Vapers, who should you vote for in the EU elections?

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by: James Dunworth

Voting box with title: Vapers, who should you vote for in the EU elections?

With EU elections coming up, who should vapers vote for?

Surveys suggest that vaping is an important issue for many of us:

Graph demonstrating number of vapers who say they will change their vote to defend their right to vape.

So while I hope you don’t think I am trying to tell you how to vote, I thought a quick summary of where the EU parties (parliamentary parties often have quite different positions) stand on ecigarettes might help.

UKIP

UKIP, on paper at least have been a strong supporter of vaping.

Nigel Farage has even appeared on video (with one of our tank kits!) saying how marvellous he thinks electronic cigarettes are.

Here’s the video:

Unfortunately, UKIP’s voting record is patchy.

And in one key vote, two thirds of UKIP MEPS didn’t vote:

Graph showing how different political parties voted for the TPD>

Click for a larger image.

While a vote for UKIP isn’t a vote against ecigarettes, be aware that while UKIP talk the talk, they don’t always walk the walk!

(Thanks to Dave Hallam for the data used in the graph above. Norbert Zillatron has also collated every MEP’s vote into a single spreadsheet here.)

Labour

Labour MEP Linda McAven has spearheaded a campaign against electronic cigarettes, just as Labour is also doing in Wales.

(With reports that at least one Labour Minister vapes, I am hoping the parliamentary party will eventually take a different approach.)

In fact, McAven has also been accused by Order Order of running a fake question and answer session on electronic cigarettes, with soft questions fed to her by colleagues.

In addition, according to ex Action on Smoking and Health boss, Clive Bates, one of her amendments would have meant a ban on all ecigarettes (see: Could The Linda McAven Amendment Lead to Five Million Deaths?)

As a result of Linda’s stance on ecigarettes, she has become a hate figure for many vapers, as images like one the below show:

Vaping Crimes Against Humanity poster featuring Linda Mc Aven.

EU Conservatives

The EU Conservatives have had a very different approach from the parliamentary party. (That’s the same parliamentary party that ACCIDENTALLY voted to ban electronic cigarettes – see the astonishing video below!)

However, the EU Conservatives ignored directions from the parliamentary party, and took a principled approach to ecigarettes, despite the fact it opened them up to accusations that they were supporting tobacco.

They even managed to get a vote on electronic cigarettes separated from the EU tobacco products directive – unfortunately, it was just 40 minutes before the vote, and too late to inform their allies!

Whatever else your thoughts on the (EU) Conservatives, there’s no doubt that they are huge supporters of vapers.

On a personal note, Conservative MEP, Dr Kay Swinbourne, has twice set aside time to meet me, discuss vaping and offer advice on how to combat vaping bans (see Defeating the ECIG Ban: Advice from an MEP).

From left to Right, James Dunworth, Mike Rasbridge, and Dr Kay Swinburne

Byron Davies (Conservative AM, far left) and Dr Kay Swinburne (far right) at a meeting at our warehouse. In the middle we are holding up EFVI Save Vaping leaflets.

The Liberal Democrats

The EU Liberal Democrats have also been supporters of electronic cigarettes, and fought against the medicalisation of ecigarettes.

I was impressed that despite an initial sceptical position, Liberal Democrats proved willing to discuss the issues with vapers, and to listen to the evidence. That made a stark contrast to Labour’s  Linda McAven who, on Twitter at least, ignores tweets from vapers.

Lib Dems like Rebecca Taylor went on to campaign against the regulation of ecigs, as well as writing articles such as this one.

However, some vapers were angry that they agreed to compromise regulations on electronic cigarettes which could still mean that refillable electronic cigarettes are banned.

Despite this, their approach certainly beats that of Labour!

Plaid Cymru

While I have spoken to Plaid Cymru AMs, I have yet to speak to any Plaid Cymru MEPs.

However, every Plaid Cymru AM I have spoken to has been positive about electronic cigarettes, and they have confirmed their party is against a ban on ecigarettes in public places.

If you know more than me about Plaid Cymru’s EU position, please let me know!

Over To You!

If you know of any MEPs who deserve our support for their efforts to save vaping, please let me know in the comments! I’d also be interested to know if vaping will influence your vote!

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4 Responses to “Vapers, who should you vote for in the EU elections?”

  1. Carl May 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi James, well I’m not going to vote for Nigel Farage I am not comfortable with the racist connotations that has been vented by him and his party over the last six weeks. I will vote for the Green Party.

    I think the Video of Nigel Farage vapping on a e cig is a bit sad, ask the Rumanians what they think! I’m thinking of going back to tobacco smoking. What a load of c..p.

    Carlston Rastrick

  2. James May 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Hi Carl

    This is purely a vaping blog, so when we write we try not to include any political bias either way – this blog is purely to let interested vapers know where different parties stand on ecigs.

    Unfortunately, I believe the Greens are against vaping :(

    • Carl May 20, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      Hi James, I think It would be wise not to use Nigel Farage as a Ambassador for vapours,he is getting a lot of flack from the Media at the moment it,s a tad embarrassing so do us vapours a favour drop the dead donkey, he makes me want to Reach for the Golden Virginia.

      I dont want to get political but fortunately I beleave the Greens are trying to create a safe and clean environment which is in the best interest for everyone not just vapours.

      Kind regards

      Carlston Rastrick

  3. James May 21, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Hey Carl

    Thanks for the reply.

    The aim is simply to outline their position on ecigs, not use them as ambassadors (although as far as this blog post goes I will give no opinion on their other policies either way – this blog is purely vape focussed). And if you check the post you’ll notice I say:

    “Unfortunately, UKIP’s voting record is patchy.

    And in one key vote, two thirds of UKIP MEPS didn’t vote:

    While a vote for UKIP isn’t a vote against ecigarettes, be aware that while UKIP talk the talk, they don’t always walk the walk!”

    Cheers

    James

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