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I am utterly convinced that we vapers have right on our side. Vendors do not claim any medical uses for e-cigarettes, yet Government still wants to regulate e-cigs as medicines. Researchers have shown that existing e-cigarettes are far, far safer than tobacco cigarettes yet Government still insists that more research is needed. Studies have demonstrated that e-cigarettes are unattractive as a gateway to smoking – but Government still express concerns. Experts have questioned the morality of regulating the safer e-cigarette more stringently than the more dangerous tobacco cigarette and Government still presses ahead. Non-smokers have publicly praised e-cigarette users as being more socially acceptable while Government argues for ‘the public good’. We have all demonstrated that e-cigarettes need not look anything like their tobacco equivalent but still we see opinions expressed that ‘vaping can look like smoking’.

Every Point – Countered

In the exceptionally short time-frame afforded by Government’s rush to legislate, vapers have successfully answered all and any questions with accurate, reasoned and reassuring answers, countered inaccurate anti-vaping assumptions effectively and defended our human right to choose how we behave when it does not effect others and despite e-cigarettes not being a nicotinereplacement therapy we have demonstrated that they perform much better in that roll than traditional NRT patches etc. but all to no avail.

Vapers have won the argument on every front but it seems that logic, facts, free choice and moral worth are insufficient to turn the political tide. We stand on the eve of the EU vote on the Tobacco directive which is likely to insist that Governments Europe wide regulate e-cigarettes as a medical product and thus stifle the growing trend against tobacco cigarettes by restricting the safer ‘electronic cigarette’ alternative. Do we now consider joining forces with other interest groups who have shared aims but different causes?

Common Cause

In the USA the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is expressing many of the same miss-placed opinions and poorly understood objections that are familiar to us in Europe. The state-by-state legislation and centralised ‘direction of travel’ has many parallels with our own anti-regulation struggle. The outcome of USA regulatory decisions will have ramifications across Europe and visa-versa. Undoubtedly we share a common cause with vapers in the USA, however beyond the open sharing of research facts, I am not sure how we can directly help each other in our respective, parallel battles.

There are other interest groups who are equally, fervently against EU legislation in general and/or the tobacco directive in particular. We may, or may not agree with the overall agenda of these groups – but should we consider joining forces where our interests coalesce?

Anti-Europe

Politically the UK Independence Party (UKIP) gives the most outspoken support against the medical regulation of e-cigarettes however their support comes from their ideological rejection of any European Government legislation. UKIP have been gifted with some party funding from at least one e-cigarette vendor that I know of, which may have assisted UKIP in their efforts to publicise their condemnation of the European State Model. It is possible though that allying our cause with one political party will act to alienate other political parties – I personally see our struggle as a moral and public health argument that should be without party political dogma.

No Thank EU

Nothankeu.com is a website owned and managed by ‘Forest’ the pro-smokers pressure group that is supported by three ‘Big Tobacco’ companies. The aim of their website is to disseminate facts and mobilise opinion with regard to European legislation on matters of tobacco policy. They make some strident arguments against the Tobacco Directive as it stands.

Their website says that “Under a new Tobacco Products Directive EU bureaucrats want to ban slim and menthol cigarettes. They want to outlaw packs of ten, and prohibit small pouches of roll your own tobacco. They want to severely regulate the shape and size of cigarette packets, and increase the graphic health warnings. If, like us, you support choice not control, make your voice heard NOW!”

Not-withstanding that their focus is on tobacco and not tobacco-free products it is still possible that we share some common goals despite any wider differences that may exist between our opinions.

Herbal Vapers

The hardware used to vape cannabis shares some remarkable resemblances to e-cigarette gear; their equipment even has eGo vaporiser fittings.

I can’t speak for herbal vapers but I understand their position to be that they should be free to do what they like to their own body. They may have a good point – especially when some medical conditions are relieved by the use of cannabis which has to be obtained from the underground-illicit market. Furthermore some herbal vapers apparently welcome vape technology as a means for them to enjoy cannabis without the dangers associated with tobacco smoking or combustion.

Come Together?

Is this blog post intended as a rallying call for all these interested parties to join forces? Actually no, well not quite.

I am personally a supporter of the United Europe ideal; I don’t want to attack the whole of the European Machine just because one part is malfunctioning. I don’t think it would be wise to join with tobacco advocates because I personally have no problem with Governmental attempts to reduce the number of smokers. Cannabis users may have good and fair arguments to make but they already have controls enforced upon them that go beyond those threatened to be imposed on us.

As I said at the beginning of this post ‘I am utterly convinced that we vapers have right on our side.’ If it does transpire that despite being right we nevertheless are unfairly regulated then, for me at least all bets are off!

If necessary:

    • I will vote for whichever political party supports my right to vape whether or not I agree with any other of their views.
    • I will argue for the UK to leave the EU and support those with whom I disagree to achieve this end.
    • I will stand shoulder to shoulder with ‘Big Tobacco’ arguing for de-regulation of all nicotine products.
    • I will join cannabis users in defying legislation and will obtain my ‘fix’ from whoever will supply it.

 

If the Government try to push vapers into a corner then I predict that I would not be alone in these actions. The Germans have a word for it; they call it a ‘Shitstorm‘ – so batten down the hatches.

The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of ECigWizard.