French Campaign to Save E-Cigs Gets Going – And a Gift for UK Vapers!


Only days after I suggested we needed a Europe wide campaign to fight an EU ban on safer alternatives to smoking, two French bloggers have joined the campaign to save ecigs, urging French vapers to write to their MEPs.

A EU directive threatens to make electronic cigarettes useless for the majority of electronic cigarette users by:

1. Reducing the allowed level of nicotine to just 0.4%, a level which will not satisfy most smokers or vapers.
2. Sneakily banning flavours (the note referring to this was hidden away, and I did not even notice this until Clive Bates pointed it out.)

Decision time is coming, with EU MEPs meeting to discuss the issue on the 25th February. We are urging e-cigarette users to write to MEPs to protest the ban. The campaign is already seeing results:

  • some MEPs have expressed opposition to the tobacco directive
  • others are confused about the science behinds e-cigarettes, which gives us a chance to explain it to them

However, to be truly effective I believe a campaign needs to be Europe wide.

Now, in a fantastic post on this morning, Luc Dussart (from and Ghyslain Armand explain:

  • The threat to electronic cigarettes
  • How hundreds of thousands of smokers have used electronic cigarettes to reduce or stop tobacco consumption
  • Why vapers should write to their MPs, with a breakdown of exactly who vapers should write to
  • How to organise an email
  • How to write the email
  • How to promote the campaign

Although the post is in French, there is a translate button on the top of the blog, so you can read it in English.


Both Luc and Ghyslain speak excellent English, so it may well be worth leaving a comment too.

Although the post is aimed at French vapers, we can help by:

  • sharing the post
  • blogging about it (if you have a blog)
  • emailing it on (especially to French vapers)

The more attention the post gets, the higher it will rank, reaching more French vapers.

There’s more to come, too – Jacques Le Houezec of JL Hamzer tells me he is writing a draft email for French vapers to send to MEPs (we’ll update this post when the draft is ready) while German vapers have published an open letters to EU MEPs.

We also need to encourage more vapers and retailers across Europe to take action. We’ve emailed our contacts – but if you know and vapers in Europe, please do the same!

A Gift for UK Vapers


Ghyslain not only created an excellent twitter image at the top to promote the campaign, he also kindly translated it into the English above.

More images are available here, courtesy of

Please share 😉

(Again at Ghyslain’s suggestion, we are now starting to tweet about the campaign using the hash tag ecigeurope.)

9 thoughts on “French Campaign to Save E-Cigs Gets Going – And a Gift for UK Vapers!”

  1. i mailed MEP’s and got this response from 1 already :
    Dear Mr Williams

    Thank you for your email regarding the Tobacco Directive. I do appreciate
    the concerns that you have raised, and may I commend your efforts in
    stopping smoking.

    I am aware that the European Commission would like to extend the scope of
    the Tobacco Directive to new products such as electronic cigarettes.
    According to their proposal, nicotine containing products below a certain
    nicotine threshold would be permitted on the market providing they had
    health warnings, but products above this threshold must be authorised as
    medicinal products before they can be placed on the market.

    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.

    My Conservative colleague, Martin Callanan MEP, is leading on the scrutiny
    of this piece of legislation for our delegation in the European Parliament
    and will ensure that your arguments are put forward.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ashley Fox

    To: Ashley Fox MEP
    Subject: Letter from your constituent Robin Williams

    This message was also sent to: Sir Graham Watson MEP, William (The Earl
    of) Dartmouth MEP, Trevor Colman MEP

    Dear William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Sir Graham Watson, Ashley Fox and
    Trevor Colman,
    I am writing to you in respect of european tobacco directives
    especially regarding “e-cigs”.
    Whilst i understand these products have not yet been proved safe, they
    do provide an alternative to smoking tobacco which is a known danger
    and health hazard.
    My understanding is that there are proposals to reduce the level of
    nicotene available through e-cigs to a level that makes them an
    inffective deilvery system to nicotene users.
    This to me seems totally nonsensical and smacks of the EU interfering
    with our freedoms in order to please vested corporate interests.
    Some of us do not wish to stop using nicotene, health risks when used
    without combustion are the same as using caffine. We also enjoy the
    sensation that e cigs can provide, without the associated tars, toxins
    and poisons that are delivered via smoking traditional tobacco
    It is an indisputable fact that e cigs have helped tens, if not
    hundreds of thousands of UK smokers to either reduce or totally quit
    smoking tobacco. Are you happy to allow legislation to pass that will
    see many people such as myself go back to smoking tobacco?
    This directive seems to be borne out of pressure exerted by large
    companies that have a vested interest in seeing e cigs pushed out of
    the market, so they have the tobacco cessation market to themselves. I
    would also like to say that i have tried many so called smoking
    cessation products such as patches and gum and found them to be
    completley useless. It is only through the use of e cigs that i have
    found an effective way to stop smoking around 20 cigarettes a day. I am
    now far fitter than when i was smoking and am able to run around and
    play football with my 5 year old boy which i was not able to manage
    May i also add that using e cigs is in fact not smoking but is
    vaporising. Whilst it may look like smoking, no combustion is involved,
    there is no lingering odour and no second hand smoke making it safer
    for non users.
    I strongly urge you to oppose this legislation and allow UK users of e
    cigs to continue to enjoy the freedom to choose a safer alternative to
    the dangerous habit of tobacco smoking.

    Yours sincerely,

    Robin Williams

  2. I have received a response also this morning from my Labour MEP, not exactly as positive as previous responses I have read and the opinion “somebody that tries e-cigarettes could be much more likely to go on to smoke regular cigarettes” just shows what we are dealing with.

    “Many thanks for writing to me about the important issue of the EU Tobacco
    Products Directive, and how it will affect electronic cigarettes.

    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.

    Thanks again for writing to me on this important issue.

    Best wishes

    Brian Simpson MEP”

  3. I just got this one back from another MEP who seems to be downplaying the possibilty of legislation but also says he is generally not minded to favour legislation that limits private behaviour :
    Dear Robin Williams, Thank you for your email regarding the proposals to reviews EU legislation on tobacco products and the impact this could have on electronic cigarettes. I am grateful for your comments and I apologise for my delay in responding to you. It is important to stress that the new proposals to update the existing European wide legislation was published in mid-December and is yet to be scrutinized in depth by MEP’s in the European Parliament as well national governments. At the moment the Directive remains a proposal, and subject to amendment from Parliamentarians, (and there is never a guarantee the legislation will be agreed implemented). That said not withstanding the importance of cutting tobacco related deaths across Europe, 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. It may be that these products require better labelling for consumers, including ingredients and any side effects. At the same time I am aware that here in the UK the authorities are looking into the effects of these devices on health, and please be assured I will look closely at the arguments when the legislation makes its way to the floor of the House. Thank you for contacting me on this matter and if I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me. In view of your interest in how I might be able to help you, it occurs to me that you might like to receive my weekly email newsletter providing news and my views on EU developments. If so, please let me know and I will add your email address to my distribution list. Yours sincerely, Sir Graham Watson MEP
    Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

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