Monday, 9 May 2016

Diary Date: Will Regulation Ruin A Free Market?

Regular readers here might have detected my suspicions that the tobacco control movement has absolutely nothing to do with health, but what of other concerns?

While most of the focus on Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive has been about its effect on health, there is also the very real damage that it will do to successful businesses for no valid health reason whatsoever. The industry which has sprung up around e-cigs and vaping has been an almost perfect free market which has driven progress and innovation at a breakneck pace, to the benefit of manufacturers, vendors and consumers alike. The TPD threatens to pull the handbrake up on all of that.

So it's good to see the IEA are to host an event about the subject on Wednesday May 25th. Their website carries the details.
In recent years e-cigarettes have flourished in Britain under a free market. Light touch regulation, low barriers to entry and strong competition have resulted in choice, value and innovation. That could all change from May 20th when new EU regulations are introduced. Under Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive, most forms of advertising will be banned and limits on product size, strength and capacity will come into effect. Retailers and manufacturers will be faced with new bureaucracy and restrictions. 
As the dust begins to settle, what will be the effect on vapers and the vaping industry? Join us for a discussion about the practical implications of Article 20 on e-cigarette use in Britain at 6.30pm on May 25th.
Speakers include:
  • Mark Pawsey MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on e-cigarettes
  • Lorien Jollye, New Nicotine Alliance
  • Fraser Cropper, Totally Wicked
  • Ian Green, Southampton Vaping Centre
  • Christopher Snowdon, IEA head of lifestyle economics (Chair)
As I understand it, other (perhaps surprising) speakers are still being sounded out.

If I know the IEA there will be wine and nibbles before and hopefully after the discussion, so it's a date you should consider for your diary.  I'll be going along on the night and, I expect, on to a local boozer for a bit of post-debate banter afterwards. The event starts at 6:30pm, lasts about an hour and a half, is completely free, and the venue has a pleasant smoking area and is vape-friendly. What's not to like?

If you're interested, just go to this link and fill out the simple registration form at the foot of the page to add yourself to the guest list. I hope to see you there.

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