This will probably mark the first time in history that the public has had to go to the black market to buy healthier products as a result of government forcing them to choose the most dangerous products.
Source: ECCA UK Blog (Since removed)
The tobacco directive, which we’d hope would be shelved after its author was forced to resign following alleged corruption, has been released today.
So far I haven’t seen the actual directive just a report of it in Malta Today which stated:
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.
Source: Malta Today
(Update: The text of the tobacco directive can be found here.)
According to Velvet Glove Iron Fist, the quantities of nicotine to be allowed in e-cigarette cartridges are to be so low they will be of no use to smokers:
To all intents and purposes, this amounts to a de facto ban on e-cigarette use. Typical nicotine content in e-cigarette juice is around 10mg and it often goes up to 18mg and beyond. It needs to be at this level to work as an effective substitute for smoking.
Source: Velvet Glove Iron Fist
(Update: Chris was exactly right – the maximum allowed will be 4 mg – for comparison, a medium strength cartridge will generally contain 12 mg and a low strength cartridge will contain 6mg.)
One reason to be optimistic is the timeline. According to Malta Today, the law would be likely to come into practice in 2015/16, which allows plenty of time for a campaign/legal challenge to be run against the law – in fact, there is no guarantee that the UK will be part of the EU in 2015, although that doesn’t help other parts of Europe.
As it is the liquid in cartridges rather than electronic cigarettes themselves that would be banned (assuming the leaked copy Velvet Glove Iron Fist is correct), we can also expect to see a black market supply starting. Unfortunately, these will not be subject to the same stringent regulations that legally sold cartridges and eliquid are today.
Disagree with this law? Why not let the EU know! Choobs over on UK vapers has shared a helpful email address: [email protected]