Wednesday 4 February 2015

Support A Challenge To The EU

Back in October, Blackburn e-cigs company Totally Wicked won the right to challenge the EU's ridiculous Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive. This is the part which will regulate out of existence a vast array of e-cigs currently on the market, as I've mentioned before.

Totally Wicked's case will be heard later this year, but in the meantime they have launched a website as a source of information, and to raise support, which you can access by clicking here.

From the site, here is a brief summary of why they are doing what they are.
The Challenge (and why we hope you will support us) 
We may have launched this challenge, but it is a challenge we hope all vapers and all of industry can support. We want it to be our challenge – vapers and the electronic cigarette and e-liquid industry, for if the TPD is implemented in its current form we will all lose out. 
We launched this legal challenge to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive last year, on the grounds that Article 20 of the Directive breaches EU law. 
Specifically, this challenge is based on the view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provisions of services, places electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers and users.
I'd just add that this is not just for vapers, but anyone who believes in freedom of choice and who resents unwarranted interference and unnecessary regulations.

Do go have a good look around the site, which includes full details of the challenge including the legal documents themselves (something I think Junican will relish). There is an option to sign up in support which I hope many of you will do.

Related reading: For further insight into the Totally Wicked operation, you might like to read about how I followed in Jack Straw's footsteps and wangled an impromptu tour of their premises while visiting a fellow jewel robber in June last year.


Bucko The Moose said...

It's good, but really the challenge should be against the entire Tobacco Products Directive and not just one part of it.
If small groups try to chip away at bits of it, the likelyhood is, all will fail.

Junican said...

I'm flattered!
One of the things that this challenge draws attention to is that the European Parliament does not really have any power. True, it can reject proposals, but it has no power to make proposals. That then draws attention to the horse-trading which goes on behind the scenes. That process is not democratic, and that is the reason that the EU Court of Justice is an essential protection. Those of us who watched the debates in the EU parliament would have been struck by the chaotic processes involved.
Part of the problem that the EU has in defending itself against this challenge is the apparent rush to get ecigs regulated. The rise of ecigs has been spectacular. It seems almost as though certain Zealots connected to the FCTC thrutched about for a quick and easy way to get regulations through, having already been repelled by courts in Europe which had declared that ecigs could not be treated as medicines. Thus, the Zealots have found themselves in something of a Catch 22 situation.
If they try to claim that the substance, nicotine, is medicinal in nature, then cigarettes become medicinal if they contain nicotine. As a result, if the directive includes ecigs because they contain nicotine, then any product which contains nicotine should be included, including tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Again, the unholy rush seems to have resulted in some really silly provisions, which are actually more strict than apply to tobacco cigarettes. For example, the requirement that ecigs should provide a measured and consistent dose of nicotine. That provision does exist as far as tobacco cigs are concerned. But you can see where it has come from - it has come from the original wish to have ecigs treated as medicines.
I think that it is reasonable to say that the Junior Health Ministers and Zealots involved in the decision-making process had no idea what they were doing and subsequently misled the parliament.
I think that the arguments in the legal documents are well-made. An important point is that, if the EU claim 'due process', then it would leave itself open to accusations that it did not.

Smoking Hot said...

Agree with Bucko but done none the less. :)

truckerlyn said...

For many, especially with lower end mental health problems, nicotine IS medicinal and DOES work!

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