7 Shocking consequences of an EU Ecig ban

How An EU Ecig Ban Could Send One Million People Back To Smoking (Infographic)

Last month over 1600 of you took a survey, saying how you would react to an ECIG ban.

The results are now out. Click on the infographic below to view the results in full size!

7 consequences of an EU ban on E cigs

Embed this Infographic on Your Site

To view different embed widths available, please click here.

Why this survey

The EU government and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) have been pushing for the medicalisation of electronic cigarettes.

The MHRA has said this would mean a ban on every electronic cigarette device available today.

Even if companies can invent a device which can meet the requirements, refillable devices are likely to be banned.

To our knowledge, no impact assessment as been carried out which will assess the effect on vapers. At the very least, we hope this survey will encourage authorities to look at the impact of an effective ban on ecigarettes.

Who took the survey

A total of 1651 people took the survey (if you were one of them – thank you!) 18 were disqualified because they did not use electronic cigarettes. Respondents were recruited via social media, our blog and our newsletters.

What Vapers Said

“If you could no longer buy electronic cigarettes, would you return to traditional tobacco cigarettes?”

61.4% of people replied yes, 12.9% said no and 25.6% weren’t sure.

If everyone who said yes returned to cigarettes, 921,000 ex-smokers would return to cigarettes (based on Professor West’s of SmokingInEngland‘s estimate of 1,500,000 vapers in the UK today).

However, if some of the people who answered “not sure” returned to cigarettes, that could mean that an EU Ban would lead to million vapers returning to smoking tobacco.

An EU Ban on vaping could lead to more than one million people returning to cigarettes.

“If you couldn’t buy refillable ‘Tank’ style electronic cigarettes , but you could still buy the traditional looking ‘cigalike’ style electronic cigarettes, would you return to tobacco cigarettes?”

Vape tanks have worked for many people who didn’t find cigalikes a satisfying alternative to smoking.

46.5% of vapers said they would return to tobacco cigarettes if refillable ecigs are banned.

That’s equivalent to almost 700,000 people.

46.5% of vapers would return to cigarettes if refillable ecigs are banned.

“If eliquid was unavailable from regulated sellers, would you be prepared to buy eliquid on the black market?”

66% of vapers (equivalent to 990,000 of all vapers) said they would be prepared to buy eliquid on the black market.

A further 14.3% were unsure.

In addition to a loss of tax revenue and a new avenue for organised crime to raise money, you could also potentially see dangerous, untested eliquid being sold.

66% of vapers said they would be prepared to buy eliquid on the black market.

“Would you change your vote to protect your right to use electronic cigarettes?”

87.1% of vapers (equivalent to 1,306,500 people) said they were prepared to vote for a different political party if it meant they could change their right to vote.

This is very similar to a previous survey we ran on voting when 87.5% of vapers said they would change their vote.

87% of vapers are prepared to change their vote to defend their right to vape.

“If the EU pushed ahead with a ban or restrictions on ecigarettes, would you be more likely to vote against membership of the EU?”

Given the strength of feelings that UKIP arises, we were suprised to see that 69.4% of vapers (equivalent 1,282,500 people) would be prepared to vote for an independence party like UKIP. UKIP has expressed support for ecigarettes (you can see a video of Nigel Farage talking about ecigs while vaping here) although some vapers have expressed concern that this is not being backed up by votes.

69.4% of vapers would be prepared to vote for UKIP to prevent a ban on ecigs.

“Why do you think the EU commission wants to ban ecigs?”

In this part of the survey vapers could select as many answers as they wished.

50.9% of vapers believed that corruption was behind attempts to ban e-cigarettes, while 88.1% felt that a desire to protect tobacco revenues was behind restrictions on e-cigs.

Meanwhile 64% felt ignorance was a factor, and just 3.1% felt that there was a desire to protect public health.

88.1% of vapers feel that a desire to protect tobacco revenues is behind restrictions on e-cigs.

I’d love to know what YOU think, so please let me know in the comments. And if you found this blog post of value, please take a few seconds to share it using one of the buttons below.

Thank you!

Embed 960 Pixel Width

Embed 800 Pixel Width

Embed 430 Pixel Width

12 thoughts on “How An EU Ecig Ban Could Send One Million People Back To Smoking (Infographic)”

  1. Michael J. McFadden

    Great graphic and very well-designed survey!

    James, as you know, my fight for years has been aimed at the Antismokers who have now become Antivapers as well. I strongly believe that the vaping community needs to learn the lessons that the smoking community was too slow to learn and implement. They need to read our books and newsletters, join our Free Choice groups, and get active on our various blogs and sites.

    One strong piece of advice I’d give is to NEVER accept unreasonable compromises as “temporary solutions.” They are NEVER temporary except in the sense that the Antis will use them as a “given base” from which to launch harsher restrictions and penalties.

    Another is to strongly consider organized civil disobedience. I’m sure for instance that many pub owners are quite happy to have Vapers sitting at the bar with their vape and their beer. IF e-cigs ARE allowed at all, one of the “temporary compromises” may be a ban in pubs, and it will be enforced in the same way that the ban on smoking was enforced: through drafting the pub owners as involuntary, unpaid, untrained, unarmed, and uninsured citizen vigilante enforcers.

    Many of them would prefer NOT to have to fill that role, but will believe they have to. THAT BELIEF IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE! Court cases have tended to favor bars/pubs that follow the “letter of the law” in posting signs and “asking” smokers to stop, or even “forbidding” smokers to smoke … but not going beyond that to take physical action in heaving them through a plate glass window or calling the police (calling the police is not usually part of a ban law.) Working with sympathetic pub owners, with recognition of the fact that they disagree with the law BUT are forced to verbally perform certain duties, can move the enforcement onus to the paid constabulary where it belongs — and where it will likely be ineffective in the face of mass resistance by people who are not required to “carry papers” with them every time they step out for a fun evening.

    As I think you’ve seen, I go into that in more depth in my TobakkoNacht, and I’m sure that a campaign could be organized around that sort of action if it becomes necessary over there. The key is to work with innkeepers who ARE sympathetic and willing to take at least some degree of trouble and risk in support of their patrons, and to do it from the start: not wait around for X number of years to see what the politicians will do or what the courts will do.

    Best of luck, and keep on fighting!

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “TobakkoNacht – The Antismoking Endgame”

  2. Thanks for the comment, Michael.

    “One strong piece of advice I’d give is to NEVER accept unreasonable compromises as “temporary solutions.” They are NEVER temporary except in the sense that the Antis will use them as a “given base” from which to launch harsher restrictions and penalties.”

    One problem is that we have had to work with politicians who are more willing to accept compromises than us. For example the EU Lib Dems have been staunch supporters, but have basically accepted a compromise that we would never have accepted. (Despite this, I feel sympathy as they did work hard to water down an effective ban, but because of the final result have won little sympathy from vapers.)

    The EU conservatives, on the other hand, have been absolutely fantastic although I fear their views are not reflected by the mainstream UK political party.

    We do need more action, although sadly the movement is lacking organisation 🙁

    1. Michael J. McFadden

      The politicians have to deal with what they call their “practical political reality” — i.e. they’re afraid that if they move too far to one side on a contentious issue that they’ll end up losing enough votes so they’re voted out of office and their entire philosophy will lose representation. They can only GIVE you so much. Beyond that… they’re depending sometimes on the people themselves to fight.

      – MJM

  3. You say the movement is lacking organisation but what’s happened to EFVI? They ‘popped up’ but now not a word. They need Internet exposure reporting progress almost every other day. I really thought that this was the only way we could properly and officially challenge the EU and actually be heard at last and be able to challenge their decisions legally.
    Perhaps I’m just being too naive still or perhaps I haven’t been keeping my eyes open but where are they?
    I would have thought that any mention of e-cigs by anyone now should mention EFVI to spread the word and encourage Vapers to sign.
    It seemed to be the most positive way forward now rather than us all just ranting, raving and reporting.

    1. Hi Patricia

      I was specifically referring to the UK, apologies for not making that clear. Many other EU countries seem much more active in protesting against electronic cigarette bans. And there are lots of people who are doing things like organising protests in Brussels and at BBC stations – David Dorn has done a huge amount.

      But what I’d like to see is something like CASAA, which seems incredibly organised, and a consumer based organisation getting out press releases in reaction to news like the ecig summit in Scotland (an ECIG summit with no vapers, no manufacturers and none of the 15 scientists who wrote in protest against EU Ecig restrictions.)


  4. Michael J. McFadden

    James, there are two problems with press releases:

    1) The more widely circulated and reproduced ones tend to cost a fair amount of money.

    2) The more basic ones will *seem* to get a fair amount of google hits, BUT, they’re not really being reproduced by real newspapers and having articles written about their content etc.

    The smokers’ Free Choice movement never had any money to really put into press releases on a large scale. At one point several years ago a group comprised largely of bar owners in Ohio got a few out, but although they got a dozen or so internet “publications” their hardcopy coverage was VERY low — and yet they cost several hundred dollars if my memory is correct. And single splash press releases have very little punch. If you had the funding and whatever “opening” it takes to get regular releases out on every major new study or ban event decision, all well-researched and written at a level that papers could run them in the same cut ‘n paste fashion they do for the antismoking studies, you’d have a good shot at stirring things up: but that takes both a lot of work AND a lot of money.

    I didn’t work closely with the folks doing those releases, so it’s possible I’m misinterpreting what happened with them, but I dunno if I’d throw money into them from a limited budget.

    – MJM

    1. Maybe I am out of touch, Michael, as I haven’t used press releases for a while. We have had quite a lot of press coverage, but you only get them for specific types of stories – no paper in the UK seems interested in anything which might portray smokers in a positive light.


  5. A very interesting and informative post, thanks, James. The results shown on the excellent infographic don’t surprise me in the slightest. They reflect opinions I have read in numerous vaping forums.

    How do we get the lawmakers and decision makers to take note of these findings? The findings unquestionably reflect the views of countless vapers, but there is the old problem of when a group ‘knows’ something, they can’t understand why other groups don’t know the same things. That gap of understanding between the vaping community and the lawmakers has to be bridged.

    As far as publicity goes, I think social media campaigns have their place and many people would be able to participate. As far as cost goes, they are free or inexpensive, and they are convenient. Some people could physically go to Brussels and protest, but many couldn’t do that. Is there a way of making the use of social media more effective?

    The vaping community has to act to make themselves heard, and we have to keep on doing it until the whole vaping issue reaches a conclusion that is satisfying to both vapers and public policy formers.

    1. Thank you for the comment.

      “How do we get the lawmakers and decision makers to take note of these findings?”

      A lot of us are trying. I’ve spoken to MEPs who say they have received hundreds of letters from vapers. Unforunately, it doesn’t seem to be making much difference.

  6. James, it may also be that, due to the relative negativity toward smokers that the media has not yet developed toward vapers that your PRs were more easily picked up.

    I may also be reacting to the feeling that I’ve been seeing what seems to be an increasing amount of media spurred by antismoking interests. Here are several that I’ve commented on in just the last few days:




    As you can see, the “tone” of the stories is surprisingly accepting of the “e-cigs as a threat” nonsense pouring out from the Antis.

    – MJM

  7. James,
    Just wondered why you used the figure of 1.5 million UK vapers when at the time of the post R West’s number – 2.1 million vapers in the UK – is believed accurate and widely used?

  8. At the time I wrote this I used the reliable figures I knew of. There was lots of discussion at the time about the true figure but I did not know of a more reliable figure then – I suspected there were more but preferred to avoid speculation. ASH’s revised estimates of 2,100,000 appeared after the infographic had been created.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top