EU MEPS: Who Supports Vaping, Who is Unsure, and Who Wants a Ban

33 great comments - add yours!
by: James Dunworth

Woman holding an EU flag

If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.

Professor John Britton, chair of the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians Source: BBC

We’ve been getting lots of feedback from MEPs on the EU proposal to effectively ban ecigs. While we have had some great support, most MEPs remain undecided.

The names below have been drawn from emails from customers and also from the Planet of the Vapes and UK Vapers forums.

As we already have strong support from some MEPs, I have only put contact details for MEPs who are opposed to or are unsure about electronic cigarettes.

Can you add to this list? Please let me know in the comments!

Update: We asked vapers whether they would change their vote to defend their right to vape. Click here to see the poll results!

Opposing ban on ecigs:

Rebecca Taylor MEP (Liberal Democrats): Key person as is monitoring proposal for Liberal Democrats. After investigating the issue became a supporter of vaping, and her efforts were key in the EU rejecting medicalisation of e-cigarettes.
David Bannerman, MEP (Conservatives)
Dr Kay Swinbourne, MEP (Conservatives)
Roger Helmer MEP, (UKIP)
Nikki Sinclire, MEP (UKIP)
Ashley Fox, MEP, (Conservatives)
Martin Callanan, MEP, (Conservatives)
Nerj Dava, MEP, (Conservatives)
Stuart Agnew, MEP, (UKIP)
Andrew Duff, MEP (Lib-Dem)
Andrew Brons, MEP (Conservative)
Paul Nuttal, MEP (UKIP)
Godfrey Bloom, MEP (UKIP)
Sir Graham Watson MEP (Lib Dems) Note: Says “my starting point on issues such as this is not to favour outright bans on activities private individuals undertake which do not detrimentally affect others.” May still be worth contacting.
Chris Davies, MEP (Lib Dems): Formerly undecided, now thinks: “banning them would be illiberal, and since this is just one of many proposals it is very unlikely to remain in the legislation.
Charles Tannock, MEP
Richard Ashworth, MEP (Conservative)

Unsure:

Stuart Stevenons, MEP (Scottish Conversatives): Would like to know more about e-cigarettes. Contact
Marina Yannakoudakis, MEP, Conservatives: Would like more information on scientific background. Marina is a key person to contact as she is a Member of the European, Public Health and Environment Committee. Contact
Chris Davies MEP (Lib Dem): waiting to hear from experts, concerned flavours will attract children. Contact (Now in support – see above.)
Phil Bennion MEP: Monitoring situation. Contact
Baroness Ludford MEP (Liberal Democracts) Contact
Sarah Ludford, MEP (Liberal Democracts): Needs to do more research Contact
Brian Simpson MEP (Labour): says there is no evidence e-cigarettes help quit smoking. Contact
Derek Vaughan, MEP (Labour): Thinks it wise to have a “cautious approach” to e-cigarettes. Contact
Glenis Willmott, MEP (Labour): As above. Contact
Peter Skinner, MEP (Labour): As above. Contact
Michael Cashman, MEP (Labour): As above Contact
Mary Honeyball MEP (Labour): As above Contact
Claude Moraes MEP (Labour): As above. Contact
Edward McMillan-Scott (LibDem): Undecided. Contact
Ian Hudghton MEP (SNP): Says he will take into accounts vapers concerns and seeks ‘balanced approach”. Contact
Alyn Smith, MEP (SNP): Doesn’t believe the directive comprises a ban on electronic cigarettes (but reducing nicotine level to 0.4% would make it effectively useless). Contact
Jean Lambert MEP (Green): Appears undecided – favours tobacco regulation in general but has raised concerns with colleagues. Contact
Mary Honeyball MEP (Labour): Made no mention of e-cigarettes in her reply. Contact
Charles Tannock MEP (Conservative): Has referred constituents to Marianna, but promised to raise concerns if the matter goes to plenary. Contact

Supports ban on electronic cigarettes:

Catherine Bearder MEP (Liberal Democract): Appears to oppose and suggest vapers should be able to get ecigs on prescription only. Contact
Keith Taylor MEP (Greens): “Keith’s view is that the suggestion to regulate e-cigarettes above a certain concentration as medicinal products is justified, in light of the harmful effects of nicotine. While e-cigarettes are clearly less hazardous for smokers and others compared to normal cigarettes, nicotine is a harmful substance, so e-cigarettes are not “healthy” as such.” Contact

Have you spoken to any of these MEPs? If you have and they have changed their views, please let me know in the comments.

MEPs Outside the UK

Vapers have also put together a collaborative public spreadsheet attempting to categorise the position of all EU MEPs on e-cigarettes.

Click here to view the document.

Quotes

Large green 3d inverted commas.

Roger Helmer, MEP:

We are extremely worried about the tone this document takes, when it states that nicotine containing products exceeding 4 mg per ml should be accessed as medicinal products “on the basis of their quality, safety and efficacy, and with a positive risk/benefit balance” and Mr Helmer will certainly be unsupportive of this legislation in its current form.

However, we do fear that the UKIP vote is often outnumbered by those within the EU who continue to push for more overarching European regulation and (as you have stated)’nanny-state’ policies that limit the freedom of choice of the individual. This is why UKIP have determined that the only way to stop the UK from being subjected to this kind of legislation is for the UK to take back control by opting out of the EU.

Source: Email from Laura Clapp,Stagiaire to Roger Helmer MEP.

Ashley Fox, MEP:

The nicotine threshold would appear to be insufficient for smokers like you.
who want to stop smoking, and it will likely be expensive for manufacturers.
to apply for a licence to manufacture medicinal products. Given the
potential of e-cigarettes to improve human health, and the lack of appeal of.
these products to non-smokers and children, it would seem that the.
Commission’s proposals are ill-judged.

Baroness Ludford, MEP:

My Liberal Democrat colleague Rebecca Taylor MEP, who is a substitute member of the Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, is monitoring the proposal on behalf of the LibDems. She has extensive experience in the field of public health and is still examining the issue of nicotine-containing products and has not yet taken a position on this particular part of the Directive. Over the coming months she will be looking at a range of studies and meeting various experts and stakeholders in order to have as sound an understanding of the issue as possible.

Martin Callanan, MEP:

As a member of the Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety I will do everything in my power to make the arguments and convince other MEPs of the foolishness of diluting nicotine solution to the point of uselessness.

I would also encourage you to raise awareness among others in the vapourizing community. The internet offers considerable opportunities to draw the attention of a wide audience to the issue and to contact your elected representatives quickly and easily. If you have not already done so I would encourage you to write to your MP and request him to raise the matter in Westminster, and persuade other e-cigarette users to do the same. If we bring to the attention of the public, the political world and the media the strong arguments in favour of e-cigarettes as a harm reduction device and the number of lives which can be saved through their use, we have a very strong chance of winning the argument.”

Andrew Duff, MEP:

Thank you for emailing Andrew about this matter.

He is of the view that the Commission proposal is unbalanced, and is particularly unsatisfied with it on the point of the nicotine concentration that would be permitted under the proposals.

You can rest assured that Andrew will liaise with the Liberals’ spokesperson on the report, Mr Frederique Ries MEP, in order to intervene on this point.

Yours sincerely,

Kilian Bourke

Caseworker to
Andrew Duff
Liberal Democrat MEP for the East of England

Charles Tannock, MEP:

Thank you for your emails setting out your thoughts on the proposal issued by the European Commission to amend current European law concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. Please forgive our delayed response. Your email contained many strong points, and we value your opinion on the matter.

You will be happy to know that Charles Tannock agrees with your position. He sees the potential e-cigarettes offer as harm-reduction devices to improve human health, and fears that thousands of British e-cigarette users (and millions across the EU and the world) are likely to return to smoking if the directive is amended as foreseen and nicotine concentrations are limited to 4mg/ml. He will therefore vote against the proposals accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Colleen Maney
Intern to Charles Tannock MEP
London Region (Conservative)
UK Conservative Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Spokesman
ECR Coordinator on Foreign Affairs Committee of European Parliament
Vice-President of EP delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Dr Kay Swinbourne, MEP:

I personally recognise there are health implications to smoking and I strongly believe there should be public awareness of this, but once informed, there should also be freedom of choice. I also concur with you that we should not make it more difficult for individuals to switch to less harmful e-cigarettes meanwhile.

David Campbell Bannerman, MEP:

As you may know my stance towards the European Union is not one of further integration, quite the opposite. Nor am I in favour of banning things which are ultimately an issue of personal choice. Many, if not all, of those who use e-cigs will have taken the time to learn about the product before using them. These choices should be respected especially if it leads to a healthier alternative to normal cigarettes. I am concerned by the theory that this ban is coming after pressure from tobacco companies and if that is the case then questions must be asked of the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, Tonio Borg.

The Commission’s proposal will result in nicotine thresholds which will be insufficient for individuals who use these e-cigs as a means of quitting tobacco cigarettes all together or as a replacement for them. This could very well send ex-tobacco smokers back to square one therefore making the proposal completely counter-productive.

I have always been opposed to legislation which seeks to control and nanny the British public from an unaccountable seat in Brussels. Laws which govern Britain must be made in Britain and it is for that reason that I have been campaigning so strongly for a referendum on our relationship with the EU. As your MEP, I will be voting against this proposal because it is about personal freedom as well as personal health.thousands of British

Richard Ashworth, MEP: 

…e-cigarette users (and millions across the EU and the world) are likely to return smoking if the directive is amended as foreseen and nicotine concentrations are limited to 4mg/ml. I have no doubt that this will lead to a large percentage of such users dying of smoking-related diseases that they might otherwise have avoided. Such arguments have led me to conclude that the proposed changes to limit permitted concentrations of nicotine solution sold in the EU are counter-productive and will do more harm than good.

Below: One EU MEP speaks out about the ban on YouTube

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33 Responses to “EU MEPS: Who Supports Vaping, Who is Unsure, and Who Wants a Ban”

  1. Adrian Daniels February 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Don’t think Nigel Farage would be very pleased to see Nick Griffin’s name down as being UKIP – he’s BNP!!!!!

  2. James Dunworth February 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Oops!

    • dave February 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      THIS IS WHAT MY MPS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE BAN ON E-CIGS

      Please note that I also respond on behalf of Malcolm Harbour MEP and Anthea
      McIntyre MEP as I take responsibility for all constituency enquiries from
      your area.

      Based on your correspondence I have made further enquiries and I have
      received the following information on this issue:

      I can confirm that there are no plans to directly ban e cigarettes at an EU
      level. Instead e cigarettes, which are above the threshold of 2mg of
      nicotine, are going to be re-classified as cessation medical products rather
      than tobacco products and therefore they will be covered by Medical Device
      legislation which is also under consideration by the EU institutions rather
      than being encompassed with the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive
      that you referenced.

      It should be clear that although this reclassification will not ban
      e-cigarettes. It will necessitate a prolonged period of research, and
      require many more complex certification standards to be reached in order
      allow sales in a number of outlets . Furthermore, since they will be viewed
      as medical products it is likely that they will not be as widely available
      in everyday retail stores and instead they will probably have restrictions
      to which points of sale they can appear.

      Thank you again for your email.

      Yours faithfully

      Philip Bradbourn OBE MEP

      • James February 14, 2013 at 11:06 am #

        Hi Philip, it might be worth repeating what Chris Price has mentioned further down – that a 4mg limit would preclude 93% of vapers from using e-cigarettes.

  3. Lesley Lawless February 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Unfortunately Catherine Bearder is one of my MEPs. After receiving her first letter saying I’d not have to go back to smoking and I could get e-cigs (obviously not liquid and disposable cigalikes are the least likely to help somebody swap)as they’d be available with an MA.
    I wrote back giving links to 9 sciebtific studies. Her reply was that one of her colleagues had a written question about trace amounts of propylene gylcol on e-cigs, and large amounts could be dangerous! This woman obviously knows nothoing on the subject and knows nothing about the contents, including the long use and safety of PG.
    Her only positive comment was that she was glad that I supported the tobacco draft (in fact I said I wasn’t bothered about plain packaging as it would make no difference to smokers).
    Her first letter quoted the points of the Draft Directive to me, something I could have done better to her.
    This woman should be fired. Her job is to represent her constituents and their concerns, not her own personal ones. She wasn’t elected to follow a personal agenda.
    I saw her page and was disgusted by her self-serving statements.

    • James Dunworth February 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      It sounds like she is confusing propylene glycol with diethlyene glycol – is it worth pointing out to her that propylene glycol is perfectly safe?

      • Lesley Lawless February 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        She may be, based on the 2009 FDA report that found a few molecules of diethylene glycol in one Chinese cartomiser.
        I sent her nine reports that included composition but neglected to say that reputable vendors use both nicotine base and propylene glycol approved for human medical use including inhalation. If I mentioned vegetable glycol that would confuse her even more.

        I have been waiting for a collection of easy to read reports to send all but the Conservatives and the latest ASH recomendations will be among them.
        I’m not going to write individual letters to each when they send the same to everybody, I do the same as them and change the names.

        I posted Jeremy Hunt’s responce in both UKV plus POTV, basically I read him as not bothered about the EU because the UK will already have done something this year from the expected MHRA report.

  4. Susan February 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Dear Susan,

    Many thanks for getting in touch.

    I have been in contact with our group advisors regarding the Tobacco
    Products Directive, specifically the sections relating to electronic
    cigarettes, and have been informed that this is the start of what will
    be quite a substantial process. The proposal has only recently been
    published which means that the European Parliament has yet to appoint
    the Rapporteurs for each of the committees involved or on a timescale.
    The committee which will be responsible for this file will be the
    Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee which,
    unfortunately, I am not a member of. This committee will go through the
    proposal line by line, submitting specific amendments until they reach a
    position where the text is agreed upon by the majority of MEPs in that
    committee. Certain other committees in Parliament will be asked for
    their opinion on the text and, once this is agreed upon, the text will
    then be put to the full Parliament at a plenary session and, if passed,
    this becomes the position of the European Parliament. This then goes to
    the Council and, depending on whether they agree with the Parliament’s
    position or not, the text could be amended further and sent back to
    Parliament again. As the European Institutions must compromise on
    certain aspects of legislation, this means that the
    final text is rarely the same as the proposed text.

    As a result of this there is very little that I or any other MEP can do
    to influence this directive at this stage. We have received a number of
    emails from constituents on this matter and will bear the concerns in
    mind.

    One of the main concerns that has been raised with us by constituents is
    that the Commission is proposing to ban electronic cigarettes under the
    new Directive. This is certainly not the case. Instead, the proposal
    states:

    “Extension of the scope of the Directive : Nicotine Containing Products
    (e.g. electronic cigarettes) below a certain nicotine threshold are
    allowed on the market, but must feature health warnings; above this
    threshold such products are only allowed if authorised as medicinal
    products, like nicotine replacement therapies. Herbal cigarettes will
    have to carry health warnings” (Page 9 of proposal and article 18 on
    page 39)

    However, as I have said, this may be subject to amendments by the
    committees involved and so may change. Given your interest in the work
    of the office, I will if I may add you to our email list of updates on
    such matters. Your email is of course kept strictly confidential, I am
    registered under the Data Protection Act and you can opt out at any
    time.

    I thank you for your interest.

    Yours aye

    Alyn Smith MEP

  5. Susan February 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    And not such a positive response….and not particularly informed either…….

    Thank you for your email concerning the EU Tobacco Products Directive, and
    how it will affect electronic cigarettes.

    European Parliamentarians have the bulk of their work concentrated within
    specific committees, mine being International Trade, Constitutional Affairs
    and Human Rights. All UK Labour MEPs are members of the European
    Parliamentary Labour Party, and prior to debate and voting we exchange
    information and discuss priorities. My colleague, Glenis Wilmott MEP is a
    member of the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety Committee that is
    responsible for this piece of legislation. I have forwarded to her office
    your concerns and she has responded with the detailed information below that
    I hope will be helpful to you.

    Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new product they are regulated
    differently in each EU country. Some countries allow e-cigarettes to be sold
    without any regulation at all. Others have banned the sale of e-cigarettes.
    As the UK is part of the EU’s internal market it is important that we
    harmonise the way we deal with this product, otherwise consumers could be
    buying unregulated products which do not conform to basic safety standards,
    either within their own country, or by easily purchasing it over the
    internet from a neighbouring country.

    The European Commission has proposed that all ‘nicotine containing products’
    with more than 2mg per unit should not be classed as tobacco products.
    Instead, under the Commission’s proposals, nearly all e-cigarettes will need
    to get authorisation as a pharmaceutical product, in the same way as
    nicotine patches, sprays and gums.

    Of course there is a balance to strike. On one hand e-cigarettes have the
    potential to be a helpful way to help somebody quit smoking entirely and
    greatly improve their health. On the other hand e-cigarettes currently can
    contain up to 48mg of nicotine – far more than a regular cigarette, making
    them highly addictive. As nicotine is the drug that makes cigarettes
    addictive, somebody that tries e-cigarettes could be much more likely to go
    on to smoke regular cigarettes. Furthermore, there is no evidence that
    e-cigarettes are safe, and it is concerning that they are being marketed as
    a ‘healthy’ alternative to smoking. Currently we do not have any conclusive
    evidence either that e-cigarettes are helpful for giving up smoking, or that
    they encourage it.

    While we do not have this scientific evidence to rely on I think it is
    wise to have a cautious approach to e-cigarettes. If they are
    effective in helping people to stop smoking, then it is appropriate that
    they are regulated in the same way as other smoking cessation tools, such as
    nicotine patches.

    The Commission proposal is not final and there will be many months of
    negotiations by the European Parliament, as well as health ministers from
    the UK and other EU countries, before the legislation is agreed. During this
    time Labour MEPs will be looking carefully at all of the measures and trying
    to find the best way to ensure that we effectively reduce smoking rates in
    the UK and across Europe.

    Kind regards,

    David

    DAVID MARTIN MEP
    Labour MEP for Scotland

  6. Susan February 12, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    And the last…..sitting completely on the fence….

    Thank you for your recent email regarding the recent proposals to revise
    the EU Tobacco Products Directive, particularly on the issue of
    electronic cigarettes.

    I note your opinions, from your own personal experience as an electronic
    cigarette user, and understand that you believe there to be benefits in
    using an electronic cigarette as an alternative to a conventional
    tobacco cigarette.

    I will take your views into account as the debate in the European
    Parliament on E-cigarettes progresses, ultimately seeking a balanced
    position that takes into account scientific health assessments and the
    legitimate concerns of E-cigarette consumers.

    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ian Hudghton MEP

    • James February 13, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Susan, I think it is worth pointing out that a 0.4% nicotine limit on ejuice is an effective ban for 90% of vapers.

      • Chris Price February 14, 2013 at 2:27 am #

        Very good work here, James – many, many thanks.

        Minor point: as 7% of vapers use zero-nic [1], and 93% of vapers use 6mg (0.6% and above), which is the lowest normally available retail strength, in fact the 4mg limit excludes about 93% of current e-cigarette users.

        [1] Multiple surveys of ecig users report this.

        Thanks for your excellent compilation of resources here.

        • James February 14, 2013 at 11:04 am #

          Thanks, Chris, that’s a good point to make to MEPs.

  7. Den February 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    My reply received 21/2/13

    Thank you for emailing Andrew about this matter.

    He is of the view that the Commission proposal is clearly unbalanced, and is particularly unsatisfied with it on the point of the nicotine concentration that would be permitted under the proposals, which would obviously be counterproductive in terms of public health, whatever the intentions.

    You can rest assured that Andrew will liaise with the Liberals’ spokesperson on the report, Mr Frederique Ries MEP, in order to intervene on this point.

    Thank you again for the interest you have shown in this policy.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kilian Bourke

    Caseworker to
    Andrew Duff
    Liberal Democrat MEP for the East of England

  8. Jean February 22, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you for your support in this important, life saving issue.

    We are hoping that common sense will prevail, for the undoubted greater good.

  9. Chris Price March 11, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I particularly like this one:-
    Keith Taylor MEP (Greens): “Keith’s view is that the suggestion to regulate e-cigarettes above a certain concentration as medicinal products is justified, in light of the harmful effects of nicotine.”

    They must attract a special class of moron in the Green Party these days. Not only would Taylor test positive for nicotine himself, since it is in his diet, but there is no research that shows nicotine is harmful, but in contrast hundreds of clinical studies that show it is harmless.

    You tend to wonder what qualifications are needed to be an MEP when you see this kind of thing. An IQ in single figures, in his case, perhaps.

  10. Euan Robertson September 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    I can’t help but feel anger towards the EU & Government for this rubbish. I’m 98% sure they’ll do this but I’m 110% sure I’ll vote to leave the EU & I’m even more determined to vote for a party that’s on our side as this boils down to Killing for Profit & nothing besides. It’s Genocide to do this It’s money before health It’s typical bureaucratic nonsense as per usual!!

  11. Dave December 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Is there an updated version of the list of MEPs on this blog post?… showing which MEPs are likely to vote for the most recent proposal?

    • James Dunworth December 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

      No, although I have made changes when I have become aware of changes in attitudes among MEPs, and will continue to do so.

      • Dave December 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

        Thanks James

        • James Dunworth December 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

          No problem, if you are aware of any changes please let me know. The list is already a lot more positive than when we started, especially with the EU libdems who have gone from being unsure to being strong supporters of vaping.

  12. john December 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    James
    Clive
    this is from The Conversation ( a academic peer review type blog) https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-electronic-cigarettes-20849
    the Auithor is ,
    Renee Bittoun
    Adjunct Associate Professor, Medicine, Sydney Medical School at University of Sydney.

    It is a lot more balanced and ‘academic’ i.e dispassionate, than the stuff you are getting in the UK could be usefull

    “A better alternative?

    Over the next few years, we’ll see more studies of e-cigarettes and their medical effects. But given the limited adverse side-effects reported to date, many experts conclude e-cigarettes are a safer option for smokers.

    Cancer Council Victoria and University of Melbourne Professor Ron Borland has suggested that, though it is better not to use any form of nicotine long term:

    …health professionals should be able to suggest to smokers who are unable or unwilling to use or continue to use effective aids to quit, and are interested in e-cigarettes, that these are a better option than continuing to smoke.

    But it’s important to note that the nicotine contained in these devices comes from the tobacco plant and the profits still go to big tobacco.”

    john walker
    http://johnrwalker.com.au/

    • James Dunworth December 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      Thanks for that, John, looks like there might be hope for Australians after all!

      • john December 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

        James , early days but Australia’s foundational polity was, and is still is ; pragmatic, community minded and liberal.
        None of my friends smoke ,its very frowned upon . However once I have explained what these ‘weird’ things are, they all go “if it works for you, good”

    • Chris Price December 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi John.

      This statement is utterly wrong: “But it’s important to note that the nicotine contained in these devices comes from the tobacco plant and the profits still go to big tobacco.”

      Please note that virtually all pharmaceutical nicotine comes from China, and any that doesn’t, comes from India (there is debate about this as some certification and shipments originate in India, though it is said there is no production source there and the materials actually come from China).

      The source is exclusively pharmaceutical operations in China, with the possible exception noted above (which would apply then to India pharma ops). There is *no* liquid nicotine extraction in the USA, which would presumably be what you assume to be the case. The very first firm intending to do this is in the process of starting up now, but is not online yet.

      I believe this is another demonstration that people think the cigarette trade is behind everything; it is far more likely that the pharmaceutical industry are implicated in most of these situations. They certainly are here, in the topic area of nicotine extraction. Big Tobacco couldn’t care less about liquid nic and never have.

      Chris Price

      • john December 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

        Chris I agree , Renee’s article does contain some factual errors, however they do not seem to me to be ‘errors of intention’. Given that she comes from the medical establishment, the University of Sydney. is about as establishment as you can get, her article is refreshingly open minded. Bear in mind that most of these people have only recently twigged to e-cigs existence, full stop.

      • James December 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

        “Big Tobacco couldn’t care less about liquid nic and never have.”

        Not sure I agree. BT is going to want to control their monopoly of cigarettes, which is why they want strict regulations of ecigarettes (regulations which only they would be able to comply with.) Once they have that, what motivation do they have to push ecigarettes forward when it is more profitable to sell traditional cigarettes?

        • Chris Price December 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

          Probably, what I said wasn’t clear. To be specific: there is no liquid nicotine production in the USA because the tobacco firms were not interested. They might get interested at some point because liquid nic will gradually see them off. They could well start to get interested in killing off the liquid nic supply any way they can, but that would be difficult as it comes from China. And when stick sales decline enough, they will have to get into the game themselves, as it will be the only game in town (when cigarette sales decline enough, a tipping point will be reached where the size of the smoking economy becomes too small that it is not able to protect itself any longer; at that time, cigarettes will become subject to restrictions). So I believe what I said was correct: BT don’t care about liquid nic and don’t produce it. The commenter who I was replying to was in error in their implicit belief that US cigarette firms control liquid nicotine production. They have nothing to do with it – it comes from Chinese pharmaceutical firms. China is the largest tobacco market in the world, has the largest cigarette firms, has the biggest cigarette sales, and is mostly controlled by the government.

          Actually it is probably somewhere near correct to say that Big Tobacco = China – but that’s another debate :)

          The US and EU cigarette firms will very soon have to worry about liquid nic though – as you say. Luckily for them, they are in a triple-win situation: they win if cigarette sales are protected; they win if e-cigarette sales grow (because they can buy in to the ecig market and at the same time have their preferred regulations put in place); and they win out again because some tobacco firms are co-owned alongside pharmaceutical firms, and if not they can buy up pharmaceutical firms – so they win out in those markets as well and also have a legitimised channel to enforce adoption of their preferred regulations (as the cigarette and pharmaceutical industries both benefit strongly from smoking).

          • James Dunworth December 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

            I’ve never actually run the figures, but it would be interesting to see if tobacco firms would actually be better off selling ecigarettes. Most of our customers in our shops spend about seven pounds a week on eliquid as opposed to about £50 a week on fags – but of course, a lot of that goes on tax rather than to the tobacco companies. I understand cigarettes are cheaper and easier to produce, but I don’t know how much cheaper.

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    [...] admirable protests by other UK MEPs, most notably Lib Dem Chris Davies, it would seem that McAvan is keen to exclude debate from anyone [...]

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