Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association

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Email : support@ecita.org.uk

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3 million vapers will vote with their lungs

3 million vapers will vote with their lungs!

25, Apr, 2017

by Katherine Devlin

We believe there is a golden opportunity to get the necessary changes to the vaping bans, as the political parties get ready for the General Election. We hope that many of the manufacturers will be getting involved, but there is also an opportunity for the vapers to have their voices heard.

On Friday 19th May - the day before the axe falls, and the full effect of the bans comes crashing down on us all - the political parties will be holding their press conferences, to reveal their manifestos as part of their election campaigning. Who among us doesn't want to see vaping included in the next Government's manifesto, making it a priority issue as we know it is?

We have today written to a number of key players in the political establishment, many of whom will be involved in constructing the manifestos. We hope that many of you will want to turn up, outside the parties' press offices, where the manufacturers will be brandishing their placards, detailing the lost jobs, revenue, businesses and HMRC revenues, as well as piling up their branded boxes to represent the stock they will have to THROW AWAY when the damaging EU bans come into force. Vapers can bring along their products - the effective ones, most of which will also be banned from sale - and take the opportunity to explain to the politicians why this is important and why they SHOULD be doing something about it if they want your votes.

The press conferences will start quite early on Friday 19th May, so if you are travelling from distance, it is worth planning to arrive the day before and stay somewhere in or near London. (I know some fantastically cheap options for this, if anyone needs it, so do please get in touch with me: katherine.devlin@ecita.org.uk.)

I shall be able to provide more precise details of locations and timings soon, but for now, please let me know if you think you can make it, and please also write to your elected representative - yes, again! Believe it or not, the power of multitudinous emails from vaping voters does actually get through to them! Please also have a look at the New Nicotine Alliance's blog, also on this subject.

For anyone who is interested, here is the letter we have sent out today:

"Three million vapers will be voting with their lungs

Dear x,

It is just four years ago that politicians were trying to ban all e-cigarettes under the guise that they had to be medicines. Since then, the EU-led TPD2 has been introduced, which was based on 'science' that is woefully out of date and has negatively impacted both users of these products and manufacturers alike. This view was robustly expressed by Public Health England in its updated review of August 2015:

"...best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes."

Now there are three million vapers - who will very likely vote for their lungs - and, with Brexit, no way for politicians to continue to blame Brussels for the draconian and damaging regulation of e-cigarettes.

Vapers are, understandably, unhappy with

  • the ban on commonly used e-cigarette tanks in favour of smaller versions;
  • the ban on sensibly sized refill containers, instead being forced to buy multiple small containers; and
  • the ban on a range of popular e-liquid strengths, which many former smokers rely on to keep them away from tobacco.

Vapers loathe these regressive and pointless restrictions on what they and scientists consider to be life-saving alternatives to going back to smoking.  Manufacturers are frustrated with having to get rid of huge quantities of stock of products which their customers need and value. This has already cost UK plc in lost jobs, SME turnover, and tax revenues. Many SMEs have already gone out of business.

We doubt that the Prime Minister realised that these bans are coming into effect in the middle of the election campaign on 20 May.

Therefore, ECITA is organising a coalition of the voting vapers and manufacturers  to drive to London on the 19 May and pile up this stock, which should have been going to the three million vapers, outside the party election press conferences of those parties who fail to mention vaping in their manifestos.  These are life-changing products for millions of consumers, and represent an issue about which many of them care deeply.

We would hope that the representatives of all political parties can recognise the massive potential for these products to reduce the burden of death and disease that smoking places not only on their constituents, but also on the NHS.

It is not for us to dictate what parties should include in their manifestos, but it would seem negligent for any party to miss this opportunity to commit to amending the legacy regulation dictated by the EU. The voting manufacturers and vapers will be looking forward to Friday the 19 May, to display their concern to those who have ignored them, and this issue."

 

We hope to see lots of you there, and look forwarding to meeting up with old friends and new.

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