – has already plotted a more significant smoking prevalence decrease even before the TPD is implemented.’ 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’, Katherine comments.
The passing of Article 20 will restrict the chance for innovation in the electronic cigarette industry, limited the choice available on the market and it could eventually crush the industry altogether. When you look at the good work done by electronic cigarettes in the past few years without such damaging regulations we have to scream WHY bring them in then if they could potentially ruin all the good work gone before?by