From 2016 when the new EU tobacco rules changes will take effect, cigarettes, rolling tobacco and other products will have to carry graphic picture and text warnings covering 65 percent of the front and back of packets. The rules also include a ban on smoking tobacco products containing flavours such as fruit or vanilla. European Union diplomats approved new anti tobacco legislation on Wednesday, including larger health warnings on cigarette packets and the bloc’s first ever rules on electronic cigarettes.

Menthol cigarettes will be banned four years later, after some governments demanded a slower phase out.

“I firmly believe that prominent visual warnings will serve as effective reminders of the severe health consequences of smoking and help people make well informed choices,” European health commissioner Tonio Borg said in a statement. “And the prohibition of characterising flavours such as fruit or menthol, which appeal to young people, will make smoking initiation less appealing,” he said.

The deal is now expected to be formally approved by EU ministers and the full parliament before entering force next year.

The main elements of deal on EU tobacco controls are

I. Health warning

Graphic picture and text warnings will have to cover 65 percent of the front and back of packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products for smoking. Current EU law demands that written health warnings cover 30 percent of a pack’s front and 40 percent of the back, but pictures are not warnings will include phrases such as “Smoking kills quit now” and “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer.”Individual governments will be free to go beyond the minimum requirements and impose a ban on all branding, provided such “plain packaging” rules are justified on public health grounds and notified to the European Commission.

II. Flavouring ban

Cigarettes and rolling tobacco containing characterising flavours such as fruit or vanilla will be banned from 2016.A ban on menthol flavourings will apply from 2020.

III. Electronic cigarettes

E cigarettes will be classed as consumer products without the need for prior approval provided they meet a maximum nicotine concentration of 20 milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml). Products containing higher concentrations will be regulated as cartridges for reusable e cigarettes must contain no more than 10 ml of nicotine laced liquid, up to the maximum 20 mg/ml concentration. Non refillable products can contain no more than 2 millilitre of Commission will publish a study on the potential health risks of refillable e cigarettes by 2016. If three or more EU countries ban refillable e cigarettes on health grounds, the Commission will be free to impose an EU wide ban.

IV. Other restrictions

A ban on misleading terms on cigarettes and other smoking products, such as “organic” or “natural”.Governments can decide individually to ban the online sale of tobacco products across borders.

Source Euronews

A new eu attempt to ban e-cigarettes- and how to defeat it!

Philip morris international – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, the EU went back to the drawing board and came up with more ideas to take away your e cigarettes and force you back on to cigarettes and/or ineffective NRT aids.

These include

  • a ban on refillable tank systems
  • a ban on clearomisers (only single use cartridges to be allowed)
  • a ban on almost all flavours (only flavours currently used in NRT to be allowed)
  • maximum nicotine content of 10mg per unit
  • a requirement that e cigarettes deliver a regulated dose of nicotine (this technology does not yet exist, although one company spent several years and millions of pounds trying to develop one before giving up.)
  • likely internet selling ban
  • ban on distance selling

Along with many more idiotic proposals, detailed by former Action on Smoking and Health boss Clive Bates here!

These proposals would mean an end to vaping as we know it today.

And in effect, having been defeated by a democratic vote, the EU seems to be trying to force medicalisation through again, only under a different name!

E Cigarette researcher Dr Farsalinos wrote

I am afraid that the European Union is once again trying to destroy the e cigarette as an alternative to smoking product by trying to implement regulations that constitute a ban for the majority of products. Not only do they ignore science but they also make decisions that are against the will and vote of the MEPs just 40 days ago.

Source The European Union ignores science and common sense by making proposals that will damage the health of smokers and vapers

Time to Protest Again!

What I ve heard, both from MEPs like Kay Swinbourne and from advocates like Clive Bates, is that most effective way to make a difference is to write your representatives urging for a delete Amendment 18 proposal.

(We ve also arranged meetings with some of our representatives so we can make our case in person.)

Rather than copy a form letter, it s much better to explain why e cigarettes are important to you, and why you believe the legislation is wrong.

Some vapers in the past have written angry letters. While this is understandable considering that many believe the legislation threatens their lives, a polite and constructive letter is more likely to win representatives over.

What to Say, Who to Contact

Clive Bates goes into detail on

  • what s wrong with the new legislation
  • also advise on what to say in your letters
  • what you need to ask representatives to do
  • who to contact

To avoid just repeating what Clive Bates has said, I ve kept this post short, so please have a look at Clive Bate s post before writing to your representative.

Click here to read Clive Bate s post.

You can also see my summary of the arguments on both sides (put together after watching the debate at the E Cigarette Summit) here, and see the presentation I made to a parliamentary researcher on ecigarettes here.

For a list of UK MEPs, classified into for, against and unsure, click here.

To find out who your representatives are and to write to them, click here.

If you re a blogger, ecigarette retailer, website owner or active on social media or forums, please get the word out and make sure that all 1,200,000 (or two million according to some estimates!) vapers are aware of this new threat to vaping and what they can do about it!

Good luck!

James Dunworth, ECigarette Direct online here