Nikki Sinclaire MEP has announced she will stand shoulder to shoulder with the users of e-cigarettes at the “BBC Vape Meet” which is taking place this Saturday (11th January 2013).
The users of the devices, known as “vapers”, are meeting en masse outside The Mailbox building in Birmingham at 11am on Saturday to highlight the plight of e-cigarettes, which are the subject of a battle in the European Parliament to have them reclassified as a medicinal product.
They are not alone – across the UK, users of E-Cigarettes will gather outside their local BBC offices in an attempt to highlight their cause.
Users of the products say that the regulations that the EU are trying to impose will affect them in a detrimental way.
Nikki has campaigned for months on behalf of e-cigarette users. Her youtube video on the subject got over 1000 views in just one day, and she has been working with the users of these devices to raise the profile of their plight. She has also given speeches in Parliament on the subject, and has written to the European Commission and the UK Health Department on the subject.
“Users of electronic cigarettes have contacted me in their thousands about the EU e-cig ban. They tell me this is the only way they have been able to stop smoking. The EU’s review of the tobacco product directive is aimed at making smoking in all its forms less attractive to young people in order to discourage them from taking it up. Stop smoking aids, such as patches; fall within existing rules so would be unaffected. E-cigarettes though would be caught out.
The updated tobacco products directive, which includes potentially harmful rules in regards to e-cigarettes, has already been rejected by MEPs in the European Parliament, yet bureaucrats are determined to try and get these items banned or heavily regulated.
Let us step back though, because the argument is far simpler than this. If we can forget for a moment the lobbyists, or the pros and cons of e-cigarettes, let us think for a moment about who should decide whether the UK consumer can buy these products – should it be our elected politicians in Westminster, or faceless bureaucrats in Brussels?
The West Midlands is home to many e-cigarette firms and represents a growing market of employment which the EU could stop in its tracks”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
There are an estimated one million users of e-cigarettes in the country. Birmingham City Football Club are sponsored by e-cig company Nicolites, Many of the best known e-cigarette firms, such as E-Lites, have their head offices based in the West Midlands. E-Cigarette and nicotine vapour shops have opened across the West Midlands.
The nicotine replacement therapy market was worth £117 million in turnover to pharmaceuticals in 2011. Most are given away “free” to quitters on the NHS. They have a business here to protect.
The pharmaceutical companies first got involved in influencing world and European opinion in 1999 with the launch of the World Heath Organisation. Since then, companies have lobbied in favour of their products, for example nicotine patches.
It is estimated that the pharmaceutical industry spends 40 million Euros on lobbying in the EU annually.