There are nearly one million electronic cigarette users in the UK.
Many of us are heavily involved in a campaign to protect the electronic cigarette from a proposed EU ban, with some MEPs reporting receiving hundreds and even thousands of letters of protest. And, according to MEP Dr Kay Swinburne, the campaign is starting to make a difference.
But I wanted to know if vapers were prepared to change their vote in order to protect vaping. I put up a poll on this blog, and posted a link on some forums and social media sites.
Almost 9 in 10 vapers would vote for a different political party or politician from normal in order to protect their right to use electronic cigarettes.
Plenty of people also chimed in with why they would vote in the comments section here.
Vapers on social media are likely to be enthusiasts, but even so one thing is clear – this is a major issue for nearly one million voters, many of whom believe they would face potential death if they were forced to quit using e-cigarettes.
And it may even be an issue for non-vapers. When we were discussing vaping with our AM and MEP’s aides, both knew people who had stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes because of electronic cigarettes. If electronic cigarettes have helped a smoking friend/family member, you’re likely to support vaping even if you yourself are a non-user.
So, who to vote for?
So far, at least among MEPs, the strongest support has come from the Conservatives and UKIP. Some Liberal Democrats seem to be swinging round, while the last support came from Labour (which came close to banning ecigs before they were unseated in the last election).
One question I wish I’d asked is who people usually vote for. Smoker’s generally tend to be on lower incomes, and it would be intriguing to see if the party most against e-cigarettes (Labour) is the the one that stands the most to lose.
To see where your MEP stands, check out this post: EU MEPs, Who Supports Vaping, Who is Against, and Who is Unsure.
Take Action – Here’s How!
Urgent action is required now, as the EU debates whether to ban a device which many scientists estimate is 99% safer than tobacco cigarettes. (Labour MEPs maintain this is not a ban, but the proposed 0.4% nicotine limit would make e-cigarettes useless for 93% of smokers.)
One of the most effective ways to protest again the ban is to contact your MPs and MEPs. This is incredibly easy – just visit Write to Them, enter your postcode and your local, national and EU representatives will be displayed.
It’s best to write to your MP/MEPS, in your own words, but we have put together a blog post with some ideas of what to say, how to explain the issues, studies and quotes along with a sample email here.
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