Totally Wicked Legal Challenge update Article 20

Welcome to our first newsletter and update on the TW Legal Challenge.   What’s been happening?   Important update:   We have very recently received the following information from the Netherlands, where the government was planning to implement the TPD early. The Health Ministry has decided to postpone the proposal to introduce the TPD early. Postponement will be until after the election, which to quote a source  “ will be latest in October this year”.   This is both good and bad news. Vendors can keep selling their hardware, but apparently e-liquid containing nicotine will still be 100% prohibited   We are still expecting a hearing date for our legal challenge this autumn, one wonders if the two could be connected?
Translations:   We now have the legal page translated into Dutch, German, French and Polish. If you have ANY contacts in any these vaping communities, please can you share the article 20 website with them and encourage them to share as widely as possible. The more signatures we can gather the more we can get the EU legislature to sit up and take notice of what we are doing.   We have also very recently been passed a translation in Spanish, and hope to get that added to the site soon.     Signatures:    At time of writing we have 21’614. Thank you to every that has signed and shared to date.  Our aim is get at least 100’000 signatures, hence the call to ask those of you that have signed to share and share again the website link.   Unsubscribe.   We are aware that some people are unhappy with signing their name as they believe that we will use their details for sales purposes. We absolutely will not do this, as this is not only  against the law, it would damage our legal case.   We are also aware that to create the forms to collate the details of signatures (needed to prove they are all genuine), we did not have an initial unsubscribe box.  Instead we asked everyone that does not wish to receive updates to e-mail us back with ‘unsubscribe’ in the title. We have done our best to remove those that wished to unsubscribe immediately, if we missed you, sincere apologies, but there  is now an option at the bottom of  this e-mail where you can unsubscribe. Obviously we hope you don’t, as we will be sending out updates as and when we can, but the option is there should you want it.   Social Media – Please share us on yours! Here’s the link: http://article20legalchallenge.com

Latest news:
multiCIG shows solidarity with TW

Having looked closely at the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), particularly Article 20 which seeks to impose a number of unnecessary regulatory requirements on vaping products, multiCIG would like to show solidarity with Totally Wicked in their upcoming challenge to its provisions.

In recent years the emerging e-cigarette industry has given millions of smokers the opportunity to make a significant and positive lifestyle choice by offering products that are clearly neither medicinal nor tobacco-based. Unfortunately, the TPD, if enacted, would characterise vaping products as one or the other and result in regulation that would markedly reduce those consumer choices.

We will watch the case with interest and wish Totally Wicked every success in proceedings.

Christian Mulcahy.

Why Totally Wicked has ECITA’s wholehearted support.

Guest post from Katherine Devlin, President of ECITA.

The revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was a real roller-coaster of a ride. The European Parliament (or at least some of it) showed a willingness to listen to the ultimate stakeholders – the people who actually use the products – but the trilogue meetings then effectively saw the Commission and Council going behind closed doors and rewriting the entire proposition.

The end result of the ‘process’ is a mess: it proposes arbitrary limits based on no evidence at all, like the 20mg/ml threshold above which e-cig products magically become medicines. The classification of e-cigs as medicines has been successfully fought under EU law before now, so this seems a very untenable position.

The TPD also acts in ways that are difficult to consider as anything other than disproportionate. Examples of this abound: chemical products sold to European consumers are labelled and packaged based on their risk – not by arbitrarily dictating container size, or filling mechanism.

Similarly neither consumer products, nor tobacco cigarettes, have a measured dose delivered to the consumer. No one has to conduct pharmokinetic studies on the delivery of caffeine from coffee, or cola. Even more contentious products like energy drinks only require a label of how much they contain (something that is already done on e-cig products too). Even tobacco products’ delivery of nicotine is measured using an artificial testing protocol that is widely acknowledged to communicate almost nothing about actual smoker ‘dose’. How, then, could it be proportionate to require this of e-cigs? The only products where this is required are medicines – something that e-cigs have been well established as NOT being.

Totally Wicked’s (TW) case is vitally important, not only because it addresses a lot of these egregious aspects of the Directive, but also because, on the face of it, it has a lot of merit.

It’s important that e-cigs are regulated – but it is even more important that they are regulated in a way that is proportionate, scientifically valid, and that protects consumers – both by ensuring that the products are suitably safe, but also by ensuring that they remain available!

Although TW’s case is about protecting their own business, (which is where any business would have to focus its decision-making, particularly when such significant expenditure is involved), we strongly believe that it also serves to help and protect the vaping industry as a whole – and the thousands of consumers who support it. TW have our wholehearted support, and admiration, for challenging this ill-conceived Directive. At ECITA, we haven’t ruled out taking legal action of our own, but in the interim will offer any support to TW that we can, and also continue to work to mitigate the worst excesses of the TPD through all available routes.

Our mailing address is:TW

Stancliff Street

Blackburn, Lancashire BB1

United Kingdom

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