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Do we need a ‘new settlement’ with Europe – or just a better sausage factory?


An article by Mr Clive Bates who is absolutely correct in all that he says

EU and E-Cigs

Thought Provoking Article by the revered Mr Clive Bates

Proud Members of ECCA UK


Electronic Cigarette Consumer Association United Kingdom (ECCA UK) – We are Proud Members and also Proud Members of the World Vaping Organisation (WVO)


Electronic Cigarette Consumer Association

If you wish to join the World Vaping Organisation go here

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Latest News On EU E-Cig Ban


The battle for sensible regulation of e-cigs is not yet over and can still be won!

The above is a message from Yorkshire & Humber MEP Rebecca Taylor. The latest news is that the Trialogue  did not reach agreement today(Monday 16th December) and will continue tomorrow. It is also clear that the UK Government may opt out of any EU policy, and go alone and regulate e-cigs as medicines. It appears that some E-Cig companies have been making medical claims for their products, and the Government has jumped on this saying “if they want to make medical claims, then they need a medicinal licence”. For more information, read Rebecca’s blog.

Rebecca says “What is needed right now from a UK perspective is to get increasing numbers of Westminster MPs to question the government/MHRA position”

So if you want to keep vaping, please hound your local MEP & MP, so they have to get informed, and get involved.


Stop the EU from Taking Away our Vaping Rights, Act Now


Tuesday 3rd December 2013 will see a proposal outlining what effectively is an all out BAN on electronic cigarettes and e-liquids – please act now, before it’s too late!

We need as many signatures on this Petition as we possibly can before Monday 2nd December 2013 when it will be passed over to Chris Davies MEP (Liberal Democrats)

Thank you everyone for your support and remember to share, share share!

Sign our petition to save ecigs from excessive EU regulation!


Once again, the EU are threatening our right to vape. In a bid to finalise the TPD before the end of the current EU Presidency, a new amendment has been drafted without any due democratic process that is so restrictive as to amount to a total ban on ALL currently available ecigs, juices, tanks and accessories across the entire EU.

Just weeks ago we were celebrating the vote to overturn medical regulation, but the new proposals are potentially even more damaging.

We need to act fast. The vote will take place on December 3rd and we need to make our voices heard loud and clear before then.

Please take a minute of your time to sign our petition (link below), which we will be presenting to the EU Parliament before they take this potentially disastrous vote. Support is growing fast but we don’t have a single moment to lose.

Thank you!


Ban Our E-Cigs, Oh No You Don’t!!



If you want to know how to find your MEP – please check on this list here

Dear [MEP],

I am compelled to write to you regarding the threats to the continued sale of electronic cigarettes in the UK and EU.

I understand that the EU is currently under considerable pressure to finalise the TPD under the current EU presidency and despite the ENVI decision to overturn the medicalisation of ecigarettes, the new proposals being voted on in December are so stringent and in some cases, unbelievably vague, as to amount to an outright ban on all currently available devices and liquids.

Likewise, here in the UK, the MHRA are pushing ahead with medical regulation despite October’s EU Parliament vote.

It is my sincere belief that those in the EU and UK who are concerned about the health issues related to ecigarettes (which are negligible according to the most recent medical studies) are being cynically manipulated by those who stand to lose the most, i.e. the big pharmaceutical companies who produce NRTs with a poor long term success rate. These companies know their nicotine replacement business is doomed if ecigs aren’t stamped out and they will use every trick in the book to make this happen.

Meanwhile the tobacco companies are happy to see the competition out of the way and capitalise on the market while it still exists. All a ban will do is open the floodgates on a massive, highly lucrative and potentially very dangerous, black market.

Like 1.5 million other voters in the UK, I am genuinely concerned that the one product that has helped me quit a 30 year smoking habit is about to face a de facto ban.

I accept that electronic cigarettes do need to fall under some sort of regulatory framework, but the following areas being looked at in Article 18 are to me of exceptional concern:

1) The banning of tanks, juice refills and any re-usable atomiser units. These are by far and away the most effective and most widely used products. Restricting the supply of nicotine to pre-filled cartridges will be hugely unpopular and encourage a massive black market in banned products. Making cartridges single-use will also be environmentally unfriendly.

2) Restrictions on flavourings. Flavourings play a large role in the success of ecigarettes and there is very little proof to suggest that young people are seduced by fruit, or other flavourings.

3) Restriction on nicotine content. Nicotine refills/juice should be available in varying strengths so that those moving from smoking to vaping will be able to receive a good enough dose to satisfy their needs, with the option to reduce nicotine intake as they see fit.

I do agree in the main with regard to restricting advertising so that never smokers are not attracted to a product designed to be attractive to smokers only, but I cannot support Article 18 as it stands presently and I urge you and your colleagues to reconsider these proposals.

Many thanks,

Yours faithfully,


Back to the Drawing Board?


I received this today from Chris Davies MEP

Dear Linda –

You will know that the European Parliament voted last month in support of measures intended to ensure the safety of e-cigs, and to curb any marketing directed at under-18s or intended to promote brands linked to tobacco cigarettes.

A clear majority of MEPs made clear that they wanted these controls but NOT the introduction of requirements to classify e-cigs as medicinal products in ways that may increase their cost and restrict their availability.

Negotiations have now begun between representatives of the political groups in the Parliament and the Lithuanian Presidency on behalf of the Council of Ministers (EU governments).  They aim to seek agreement on all aspects of the Tobacco Products Directive (and related matters) by the end of the month.

The big issue that divides the two sides is the regulation of e-cigs.  The Council and the Commission still want the medicinal approach.

It was the intention of Parliament’s rapporteur, Labour MEP Linda McAvan, who leads the negotiations, to leave the e-cigs issue till last.  But Liberal Democrat and Conservative MEPs have insisted that it should be put on the agenda before this, so first discussions will take place mid-month.

I am told that the strongest group in the Parliament, the European Peoples’ Party, is saying that keeping e-cigs out of medicinal regulation is a key concern for them.

This is good, but let’s not pretend that these negotiations are going to be easy.  The Commission may well come up with some words which sound as though they are a compromise but actually will not meet our concerns.

In all of this we are not helped by the attitude of the political parties in the House of Commons, all of which appear to have decided to support the medicinal approach before they heard from any e-cig users.

It would help enormously if we could persuade David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to change their stance.  We need them to tell other Governments that they are prepared to consider seriously the approach proposed by the European Parliament.

I have spoken with Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat Health Minister.  He tells me that he strongly supports the use of e-cigs as a means of breaking tobacco addiction, but that it is not an issue for which he has responsibility.

I am asking you to contact your MP about this to put pressure on the Government to change its approach.  It will be especially useful if you are represented by a Conservative MP.

We want them to look seriously at the amendment proposed by the European Parliament.  It meets there concerns about the need for regulation without introduction unnecessary restrictions.

They need to be reminded that it is tobacco, not nicotine, that kills 700,000 in Europe every year.  And they need to be reminded also that this is EU legislation, and even if light touch regulation is applied in the UK in other countries the medicinal approach will be much more restrictive.  We should try to prevent this.

Remember, MPs (like MEPs!) want to hear from their own constituents not from those living elsewhere.  You can find out who your local MP is and how to contact them by visiting

Personal letters are most effective, with personal e-mails as back up.  It was a single handwritten letter that I received from a constituent, describing how e-cigs had helped them cut smoking, that persuaded me to campaign on this issue.

Good luck.

I shall do what I can in Brussels and Strasbourg to try and ensure that the European Parliament holds to the position we have currently agreed.

With regards

Chris Davies MEP

Liberal Democrat environment and health spokesman =

Chris Davies MEP

The TPD amendment – light at the end of the tunnel?


Anyone keeping an eye on the long-running thread on CRUK’s ecig blog thread will have noticed Robert Innes posting a link to Clive Bates’ own site today, in which Bates discusses the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) amendment scheduled for consideration by the European Parliament on October 8th.

While Bates is rightly critical of the level of bureaucracy the amendment entails, it nevertheless points toward a significant shift in thinking regarding the proposed legislation to medicalise ecig products.

In short, it would appear that the amendment now proposes that ecigs may be sold both as medical and consumer products. Also – an upper limit of 30mg strength on eliquid is a massive improvement on the previous 4mg, so although the very hardest of hardcore vapers might take issue with a 30mg limit, the vast majority of us will be spared if the amendment goes through.

There are certainly details to be ironed out, and the fight to save vaping as we know it is far from over. However, it would appear that the pressure that the vaping community is applying to the EU (no doubt helped along by the entrance of big business in to the ecig fray) might well be working.

Keep up the pressure. We can win this thing. Common sense must prevail!

Click here for the full story:

The charge of the E-Lite brigade


So – another day, another lurid story in the syndicated press about an exploding ecigarette battery. I wonder how many extra column inches we’d see in the papers if every time a laptop or mobile phone battery failed, the hacks jumped on those incidents too?

Funny how we never see the blatant propaganda in our media, until, that is, we are on the receiving end of it. But then that is what the press revolves around – business or political agendas dressed up as ‘news’.

If you think that’s a conspiracy theory, think again. I used to teach on an award-winning journalism course and would always take great delight in telling my new students that magazines and newspapers were nothing but adverts with stuff in-between. Which is exactly what they are. If you don’t believe me, show me one newspaper or magazine that doesn’t carry advertising.

The editors and publishers of print and online media are in the pockets of their advertisers, which essentially means that what the advertisers want, goes. It’s why you hardly ever see a bad restaurant review in any but the most secure publications, because why would an advertiser put money into a publication that doesn’t show them in a positive light?

With regard to the ‘exploding ecigarette’ stories we’re seeing on a daily basis, I have a theory about why this has become a major theme.

You’ll no doubt have noticed that recently the UK has seen the launch of the NJoy and Vype cig-a-like brands. Both are attempting to woo cigarette smokers with their flip top packs and realistic feel, but it’s worth bearing in mind that both brands are single use disposables.

NJoy are already investing heavily in newspaper advertising and with BAT behind the Vype, it’s only a matter of time before the full force of their advertising kicks in. This is war, and the big boys want all competition out of the way. In my previous post, The march of the cig-a-likes, I gave my reasoning as to why the only post-regulation ecigs we will be using will be cig-a-likes, and there are cig-a-like brands, such as Skycig, that still feature rechargeable batteries. It is these rechargeable, refillable, brands that the big boys want out of the market, along with all the eGo/510 style batteries and mods we all know and love.

The big boys are already ahead of us. They know the cig-a-like has already won and now they are going after their main competitors, by going after us first. Their accomplices in this smear campaign are the media outlets that stand to make large sums out of carrying their advertising and we’d be naive in the extreme to think that backroom deals weren’t being done. It’s a long term strategy that will benefit the media and the manufacturers of the ecigs that will make the most money for them – the ones that the consumer has to throw away after each pitifully short, expensive use, because they will not be able to refill with third party juice, or charge up more than once.

I dread to think what the environmental impact of so many million single use batteries being ditched will have, even if the big boys are pretending that they have effective recycling schemes in place. But equally as bad for the consumer is that we will all be forced to use nothing but the poor quality throw-aways foisted on us by BAT and their multinational friends, and at £6 a pop, who would blame many of us if we went back to smoking cigarettes, which is exactly what the bastards want.

So next time you see another news story about an ecig going up like a roman candle, you’ll know why.

The march of the cig-a-likes

Skycig advertising

Skycig launch a major ad campaign this week

Walking up to Brighton station the last couple of mornings, I’ve noticed that Skycig, whose tagline, tellingly, is “freedom to smoke”, are now advertising on phone boxes and billboards across my home city. “Hello Brighton. Have you tried Skycig?”, the hoardings blythely inquire.

Well, Skycig, since you asked, the answer is “no”. As a committed mod/tank using vaper of two and a half years I will admit to the cardinal sin of having given one or two of the more recent cig-a-likes a go – purely for scientific purposes, you understand – but having tried E-Lites and more recently, the NJoy, I see little point in giving yet another brand a try, since they are all much of an unsatisfactory muchness.

The sudden surge in cig-a-like advertising got me to thinking – if the writing really is on the wall for ecigs, then the companies like Skycig are either already looking at medical licensing deals, or they figure they have nothing to lose by increasing their customer base before the shutters come down on their businesses in 2016. But given the huge advertising outlay involved, the former is far, far more likely.

On the face of it, it seems odd that while opponents of the ecig fear that vaping will somehow ‘normalise’ smoking, the very ecigs that look most like their deadly tobacco counterparts are the ones most likely to win out if the MHRA have their way in less than three year’s time.

However, if you look at what we suspect is the long-term strategy regarding the regulation of ecigs, it’s not that much of a paradox after all. In fact, it is purely in the interest of the legislators and big manufacturers alike, that the only post-regulation ecigs look as much like cancer sticks as possible – and here’s why:

The ecig, in all its glorious variety, has thrown a massive curveball in the direction of the anti-smoking lobby. Since July 2007, when the UK introduced a ban on smoking in public places, it has become almost unthinkable that people were ever allowed to smoke indoors in the first place. So far so good for the anti-smoking camp.

Enter the ecig a year or so later. At that point the ecig was so niche that it wasn’t really an issue for pubs, restaurants and other public venues, since so few people even knew what ecigs were, let alone having actually used one. But over the last couple of years, the humble ecig has become such a mainstream method of recreational nicotine delivery, that they simply cannot be ignored. This poses a huge problem for those who, rightly or wrongly, have claimed the smoking ban to be a great success. Suddenly, just as everyone has got used to smoke-free environments, along comes a product that allows people to do something that looks like smoking but isn’t, and there is no law against them doing it in all the places in which smoking is prohibited.

Since the very notion of accepting the huge health benefits of ecigs and forming sensible legislation by which public premises may allow vaping on a discretionary basis is too horrible  a perceived backslide to contemplate, the anti-smoking lobby wants smokers and vapers lumped into the same category so we can all be turfed outside, whether we are doing anyone any harm or not.

Look at it from their point-of-view: having successfully eliminated smoking from all public places, including public transport, it must really rile the anti-smoking lobby that the law simply hasn’t responded swiftly enough to the meteoric rise of the ecig. People are puffing away on trains, in pubs and in restaurants across the UK, for all the world looking like they are smoking.  It must be a terrible blow.

Moving forward, if ecigs continue to grow in popularity – and there is not a shred of evidence to say they won’t – we will find ourselves in a situation resembling the height of smoking in the UK, when millions of people would chuff away whenever and wherever they liked. For the anti-smoking puritan, such a scenario is too dreadful to even imagine, even if the smoke isn’t actually smoke and nobody is doing anyone any harm, either to themselves or to those around them. Even the sensible idea of providing vaping areas in public places, or vaping carriages on trains, for example, would look far too much like a massive step backward, so long term, whether you vape or whether you smoke, outside is where you will be getting your nicotine fix.

Key to this long term push to keep vaping out of public places is the difficulty in being able to instantly assess whether someone is a smoker or a vaper. Now if, like me, you favour a fairly hefty mod with a tank, then nobody in their right mind will be confused about whether I am smoking real cigarette or not,  since a Vamo/ViVi Nova combo bears about as much resemblance to a cigarette as it does to a leg of lamb.

However, if the only device you are able to get your hands on legally is a cunningly disguised cig-a-like, you will look for all the world, to smoker and non-smoker alike, as if you are something that you are not, ie. a smoker. And that is exactly where the anti-smoking lobby want you. If the only thing that distinguishes your ‘cigarette’ from a real one is that it is battery powered, then you have no place inside and huddle in the cold with your tobacco smoking cousins you must.

This is the perfect compromise for the anti-smoking crowd and the tobacco companies alike. Vapers will be denied any device that does not resemble a cigarette, and if any of you have had a go on an NJoy or a Vype with their super realistic ash effect ends, paper wrapping and squashy ‘filters’, you’ll know that they look so close to the real thing that even smokers are fooled. This will keep us all in the category of ‘smoker’ – we will simply be regular smokers or e-smokers, but smokers we will be.

And that, my vaping friends, is why cig-a-likes are being pushed and why in the next couple of years, you will inceasingly find that your vaping will be done at home, or on a succession of draughty doorsteps, where inevitably you will end up passively smoking someone else’s filthy growler. So much for public health.