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Ideology replaces Common Sense: Historical Chance for less Deads from Tobacco Smoke to be Undermined

This letter was sent to all members of the European Parliament.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

the IG-ED e. V. is the first independent, non-profit consumers’ association of German-speaking vapers (as the users of the “e-cigarette” call themselves). We are working voluntarily, unpaid and independent from manufacturers and retailers to inform about the e-cigarette and rectify the misunderstandings and errors that are being circulated. We emphasise that we represent no commercial interest at all – the IG-ED’s work is made possible by membership fees, donations and many personal contributions of our members.

Since December 2012 when the Commission presented their proposal to change the Tobacco Product Directive we are discussing with the European Parliament, particularly with the ENVI Committee. We also visited Brussels two times on invitation of Mr. Karl-Heinz Florenz (Shadow) and Ms. Linda McAvan (Rapporteur) – the latter being more a token event than the real attempt to listen to the citizens as we suspected before and knew for sure afterwards.

Unfortunately we have to realise that all our efforts to clear things up with facts did not result in the expected appreciation: since July 10, 2013 it is a fact, that ENVI wants to make the lifesaving alternative to the tobacco cigarette a Medicinal Product regulated in the Tobacco Products Directive. The euphemizing remarks of different ENVI members do not change this.

The E-Cigarette has only a chance to save lives on a broad front if it will be allowed to exist non-ideological and free of major restrictions –as an alternative to the nicotine patch and with the same deal of fun it has no chance at all.

We have the impression that ENVI decided to open up a further profitable business area. Who except the Pharma Industry – end maybe the Tobacco Industry – would be able to afford an approval as medicinal product for the e-cigarette? The expanding small businesses certainly will not be able to handle these cost, there is already first evidence of short term close downs. The Directive will destroy many small companies – and thus existences.

Relating to pharmaceutical law there is also the interesting question how a supposedly addictive compound can be a cessation product.

JURI Committee has made very clear in their amendments that a more radical regulation of the e-cigarette – also out of the TPD2 – will not last long. The less dangerous instrument to absorb nicotine must under no circumstances be regulated more restrictive than the harmful, cancerogenic tobacco cigarette. JURI’s objections were not considered in any way by ENVI though. We from the IG-ED anticipate upcoming law suits in case that Council and Parliament will follow ENVI, if indicated we may join one of these.

In this context we remember very well Dr. Schnichel’s (DG-SANCO) words: “No matter what we decide, there is always someone to sue. We have to pull this through, Tonio Borg wants it, and this is sufficient reason.” (Translated from German).

The vapers are not against a regulation following common sense. It should be easy to create an own directive. For the used materials and mixtures there are already many rules and regulations available. We, the consumers, are happily willing to help creating this “Summarising Directive”. Up to now the market is adequately self-regulating. Vendors and consumers together were able to implement e. g. childproof caps, information on the contents and hazard warnings on the E-Liquids. These voluntary features are well accepted and established all over the market.

The e-cigarette is a product independent from tobacco – it does not need tobacco control regulations!

We appeal to all of you: please exercise common sense when voting. For the first time there is a product available which will be able to efficiently reduce tobacco use in Europe. People smoke for nicotine – but they die from the tar. The regulating intervention of politics in this severity requires an existing set of problems. This is non-existent in terms of the e-cigarette but is bound to be transferred from tobacco to please the WHO recklessly and undifferentiated. Life and health of many people are in your hands – please do the right thing and use this historic chance!

This open letter may be published on our website and other places.

Sincerely

Interessengemeinschaft E-Dampfen e. V.

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