Wednesday, 26 February 2014


26th February 2014

West Midlands MEP has spoken out against a “undemocratic” vote in the European Parliament which now threatens the future of e-cigarettes.

The We Demand a Referendum Now called for a controversial vote on the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) to be split to allow MEPs to vote on the issue of e-cigarettes as a single issue. This request was accepted – but just an hour before voting was due to take place. Many MEPs were unaware to the changes as they did not receive the emails before arriving at the voting chamber. 

In the vote held in Strasbourg today, MEPs voted in favour of the Amended Tobacco Products Directive, which has damaging legislation for e-cigarettes.
It is estimated that there are currently 1.5million users of e-cigarettes in the UK with the numbers of those switching from cigarettes to the electronic version growing at an astonishing rate.

The contentious TPD  aims to discourage younger people from smoking.

Nikki Sinclaire has been contacted by thousands of e-cigarette users, or vapers as they are known, from across the region who were seeking to save the products which they say stopped them smoking traditional cigarettes.
Nikki Sinclaire said,

“Many of the measures in the TPD, when it comes to traditional smoking and making smoking less appealing to people, were mainly sensible and in other circumstances I would have supported the Tobacco Products Directive. However, what the EU have sought to do here is use the sweetener of very good legislation in regards to smoking, to hide the very bitter pill of damaging the e-cig market.

Thousands of constituents have contacted me about this issue. 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?

The vapers who contact me are worried that the refillable devices they use and the e-liquids will become contraband. They do not want to use the lower strength 'cig-alike' products.
Who are the biggest lobby behind the push to price the refillable e-cigarette out of the market?  Well it is the tobacco lobby and the pharmaceutical lobby who want to corner this market for themselves.

What sort of democracy is this when we request to vote on this issue as a single issue and then are only told at the 11th hour with no delay to voting.

E-cigarettes are an issue of vaping, not smoking. Yet the tobacco products directive is about smoking. 

The full Parliament has already rejected a ban once, but the European Union has a track record of making people vote again, and now they have got the result they want.
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.

Many e-cig users tell me we need certain types of legislation, especially around the areas of safe batteries and liquids for these devices. The measures put forward by the EU are unnecessary, undemocratic and I am going to continue to raise the issue”.