Thursday, 23 January 2014

Continue the E-Cig fight

We Demand a Referendum Now MEP Nikki Sinclaire has criticised the European Parliaments continued attempts to effectively ban e-cigarettes - and is calling upon e-cigarette users in the West Midlands to lobby their MEPs.

The latest blow for the "vaping" community came in an Environment Committee meeting yesterday where MEPs were asked to endorse an agreement made between MEPs and national governments which would see significant over regulation placed upon e-cigarette devices.

The contentious TPD, or tobacco products directive, aims to discourage younger people from smoking. However, it also contains proposals which would be detrimental to e-cigarette users across Europe. Many fear it would lead to a black market for the products.

Nikki Sinclaire added,

"Although the TPD aims to discourage younger people from smoking and looks to make smoking as a whole less attractive, an effective ban on e-cigarettes would actually push many of the vapers here in the West Midlands to start smoking traditional cigarettes again".

Back in December, an agreement was reached which would see a Europe wide ban on refillable ecigs. Only low strength e-cigarettes would be exempt from restrictions.

Nikki added,

"Thousands upon thousands of e-cig users in the West Midlands have contacted me in despair at the thought that e-cigarettes could be taken off the market. For many of these people, this has been the only way of effectively quitting cigarettes - other stop smoking methods simply have not worked. Are we then telling these people that they should take up smoking again?

What isn't surprising is how hard the tobacco lobby is pushing for a ban on e-cigarettes! The tobacco industry will benefit from an e-cig ban. The full Parliament has already rejected a ban once, but this Parliament seems determined to make this happen no matter what.

Here in the West Midlands I also see e-cigarette retailers opening in every area - a ban on e-cigarettes would also kill off these thriving businesses. We should be encouraging people to stop smoking, as well as encouraging budding entrepreneurs - yet these new proposals does exactly the opposite of that. 

I would call on all EU users to lobby their MEPs on this issue. We must keep up the fight. I am standing shoulder to shoulder with e-cigarette users. 

People ask me why there is a growing feeling of Euro scepticism in this country, and here is just another reason why. It is time we had a referendum on our membership altogether".