This mail was sent today to all Members of the European Parliament.
After the third trialogue which took place on Dec. 6, 2013 the IG-ED - Interessengemeinschaft E-Dampfen e.V. (first German speaking consumers assocation of vapers) - received some not otherwise published working papers from that meeting.
As very little information is given and as we do not know how much you as a politically involved person are informed how the voting results of the European Parliament are ignored and trivialised, we publish these papers for your information and for the information of the general public.
We are under the impression that EU-decisions concerning the e-cigarette start to involve religious traits. Arguments seem to follow belief rather than proved knowledge, partially cause and effect are mixed up. As an example there is the argument that in some member states the e-cigarette is already regulated as a pharmaceutical product. It should be very clear particularly to this negotiating team (ENVI, Public Health) that there is a general EU-Directive (2001/83/EC) for the classification as a medical product. But instead of criticising these member states for their unauthorised classification, this fact is now used as a reason for supposedly required harmonisation actions.
The Commission proposal is based on article 114 (1) TFEU. This treaty allows approximation measures which shall improve conditions for the building up and functioning of the single market. These measures have to promote the elimination of barriers for the free movement of goods.
Council’s and Commission’s plans however do in no way harmonise the market for the e-cigarette but rather will destroy it.
Meanwhile the “high health protection” is used to impose the combined restrictions of tobacco and medicinal products in a tobacco regulation on a product which is no pharmaceutical and cannot be one. That way the market shall be prepared for Big Pharma and Big Tobacco and the existing structures and distribution channels for the e-cigarette shall be destroyed.
The flavour ban which shoewd up recently and which was rejected by Parliament is a restriction reflecting medicinal and tobacco products but without being able to present a justification of this action in terms of e-cigarettes – because there are no none. Protection for adolescents can only be achieved by completely explaining the dangers and the addictiveness of tobacco, not by curtailing the basic rights of adults and restricting their access to a much less dangerous alternative.
The handling of article 24 appears scandalous. We see the open intention to settle minimal standards - which is an obvious infringement of the European constitution – and thoughts how to avoid law suits filed by the industry.
Even the German Tobacco Control Conference on Dec. 5, 2013 – which the IG-ED e. V. attended as a consumers’ representation – stated in its panel discussion that the e-cigarette offers a less dangerous alternative to inhale nicotine to smokers which are not able or do not want to refrain from nicotine consumption. This statement was made by die-hard advocates of the non-smoker legislation!
Because of the abolition of the psychic pressure of refraining from the ritual of smoking and because of the slow absorption rate of the e-cigarette’s nicotine – which does not cause an addictive effect, similar to NRTs of the pharmaceutical industry - the experts for combating addictions see their duty to deal with this new product more properly than up to now.
Also we, the IG-ED e. V., see the e-cigarette as a chance to enable a big number of smokers to change to a considerably less dangerous alternative of nicotine consumption. Even the WHO slowly comes to the conclusion that their objective to create a widely tobacco smoke-free society will be easier to achieve with the e-cigarette than without it.
Looking at the wide-spread proposals of Parliament, Commission and Council it appears that these proposals are based on very diverse levels of knowledge. Politics and science do not seem to have achieved an authoritative and generally acknowledged result in terms of the questions around the e-cigarette, though consumers and vendors did provide extensive educational work.
From all these reasons it appears to make sense to decide the TPD2 without the parts concerning the e-cigarette. We are well prepared and willing to develop regulations that are able to cope with this innovative, new and promising product.
We point out that this letter will also be available for the public.
If you want to know the background we suggest to read the attached WHO-Document sent to selected MEPs on 5 December 2013.