The European Commission have published their "justification" for Article 18 of the Tobacco Products Directive - The latest proposals to regulate electronic cigarettes.
You can read their justification of each part of Article 18 here :
If this is the reasoning behind the proposals, then they are totally flawed. As each and every single reason contains an error, they can only have been written by (a) the mis-informed, (b) idiots, (c) or people who are deliberately lying.
For each part of Article 18, lets have a look at the REASON and the ERROR MADE
Reason - Currently there is no EU wide regulatory framework to guarantee the safety and quality of e-cigarettes. The application of the General Product Safety Directive is not sufficient.
Justification - 14 notifications concerning (re fill) liquids for E-cigarettes via the RAPEX system have been reported. DG Health and Consumers. Rapid Alert System for non-food products posing a serious risk (RAPEX) Brussels: DG SANCO; 2012. http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/rapex/index_en.htm
- Pure Cherry Picking. These notifications show that the system IS working. In actual fact there are far more rapex reports for "Toys" than for refill liquids, and I wonder if the Commission have actually read these rapex reports ? They are reports for incorrect labelling of liquid, not for any toxicity or health problem. The system works, incorrect labels are picked up and corrective action is taken. Evidence that the General Product Regulations work.
Concentration and Size
Reason - An e-cigarette with a concentration of 20mg/ml delivers approx. 1 mg of nicotine in 5 minutes (the time needed to smoke a traditional cigarette, which delivers 1mg of nicotine).
- Pure twisting of figures. The time to deliver is similar, however the concentration delivered is completely different (10 times different). For a full explanation of why nicotine delivery cannot be simply compared like this see my earlier post on this subject - why 20mg from ecigs is not the same as 20 cigarettes. .
- They quote some research by Dr Farsolinos, perhaps they haven't read it or perhaps they are being duplicitous - but Dr Farsolinos was identifying MINIMUM level of nicotine that is needed to work for a smoker and the Commission have now turned this into a MAXIMUM
They are aware of the work done my Dr Farsolinos, so it is a clear error of omission, or deliberate cherry picking, to leave out information like this - which completely undermines the Commission position
''In facts, vapers need to use such devices for
approximately 30min in order to get plasma nicotine levels similar to
those found after smoking 1 tobacco cigarette. In another study, smokers
who were using the e-cigarette for the first time showed significantly
lower nicotine absorption compared to experienced users. Therefore, we
provide sufficient data indicating that the addictive potential of
e-cigarettes (even the new generation devices) is much lower compared to
smoking, while at the same time we proved that new-generation devices
are much more efficient and probably more effective for smokers.
Moreover, we have shown that there is no chance of overdose or
intoxication from e-cigarette use in naïve users, even when a new
generation device is used. Of note, an 18mg/ml e-liquid was used in both
studies. I doubt if a nicotine-containing liquid with double
concentration would deliver nicotine similar to a tobacco cigarette.'' - Dr Farsolinos HERE
- They are happy to quote that a cigarette "delivers 1mg of nicotine", using figures from the side of a cigarette pack when it is now accepted that these figures are manipulated by the Tobacco companies and the real does can be up to twice as much whilst the amount of freebase nicotine is optimised in tobacco smoke to increase the addictive properties - making the delivery not comparable with electronic cigarettes impossible.
The most commonly sold strength of e-cigarettes is 17-18 mg/ml and
strengths of 20mg/ml and lower were shown to be effective for the
majority of smokers in their cessation efforts
- ... and the other 40% that use higher strengths will just have to carry on smoking ! - this is pure nastiness, they know that there is a large group (40%) that need a higher strength for e-cigs to work but they will stop them from having access to this product (that is currently available) because 'the majority' will be okay - pure evil and malicious.
Cartridges and Refills
Reason - The market share for refillable cartridges and tanks varies across the EU. At this stage reliable independent studies on market shares are not available. A recent study of a stakeholder estimated the EU average of refillable e-cigarettes to slightly exceed 40%
- Refillable e-cigarettes represent 82% of the market
From Dr Lynne Dawkins presentation to the ecig summit
Trying to pass off a known 82% as 40% to hoodwink MEPs into believing that the regulations will only affect the minority, whilst banning the overwhelming majority of devices.
Refillable cartridges and refill bottles with liquid can be
contaminated, expose users to toxic nicotine liquid and are a safety
risk for children. These products also allow users to home blend
higher nicotine strengths and flavour combinations.
- Banning liquids above 20mg/ml will simply force many more people to home blend, an activity that has not caused a problem, that allows people to customise and select the blends that work best for them. That e-liquids are regulated as General Products mean that the bottles come with child resistant lids which prevents problems like THIS happening.
The majority of products on the market consists of disposable e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes with sealed cartridges.
- Bollocks, see ERROR before last - same lie repeated
Reason - Regulating flavours is important to ensure that products are not attractive to young people and non-smokers (risk of gateway into nicotine addiction et alia).
- There is no evidence of a gateway into smoking for young people (source ASH UK) - it doesn't happen. There is plenty of evidence that the flavours make electronic cigarettes much larger incentive for smokers to switch.
Question for the Commission - Has this product, legally available from age 12 and in a completely non child resistant package, acted as a gateway ?
Reason - Flavours currently in use in nicotine replacement therapies include
tobacco (approx. 50% of the e-cigarette market), mint, fruit, lemon,
toffee and liquorice.
- There is no tobacco flavour NRT
I wonder if they even realise that tobacco is actually a flavour, and that unflavoured is just that - unflavoured.
With so many basic errors for every single proposal, it is easy to think that the EU want to regulate electronic cigarettes in such a way as to render them useless.
If it transpires that these people knew that electronic cigarettes were a useful tool to provide an alternative to tobacco smoking and deliberately acted to suppress this innovation - then there will come a time when these decision makers will end up in court.