Thursday, 9 January 2014

Chris Davies MEP and his Pyrrhic Victory for ecigs

King Pyrrhus

Pyrrhic Victory (defn.) -  A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit.

If ever there was a perfect, modern day, example of a 'Pyrrhic Victory' it is the victory that Chris Davies MEP claims to have secured for electronic cigarettes in the EU.
E-cig users are aghast at the current proposals, which would ban the preferred strength of liquid used by nearly half of all users, ban every atomiser device currently on the market, limit the unit quantity of e-liquid, create a maximum capacity of atomiser, ban advertising and cross border sales, introduce a 6 month waiting period for each new product to come on to the market and leave the door wide open of any Member State to introduce compulsory medical regulations for e-cigs thus destroying the market by forcing e-cigs to be like NRT.

This looks like a defeat to me, and it certainly bears little or no resemblance to the original Amendment 170 which passed through the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority vote from MEPs.

But to Chis, it looks like a "Victory" - and if it is a victory of sorts then it can only be described as a Pyrrhic victory, for sure.

Last night (Jan 8th 2014), Chris Davies MEP took to twitter to explain how lucky we all are with this result.
It must be good because an (un-named) e-cig maker said that they could "work with" the new proposals.

It hardly proves the point that he has managed to find 1 (nameless) "e-cig maker" who says that they can live with the proposal. Of course it is possible to find a company that would welcome a situation where all superior competition was wiped out leaving the field wide open to provide a second rate product.

It is rubbish to say that it is much better than the alternative, when the real alternative would be that Article 18 of the TPD is wholeheartedly rejected and replaced with informed bespoke regulations.

And, of course, this logic that the rules are fine because a "maker" says they will work with them misses out the single most important stakeholder in this process - the e-cig user.

Talking of e-cig users, Chris Davies went on to tell users exactly what they should be thinking.

Thats right, we should start to realise that we have "won" !!!

Because we clearly don't realise that we have "won", but the second sentence is far more informative - the cracks start to reveal that we never actually stood a chance in the first place - a theme he continues to explain in his subsequent tweet :

We never stood a chance, because no-one gets what they want with EU laws. I would disagree with him on this point, but that is a whole other discussion.

The lack of understanding appears when he says that the ecig changes are the "biggest ever achieved"

What we have now is the biggest e-cig change that has ever been achieved - an expanding, innovative, popular market that for the first time ever can represent a real challenge to the tobacco smoking status quo.

Anything that hinders the current progress is a step backwards, so for that reason, the only way that a real victory can be declared is if Chris Davies and his fellow MEPs totally reject Article 18 and come back later with some bespoke e-cig regulations, in consultation with e-cig users.



  1. Well summed up! He's my MEP - I think he's been "got at". Shame that I won't be voting for him.

    1. Its a shame, that the MEPs got already used to such a crippled democracy.
      Why not just admit they have failed, and nothing could be achieved??? That would at least not sound such "spongy" in our ears. What did we win???...we lost what we already won on Oct8.!!! That stinks!
      But what can we say, what can we do???
      Does he know that we are demanding, yes demanding....from the MEP to crash the TPD, partial or entire? Has anybody in the UK declared that to him?

      But ok, its done...-but now to the next step...will he, or better, what is holding him back to reject the TPD anyway??? As we have nothing to lose any more...What is HE losing? Would very much get answers to these questions.
      kindest regards
      If yes, any answer?

    2. sorry, that "If yes, any answer?" should be after "...UK declared that to him?"
      So mad that I messed this up here.

  2. Excellent, well written and informative. Thank you :)

  3. Good article Matt.

    E-cig users should start to realise that MEPs exist in an environment that creates an illusion of democracy. That's the only reason that they are allowed to exist. MEPs vote for Art 18 Am 170 - EU Commission ignores the democratic vote. MEPs vote to abandon the monthly wasteful shifting of EU parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg. EU Commission ignores the democratic vote. See a pattern - they can't even vote to decide where they hold their own parliamentary sessions.

    1. But they can reject the TPD...why not??? And they have more reason than ever to do so...even not regarding the e-cig. Look at all the existing EU-laws they violated with this trilog-result!...As the trilog-result is all in favour of BigTabacco, are they not aware of that they will be called BT-pockets???...What are they worth anyway?

  4. I thought we voted for MEPs, and not for unelected bureaucrats. No wonder the people of the UK want out of the EU. The only changes I can see is, I won't be able to use perhaps the e cigs or e liquid I am using at present, which by the way stopping me from smoking. You can't have it both ways I'm afraid.

  5. I got my first electronic cigarrete kit at VaporFi, and I love it very much.