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)
Stuart Stevenons, MEP (Scottish Conversatives): Would like to know more about e-cigarettes.
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 (page since removed)
Sarah Ludford, MEP (Liberal Democracts): Needs to do more research: Contact (page since removed)
Brian Simpson MEP (Labour): says there is no evidence e-cigarettes help quit smoking.
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.
Michael Cashman, MEP (Labour): As above Contact (page since removed)
Mary Honeyball MEP (Labour): As above Contact (page since removed)
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).
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 (page since removed)
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.
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.Ashley Fox, MEP:
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.
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.Andrew Duff, MEP:
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."
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.
Kilian BourkeCaseworker 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.Dr Kay Swinbourne, MEP:
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.
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
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.Richard Ashworth, MEP:
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
...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